Back when Varoufakis was only a blogging economist

Back in 2012, when the Greek crisis reached its first climax, Yanis Varoufakis had a series of exchanges with the talented German blogger Kantoos. Unfortunately, Kantoos stopped blogging* and the site is down by now. You can still find Yanis’ articles though and web.archive serves its job.

I think this exchange is worth to be preserved. It’s a rather long and technical read with complex arguments from both a macroeconomic and a political perspective. I found it hard to follow the debate myself back then. But it’s definitely worth it

1) Kantoos: ” Yanis Varoufakis on ‘fiscal water-boarding’ and ECB bonds”

2) Varoufakis: “A reply to Kantoos Economics on the merits of the Modest Proposal”

3) Kantoos: “No diamonds without pressure? Yanis’ response, Part 1”

4) Varoufakis: “Reply No. 2 (YV2) to Kantoos Economics on the merits of the Modest Proposal”

5) Kantoos: ” Modigliani-Miller and Yanis’ response No. 2″

6) Varoufakis: “On the transition to a viable Eurozone and the Modigliani-Miller Theorem: Continuing the dialogue with Kantoos Economics on the Modest Proposal (response YV3 to KE3)”

7) Kantoos: “Γερμανία, ο νέος εχθρός της Ελλάδας? Yet another response to Yanis’ response.”

8) Kantoos: “The exit option – why Yanis’ views are inconsistent”

9) Varoufakis: “Criticising Germany: Three principles for the fair assessment of proud nations”

10) Kantoos: “Yanis’ utopian thought experiment”

11) Kantoos: ” Sunday fun and a serious response from Yanis”

12) Varoufakis: “On the solvability of the Euro Crisis and the mood in Germany: Concluding my debate with Kantoos Economics”

13) Kantoos: “The over-investment under-investment crisis in Greece – continuing my debate with Yanis Varoufakis”

14) Kantoos: “Yanis on AD”

Yes folks, this is the kind of multilateral debate we need at the European level. Economic blogging at its full potential, so to say. It also tells you a lot about the beliefs which shaped Varoufakis’ actions when he later became finance minister of Greece. His last words:

In all honesty, I think that the mood is Germany toward the Greeks is such that the majority would be prepared to suffer a positive cost in order to see that the average Greek suffers a greater cost (convinced as they are that they are responsible for the Crisis and need to be taught a lesson – as opposed to being let off the hook). A very small minority would want Mrs Merkel to press my imaginary button. That KE is denying this surprises me. It also suggests to me that we have reached the limits of our dialogue. Either I am deeply ignorant of the true mood in Germany or KE is in the depths of denial. And since this is an empirical issue, we better leave it at that (unless some pollster in Germany wants to put my hypothesis to the test).

* If I remember correctly, his reasons were that he felt blogging was too much of a time-consuming and also risky business for a young scholar in Germany. That’s really a shame.

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