Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘Varoufakis;’

Europe’s Leaders Are Aiding Italy’s Populists

Posted by hkarner - 4. März 2019

Yanis Varoufakis, a former finance minister of Greece, is Professor of Economics at the University of Athens.

The fact that Italy’s public debt has a lower credit rating than private debt is a reflection not of public debt’s intrinsic inferiority but of a political choice made by European leaders. And, by bolstering an authoritarian politician, that choice is now blowing back on them.

ATHENS – Italy is now the frontline in the battle of the euro. Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini is being propelled by a political tailwind that may, after the European Parliament elections in May, enhance his capacity to inflict serious damage on the European Union. What is both fascinating and disconcerting is that the xenophobia underpinning Salvini’s ever-increasing authority is being generated by the eurozone’s faulty architecture and the ensuing political blame game.

In its recent report on the economic imbalances afflicting each EU member state, the European Commission blames the Italian government for its failure to rein in debt, which, it says, results in tepid income growth. According to the Commission, the government’s reluctance to cut its budget deficit has spooked the bond markets, pushed interest rates up, and thus shrunk investment. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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ZWEI FINANZMINISTER – EINE ZEITREISE

Posted by hkarner - 15. Februar 2018

FURCHE-Kolumne 234, Wilfried Stadler

„Die ganze Geschichte“ nennt Yanis Varoufakis sein packendes Buch mit dokumentarischen Erinnerungen an jenes erste Halbjahr 2015, in dem er als griechischer Kurzzeit-Finanzminister gegen die Troika von EU-Kommission, Europäischer Zentralbank und Internationalem Währungsfonds ankämpfte. Mit seiner so rasanten wie provokanten Solofahrt durch die Wirrnisse der Eurokratie kam der exzellente Ökonom und passionierte Motorradfahrer einem Kompromiss mit den Gläubigern zum Greifen nahe. Dann aber erhöhte der binnen weniger Wochen zum Weltstar des Nonkonformismus aufgestiegene Varoufakis seinen Einsatz – und pokerte am Ende zu hoch. Seine Manöver um den angedrohten und dann doch nicht vollzogenen Euro-Ausstieg kosteten die ohnehin leidgeprüfte griechische Bevölkerung viel zusätzliches Geld, Wachstum und Beschäftigung. Erst heute nähert sich Griechenland wieder einem volkswirtschaftlichen Normalzustand.

Außer Zweifel steht jedoch, dass es ausreichende Gründe für Kritik an der Eurokratie gab und gibt. Denn es dauerte schmerzhaft lange, bis nach dem Schock der von der Finanzkrise ausgelösten Staatsschuldenkrise ein taugliches Kriseninstrumentarium entwickelt werden konnte. Auch ist die Kernfrage noch immer offen, wie die Spielregeln für das zulässige Maß an Staatsschulden („Maastricht-Kriterien“) in hoch verschuldeten Ländern so angepasst werden können, dass Budgetsanierung und Wachstum miteinander vereinbare Ziele bleiben. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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What Britain’s Brexit Negotiations Can Learn From Greece

Posted by hkarner - 1. September 2017

Date: 31-08-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Simon Nixon

To succeed with talks, the U.K. needs to prepare public opinion for inevitable trade-offs, costs

Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has become an unlikely hero to many in the U.K.

If the Brexit negotiations have got off to a tempestuous start after the summer break, blame Yanis Varoufakis.

It appears that top of the summer reading list for some senior British ministers was the former Greek finance minister’s book “Adults in the Room”—his account of the Greek debt crisis in which he played a starring role in the first half of 2015.

Mr. Varoufakis has become an unlikely hero to many in the U.K.: To those on the left, he is feted as a leader of the global antiausterity resistance; to the euroskeptic right, he is championed as the man who came close to delivering their dream of destroying the euro. Now his book is being trawled at the highest levels of the British government for insights into how to handle Brexit.

For many directly involved in the Greek crisis—not least in Greece itself—this lionizing of Mr. Varoufakis is surreal. They regard his portrayal of plucky Greece bought to its knees by an inflexible Brussels bureaucracy, while supposed allies stood aside terrified of alienating their German paymasters as seriously distorted.

In essence, many claim that what actually happened in Greece is this: a populist government was elected on the basis that it could persuade the rest of the eurozone to write off its debts with no strings attached. When the eurozone rejected this “have-your-cake-and-eat-it” proposal, Mr. Varoufakis engaged in six months of brinkmanship, convinced that the EU would ultimately capitulate to prevent wider damage to the eurozone—until Athens itself capitulated, signing up the deal that was on the table all along, having achieved nothing but to damage its own economy.

There are indeed lessons for the U.K. from the Greek crisis but the risk is that it draws the wrong ones. The government published a series of Brexit position papers this month which Prime Minister Theresa May and Brexit minister David Davis say shows that the U.K.—in contrast to Greece —is coming up with constructive proposals to advance the negotiations. Yet many of these papers are as threadbare as the papers Mr. Varoufakis circulated when similarly seeking to win in the court of public opinion. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Was It „Plan B“ Or „Plan X“?

Posted by hkarner - 6. Juli 2016

Wednesday, July 6, 2016, Observing GreeceKastner

Prof. James Galbraith, advisor to Yanis Varoufakis while the latter was Finance Minister and close friend of his, has published a book titled „Welcome to the poisoned chalice: the destruction of Greece and the future of Europe„. It is a collection of his writings, interviews and speeches on Greece from 2010 through the summer of 2015.

The media celebrate this as a major revelation of what happened behind the scenes (and top secretly!) in the first half of 2015 when Varoufakis had commissioned a small group of advisors to develop a Plan B (or Plan X, as Varoufakis allegedly called it) for an exit from the Eurozone. In fact, Galbraith had already reported on that a year ago. Some of the key points of the plan were (allegedly):

* declaring state of emergency
* nationalization of the Bank of Greece and selected other banks
* conversion of bank deposits from Euro to New Drachma
* payment of salaries and pensions in IOU’s
* emergency measures to keep public order Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Lies, Damn Lies, and European Growth Statistics

Posted by hkarner - 16. März 2016

Photo of Yanis VaroufakisMay I use a similar escalation? „Mad, madder, Varoufakis“ (hfk)

Yanis Varoufakis

Yanis Varoufakis, a former finance minister of Greece, is Professor of Economics at the University of Athens.

MAR 15, 2016, Project Syndicate

ATHENS – “Greece has at last returned to economic growth.” That was the official European Union storyline at the end of 2014. Alas, Greek voters, unimpressed by this rejoicing, ousted the incumbent government and, in January 2015, voted for a new administration in which I served as finance minister.

Last week, similarly celebratory reports emanated from Brussels heralding the “return to growth” in Cyprus, and contrasting this piece of “good” news to Greece’s “return to recession.” The message from the troika of European bailout lenders – the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund – is loud and clear: “Do as we say, like Cyprus has done, and you will recover. Resist our policies, by electing people like Varoufakis, and you will suffer the consequences of further recession.”

This is a powerful story. Except that it is built on a disingenuous lie. Greece was not recovering in 2014, and Cyprus’s national income has not recovered yet. The EU’s claims to the contrary are based on an inappropriate focus on “real” national income, a metric bound to mislead during periods of falling prices. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Democracy or Bust in Europe

Posted by hkarner - 22. Februar 2016

Photo of Yanis VaroufakisIt requires a lot of tolerance and patience to listen to this „highly successful“ gentleman. Yes, Europe needs a lot of improvement and innovation, but does it have to come from such lunatics? (hfk)

Yanis Varoufakis

Yanis Varoufakis, a former finance minister of Greece, is Professor of Economics at the University of Athens.

FEB 22, 2016, Project Syndicate

BERLIN – “Europe will be democratized or it will disintegrate!” That maxim is more than a catchphrase from the manifesto of the Democracy in Europe Movement – DiEM25, the group I just helped to launch in Berlin. It is a simple, if under-acknowledged fact.

Europe’s current disintegration is all too real. New divisions are appearing seemingly everywhere one looks: along borders, within our societies and economies, and in the minds of Europe’s citizens.

Europe’s loss of integrity became painfully evident in the latest turn in the refugee crisis. European leaders called upon Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to open his country’s borders to refugees from the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo; in the same breath, they chastised Greece for letting the same refugees into “European” territory, and even threatened to erect fences along Greece’s borders with the rest of Europe. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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DiEM25: Was helfen uns jetzt die Vereinigten Staaten von Europa?

Posted by hkarner - 16. Februar 2016

15. Februar 2016 l l Flassbeck Economics

Am 9. Februar fand in der Berliner Volksbühne die Auftaktveranstaltung der maßgeblich vom ehemaligen griechischen Finanzminister Yanis Varoufakis angeschobenen Initiative DiEM25 statt. Das Kürzel „DiEM“ steht hierbei für „Democracy in Europe Movement“ und 2025 für das Jahr der angestrebten europäischen Staatsgründung (ich komme hierauf unten ausführlich zu sprechen). Das Event war hochprofessionell organisiert und fand sowohl in der Presse als auch in den sozialen Netzwerken ein großes Echo. Hierzu kann man den Aktivisten von DiEM25 nur herzliche Glückwünsche aussprechen. In inhaltlicher Hinsicht hinterlässt die Initiative aber leider einen verheerenden Eindruck.

Dabei war der Ausgangspunkt klug gewählt. Es war und ist eine gute Idee, das autoritäre europäische Regieren in das Zentrum der Auftaktveranstaltung und des schriftlichen Manifests (es findet sich hier) zu rücken. Seit Beginn der Eurokrise intervenieren die europäischen Institutionen in vorher nicht gekanntem Maß in die Demokratie sowie in die Tarifautonomie der Sozialpartner. Das kommt in den Vorgaben der Troika, im Fiskalpakt, den neuen Überwachungs- und Korrekturverfahren und wirtschaftspolitisch konditionierten Anleihekäufen der EZB zum Ausdruck. Die Demokratiewirkungen dieser Interventionen malen die Aktivisten von DiEM25 in düsteren Farben. Von nicht rechenschaftspflichtigen Technokraten, dubiosen Institutionen und einem pseudo-technischen Fatalismus, der den Demos aus der Demokratie verschwinden lässt, ist da die Rede – und man kann nur von ganzem Herzen zustimmen. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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A Fair Chance for DiEM 2025!

Posted by hkarner - 10. Februar 2016

Tuesday, February 9, 2016, Observing GreeceKastner

I have once before written about Yanis Varoufakis‘ Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM 2025). It was based on the first draft of DiEM’s manifesto. The final version of the manifesto now reflects major changes. For starters, someone must have advised Varoufakis that it may not be such an awesome idea to begin the manifesto with one of the most famous quotes of Karl Marx („A spectre is haunting Europe…“).

The official Opening Ceremony is taking place as I write these lines. I wonder if the organizers were aware of the fact that today is probably the most important day in the carneval season in German speaking countries („Faschingsdienstag“). I suppose there will be cheap shots tomorrow reporting that the start of DiEM 2025 was the best carneval joke.

I have decided for myself that I will observe the development of DiEM 2025 as objectively as I can. That will be quite a challenge for me because I obviously have prejudices when it comes to Varoufakis‘ endeavors. But I will try hard! Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Intellectual Thought vs. Pragmatic Common Sense

Posted by hkarner - 4. Februar 2016

Wednesday, February 3, 2016, Observing GreeceKastner

I take the liberty of publishing an email exchange with a Greek who teaches economics at a German university. I have only made a couple of minor changes in order to keep the exchange confidential.

Here is what the Greek wrote to me:

I have been following your blog ObservingGreece for quite some time now and would like to congratulate you on offering so many informative aspects and interpretations of the Greek economic crisis. You can perhaps imagine that for someone like me—a young professor of economics and economics education of Greek descent working at a German university—the ongoing Greek tragedy has been, and continues to be, both perplexing and frustrating at the same time. I am now experiencing the same mixture of feelings over the refugee crisis. Will Europe ever get its act together? I am reminding myself every day anew that hope never dies.
Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Varoufakis Effect?

Posted by hkarner - 27. Januar 2016

Photo of Yanis Varoufakis

Yanis Varoufakis

Yanis Varoufakis, a former finance minister of Greece, is Professor of Economics at the University of Athens.

JAN 26, 2016, Project Syndicate

ATHENS – In his end-of-2015 missive, Holger Schmieding of the Hamburg investment bank Berenberg warned his firm’s clients that what they should be worrying about now is political risk. To illustrate, he posted the diagram below, showing how business confidence collapsed in Greece during the late spring of 2015, and picked up again only after my resignation from the finance ministry. Schmieding chose to call this the “Varoufakis effect.”

There is no doubt that investors should be worried – very worried – about political risk nowadays, including the capacity of politicians and bureaucrats to do untold damage to an economy. But they must also be wary of analysts who are either incapable of, or uninterested in, distinguishing between causality and correlation, and between insolvency and illiquidity. In other words, they must be wary of analysts like Schmieding.

Business confidence in Greece did indeed plummet a few months after I became Finance Minister. And it did pick up a month after my resignation. The correlation is palpable. But is the causality? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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