Monday, April 27, 2015

Banishing Varoufakis

The eurogroup finance ministers can’t take it any more: they want Yanis Varoufakis out of their sight, banished to the netherworld of YouTube and the blogosphere.  He keeps insisting that policy reforms can’t be given fiscal numbers without a credible macroeconomic forecast, which might be something for academic perfectionists, but not for grownups who have to deal with reality, like who is facing default and has to get with the program, pronto.  How can Greece claim it can’t pay its debts when there are still wages and pensions to cut?

So the Greek government said, fine, you don’t want to look at Varoufakis, we’ll make his deputy the negotiating guy, but Varoufakis will still be the team leader.  Maybe the deputy tucks in his shirt.

I wonder why Greece didn't try out this idea: give Varoufakis a new identity.  Change his name to “the institutions”, as in, you don’t have to deal with the Troika any more but now you have to submit to “the institutions”.  OK, that’s a bit strange for a personal moniker, but you could call him Charlie or Wolfgang or, hell, Maynard.  “Dear finance ministers, we have accepted your request to sack Varoufakis.  From now on you will be negotiating with 'Maynard.'”

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