Beyond the Crisis: Markets, planning and a utopian vision (inspired by the American National Football League)

, 15/06/2011

The Crisis, especially in Europe (not to mention Greece), is all consuming. Every day our minds are highjacked by its latest twist. Today, here in Athens, a general strike has temporarily suspended the news’ cycle and given me a few moments to reflect. I thought that today’s post, reflecting this… reflective moment, should transcend that […]

The Greek Crisis and the Threat to Political Liberalism: A cautionary tale for Ireland, Portugal, the whole of Europe

, 12/06/2011

If 1929 has taught us anything, it is that a major (capital ‘c’) Crisis poses a lethal threat to (a) currency unions (e.g. the Gold Standard then, the euro today) and (b) political liberalism. The latter threat has, so far, featured only as a projection (see here for a relevant argument), rather than an observed […]

Crisis Update: Three interviews on the Euro Crisis, the Greek Crisis and the Modest Proposal (Radio, TV and print)

, 12/06/2011

UBS Interview promoting the modest Proposal And the crisis sails on… (Anyone recall Fellini’s masterpiece “And the ship sails on”?). In todays post you can: (A) listen to a half-hour long radio interview on the euro crisis (interviewed by Doug Henwood, for the Behind the News program – it begins on the 27th minute), (B) […]

The New York Times’ article on our Modest Proposal: My reaction

, 09/06/2011

As regulars of this blog know, its initial purpose was to promote a different way of thinking about the global, euro and Greek crisis and, in particular, to present what Stuart Holland and I call the Modest Proposal for Overcoming the Euro Crisis. (See also the plethora of supporting posts here.) Today, the New York […]

Open letter to the Greek Prime Minister

, 06/06/2011

Dear George, A few days after the 2009 election that brought you to power, you told your cabinet in a televised meeting: "We are anti-authoritarians in authority". Most of your cabinet, men and women who had been craving authority for years, looked at you incredulously, while your detractors mocked you. You seemed rather lonesome at [...]

A Manifesto for Modern Political Economics: Extracts from our new book

, 05/06/2011

For the past few years, Joseph Halevi, Nicholas Theocarakis and your blogger have been working on a book whose twin (megalomaniac) purpose was: (a) To highlight the inherent error that parmeates economic thinking (of all guises and forms) while reclaiming all the lost truths that political economists hit upon at some point or rather, and […]

Saviour of Last Resort: The Modest Proposal as the Eurozone’s last line of defence

, 02/06/2011

In his pivotal article in yesterday’s Financial Times, Martin Wolf put the matter starkly: “The eurozone, as designed, has failed.” Paul Krugman quickly added this chilling allegory to Wolf’s detailed argument: “If you ask me, the water level has now dropped so far that the fuel rods are exposed. We really are in meltdown territory.” […]

Greece, Europe and the Global Economy: A debate with readers

, 31/05/2011

My last post (in which I suggested that Greece will never be pushed out of the euro) generated a spirited debate with readers and friends who chipped in their views on this and related matters. Rather than allowing these exchanges to stay within the margins of the previous post’s Comments section, I reproduce them here […]

When push comes to shove? Exposing the incredible threat of Greece's forced exit from the eurozone

, 30/05/2011

A Damocles’ Sword is, supposedly, hanging over Greece. We are told (even by the Greek EU commissioner) that Greeks must either accept that their country will be run, and micromanaged, by a committee of foreign creditors or else that Greece will be kicked out of the eurozone. This threat is founded upon (to put it not […]

Privatisation Without Representation: European democracy's last gasp

, 24/05/2011

Once upon a time, the crying call for parliamentary democracy was: No taxation without representation. Centuries passed and the democratic right to representation in all debates prior to taxation decisions was won. Then came the idea that Europe’ peoples should join together, forming a European Union in order to demonstrate to the rest of the […]

Eurozone countries are like a group of climbers roped together: Remember where you read this allegory first?

, 24/05/2011

The Financial Times today reports on something John Wraith, fixed income strategist at BofA Merrill Lynch, said regarding the manner in which contagion is spreading within the eurozone economies. “It is like a group of climbers roped together. As Greece slips, it pulls down other countries such as Spain and Italy.” Precisely. But readers of […]

ENDGAME: Europe’s time is up

, 24/05/2011

“If you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” Friedrich Nietzsche’s infamous dictum has never had more purchase than in the current phase of the  eurozone crisis. European leaders have been gazing for more than a year into the abyss of our continent’s triple crisis (banking crisis, debt crisis and […]

What is Mr Trichet on about? Denial versus a centrally planned debt conversion

, 23/05/2011

The ECB’s President has taken it upon himself to lead a ferocious campaign against the restructuring of the Greek debt. His resolute and singleminded opposition seems increasingly odd when projected against the background of a Greek sovereign debt whose dynamic is indisputably explosive. Is Mr Trichet simply a man in denial?

Ring-fenced Greece: The evolution of a false promise first to an incredible threat and, then, to a dangerous delusion

, 19/05/2011

It all started with a false promise: The Greek ‘bailout’ (i.e. a combination of a gargantuan, expensive loan and severe austerity) would contain the Greek debt mountain and would, in association with the establishment of the EFSF a few days later, ring-fence Greece thus preventing the crisis from spreading to Ireland and the Iberian peninsula.

On the Political Economics of Dominic Strauss Kahn's Political Death

, 16/05/2011

This post is about the economic and political significance of Dominic Strauss Kahn’s (DSK hereafter) arrest. It will say nothing about the merits or otherwise of the charges against Dominic Strauss Kahn, the IMF’s Managing Director. All cases of alleged sexual assault brought against high profile men place two equally important  (yet often counter-opposed) demands […]

Clutching at straws: Europe's never-ending delusion feeds on Greece's unexpected 'growth'

, 14/05/2011

Did you hear the latest? Greece’s economy grew by 0.8% in the first quarter of 2011. This is, surely, good news. Except that, in fact, the Greek economy shrank by 4.6% in the first quarter of 2011.

Article in Die Zeit, promoting the Modest Proposal

, 13/05/2011

A couple of days ago, Die Zeit kindly invited me to write an article expounding the virtues of the Modest Proposal for Overcoming the Euro Crisis in view of the Der Spiegel article that raised the alarm regarding Greece’scurrent predicament. In effect, Die Zeit gave me a forum from which to argue that this is […]

Recent developments and the Modest Proposal: Interview with ForexStreet (Barcelona)

, 12/05/2011

Click here to go to the ForexStreet site, or read the interview below:

EXITING THE EURO? Mark Weisbrot, Hans Werner Sinn and Nuriel Roubini versus the eurozone’s Eagles’ Doctrine

, 11/05/2011

Thankfully, last Friday’s Der Spiegel article (as I had imagined it would [1]) opened a Pandora’s box of views on the state of the eurozone. Why thankfully? Because, until now, Europe has been living in denial, imagining that the crisis could be dealt with by a mix of expensive loans, deep austerity and tighter fiscal […]

Still optimistic…

, 10/05/2011

Last Friday, after Der Spiegel published a story that “Athens is considering withdrawing from the euro zone” I posted an article in which I chose to be optimistic; to see a gleaming silver lining in the fact that an otherwise upright German publication, with known connections to the German political system, published an inaccurate account that, […]

We are all Greek now!

, 09/05/2011

The Friday comico-tragic meeting (that was thrice denied before it was confirmed) in Luxemburg was a first, tentative move to an eye-glaring reality: We are all in it together folks. Whether we like or not (and many certainly do not), we sink or float in unison. Presently, we are sinking. That was the main, helpful, […]

On the true agenda behind Der Spiegel's story that Greece is thinking of exiting the euro

, 07/05/2011

The Spiegel story that “Athens is considering withdrawing from the euro zone” is not exactly false – just economical with the truth. Yes, a few weeks or months ago, the Greek government commissioned (as it ought to) several secret studies of the repercussions of various scenaria involving different forms of debt restructure, including one desperate scenario […]

The economists' instrumental rationality and Osama Bin Laden's final triumph

, 05/05/2011

In a recent post I argued that Bin Laden’s final act, being killed by US special forces, will prove the greatest legitimiser of his own brutality. Today I want to add another wrinkle to this point: A firm connection between the economists’ mindframe and bin Laden’s posthumous success.


, 03/05/2011

A new rationale for the ‘Modest Proposal (*)’  – based on an a supportive letter I received from George Krimpas, Emeritus Professor at the University of Athens.  (*) by myself and Stuart Holland

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