Lest we forget: Justice's ignominious defeat in the shape of Bin Laden's bullet ridden body

, 02/05/2011

A superpower gloating over the body of an extra-judicially killed killer. The powerful sovereign extending its power to a far away land to put to the sword a ruthless opponent. Not even a whisper about the demands of jurisprudence that ought to be universal and independent of the hideousness of the defendant. The postmodern middle […]

James Galbraith links that which Bernanke did not say with the European banking crisis

, 28/04/2011

In a recent tv interview (click here) Jamie Galbraith was asked to list the questions that he would have put to Ben Bernanke (were he able to monopolise the Fed Chairman’s press conference). Galbraith made a large number of interesting points (frased in the form of questions), including (a) a brilliant criticism of S&R’s recent […]

Greek debt restructuring and the reason Germany's banks are delaying it

, 26/04/2011

Why is the inevitable Greek sovereign restructure being delayed? Who is playing King Canute? The German banks, is the three word answer. Why do they care? Is it because they are so terribly exposed to Greek sovereign debt. No, that is not it. All up, German banks are owed around €20 billion by the Greek […]

From Places Like Mine and Yours

, 23/04/2011

ON THE PROGRESSIVE POTENTIAL OF SMALL, QUASI-AUTONOMOUS  STATES LIKE SCOTLAND, IRELAND, GREECE, PORTUGAL etc.  The strong Scottish accent was conspiring with the noisy pub background to prevent me from understanding the words spoken in my ear by an imposing trades union figure. Thankfully, I managed to decipher the words he spoke, and which I still […]

A brief radio interview on the first anniversary of the Greek government's request for a massive, destructive loan

, 22/04/2011

Some folks requested a link to my last BBC interview on the one year anniversary of the Greek so-called bail out request. Here it is (jump to around the 9 minute 20 second point to go directly to the relevant segment):  http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/p00g2f90

A year ago, Greece asked to be 'bailed out'. The writing was on the wall…

, 21/04/2011

Having just been interviewed on BBC Radio 4 on the anniversary of Greece’ request for the 110 billion euro loan from the EU-IMF, I  thought I should look at what I had said last year this time when asked, by the same station, to comment on that loan request. Believe me when I say that […]

And what about Greece? Is the Greek crisis quite separate from that of the rest of the eurozone? A meltdown of our own making?

, 17/04/2011

Regular commentator Jerry Goldstein sent me a comment on yesterady’s post, the one entitled It’s the (German) Banks, stupid! His main point is that, whatever Europe does to sort out its mess (regarding public debt and banking troubles), Greece finds itself in a different ball game. The country, Jerry, argues is in a state of […]

It's the (German) banks, stupid!

, 16/04/2011

Or what’s behind Germany’s hesitant statements on Greek debt restructuring, Ireland’s move against subordinated bondholders and the ECB’s stance on interest rates

The Trouble with Humans: Why is labour special and especially targeted at a time of crisis- Part B

, 13/04/2011

Continuing on the theme of two days ago, in today’s post I delve a little more deeply into the astonishing peculiarity of the labour contract: the contract between employer and employee. Readers who have not read the earlier post (click here) may find it hard to follow. Hope you enjoy. (The text below is based […]

For whom the bells toll: Why the foretold Greek debt restructure will bring Spain into the mire which will, in turn, boost Ireland’s pain

, 12/04/2011

Despite angry denials, the trajectory that started in Greece is heading for Madrid and carries the cumulative weight of sovereign and banking insolvency that will further immiserate Ireland.

The Trouble with Humans: Why is labour special and especially targeted at a time of crisis- Part A

, 09/04/2011

In an earlier post I argued that we need to examine carefully how labour is turned into a ritualistic scapegoat in response to an economic crisis that has nothing whatsoever to do with high wages and over-generous conditions. Today I begin a series of posts that try to shed light on the deeper causes; on […]

Socrates drank the conium – but the convulsions will be felt everywhere

, 08/04/2011

In the Theatre of the Absurd the playwright utilises the bizarre, an element of   surprise, copious vagueness and frequent non-sequiturs, blended in with dramatic shifts in mood and some great confrontations, in order to throw helpful light on our commonplace, ordinary lives. In contrast, Europe is writing a different script. One that I tend to […]

Scapegoating labour: A favourite pastime during a downturn

, 06/04/2011

Crises are the opportunists’ delight. Recall how a few minutes after the second airplane struck the World Trade Centre, a New Labour spin doctor sent a memo around encouraging various government departments to bring out ‘bad news’ stories, hoping that the fallout from New York would hide them from public view long enough to defuse […]

The Modest Proposal for Overcoming the Euro Crisis, Version 2.2

, 06/04/2011

Only a few days’ worth of developments made it necessary to update, yet again, the Modest Proposal. The new text we are putting out today is  quite different from Version 2.1. So much so that we toyed with the idea of labelling it Version 3.0. But we shall keep that label in abeyance for later. […]

The Empire is Striking Back, gross failure continues to be handsomely rewarded, and the world economy struggles to find its footing without the Global Minotaur.

, 03/04/2011

That the Empire has struck back there is no doubt. Goldman Sachs’ Lloyd C. Blankfein just rewarded himself with $19 million bonus  for 2010: the year during which he appeared in front of a Senate Committee, a court , an SEC investigation revealing in full technicolor the great variety in which GS broke the law, manipulated […]

Progress report on The Modest Proposal: Widespread support has come its way. Plus, the Levy Institute has adopted it as a Policy Paper

, 31/03/2011

Since Version 2.1 of the Modest Proposal was published here on 24th March, the demands on our time have been extraordinary. Thus, no posts. But the good news is that the Proposal has, since then, been received with considerable approval in various, largely unexpected, quarters. The Greek Trades Union Council (GSEE) have committed themselves to […]

A fresh rationale for, and a new variant (Version 2.1) of, The Modest Proposal for Overcoming the Euro Crisis

, 24/03/2011

By Yanis Varoufakis and Stuart Holland, 24th March 2011 Introduction to the new version of the Modest Proposal (to go straight to Version 2.1 of the Proposal, click here) The response to our Modest Proposal Version 2.0, of 10th March, has been overwhelming with more than 100 thousand downloads within a few days. As if […]

George Soros sides with the basic tenets of the Modest Proposal 2.0

, 22/03/2011

In yesterday’s FT, George Soros sided with two of three main policies in our Modest Proposal 2.0 and took a position largely in tune with our third policy. First, he agreed that the current euro crisis is significantly a banking crisis and, thus, adopted the policy (that the Modest Proposal 2.0 first made) that the […]

Too kind on Geithner? Stress tests and bank recapitalisation in the US and in Europe

, 18/03/2011

James Galbraith, in a private communication, raised a justified concern over my point that the US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner imposed proper stress tests on the US banks in 2009 and proceeded with their recapitalisation – unlike the Europeans who are allowing Europe’s banks to be zombies for ever and ever. James told me that […]

How exactly did the US Treasurer, Tim Geithner, recapitalise US banks? A comparison with Europe's 'strategy'

, 18/03/2011

In my last post, I compared the US and the EU approach to the post-2008 banking crisis, suggesting that Europe perpetuates the zombie state of its banks. Here are relevant extracts from Chapter 7 of my forthcoming Global Minotaur:

What should we do with Europe's zombie banks?

, 16/03/2011

I think that regular readers  can predict my answer. It is the one that in fact any banker would, in a fit of honesty, give you: Non-performing loans must be deleted from the banks’ books. Same with derivatives that stand no chance of finding a market/buyer. These nonperforming paper assets weigh banks down and ensure […]

Modest Proposal 2.0, as presented at the European Party of the Left Athens Conference, on 12th March 2011

, 15/03/2011

This post is for those of you who wanted to read my presentation of the Modest Proposal  Version 2.0  at the conference on the Debt Crisis organised by the European Party of the Left, 12th March 2011,  in downtown  Athens. The text follows. (As it happened, a dearth of headphones meant that most of the […]

Tobin's tax and the parlous state of our European democracy

, 15/03/2011

Did you know that the Greek government managed, through heroic and brilliant bargaining, to extract from the latest Eurozone Summit an agreement that the Tobin tax will, at long last, see the light of day – at least in the eurozone? Well, nor did I. But apparently, this is precisely what happened, if the Greek […]

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