No year is of course responsible for what we humans get up to during its course. But then again, the very concept of a year would not exist without us. In this sense, it is not illegitimate to farewell 2010 with a sense of outrage at what it brought us. So, what did it bring? Paul […]
Or why looking for happiness is not like looking for gold That money cannot buy happiness has been known at least since the Midas story gained currency in ancient Greece. What is new is that, after the Crash of 2008, what had hitherto passed as scientific economics (and the neoliberal policies that they supported) lost […]
Some idle economic thoughts for Christmas day: In late 16th century, Christopher Marlowe told the story of Dr Faustus who famously contracted, using his own blood to sign on the dotted line, to sell his body and soul twenty four years hence to Mephistopheles. [i] In exchange he demanded, and secured, a long catalogue of […]
Quiz: Who wrote the following and when“To read the newspapers just now is to see Bedlam let loose. Everyone who hates social progress and loves deflation feels that his hour has come, and triumphantly announces how, by refraining from every form of economic activity, we can become prosperous again” ?
Two days ago, I called for the rehabiliation of Ebenezer Scrooge. Today, in the FT, Martin Wolf goes one step further: he puts forward Scroogeonomics. I beg to differ. Scrooge offers an excellent morality tale for our day and age. But not a blueprint for economic thinking. Then again, I am sure Martin Wolf knows […]
I had posted here an interview of mine on the BBC World Service (World Business News) on the Greek government budget, the resulting strike and the prospects of austerity. I used the opportunity briefly to outline the Modest Proposal. However, as the BBC updates this particular program ten times a day, the link seems to […]
The figure of Ebenezer Scrooge is the only one that our societies allow their upstanding members to despise during the festive season. Of course, the point of the ritual admonition of Dickens’ Christmas Carol protagonist is to celebrate charity and the Christmas spirit by focusing attention on Scrooge’s remarkable Christmas Eve transformation (with the ghosts’ […]
And why they do not measure up to the Modest Proposal The good news is that the debate we had to have about a year ago is, at long last, beginning. The bad news is that it is proceeding slowly and in often hopeless directions. The recent EU summit, for instance, decidedly refused even to […]
I was just asked to prepare a shortened version (600 words) of the Modest Proposal for publication in the UK Government Gazette. Since some of you may be interested in a handier, punchier version, here it is:
An article of immense importance appeared in the Financial Times yesterday, 14th December 2010. Effectively, it signalled a split in the country’s hitherto united front on its vision of the eurozone. Its social democrat authors, Frank-Walter Steinmeier (Germany’s Foreign Minister, 2005-9) and Peer Steinbrück (Germany’s Finance Minister, 2005-9), pinned their colours on the mast of […]
Jean-Claude Juncker and Giulio Tremonti have broken the wall of silence on Eurobonds and are right to recommend the transfer of a major share of national debt to the Europen Union. As Yanis Varoufakis already has made plain, whether this is 40 per cent or 60 per cent as we have recommended for such a […]
It was summer of 2003. The setting was the island of Kos, a stone’s throw from the Turkish coast. Richard Holbrooke was participating at that year’s Symi Symposium organised by George Papandreou, then Greece’s Foreign Minister, currently Prime Minister. Though not a participant in that symposium (which also featured notables like Bill Clinton, Segolen Royal […]
France and Germany have ensured that this week’s European Council will not debate the Juncker-Tremonti plan for addressing the current euro crisis by covering part of existing sovereign debt by issuing eurobonds. Nevertheless rumours of the plan’s death are premature overstated. France and Germany know well that something along the JT plan is unavoidable, if […]
A tribute to Daniel Ellsberg, whose analytical work exposed the Achilles’ Heal of toxic economics forty seven years before the Crash of 2008, and whose courageous leaking of the Pentagon Papers stunned the world by exposing thousands of documents revealing the US government’s lies about Vietnam.
By popular demand, here are the answers to the 12 multiple choice questions on the euro crisis.