Seeing the world in a "grain of sand"
Speaking at the Brookings Institution juts this month Greece's Finance Minister Yannis Varouflakis manages to break quite a few molds. First, the ability of a finance minister to speak finance, clearly and eloquently.
In his analysis of the global credit crunch and Greece's situation he paints a stark picture of discredited ideas and institutionalized unwillingness to move quickly because of a fear of disruption. This is an hour-long speech and he does not mince his words.
What is important here are the narratives. In his unwillingness to accept the broadly accepted narratives on how the EU is handling its monetary crisis Varouflakis has cast himself as an outsider, a lone voice in the wilnderness that is listened to by the public and academia alike but not his peers in the EU. And therein lies the real problem.
Without a way to actually talk and communicate he is seen as the problem, rather than actually seeing that the EU in a traditional, conservative, self-serving way has been unable to accept a publicly elected peer. Beyond anything else this is also a travesty of democratic processes where "democratically elected peers" are only acceptable when they agree with those who are already in power.
The talk itself is riveting and provides a lot of food for thought. If you have the time to listen to it, it is definitely eye-opening for the way it reveals how the financial mechanism across Europe (and the world) is struggling to cope with change itself and uses barely-understood, antiquated mechanisms to respond to unprecedented conditions. Link: http://goo.gl/TmCSHD