And The Weak Must Suffer What They Must – Yanis Varoufakis
As a business journalist I’ve read a lot of stuff on the economy, the 2008 meltdown and the history of the Euro. This is the best exposition I have read, it left me gasping for air. Varoufakis looks at postwar European history through the lens of global monetary policy, from Bretton Woods to the ongoing reverberations of the euro crisis. And a powerful lens it is too, to help us understand the turbulence we are witnessing today and why the Euro is a busted flush. Thank God we didn’t join it.
The book is divided roughly in two parts. It begins with the post-war economic decisions America and Europe took, the role Bretton Woods played for the future of the world in general, the reversal under the Nixon Shock of 1971, and the realities of the current Eurozone and Federal Reserve systems.
The second part deals with the 2008 financial crisis and its impact on Europe (crippled by the very monetary union that was supposed to shield it when such events happen), and what the people in charge ended up doing to make it much worse. In this, Varoufakis is unrelenting in his criticism, but it always backed up by solid economic logic. He saves the most biting of his words on the bureaucrats and politicians of the EU who used the bailout to save the banks, but left the bills to the people. And not just any people, but the weakest people in the weakest of nations (not just Greece, but Ireland, Spain, Portugal, and Italy).
I won’t go into detail but here’s one thing; Quantatitive Easing – the printing of electronic money to be pumped into banks and other institutions ( supposed to kickstart the economy but just helps company shares and upmarket property portfolios)
In the EU it is shared out on a GDP basis; therefore Germany – which needs it least – gets the Lion’s Share – and the poor relations like Greece and Portugal get the leftovers.
After reading this you will agree the Euro in its present format – and probably the whole EU – is doomed.