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Unlike feudalism, techno-feudalism is born of the triumph of capital – KU Podcast-Interview

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 16/04/2022 - 3:42pm in

 

Along the lines on my evolving hypothesis that capitalism in the process of morphing into techno-feudalism, in this podcast I speak to two fine Finnish leftwing journalists who take me to task and interrogate me on this highly controversial idea.

For the podcast’s own site, click here.

The post Unlike feudalism, techno-feudalism is born of the triumph of capital – KU Podcast-Interview appeared first on Yanis Varoufakis.

How to Stop Putin’s War Windfall by Ending Our Embargo of Venezuelan Oil

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 08/03/2022 - 11:33pm in

The mayhem in Ukraine is a profit center for Putin. 43% of the federal Russian budget was provided by oil and gas revenues and royalties. Russia lives and dies, literally, on its oil revenues, and this ... READ MORE

Record Store Day - Dead Air

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 01/03/2022 - 5:03pm in

Demon Records are to release the Tenth Doctor audio adventure Dead Air for the next Record Store Day event on 23 April 2022. 

Originally released in 2010, this new vinyl pressing of the story, written by James Goss and narrated by David Tennant<\/a>, will be across two 140g Soundwave Green vinyl discs.

 

Demon Records - Dead Air (vinyl)<\/a> Demon Records - Dead Air (vinyl)<\/a>

 

Hot on the heels of a creature that exists through sound, the Doctor lands on a pirate radio station boat in the late 1960s. The creature has already killed some of the DJs, and the Doctor befriends the survivors. But then the lights go out, and a desperate race for survival begins. Who can the Doctor trust in the dark?

 

There were 29 phone calls between Trump and RaffenspergerWhat was said in those other calls?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 28/01/2022 - 3:41am in

I don’t think it’s just Donald Trump that’s in trouble now that a special grand jury is being impaneled at the request of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. The Republicans, including Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, were playing fast and loose with accusations of voter fraud. I wouldn’t be surprised if... READ MORE

EUROPARAMA interview on ANOTHER NOW

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 26/01/2022 - 11:29pm in

In this episode of EUROPARAMA, I answer questions regarding my sci-fi novel ANOTHER NOW posed by Giuseppe Porcaro and Alberto Cottica, from the Science Fiction Economics Lab, with  the participation of Teresa O’Connell, acting chief editor at Are We Europe – and Samuel Doveri Vesterbye, director of the European Neighborhood Council. The show is edited by Stefano Montali. TO LISTEN, CLICK HERE.

EPISODE SUMMARY

With special guest, Yanis Varoufakis, world-famous economist and author of the science fiction novel “Another Now” (Penguin), we travel not into the future, but into a parallel dimension.

EPISODE NOTES

The “other now” described by Varoufakis could exist somewhere in a fissure of the time-space continuum. In this dimension, capitalism (as we know it) is dead, but a liberal and democratic society is thriving.

The post EUROPARAMA interview on ANOTHER NOW appeared first on Yanis Varoufakis.

What’s the matter with capitalism? And what alternative does ANOTHER NOW offer? Interview with CAPITALISN’T

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 26/01/2022 - 11:22pm in

In this podcast, I sit down with Luigi Zingales and Bethany McLean to discuss the ills of capitalism, not as an unjust system but one that is inefficient and freedom impeding. And, in the process, to discuss my novel ANOTHER NOW. Clich here to listen to the podcast.

The post What’s the matter with capitalism? And what alternative does ANOTHER NOW offer? Interview with CAPITALISN’T appeared first on Yanis Varoufakis.

Slo Mo: The Moment Capitalism Died. And Imagining an Enlightened Economy | Interviewed by Mo Gawdat

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 26/01/2022 - 11:06pm in

 

To LISTEN TO THE PODCAST, ClICK HERE

Today’s guest is Yanis Varoufakis, the world renowned economist, member of the Hellenic parliament, and former Greek finance minister who’s been called the “rockstar politician who took on the EU.” This was an absolutely mind blowing conversation, and I recommend approaching it like the most enlightening and enjoyable economics class you’ll ever have.

You may have noticed a bit more politics on the show recently (see Mark Gober,  episode 172). This isn’t a coincidence. The world is waking up to the skewed state of things; namely, the fundamental unfairness that an enlightened, or even basically civilized society should be striving to overcome, not promote. I stay away from politics as much as I can, but it’s our collective duty to remedy that which keeps humanity in a state of fear and anger.

In his new book, Another Now, Yanis asks us to imagine a world with no banks, no stock market, no tech giants, and no billionaires. What would a fair and equal society actually look like?

Tune in for a brutally honest history lesson and a far more optimistic discussion on how we can make the future better.

Listen as we discuss:

  • My experience watching Yanis during the economic crisis like a fanboy.

  • Why Yanis refused to sign on the dotted line. (He didn’t care about a political career).

  • A primer on the role of debt in capitalism, and why banks want to keep you there.

  • Feudalism vs. capitalism.

  • A captivating history from Yanis on the cause of economic collapse.

  • 2008 was the moment capitalism died.

  • Money was always an illusion, but it used be a useful one.

  • What was the impact of COVID on the toxic management of the global economy?

  • Who owns the Federal Reserve?

  • The future is not what it used to be, and younger generations are going to have it harder.

  • The moral duty to avoid predictions.

  • The amazing advice on what’s really valuable given to Yanis by his father.

  • There are no safe havens.

  • Another Now, and a hopeful blueprint for a better system.

  • The beauty of writing a novel is that you can disagree with yourself.

  • Why banks have no place in a utopian financial system.

  • The actual value of blockchain (far beyond bitcoin).

Instagram: @mo_gawdat
Facebook: @mo.gawdat.official
Twitter: @mgawdat
LinkedIn: /in/mogawdat
Website: mogawdat.com

The post Slo Mo: The Moment Capitalism Died. And Imagining an Enlightened Economy | Interviewed by Mo Gawdat appeared first on Yanis Varoufakis.

How the euro divided Europe, and why countries like Bulgaria should not join – Project Syndicate, Oxford Union video & Keynote audio

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 26/01/2022 - 10:36pm in

This January marked the 20th anniversary of euro notes and coins circulating. In an op-ed published by Project Syndicate I argue that the euro was an unmitigated failure even by the criteria of its architects. This is an updated analysis of a keynote I delivered a few years ago at the Oxford Union – see video below. Plus, a recording (click here) of my reply to a question by a Bulgarian banker on whether I believed Bulgaria should join the euro (yes, my reply was: Don’t do it!)

When eurozone finance ministers recently issued a joint paean to the single currency on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the introduction of euro banknotes and coins, something remarkable happened: Nothing. No one joined in the celebrations, and no one cared enough to dissent.

ATHENS – Twenty years ago this month, Europe’s common currency became a tangible reality with the introduction of euro banknotes and coins. To mark the occasion, eurozone finance ministers issued a joint statement that called the currency “one of the most tangible achievements of European integration.” In fact, the euro did nothing to promote European integration. Quite the contrary.

The euro’s primary purpose was to facilitate integration by eliminating the cost of currency conversions and, more importantly, the risk of destabilizing devaluations. Europeans were promised that it would encourage cross-border trade. Living standards would converge. The business cycle would be dampened. It would bring greater price stability. And intra-eurozone investment would yield faster productivity growth overall and convergent growth between member countries. In short, the euro would underpin the benign Germanization of Europe.

Twenty years later, none of these promises has been fulfilled. Since the eurozone’s formation, intra-eurozone trade grew by 10%, substantially lower than the 30% increase in global trade and, more significantly, the 63% increase in trade between Germany and a trio of European Union countries that did not adopt the euro: Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.

It’s the same story with productive investments. A huge wave of loans from Germany and France washed over eurozone countries like Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain, resulting in the sequential bankruptcies that lay at the heart of the euro crisis a decade ago. But most foreign direct investment went from countries like Germany to the part of the EU that chose not to adopt the euro. Thus, while investment and productivity were diverging within the eurozone, convergence was being achieved with the countries that remained outside.

As for incomes, back in 1995, for every €100 ($114) earned by the average German, the average Czech earned €17, the average Greek €42, and the average Portuguese €37. Of the three, only the Czech could not withdraw euros from a domestic ATM after 2001. And yet, her income in 2020 converged toward the average German’s €100 income by a whopping €24, compared to just €3 and €9 for her Greek and Portuguese counterparts, respectively.

The key question is not why the euro failed to bring about convergence, but rather why anyone thought it would. A look at three pairs of well-integrated economies offers useful insights: Sweden and Norway, Australia and New Zealand, and the United States and Canada. Close integration of these countries grew – and was never jeopardized – because they avoided monetary union.

To see the role of monetary independence in keeping their economies closely aligned, consider their inflation rates. Since 1979, the rate of inflation has been broadly similar in Sweden and Norway, in Australia and New Zealand, and in the US and Canada. And yet, during the same period, their currencies’ bilateral exchange rates fluctuated wildly, acting as shock absorbers during asymmetrical recessions and banking crises and helping to keep their integrated economies in alignment.

Something similar happened in the EU between Germany, the leading eurozone economy, and euro-less Poland: When the euro was created, the Polish złoty depreciated by 27%. Then, after 2004, it appreciated by 50%, before falling again, by 30%, during the financial crisis of 2008. As a result, Poland avoided both the foreign-debt-fueled growth that characterized eurozone members like Greece, Spain, Ireland, and Cyprus, and the massive recession once the euro crisis was in full swing. Is it any wonder that no EU economy has converged more impressively with Germany’s than Poland’s?

In retrospect, it was as if the architecture of the euro was designed to cause maximum divergence. In effect, Europeans created a common central bank that lacked a common state to have its back, while simultaneously allowing our states to carry on without a central bank to have their backs in times of financial crisis, when states must bail out the banks operating in their territory.

During the good times, cross-border loans created unsustainable debts. And then, at the first sign of financial distress (either a public or a private debt crisis), the writing was on the wall: a eurozone-wide spasm whose inevitable outcome was sharp divergence and enormous new imbalances.

In layperson’s terms, Europeans resembled a hapless car owner who, in an effort to eliminate body roll around corners, removed the shock absorbers and drove straight into a deep pothole. The reason countries like Poland, New Zealand, and Canada weathered global crises without falling behind (or, worse, surrendering sovereignty to) Germany, Australia, and the US is precisely that they resisted a monetary union with them. Had they succumbed to the lure of a common currency, the crises of 1991, 2001, 2008, or 2020 would have rendered them debt colonies.

Some argue that Europe has now learned its lesson. After all, in response to the euro crisis and the pandemic, the eurozone has been reinforced with new institutions such as the European Stability Mechanism (a common bailout fund), a common supervisory system for European banks, and the Next Generation EU recovery fund.

These are undoubtedly large changes. But they constitute the minimum that was needed to keep the euro afloat without changing its character. By implementing them, the EU confirmed its readiness to change everything in order to keep everything the same – or, more precisely, to avoid the one change that matters: the creation of a proper fiscal and political union, which is the prerequisite for managing macroeconomic shocks and eliminating regional imbalances.

Twenty years after its creation, the euro remains a fair-weather construction, fueling divergence rather than driving convergence. Until recently, this outcome inspired heated debates – and thus hope that Europe was aware of the centrifugal forces threatening its foundations.

This is no longer so. When the eurozone finance ministers issued their joint paean to the single currency, something remarkable happened: Nothing. No one joined in the celebrations. No one cared enough to dissent. Such apathy does not bode well for a union that is being torn apart by widening inequality and xenophobic populism.

The post How the euro divided Europe, and why countries like Bulgaria should not join – Project Syndicate, Oxford Union video & Keynote audio appeared first on Yanis Varoufakis.

The causes of inflation and what to do about it – Keynote at Banking Conference, Sofia 2 DEC 2021

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 26/01/2022 - 10:10pm in

Tags 

audio, English, history

Invited by the Bulgarian Central Bank’s Deputy Governor, here is a keynote I delivered in Sofia, on 2nd December 2021, in which I offer a historical  explanation of the nature and causes of our current inflation – as well as a proposed policy response that would help (but which vested interests are impeding).

The post The causes of inflation and what to do about it – Keynote at Banking Conference, Sofia 2 DEC 2021 appeared first on Yanis Varoufakis.

The State of the Global Economy under the heavy burden of twelve lost years – Keynote (audio + text)

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 21/01/2022 - 10:18pm in

Tags 

audio, English

A keynote summing up my view that, since 2009, the world has wasted enormous resources in a bid to re-float finance and at the expense of our capacity to look after each other, and the planet, at a time humanity is facing existential threats – from climate catastrophe to war and toxic politics. My discussants included: Stephanie Flanders (Bloomberg), Sir Vince Cable (Former Business Minister, UK), Lord Karan Bilimoria (CBI), Mark Tucker (HSBC)

After financialisation met its Waterloo in 2008, the G20 responded with an impressive coordinated monetary response that refloated finance. Its pinnacle, the April 2009 G20 London meeting convened by Gordon Brown.

At the same time, the EU, the UK and, yes, the US practised substantial, coordinated, austerity (despite all the talk of an Obama stimulus that ended up austerian, if one takes into account the sharp austerity at state level). This is what became known as expansionary contraction, though I prefer to call it Socialism for Financiers Austerity for Everyone Else (i.e., the combination of massive expansionary monetary policy, including the money printing known as Quantitative Easing). This led to a unique phenomenon in the annals of capitalism: the non-existence of a general equilibrium rate of interest – i.e., a single rate of interest that can equilibrate, at the same time, (a) the real economy (i.e., bring investment in capital goods close to the level of available savings-liquidity) and (b) the financial sector.

In other words, since 2009, the prevailing rate of interest would: Either be high enough to stabilise the banking system, but yield investment that fell woefully below savings-liquidity. Or be low enough to close the savings-investment gap but, at the same time, destroy finance. The reason why the period since 2009 has been unique in the history of capitalism is that, for the first time, it was not just hard for central banks to home in on a general equilibrium rate of interest but, rather, it was impossible – since a general equilibrium rate of interest no longer existed. [Nb. This is equations to a system of two equations in one unknown for which no real value of the unknown solves both equations]

The result of the disappearance of the general equilibrium rate of interest, following the Crash of 2008 and the policy of expansionary contraction, were the LOST YEARS: 12 years of massive savings-investment imbalance and a historic failure to press money sloshing around the circuits of finance into the service of humanity’s real needs (from health and education to, crucially, the green transition)

Global coordination of money printing (QE) that was not accompanied by a global investment drive caused this. By 2020 the global economy was limping along with this permanent investment-savings albatross hanging over its neck. Then the pandemic came to turbocharge the situation. Come to think of it, what exactly was the response of our states to the pandemic? Much more of the same (QE) along with a major replacement of lost incomes with public debt. Yes, that was a gigantic fiscal boost. Nonetheless, this fiscal splurge was not Keynesian at all as it did nothing to rebalance the pre-existing savings-investment imbalance.

And then inflation arrived. For reasons that had precisely nothing to do with the abundance of liquidity in the circuits of finance – not even with the governments’ splurge. Inflation reared its ugly head because of the major disruption in global supply chains that, under post-1991 globalisation, relied in just-in-time deliveries of everything, from fruit and vegetables to microchips. However, the preceding 12 LOST YEARS (during which we lost the opportunity to invest in green energy) have now turned what should have been a transitory inflation into something far more permanent – as the world pays the price of struggling to move to green energy unprepared and hurriedly.

While we are not facing a 1970s’ inflationary dynamic (something that the evisceration of the working class’ collective bargaining power guarantees), the major central banks are in a conundrum. After 12 years of financing the financiers, and extending-and-pretending unpayable debts of corporations and states, they are damned if they tighten monetary policy and they are damned if the don’t. In more abstract terms, the disappearing act of a general equilibrium interest rate central banks are unable to keep the show on the road in the way they have been since 2009. Toxic politics, racism, post-democracy and geopolitical tensions are the natural repercussion.

Those who agree that climate change is a clear and present danger must, in view of the above, also agree that four things need to be done:

  • Hard constraints on, say, coal mining that multinational corporations, along with governments they influence, resist tooth and nail

  • Massive investment that the markets will not generate alone – due to a combination of a tragedy of the commons and standard coordination failure

  • A global carbon tax that is re-distributed in its entirety to the victims of the mind-numbing inequality exacerbated by 12 LOST YEARS

  • A total rethink of central banking, now that digital fiat money makes it possible to end the commercial banks’ exclusive right to have accounts with central banks – a common protocol of digital fiat money would be a good start.

However, for these four things to stand a chance of being implemented, we need a Global Agreement, a New Global Plan, involving the US, the EU and China. That would be Progressive Internationalism establishment-type.

But it is not happening. Some would say it is pie in the sky. Why? It is not just vested interests. It is also broken politics due to the ultra-long reign of vested interests. Put succinctly, the much needed Global Plan is not happening because:

  • The United States is ungovernable

  • The European Union has no government and continues to play ostrich: ready to change everything in order to prevent making the one change that would make a difference (a proper fiscal union and a common investment policy)

  • A New Cold War is being waged by the United States, and many of its European dependents, against China but on behalf of Big Tech, Wall Street and the military-industrial complex.

That’s why the only chance for Progressive Internationalism comes not from the Establishment but from the radical, anti-Establishment Progressive International.

You can also listen part of the discussion that ensued:
How did Quantitative Easing boost inequality? Click here
What about the Eurozone? Click here

 

The post The State of the Global Economy under the heavy burden of twelve lost years – Keynote (audio + text) appeared first on Yanis Varoufakis.

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