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13

And the Weak Suffer What They Must

3
terms
3
notes

Varoufakis, Y. (2017). And the Weak Suffer What They Must. In Varoufakis, Y. And the Weak Suffer What They Must?. Vintage, pp. 13-37

16

One of the casualties of the European war was money. Nazi-affiliated regimes in occupied countries had printed so much of the local currencies to support the Axis’s war effort that the money in Europeans’ pockets was not even worth the paper it had been printed on. And even in countries that had escaped occupation, such as Britain, the costs of war and the collapse of trade had led to a combination of government indebtedness and value destruction that rendered the currency worthless, at least in the arena of international trade. In short, the greenback was the only currency left standing and capable of lubricating world trade.

kinda obvious in hindsight but I don't think I realised this before

—p.16 by Yanis Varoufakis 2 years, 10 months ago

One of the casualties of the European war was money. Nazi-affiliated regimes in occupied countries had printed so much of the local currencies to support the Axis’s war effort that the money in Europeans’ pockets was not even worth the paper it had been printed on. And even in countries that had escaped occupation, such as Britain, the costs of war and the collapse of trade had led to a combination of government indebtedness and value destruction that rendered the currency worthless, at least in the arena of international trade. In short, the greenback was the only currency left standing and capable of lubricating world trade.

kinda obvious in hindsight but I don't think I realised this before

—p.16 by Yanis Varoufakis 2 years, 10 months ago
19

Keynes’s proposal was brimming with intellectual power; White was overflowing with the power vested in him by America’s economic and military might. Keynes advocated a global system that could stabilize capitalism for a fabulously long time; White's brief was to push through a system consistent with the United States' new-found strength but viable only as long as America remained the surplus nation extraordinaire. [...]

Harry Dexter White, FDR's representative at Bretton Woods (July 1944) who had been influenced by Keynes (and who obviously won the battle)

—p.19 by Yanis Varoufakis 2 years, 10 months ago

Keynes’s proposal was brimming with intellectual power; White was overflowing with the power vested in him by America’s economic and military might. Keynes advocated a global system that could stabilize capitalism for a fabulously long time; White's brief was to push through a system consistent with the United States' new-found strength but viable only as long as America remained the surplus nation extraordinaire. [...]

Harry Dexter White, FDR's representative at Bretton Woods (July 1944) who had been influenced by Keynes (and who obviously won the battle)

—p.19 by Yanis Varoufakis 2 years, 10 months ago

the condition of self-sufficiency, especially economic, as applied to a nation; a national policy of economic independence

21

a closed, autarkic (meaning self-sufficient) economy [...] may be poor, solitary and undemocratic, but at least it is free of problems caused by other economies, by external deficits or surpluses

—p.21 by Yanis Varoufakis
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

a closed, autarkic (meaning self-sufficient) economy [...] may be poor, solitary and undemocratic, but at least it is free of problems caused by other economies, by external deficits or surpluses

—p.21 by Yanis Varoufakis
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

a supranational currency imagined by Keynes between 1940–1942 and which the UK proposed to introduce after WWII; it could then be used in international trade as a unit of account within a multilateral clearing system—the International Clearing Union—which would also have to be founded

25

An international fund would be created to play the role of the world's central bank and issue its currency--the bancor, as Keynes provisionally named it.

—p.25 by Yanis Varoufakis
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

An international fund would be created to play the role of the world's central bank and issue its currency--the bancor, as Keynes provisionally named it.

—p.25 by Yanis Varoufakis
notable
2 years, 10 months ago
31

On the one hand, the Bundesbank had a duty--to the Bretton Woods system, to defend the realm of Germany--to see the speculators off and hold the line. On the other hand, the Bundesbank intensely disliked printing Deutsche Marks in defence of exchange rates it had not chosen and in quantities it despised because these marks threatened to flood back into Germany later, causing domestic prices to rise and bringing back memories of the hyperinflation of the early 1920s.

[...] as long as they felt that the Bretton Woods system was sound. And the system was sound as long as America was in surplus with the rest of the world.

basically the Bundesbank had to defend its currency against speculators in order to maintain the official Bretton Woods exchange rates (otherwise a schism between the official and unofficial rates would develop which I guess is bad)

—p.31 by Yanis Varoufakis 2 years, 10 months ago

On the one hand, the Bundesbank had a duty--to the Bretton Woods system, to defend the realm of Germany--to see the speculators off and hold the line. On the other hand, the Bundesbank intensely disliked printing Deutsche Marks in defence of exchange rates it had not chosen and in quantities it despised because these marks threatened to flood back into Germany later, causing domestic prices to rise and bringing back memories of the hyperinflation of the early 1920s.

[...] as long as they felt that the Bretton Woods system was sound. And the system was sound as long as America was in surplus with the rest of the world.

basically the Bundesbank had to defend its currency against speculators in order to maintain the official Bretton Woods exchange rates (otherwise a schism between the official and unofficial rates would develop which I guess is bad)

—p.31 by Yanis Varoufakis 2 years, 10 months ago

(noun) preponderant influence or authority over others; domination / (noun) the social, cultural, ideological, or economic influence exerted by a dominant group

36

Thus in 1971 Europe was jettisoned from the dollar zone by a United States intent on preserving its hegemony and unwilling to turn to austerity to save Bretton Woods.

cus of the $35/oz of gold value being heavily tested in the late 60s/early 70s

—p.36 by Yanis Varoufakis
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

Thus in 1971 Europe was jettisoned from the dollar zone by a United States intent on preserving its hegemony and unwilling to turn to austerity to save Bretton Woods.

cus of the $35/oz of gold value being heavily tested in the late 60s/early 70s

—p.36 by Yanis Varoufakis
notable
2 years, 10 months ago