English Essays

Twelve multiples choice questions for teaching the eurozone crisis to macroeconomic beginners

My good friend and colleague Gary Dymski (Economics Professor at University California, Riverside) has sent me 12 multiple choice questions that offer a wonderful training ground for macroeconomic novices. It would be interesting to make our European political leaders take it. How well do you think they would do?

English Essays

If greed did not cause it, what did?

On Monday 6th December, I gave the keynote speech at a conference near Brisbane, Queensland (Australia) on the theme of Risk Management after the crisis. I was warned that the large audience of  professionals (corporate lawyers, chartered accountants, risk managers etc. – people whose jobs I do not really understand) were tough cookies; that nothing […]

Books English European Crisis Uncategorized

The Modest Proposal fully adopted by Europe’s Trades Union Council. And backed, in part, by Jean Claude Juncker in the FT

In the past few days, our Modest Proposal for the resolution of the euro crisis seems to have made headway on two separate, quite disparate, fronts. On Wednesday 2nd December, the European Trades Unions Council (the confederation of Europe’s trades unions) endorsed it fully and unequivocally in its Agenda Item 5c which came under the […]

English Essays

Antisemitism's handmaidens

I was recently sent a book that warmed my heart and disturbed my soul. It is entitled Antisemitism: Real and imagined: Responses to the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to combat antisemitism, edited by Michael Keefer (Waterloo Ontario: The Canadian Charger, 2010). Before I share my thoughts occasioned by reading it, a full disclosure is important: 

English Essays

The Art of the Possible: Or how to blend Eurobonds with Maastricht

Gavyn Davies, in today’s FT (click here) suggests, as we do in our Modest Proposal, that eurobonds are preferable in the fight against the vicious circle facing the eurozone than the current strategy of loaning bankrupt states money they cannot repay under the offered terms. He writes: “[T]he ECB may eventually come to prefer…for the […]

English Essays

The ECB's expensive folly: A new Maginot Line

Behind the scenes the European Central Bank (ECB) is struggling to construct a barrier that will prevent the firestorm which started in Greece from breaching the Iberian defences and, eventually, from turning to Italy. It is only right and proper that the ECB should try to accomplish this. The only trouble is that the barrier […]

English Essays Politics and Economics

Cutting our noses to spite our faces

The trouble with austerian logic is that it is grossly illogical. It does not even make sense in terms of the logic of microeconomics, let alone that of macroeconomics. Consider the current conundrum facing Greece and Ireland, the eurozone’s set of failed states (so far): Both countries have been forced to slice 10% off government […]

English Essays

Stiffen your lip Wolfgang!

In today’s Financial Times, Wolfgang Munchau identifies correctly the problem with the current EU strategy for arresting the euro crisis (click here for his article). His proposed solution is also on the ball. Indeed, it is, in substance, very, very similar to our Modest Proposal. However, though he identifies the problem and the essence of […]

English European Crisis Interviews Media Radio Uncategorized

Two radio interviews promoting the Modest Proposal for the Euro

In my bid to promote the Modest Proposal for the Euro, I have embarked on a number of interviews. Here are links to two such, rather long, very recent interviews. The first one with Doug Henwood, Radio KPFA Berkeley, and the second one with Karen Coleman of Irish Radio Station Newstalk: 20th November 2010, Doug […]

English Essays

Empty threats

25th April 2010: Traders “will Lose Their Shirts’ Betting Against Us.” George Papakonstantinou, Greece’s Finance Minister a week before Greece declared effective bankruptcy and ran for cover into the steely bosom of the IMF-EU loan agreement. 26th November 201: “I should warn those investors who are short selling Spain that they are going to be […]

English Essays

What will it take to stop the domino effect on its tracks before it reaches Spain and Italy?

Richard Milne asks in today’s FT (click here for the article): What will it take to stop the domino effect on its tracks before it reaches Spain and Italy? He considers two ideas: One is a form of ECB “quantitative easing” under which the ECB massively accelerates its purchases of Spanish and Italian bonds in […]

English Essays

Unilateral default vs negotiated debt reduction

Michael Burke took me to task for writing, in our Modest Proposal, that it is “utopian to expect member states to default and remain within the eurozone.” Michael asks: “Why? Local, county and state authorities have all defaulted in the US, without having to flee the US Dollar area. Surely default, partial or otherwise, is an […]

English Essays

The idea of a wholesale attack on private and public European debt is catching on.

It seems that our idea of a multilateral negotiation for reducing the total size of state debt and bank losses is catching on. Here is what  Gerald Holtman wrote in the FT today: The problem is that if you force investors to shoulder some of the losses you cannot move one country at a time. […]