Review of the Global Minotaur by Raja Junankar, for the ELRR

This review of the Global Minotaur (click here for the Global Minotaur page) is special to me. The reason? Raja Junankar was one of the lecturers at the University of Essex while an undergraduate, back in the mists of time (1978-1981). Later, when I returned to Essex (after a year at Birmingham University), it was Raja who induced me to the MPhil program that culminated into my PhD. During that period, I recall attending his excellent course on Marxian Economics and, also, following his empirical work on the stocks and flows of UK unemployment (a major… growth industry in the early 1980s). As you can imagine, dear reader, reading his review of my book was an emotional experience. Thanks to the Employment and Labour Relations Review (ELRR) for sending me the review. 

27 Comments

  • Even the Greek church is inefficient: Number of inhabitants per priest: Greece 2.600, Germany 1.020

    • Oopps sorry, of course it is: Inhabitants per priest: Germany 2.600, Greece 1.020

    • n eu d

      Heh ,yes you keep posting numbers in isolation.
      Good job.

      Do not forget the Greek priests all over the world and especially Africa that keep schools running for the education of children Lagarde cares about so much.

      HAHAHAHAHA.

    • What nonsense is this now? Statistics on priests per capita! Try factoring in population densities, an equation to take account of all the German islands with population, etc. Perhaps you should also measure the praying hours of the priests, the number of ceremonies per priest per year…

      This is really a pathetic approach to life. It makes more sense to say that there should be no priests rather than try to measure their productivity levels. Just ridiculous nonsense.

    • I know a company in Germany that employed a young lady. Her job was to water the plants in all the offices. After watering each plant she stopped and chatted with people working around it. She was completely inefficient in what she was doing and was distracting the engineers of doing their jobs. I know for sure that people loved her chat and the smile in her face. She made their day shine.

    • Dear Demetre
      I think that employing young ladies to water plants and lift morale by smiling and chatting would be one of the nicer approaches to solving this crisis and generally increase employee satisfaction.
      😉
      It’s not a typical role in German companies, though.
      Which is probably a shame.

      But, though anecdotal evidence only, your example highlights that Germans are people, too. They are not that different to e.g. the Greek.
      In the end, most people just try to do what they believe they have to do while having some fun on the way, if possible.

    • @No EU dictatorship.

      No, Nein, Nein, Herr N_E_D!

      The Germans are inefficient since you don’t need Christian priests in Germany since you are mostly antichristian and atheistic 🙂

      Remember what your own polls are saying about how many Germans believe in God! Not many and without the muslims living in Germany it is even less! I recall that less than 50 percent of the German population believe in God at all. These are not just Christians, the number includes muslims, jews and other religions!

      The Germans are pagans in their majority. Does this say anything about their morality, ethics and solidarity ???

      I guess that it does say a lot about them!

    • I assume the Greek priests are not inefficient, they just have so much to do with all the confessions they take from all the corrupt politicians and tax evaders!

    • Dear Aristoteles
      I am sure it says loads about Germany that there are so many atheists. But, regrettably or not, Germany is not alone in this:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism

      In e.g. the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Sweden the level is comparable. In e.g. France and the Czech republic, it is actually higher.
      So what?

    • @Martin: “Dear Aristoteles I am sure it says loads about Germany that there are so many atheists. But, regrettably or not, Germany is not alone in this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism In e.g. the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Sweden the level is comparable. In e.g. France and the Czech republic, it is actually higher. So what?”

      It says a lot about the German and European culture my friend. And the European culture is becoming more and more a culture of atheism, materialism (believing & worshipping the Euro-mammon), religious syncretism and ethical relativism!

      One could even say that Europe is culturally decaying.
      Some even believe that this almost always the beginning of the end of a civilization 🙂

      There was an interesting German guy who predicted all that. This was Oswald Spengler, he had some interesting thoughts about the future of the West!

    • Since the EU is trying hard to become a socialist superstate, it will not take long before religion will be outlawed by the EU Commission!

  • That is more than a review. It is also an extended summary.
    Good for us.

    Anybody can reach the conclusion of what austerity has to do in Europe.
    It is pretty transparent.

    Not to mention all the distractions about “bad” Greece.

  • Tim Geithner’s Libor Recommendations Came Straight From Banks, Documents Show
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/16/tim-geithner-libor_n_1674552.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HP%2FBusiness+%28Business+on+The+Huffington+Post%29

    Deutsche Bank gets prosecution witness status in rate probe
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/15/us-deutschebank-rates-libor-idUSBRE86E08L20120715
    —————-

    It seems the honourable Deutsche Bank will betray partners in crime to get a lighter penalty. Hihihi.

    • I am glad – the Third World War must have been of a relatively kind nature so it has already ended without anybody noticing that it had taken place at all? Or have I missed anything?

    • Yes, Martin, the third world war is over. It was really more of a coup than a war, but the bankers won the world. So it goes…

  • A well thought-out review.

    One minor mistake on who actually slew the Minotaur (Thisseas instead of Aegeas) but it is of little importance.

    A couple of things that Prof. Junankar hints to, or should I say poses questions on are the following.

    “It is interesting that the author treats the USA (a political entity) as determining
    the development of the world economy. In fact what he is presumably
    arguing is that the “nance capitalists (the bankers) were in charge in creating
    US government policy that favoured them. Was there a coalition of “nance and
    industrial capitalists from the USA and European countries that had re-arranged
    the deck chairs on the ‘Titanic world capitalist enterprise’ waiting for the crisis?”

    and

    “It is a game of ‘pass the parcel’ and who is going to be left holding the
    ‘toxic’ parcel when the music stops?”

    I have asked you in the past whether you think there’s a plan behind this (similar to the one that gave birth to the Minotaur in the 70s) and your answer was a resounding NO and that we are in a 30s type of situation.

    While I am content to take your word for it this eerie feeling keeps popping into my head that US policy makers (in all their wits) must surely have anticipated that this bubble cannot keep inflating forever, after all it was “a controlled disintegration of the global economy”.

    While I will not go as far as to say that the 2008 credit crunch was planned I can’t help to think that someone somewhere in the US knew that this was coming (and liked it).

    To cut a long story short I see the USD’s status as a world reserve currency as something the powers that be in American hold sacred and view as a cornerstone of America’s dominion over the world. The appearance of the Euro as an alternative (or even as a parallel) must have had a lot of people vexed.

    The areas between cause and effect are very grey to me which means I could be totally wrong. Still I find it difficult to stomach that all the policy makers you speak of in the Global Minotaur have succumbed to short sighted greed.

    • Dear David Sheegog
      As upsetting as the unfriendly takeover of the world through banksters is, I have to admit that I prefer it to Word War I or II.
      After all, as long as we have a democracy and people are not completely useless, WE (the 99%, if you like – or maybe more realisticly, the 80% that don’t live of huge inheritances fraudulently gained pensions or generally tricking the system) have the power to set the rules.
      Maybe we should be less afraid and just do it? That way, WW III (as I understand you see the bank’s “victory” over the real economy, politicians and everybody else) coud be easily reversed!

    • I thought that this brought Hitler and millions of dead folks and trillions of destryed economic value.
      The USA companies are sitting on three trillion of dollars. They can’t put them to use, the folks are indebted and don’t have the money to buy products that those companies can produce. You have only to choices to solve this problem. The first choice is to print the money and give it to people so they can buy stuff and so the companies that have the money can put them to use. The next alternative is to abolish the debts and start from scratch again. Sure there is the German alternative we all know the results.

  • Congratulations – even if I personally only save the reviews for “further reading in a few weeks” after I’ll have finished the book twice^^. I hope to be able to read the much more scientific book some day later that way :-). But this is truly a nice story, Raja Junankar reviewing your book. All the best!