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
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.
"An eye opening history of the real European Union"
Varoufakis' eye opening narrative history of the EU leaves nothing much to recommend the union, only that it must be reformed.
"This book should be read or heard by everyone."
Why it all went wrong and why we the ordinary people of Europe are suffering is brilliantly explained in clear and beautiful prose.
"The inhuman and undemocratic Euro"
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.
"Nothing short of brilliant."
Recommend on audible as the reader does all the accents that occur in the story.
"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.
"A must for anyone with concerns about leaving EU"
I found this book to be a fascinating account and history of the EU, stemming back to the the post war US involvement, the inevitable Nixon shock and moving into the present day structure of the EU. If I have one criticism of this book, it's that I found it extremely hard to qualify Mr Varoufakis' final contradictory conclusion in favour of the EU despite heavily criticising it throughout his book. He is clear that a single currency cannot possibly work without a single monetary policy; something he also admits will never be achieved. The EU is doomed for precisely this reason and yet after convincing the reader that the EU is fatally flawed he surprises the reader by taking a stand in favour of it, a very odd and counter-intuitive conclusion to a very good book.
"Great man, great storyteller"
One of the best audiobooks i have read, fascinating from the first minute. Looking forward to his next book.
"Current, I don't agree with his conclusion"
This took me a month to listen to. it was worth it. I was able to pick it up and put it down without losing the thread. A very well explained historical context to the Euro.
I agree with his thoughts through most of it, he spends most of the book deliberately running down the Euro and Euro zone but says a it's a good idea in the end. I struggled with this assertion. Yanis uses the US as an example of where it is a success yet they too have their problems and do not exist in a democracy so I discount his conclusion o otherwise a good and informative book.
"An Important Book that explains the complexity of Europe"
I would encourage anyone who voted in the EU referendum to read this. It explains the complexity of the EU and the risks it faces. Its worth remembering that the author recommended that the UK should stay in the EU even with all his concerns. This book is a warning about the rise of the far right and how a better future for Europe is possible.
"A brilliant read"
What a brilliant read. This book exposes the unwashed (like me) to economics. But more than that, the journey is international, historical and sometimes even macro. It is laced with national psychology seeded from historical relationships and it describes Europe and the Transatlantic balance. Looking to history and the accuracy of the current state of Europe you'll hear warnings that are chilling. You will enjoy this book
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