You will notice I have been very quiet recently. That is because I have
been reading the above book, whilst on a busman's holiday...and found it
very enjoyable too, along with the bus...:-). The title comes from a
phrase which Christine Lagarde, the leader of the International Monetary
Fund used in a discussion with him about the stupidity of the European
establishment over resolving Greek debt in such a way as to benefit
everyone in the Eurozone, and in the European Union, rather than
allowing childish notions about political and economic theory and
philosophy and individual ego to dictate non-solutions.
for more information about her.
It is a book well worth delving into, in my view, if you are interested
in Political and Economic Theory and its application in huge economies,
like that of the Eurozone and its relations with its member nations, and
how it regards debt and debtors and how it settles accounts. The book
is dedicated to looking at those who piss on the outside of the tent,
rather than those who live on the inside and keep their mouths shut and
their thoughts to themselves, so that they can gain promotion and
credence amongst the ruling establishment, at the expense of truth,
justice and law...a bit like the Secret Team in the USA really. Yanis
Varoufakis can certainly never be accused of being an insider!
As I have said many times, it is OK to criticise and nit pick others who
are in power, or are responsible for major decisions....the "Big Yins"
as I am always referring to; when one is not in a position of
responsibility oneself, but when it comes to dealing with the real,
practical and pragmatic stuff which makes up the reality of our world,
that is a different kettle of fish...which of course, is one of the
reasons I consider that I was lucky enough never to become a politician,
philosopher, economist, or professor of any kind, apart from being an
amateur, and even at that I have been a failure. There is nothing worse
for success than being a failure, yet it gives one so much pleasure, and
makes me so happy...And all that learning from making mistakes be they
assumptions, assertions, or pure fantasy and utopianism about how
wonderful human beings are, especially to one another....:-). There is a
lot of safety in being an amateur, I often think, particularly for
avoiding responsibility as well as income tax. It means one doesn't earn
so much and therefore a need for an off shore tax haven to spirit away
one's income or profits from the grabbing hands of an overpowering
state, who has its ever expanding army of civil service, the
establishment, bureaucrats, monarchs, politicians, academics, legal
systems, executive departments, inspectorates, military and materials to
feed and be paid for at the expense of ordinary citizens.
Yanis Varoufakis is a Greek Academician, a professor specialising in
Economics who became the Finance Minister of Greece for a period of
time, when Syriza was elected, under the leadership of Alexis Tsipras.
He has worked in the UK as well as in the USA, and is well respected in
his field, at least according to him.
see url: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yanis_Varoufakis
He was never a member of Syriza, which, for those who like labels,
categories, or putting people in a box, so that one can predict their
behaviour perfectly, is a newish political party, very much on the
"left" of society, whatever that means... Yanis Varoufakis never joined
it because he didn't believe in it but was more interested in resolving
the problem of Greek debt and trying to get the nation state and its
people back on to a decent footing within the framework of remaining as
a member of the European Union and the Eurozone, and at the same time
sorting out the debt problems over the long term without bankrupting the
country. He did, though stand for election as a Greek M.P. and won a
position in the Greek parliament. He wasn't prepared to be an unelected
Finance Minister...a man of principle indeed.
I think that the Wikipedia article explains more about his philosophy
and attitude towards life than I can, and about the situation which
Greece and the rest of the Eurozone found themselves in. I dare say,
that like my relationships with most colleagues on this newsgroup, if we
ever met, I doubt that I would agree with him. Nevertheless he has my
respect and admiration for taking on a job which I could have never
done, and he is certainly a very good teacher and has made lots of
mistakes and learned the lessons from them. He is a polymath in my view
and has lots more to contribute. The Germans and the French, who
dominate the Eurozone were determined to set an example and used the
Greeks to force the others, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Ireland and the
other "low" countries to fall into line.
There was a struggle in Europe between those, in Germany and France who
wanted Greece to bail out their banks, because they had overlent to
Greece so that the Greek upper classes could buy German cars and other
luxury goods. The Euro, unlike any other currency, is not the property
of one nation state, so the nation state in the shit cannot devalue its
currency or take other measures to protect its citizens, so devaluation
because of one nations problems is not an option. The strange thing is
that the Germans and French did not want Greece to solve its debt
problems, by paying back the money, but was only interested in crushing
the Greek government and in repatriating the money given in Euroloans
back to the German and French banks. It is a very strange scenario.
Yanis and the Greeks got the blame because they wouldn't play ball...at
least for a while, but it is as well to remember, that when one makes a
loan, there is a duty on the lender to make sure that the borrower can
pay back the money, and that it is not incumbent on the state whether it
be the Eurostate, or the IMF to bail out the German and French banks on
the pretext of lending the Greeks more money so that they can pay it
back and get the German and French politicians out of the shit, so that
they can moralise still further on how the Greeks organised their economy.
And, before any of you guys attack me, I am not a supporter of Yanis
Varoufakis, his politics, or so called "left wing" politics, no more
than I support Alex Salmond or Uncle Tom Cobbley an all, but I am a
supporter of disseminating knowledge and of putting forward a point of
view for discussion. However, I do support the fact that at least he is
trying and trying to contribute some answers which makes it easier for
most of us to live on this planet free of debt and in peace. I disagree
with him over Brexit, one needs to piss on Europe from the outside, if
one is to make any gains in world trade at all.
I certainly support the reading of this book and the lessons to be
learnt from it are very interesting.
I hope you enjoyed this review.