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The truth, as outlined above, is rather more complicated than that. France played a big role too.

And the Weak Suffer What They Must? by Yanis Varoufakis – review

In fact, the Euro was originally the idea of French politicians who were concerned about German economic power dominating Europe. An interesting detail mentioned by Varoufakis is that this imbalance of power between France and Germany was at least partly caused by some earlier currency woes.

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The French government hoped — in vain, as it turned out — to be able to administer the Euro, and thus win back some power from Germany. He argues that while the US has certainly run into problems, it has developed ways to deal with them that have allowed the currency, and the economy, to survive thus far, and he believes that Europe could learn from those.

Yanis Varoufakis: And The Weak Suffer What They Must?

Readers will probably already know that towards the end of the second World War, the Bretton Woods system was set up in order to regulate finance worldwide. It was essentially a kind of gold standard in which the dollar was pegged to gold and other currencies were pegged to the dollar. Varoufakis describes the context in which this decision was made, including the fact that the British economist John Maynard Keynes tried to introduce a different system that probably would have worked much better, and that he was overruled at the Bretton Woods conference by American chief negotiator Harry Dexter White.

Unlike the victors of previous wars, the US insisted after that its allies France and Britain repay their wartime debts to it, while simultaneously putting up protectionist barriers [1]. This made it impossible for the debtor countries to pay the debts back as they were unable to export their products to the US. So, in turn, they tightened the screws on Germany, which owed them wartime reparations. The result was a severe economic crisis in Germany, which brought the Nazis to power.

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Hudson argues that US policymakers at the time of Bretton Woods did recognise that mistakes had been made by the US after and that things needed to be managed differently after the Second World War. However, they were also very worried about a potential swing to the left in their own country, and wished to forestall it by ensuring full employment.

This meant that the US had to be able to export its products worldwide and that the people who purchased them had to have enough money to do so. All sorts of other schemes which benefited US exports were also set up at the time, including the preferential treatment of US agricultural products and the undermining of local agriculture worldwide, for which we are now paying an enormous ecological price.

There are striking similarities between this system and that of the Eurozone. Within both systems, stronger economies exported high value-added products to weaker countries and then lent the money they earned back to the weaker countries. Both systems were overly dependent on debt, and therefore contained the seeds of their own destruction.

Now, he faces his most important—and difficult—audience yet.

Yanis Varoufakis: ‘If I’m convicted of high treason, it would be interesting’

Using clear language and vivid examples, Varoufakis offers a series of letters to his young daughter about the economy: how it operates, where it came from, how it benefits some while impoverishing others. Taking bankers and politicians to task, he explains the historical origins of inequality among and within nations, questions the pervasive notion that everything has its price, and shows why economic instability is a chronic risk.

Throughout this audiobook, Varoufakis wears his expertise lightly.

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He writes as a parent whose aim is to instruct his daughter on the fundamental questions of our age—and through that knowledge, to equip her against the failures and obfuscations of our current system and point the way toward a more democratic alternative. In her ground-breaking reporting Naomi Klein introduced the term "disaster capitalism.

People still reeling from catastrophe were being hit again, this time with economic "shock treatment", losing their land and homes to rapid-fire corporate makeovers. The Shock Doctrine retells the story of the most dominant ideology of our time, Milton Friedman's free market economic revolution. In contrast to the popular myth of this movement's peaceful global victory, Klein shows how it has exploited moments of shock and extreme violence in order to implement its economic policies in so many parts of the world from Latin America and Eastern Europe to South Africa, Russia and Iraq.

At the core of disaster capitalism is the use of cataclysmic events to advance radical privatization combined with the privatization of the disaster response itself. Klein argues that by capitalizing on crises, created by nature or war, the disaster capitalism complex now exists as a booming new economy, and is the violent culmination of a radical economic project that has been incubating for fifty years.

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