Talking Greece, Austerity and Pluralism at the London School of Economics

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I was invited by the Rethink­ing Eco­nom­ics stu­dent asso­ci­a­tion at the Lon­don School of Eco­nom­ics to give a talk about Greece, Aus­ter­ity, Post Key­ne­sian Eco­nom­ics and antic­i­pat­ing the cri­sis. There was an excel­lent audi­ence of around 150 for the talk, and a good dis­cus­sion after­wards: the stu­dents there are keen (par­don the pun) to learn about non-Neoclassical approaches to eco­nom­ics, which are taught at Kingston Uni­ver­sity, but which they said they do not learn from their courses at the LSE itself.

Talking Greece & Yanis on the BBC

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I was inter­viewed last night on the BBC News Chan­nel about the Greek cri­sis. Nego­ti­a­tions today seem to have bought some breath­ing space, but the issues raised here will now become dom­i­nant. Hav­ing gar­nered a 4 month exten­sion and time to rede­fine the macro­eco­nomic aspects of the EU pack­age, Syriza will now have to carry the day with its con­stituency and polit­i­cal rivals back in Greece.

BBC News Chan­nel Interview

A Lawyer’s Mindset Where An Economist’s Is Needed?

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A Twit­ter cor­re­spon­dent pointed out a sim­ple fact that makes Schäuble’s inflex­i­bil­ity in nego­ti­a­tions with Varo­ufakis explic­a­ble: though he is a Min­is­ter of Finance, his PhD is in law.

So is he implic­itly approach­ing these nego­ti­a­tions as a lawyer would? Because from that point of view, what the Greeks are try­ing to do is to renege on a contract.

Click here to read the rest of this post.

The USA — All Systems Go?

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The con­trast today between Europe—the sub­ject of my first few posts on Forbes—and the USA could not be more extreme. The cri­sis, when it began in 2007/08, was seen ini­tially as a purely Amer­i­can phenomenon—and by some, proof that the dereg­u­lated Amer­i­can(and more gen­er­ally, the Anglo-Saxon) model of cap­i­tal­ism had failed, while Europe’s more col­lec­tivist ver­sion was still going strong.

One of the most vol­u­ble putting that argu­ment was then French Pres­i­dent Nico­las Sarkozy, who asserted that the cri­sis proved that the Amer­i­can dereg­u­lated ver­sion of finance was kaput:

A page has been turned,” he said, on the “Anglo Saxon” finan­cial model.

Nobody understands debt–including Paul Krugman

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Paul Krug­man has pub­lished a trio of blog posts on the issue of debt in the last week: “Debt Is Money We Owe To Our­selves” (Feb­ru­ary 6th at 7.30am), “Debt: A Thought Exper­i­ment” (same day at 5.30pm), and finally “Nobody Under­stands Debt” (Feb­ru­ary 9th in an Op Ed).

There is one truly remark­able thing about all three arti­cles: not one of them con­tains the word “Bank”.

Now you may think it’s ridicu­lous that an econ­o­mist could dis­cuss the macro­eco­nom­ics of debt, not once but three times, and never even con­sider the role of banks. But Krug­man would tell you whyyou don’t need to con­sider banks when talk­ing about debt, and call you a “Bank­ing Mys­tic” if you persisted.

Talking about Yanis on the BBC

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I was inter­viewed twice on the BBC yes­ter­day about Yanis Varo­ufakis and Syriza’s attempts to resolve its debt cri­sis with the EU–once on the BBC News Chan­nel and once on BBC World News. The video clips are below. Click here to see Yanis’s “mod­est pro­posal” for resolv­ing the cri­sis.

BBC News Channel

BBC World News