This is an outstanding, must-read article by the NYT. Check it out!
Greece brings in Deputy Foreign Minister, Euclid Tsakalotos, a quietly spoken, Oxford educated economist to deal with day to day negotiations with creditors – he is also close politically to Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras. The Finance Minister is still in charge but the day to day negotiations are handled by a team closer to the PM. The move has been immediately seized upon positively both internationally and in Greece.
The NYT describes Yanis Varoufakis as ‘outspoken, motor-cycle riding renegade’. This weekend he drew deep criticism from Europes’ finance ministers at the Riga meeting and the world’s media has united against him. Meanwhile, media in Greece has been calling for Varoufakis’ resignation, and has widely reported the move as a way of sidelining the finance minister. The NYT later added, ‘many accuse the Greek minister of narcisissism’.
Other positive news is that Angela Merkel is in close phone contact with Alexis Tsipras.
Personally, I have considerable experience of dealing with narcissists and whilst they’re often talented, they don’t listen and can be extremely damaging in their inter-personal skills – ultimately they often damage an organization’s reputation.
Additionally, I think that Varoufakis’ reputation as an economist has been seriously over-hyped. As evidence I suggest taking a look at his citations in Google Scholar. For me, there are three important observations:
- There is no mention of his publication in leading academic economic journals
- The number of hits is not particularly high, and
- His only publication with over a hundred citations is entitled ‘Game Theory: a critical introduction’. I seriously question the relevance of both games theory and critical theory to negotiating a lifeline for Greece.
Personally, I think it would be best for Greece if Varoufakis resigns as soon as possible.