In 2008, the universe of Western finance outgrew planet Earth. When Wall Street imploded, a death embrace between insolvent banks and bankrupt states consumed Europe. Half a dozen national economies imploded, and several more came close. But the storm is far from over....
From the aftermath of the Second World War to the present, Varoufakis recounts how the eurozone emerged not as a route to shared prosperity but as a pyramid scheme of debt with countries such as Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain at its bottom. Its woeful design ensured that collapse would be inevitable and catastrophic.
But since the hurricane landed, Europe's leaders have chosen a cocktail of more debt and harsh austerity rather than reform, ensuring that the weakest citizens of the weakest nations pay the price for the bankers' mistakes while doing nothing to prevent the next collapse. Instead, the principle of the greatest austerity for those suffering the greatest recessions has led to a resurgence of racist extremism. Once more Europe is a potent threat to global stability.
Drawing on the personal experience of his own negotiations with the eurozone's financiers and offering concrete policies and alternatives, Varoufakis shows how we concocted this mess and how we can get out of it. And the Weak Suffer What They Must? reminds us of our history in order to save European capitalism from itself.
©2016 Yanis Varoufakis (P)2016 Random House AudioBooks
Varoufakis' eye opening narrative history of the EU leaves nothing much to recommend the union, only that it must be reformed.
Why it all went wrong and why we the ordinary people of Europe are suffering is brilliantly explained in clear and beautiful prose.
A good historic account of the birth of the Euro and an analysis of the unfortunate effects of the rules applied to the countries using it. I would have liked more details on how the author wants to reform the rules.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have to admit I was pleased that Yanis did not narrate the whole thing. He has a pleasant accent but the additional concentration to decipher some of his words would have made this a difficult book to listen to. As it is the pace and diction of Mr Pugh who reads most of the book is excellent.
One thing did puzzle me. Yanis never delves into what the real motives of the EU banksters might be. On the face of this book he would have us believe it is stubborn vanity. I was horrified by much of the book although I knew that the Greek crisis had been misrepresented in the press (just as nearly everything is) I was unaware of much of the structure and history of the ECB. Now I have a little more awareness about it.
I would venture that the likes of these banksters are dogmatic malthusianists (or at least the lapdogs of people who are) who will enjoy enriching themselves while destroying the wages, pensions and healthcare provided by individual states. These are not stupid people, they will have their justification and their philosophy and it seems clear that whatever their beliefs are they are very dangerous ones for the rest of us. They will not worry about the creation of neo-nazi organisations as they can get these gangs of mindless thugs to do their dirty work for them.
I disagree that the EU needs reform. It needs demolishing and rebuilding from the ground up - a messy business indeed. I also disagree with his view of US economics which he seems to view as a powerless hero. They are in this game up to their necks. The two bought and paid for choices in the current US presidential election only shows how obscene democracy is in the US. The serpent is not waiting, it is chewing the final parts of the inside of the apple and about to break out on to the surface for all to see.
These are worrying times...and Brexit will not save the UK as the same global financial institutions will still be pulling the economic strings of the UK in or out.
"An insightful and intelligent narrative of the economic and monetary history of Europe since WWII."
This book highlights many of the problems that Europe now faces in securing social, economic and political harmony within today's enlarged EU. Yanis Varoufakis is in an ideal position, as a former Greek negotiator, to observe first hand the internal workings and philosophy of the ECB and to understand many of the problems now confronting individual nation states within the EU.
not as bombastic as I hoped it would be but a great overview of the history and short failings of the European project. summed up by a lack of budget surplus recycling within the EU. it is a solution but cannot work within the undemocratic eu model.
"Wonderful book and super important"
After the the 2008 crash and ensuing Euro crisis so much has been extolled by the media and politicians that it has been hard to know where to start at looking at what has happened and why it has happened. Yanis dissects the problem simply and concisely, explaining in simple terms a very complicated problem. He gets to the heart of the issue of the disintegration of democracy in Europe, pointing out the key players without dictating a personal bias. He also gives an alternative view to the status quo. So overall I feel this is important book for anyone interested in politics or economics of the current era. I look forward to reading his other book The Global Minotaur and hope to see more of his work in the future.
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