28 Comments

  • Attacking oligarchy, poverty and unreason for European democracy’s sake. Now this, this is ‘God’s work’.All power to you and Syriza, Yanis. God speed.

  • Well done! Excellent interview, pity it was cut short after your response about lending money on condition the debtor reduce its income!

  • Was that guy seriously asking if Syriza is going to turn Greece into a soviet dictatorship?

    Other than that, that was a brilliant interview, and k. Varoufakis you are really articulate and convincing in your assertions. I hope that after your victory you become a permanent presence in media all around Europe.

  • It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom.
    It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.
    Hallucination is a fact, not an error; what is erroneous is a judgment based upon it.
    You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do. Time will be your judge.

  • Very excellent talk. Bravo, Yanis. And good Luck in elections.
    I noticed that you used my warnings about state contractors in previous post, i hope you will take notice of this recomendation too.

    To aleviate suffering in Greece you have to implement private bankrupcy system as it used exist in USA pre 2005.
    A bankrupcy judge orders wiping out the bank loans and leaves the property in owners hands.
    This helps banks and debtors at the same time. This iinstitution of private person bankrupcy keeps banks afloat by wiping out the unrealised debts from bank’s balance sheets. ANd unrealised debts are the burden on the banks and people. Bankrupcy removes such burden from both and contributs to ekonomy by leaving liquidity in it.

    How is that possible? Banks create new money when issuing debts and erase such money when debts are payed off, leaving only interest parts as income to banks. When people stop paying credits, banks looses all income and leaves unpayed debt on its balance sheet. In good times banks can sell levered asset on the market and recover debt and some income, but today that is impossible to do, values of housing is lower then debts. ANd even if they can sell property, banks loose income.
    This condition is hiding in banks for years keeping banks without working capital and people without housing.

    In bankrupcy procedings, a judge orders wiping out the balance of debt just as it was repayed and such money is not destroyed as it would be by repayment, it stays in economy. Bank’s income was lost either way since debtor stoped payments, bankrupcy won’t change that. Bankrupcy only cleans balance sheet while leaving property to the owner to use. Both sides have huge benefits by filing for bankrupcy, while rest of the country keeps liquidity that is not destroyed. Everybody benefits with private personal bankrupcy. ANd EU has no conditions on such institutions.

    In capitalism the main source of growth is everincreasing private and public debts. Increasing private debts is made possible by moderate inflation on fixed interest on debts and personal bankrupcy. There is no limits to everincreasing public debt as long as private debt can increase. Once private debts can not increase anymore that brings economy down and then public debt can not increase anymore if it under Gold Standard as in EZ.

    The biggest help to Greeks is creating institution of personal bankrupcy.

    • In capitalism growth is created by time deferred consumption of productive output and not debt. These savings are then available and can be loaned to entrepreneurs. It is the free market that allocates the resources correctly through the mechanism of price discovery, the accountancy function that provides notice of profit or loss and the division of labour combined with voluntary trading which ultimately realises the additional production and therefore increased wealth.

      Your idea of annulled bankruptcy is flawed with basic errors and assumptions. You may as well take the total communistic route of allocating propery based on an arbitary code.

      A lender can of course forgive a debt, but essentially gifting a property which the bank doesn’t own is theft. Its a chain in which the seller has been paid. The property on which the loan is secured must be liquidated. This creates a downward force on the cost of property and makes a better allocation of that resource. Banks which lend improperly should be bankrupted and liquidated.

      Liquidity in your book is simply printed cash and not real production. It’s equivalent to QE or straight money printing. It is simply the action of tin can kicking and bubble maintenance.
      In the short term it might give the country a few more months or years, but it will also create further distortions and poor financial behaviour which will become obvious in the future.

  • Γιάννο, πάντα ελπίζαμε μαζί, κατά της Ολιγαρχίας… Σε παρακολουθούμε με Πίστη… Καλή σου δύναμη!!!

  • Things are getting very exciting. At last the voices of reason and compassion may well prevail. I wish you all success Yanis in your new role as a reluctant politician. Reluctant politicians are always the best!

  • It all sounds very revolutionary.
    The attacking things tends to result in resistance. Resistance leads to conflict. Conflict leads to bloodshed and diminishing wealth.
    Meanwhile the cost of ‘attacking’ is born by the many to the advantage of a few.
    You’re revolution is doomed before it begins. It will simply be a coup d’état in which the new group in power is the beneficiary.

    So one must learn how to move the penny on the table without touching it or, performing tricks which carefully obscure physical contact. One must learn to leap whilst standing on his hand, to defy Gravity permanently without aid.

    Its a short step from your example of two people, a table and a pile of coins. You knew the answer. Don’t play. In a game there will always be winners and losers. Be wary of those who propose that human life is about games, or battles. Those that speak of strategies or models are false prophets. No one has ‘the answer’ there are no elements that can be controlled beyond the simple self-and this with great effort only. Watch you are not a false prophet!

    There is ‘I’ and then everybody else. Don’t group them, or create graphs, tables, bell curves and patterns. These are all false, they cannot be relied on anymore than the gamblers truth.

    What is it that the Oligarchs, bankers, the poor, the tyrants really need ? Each person as individual as a snowflake, yet their underlying needs are identical. We can be poor and happy or rich and happy as long as our needs are satisfied. Can you see why it is impossible for anyone to control this or deliver it ?

    10,000 years of punishment and reward is surely enough ?

    If Greece is going to show the world the way it will not do so by backward historical revolution, nor new economic theories either. Throw away the ideas of punishing the oligarchs or satisfying the poor, it is an unworkable conceit that has dragged man down, like a rock, for eons.

    Find the new way, the more difficult way. Do not turn Greece into a Venezuela, a Stalinist Russia or a Maoist China. It won’t just be Greeks that suffer. We are all made that bit poorer and that bit more violent.

    You talk of a Maze in which there is an exit, but you are incorrect. There isn’t a resolution because they maze is infinite and no exit ever existed. This is two dimensional thinking which is that of a beast and not worthy of a human being. Free everyone to express their needs without any hope of reward or the threat of punishment. End judgement and analysis and be aware of what is alive within you. Be like a child, walk in innocence.

  • Thanks Yanis.

    This interviewer make your point about the problems with concentrated media ownership – with their concentrated media objectives be they corporate-state (like the BBC) or simply corporate (like everything else) – for you. This isn’t about “free speech” which after all isn’t free if it can only be spoken by billionaires – this is about delivering the means of democracy back into the hands of the people.

    When interviewer says “You know what happened the last time someone challenged the Greek oligarchy” well, I have no words… what a despicable thing to say.

    Excellent interview, thanks Yanis. Good luck to you.

  • Yanis’s best interview yet, I’d say. His campaign as a global public intellectual over the past few years has been excellent preparation for what we all hope will be his new and more consequential role after tomorrow. May Greece once again become the model for democracy for the world!

  • If you want to attack oligarchy, poverty and enslavement then you have to attack the heart of the EU, namely the eurozone, because it is the EU that makes citizens less democratic, poorer and less free. If the EU were a single country (the old joke goes) and was applying for membership today then its application would be rejected on grounds of undemocratic deficit.

  • Interesting story in Spiegel about the 5 economic advisors of Syirza. Our estimated host Yanis being the 1st on the list. Spiegel calls him the ‘pop star’ of the five. And that he never studied economics, nevertheless got professorships in economics in Cambridge, Sydney, Athen und Austin gebracht.

    http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/soziales/griechenland-fuenf-oekonomen-fuer-syriza-a-1014655.html

    Good luck for you, Yanis, in these elections. You know I deem your recipes absurd because they don’t even start to tackle the Greek problem at its root – which is the rotten system of cleptocrats and bureaucrats, of fakelaki and tax evasion in Greece. Yes I know, this is not done by all Greeks, but by the so called ‘elites’. I am convinced you are a serious and honourable guy who does really want to make a difference. So get elected, and kick them Greek ‘elites’ into oblivion. Don’t forget to seize their fortunes on- and offshore…

    • It was to his benefit, economics is dominated by ideologues of the neo liberal variety. It’s tough to start a career in that arena now.

    • Tax evasion will not be stopped until we can move away from cash as the main payment type. Yanis, please check out real time VAT and how such a move to a reliable form of collection – and delivery of benefits ion a controlled manner – may be part of the answer.
      Managing a stored value card (or phone app), issued by the central bank/ treasury, can greatly reduce the risk of chaos from any collapse of the Euro – and the subsequent failure of many commercial banks.
      Greece can be a leader in anticipating the problems still to come – and making sure that this time it is not the general public who suffer, but the bankers.

  • Μείνετε δυνατοί και ελέγξετε καλά. Οι διαχειριστές της ΕΕ ίσως έχουν και κάτι πέρα απο plan Β, ίσως έχουν και ένα πλάνο ακραίου εκφοβησμού ώστε να μην έρθει νωρίτερα αυτό που στο βάθος της σκέψης τους γνωρίζουν ότι κάποια στιγμή θα έρθει. Όλες οι κινήσεις τους μέχρι σήμερα στοχεύουν στην απομάκρυνση της συζήτησης και οποιαδήποτε σκέψης απο αυτό που εσείς πρώτος θέσατε δημόσια.
    Η ιστορία είναι με το μέρος σας αυτή την στιγμή. Μένει μόνο, με πυγμή και προσεκτικές κινήσεις να εκμεταλλευτούμε την στιγμή για να επανεκκινήσουμε την ελληνική παραγωγική μηχανή. Απο Δευτέρα ανεξάρτητα με το εάν θα επιτύχουμε την επιθυμητή αλλαγή στην ευρωπαική πολιτική, το σημαντικότερο είναι ότι η ελληνική κοινωνία φαίνεται να εκσυγχρονίζεται με ένα άλμα προς την νεότερη γενιά προς ανθρώπους πιο παραγωγικών ηλικιών. Αυτό ίσως είναι σημαντικότερο…

  • There’s hope that finally there comes more decency into this Euro-Union that has been so devastating, so incredibly abusive, so cynical to uncounted families. I wish and pray that you guys keep up your good intentions and start proceeding with your program! This last episode of past Thursday is a high water mark for the policy of the very few for the few. I just have a hard time to believe that nobody stands up and says common, guys, this is the worst charade, the cranks that take over the madhouse…

  • Yanis, I often scratched my head wondering why worthy folk like yourself are rarely ever seen in a position of power. This is truly a dream come true.

  • http://www.theautomaticearth.com/bunch-of-criminals/
    I was going to start out saying yesterday was the saddest day in Europe in 50 years, or something like that, because of the insane and completely nonsensical largesse the ECB permits itself to launch, aimed at once again saving a banking system, but which will not only not help the European people, it will make things even much worse than they already are. Which is also, lest we overlook that ‘detail’, entirely thanks to the ECB/EU/IMF Troika,
    ~~~
    First the insanity of the ECB QE itself. The problem with Europe’s economy, what drives it into high unemployment and deflation, is that people are not spending. If QE would really be aimed at reviving the economy, or at battling deflation, it would need to assume that people will start borrowing on a massive scale just because Draghi buys bonds – and soon perhaps even stocks – from bankers. There simply is no logic in that. The stated goals, pro-growth and anti-deflation, are not true. It’s a sleight of hand.

    In order to achieve the stated goals, money would have to reach the real economy. As it stands, the best Draghi can do is to ‘hope’ it will. That’s not enough by a mile. This is not about doubts over its effectiveness, that’s baloney, we know it’s not effective when it comes to the stated goals. It will still leave Europe with no growth, and deeper deflation, and now €1.1 trillion deeper in debt. While banks can grow their reserves.
    ~~~

  • Good luck on Sunday Yanis.
    I’ve been engaged by your blog and commentary for years now and am delighted to see “the good fight” being taken to highest corridors of power.
    We are all cheering your success, from the streets of Dublin to the streets of Athens!

  • Yanis, assuming Syriza gains power and attempts to implement your plan can Greece still be forced out of the Eu?

  • All the very very best wishes! And I hope you will not only be, as a professor, a ‘reluctant candidate for power’, but a great candidate who will give so many many people in your country back: enough food, a far better existence, their dignity. I hope that you will have, in case you’d be a politician, a lot of patience in dealing with those f. ex. neoliberalists like Merkel and more whose failure in understanding the real problems led to the horrible situation Greek and millions of people face since quite some time now. May you have many good people around you too!

  • congrats…and now the hard work begins…remember at the end of the day, as long as you accept the rules no matter how insane they may appear to be, Ithaki always wins….Margin lending rules allow borrowing on any free floating enterprise in the FTSE internationals (40+ countries/markets) with a one billion dollar market cap for 30 days for trading to be marginable…you need to obtain $500 million of free floating shares (from each entity) as payments for options subject to delivery on land lease deals (not sales, land leases) on some of the 1500 uninhabited islands of Hellas from 200 enterprises to have $50 Billion Dollars in free floating capital that you should be able to argue can not be tied down by the Troika…an alternative would be to convince the Church that it should establish itself as a nation state (ie- Vatican) and then let them make a claim on the land that they currently have interests in and thus let them argue with the lack of jurisdiction by the Troika…remember….Ithaki always wins…when you are done fixing things, hope to see you for honey and yogurt at Spavento Café in Kioni…be well…

  • Congratulations on your election. You truly deserved it. I am hopefull for the future regardless of the tough times that it may bring. Your last interview is right on the money, atacking the oligarchy of Greece is of absolute necesity. God speed because time is of the essence and always fight the good fight.