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Book DetailsISBN: 9781847924469
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Book Review: Adults In The Room by Yanis Varoufakis - Reviewed by Omar (05 Aug 2017)
'Adults in the room' was written by a living legend who witnessed/experienced, first hand, and has shared in this fabulous book, the intrigues that go on, and character of those who hold sway, in Europe's corridors of power.
In this gripping book, Professor Varoufakis explains how Greece - which was bankrupt in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis - was committed to a cycle of unsustainable loans, by previous Greek governments. The term used by economists, to describe what Greece's creditors did is aptly referred to as, 'extending and pretending'.
After becoming Greece's Finance Minister, Professor Varoufakis, with the support of his government, initially, sought to put an end to the viscous cycle of 'extend and pretend', unsustainable loans, that Greece was being subjected to, by refusing to sign off on the third bail-out agreement.
He describes his efforts towards, negotiating and securing a sustainable loan for Greece, with her creditors, led by Germany's Finance Minister, Dr Wolfgang Schäuble, and how pressure was brought to bear, through threats and actions aimed at getting the Greek government to surrender to the terms of the agreement that were presented to them...Professor Varoufakis fittingly describes those measures as 'fiscal waterboarding'!
Professor Varoufakis goes on to explain how, despite getting a mandate from the Greek people, to tell Greece's creditors where to stick their bailout deal, sideways, his government capitulated and agreed to their creditors' terms, which meant the continuation of the Greek people's suffering, under austerity, huge levels of unemployment [causing Greece's future talent to leave their homeland and families], and the inevitable fire-sale of Greece's best and most valuable assets.
Professor Varoufakis resigned from his position as Greece's Finance Minister, in disgust, and went on to found the 'Democracy in Europe Movement by 2025' (DiEM25). And, what makes him such an interesting hero is that he actually has a viable plan to fix Europe's financial woes which may, in due course, receive the acclaim it deserves, but, if I might humbly propose, it should be re-named, 'The Varoufakan Good Plan'.
And, no doubt, when Greece is granted debt relief by her creditors, it will largely be because of Professor Varaoufakis' efforts to let the world know that the IMF and Greece's other creditors were, to a large degree, responsible for putting Greece in the dire predicament, she currently finds herself in, by approving loans that they all knew, from the start, would be unsustainable!
The IMF has now admitted that much, and has refused to enter the 3rd bail-out program, unless Greece is granted substantial debt relief, and, I'm sure, most people would agree, that Greece's creditors owe the Greek people a hell of a lot more, for the needless suffering that they have endured!
To that end, democracy loving people, throughout the world, owe a debt of gratitude to Professor Yanis Varoufakis. So, as a tribute to him, I invite you all to get a karaoke sound track of John Lennon's song, 'Slippin' and Slidin', and sing with me, in unison, the following appropriately adjusted lyrics:
Extendin' and Pretendin', Fiscal Waterboardin', been told long time ago, Extendin' and Pretendin', Fiscal Waterboardin', been told long time ago, I been told, Yanis, you been bold, won’t be their fool no more.
Oh, big conniver, nothing but a jiver, done got hip to your jive, Oh, big conniver, nothing but a jiver, done got hip to your jive, Extendin' and Pretendin', Fiscal Waterboardin', won’t be their fool no more.
Oh Doc Schäuble, big money lender, he said you’d better surrender, Oh Doc Schäuble, big money lender, he said you’d better surrender, Extendin' and Pretendin', Fiscal Waterboardin', won't be their fool no more.
I've been reliably informed that Professor Varoufakis has personally autographed 100 copies of his latest book...I was lucky enough to receive one, and, if you hurry, you may get one too.
And, finally, if you want to learn about world economics in easy to understand, layman's terms, presented in his inimitable, captivating writing style, check out the other books written by Professor Yanis Varoufakis...you'll be so glad you did.
Yanis Varoufakis is the former finance minister of Greece and the author of several international bestselling books. And the Weak Suffer What They Must?- Europe, Austerity and the Threat to Global Stability reveals the underlying problems that led to the Eurozone crisis and its ongoing catastrophic mishandling. Adults In the Room- My Battle with Europe's Deep Establishment is an explosive memoir that reveals what goes on behind the scenes in Europe's corridors of power. Talking To My Daughter About the Economy- A Brief History of Capitalism (forthcoming) explains through vivid stories and easily graspable concepts what economics actually is and why it is so dangerous in the form of a letter to his teenage daughter. Born in Athens in 1961, Yanis Varoufakis was for many years a professor of economics in Britain, Australia and the USA before he entered government and is currently Professor of Economics at the University of Athens. Since resigning from Greece's finance ministry he has co-founded an international grassroots movement, DiEM25, campaigning for the revival of democracy in Europe and speaks to audiences of thousands worldwide. yanisvaroufakis.eu / @yanisvaroufakis
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