Academic English Politics and Economics Uncategorized

A late night discussion with Richard Holbrooke remembered

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 […]

Books English European Crisis Uncategorized

The Modest Proposal and the Juncker-Tremonti Plan: A comparison

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 […]

English Essays

Answers

By popular demand, here are the answers to the 12 multiple choice questions on the euro crisis.

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 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 […]