Yanis Varoufakis was a controversial figure as Greece’s finance minister in 2015. But he is also an economics professor, and it shows in this analysis. He describes the history, workings and fault lines of the international economic system, as he places recent euro issues in a historical context. As the euro zone shows, a common currency accelerates bank lending from countries with a trade surplus to their deficit neighbors. Such flows can fund booms, but major financial shocks can deflate borrower nations’ economies. That puts Greece’s predicament at the heart of Europe’s crisis, Varoufakis says. His academic analysis reads like a John le Carré spy novel with a cast of post-WWII government and financial institution leaders trying to outwit each other. The narrative goes back and forth in time and over geographic locations. The book is worthwhile, but intense and detailed. While always politically neutral, getAbstract recommends the author’s strong arguments and articulate economic points to those who want to understand the different viewpoints affecting Europe.
About the Author
Yanis Varoufakis is a professor of economics at the University of Athens. He is best known as the former Greek finance minister who outspokenly fought the EU’s austerity policies in 2015.