ABC Q & A: 9 SEPTEMBER 2021 WITH ECONOMIST JANIS VAROUFAKIS
How would Yanis Varoufakis rate Australia’s economic response to COVID-19? #QandA
QUESTION FROM BOJAN STANOJCIC:
How would you rate Australia’s economic response to the Covid-19 Crisis, and if you were in charge would you have done things differently?
All the boring questions come to me because I have this predicament of being an economist, and a Greek Economist.
Okay, I shall compare the treatment – the response during the Covid-19 period to what happened after 2009 under the Kevin Rudd Government, after the GFC.
Both responses were large. The 2009 response was more effective in a sense that money went directly to families, independently of their circumstances.
So it was a more efficient system.
The support of the Australian economy now – during the Pandemic has been larger, and it had to be larger because the shock was greater, but I very much fear that it has created a large wall of money – which as the Pandemic recedes – and we hope it will soon so that I can come and visit my daughter to begin with – that this wall of money is not going to fuel house prices, yet again, asset prices because this is the great scourge of the Australian political economy – HOUSING!
If all this money becomes higher asset prices it will be a monumental waste of all this liquidity that has been created by the Bank of Australia instead of going into investing so that we have good green jobs for experts, for the Arts – for that matter which is not a luxury to be added on to whatever else Australians are doing.
So to cut a long story short, take this liquidity and put it to good use, and do not waste it on real estate!
PART 2 WITH YANIS VAROUFAKIS:
… Yanis, something that you have noted, and that concerns you, is that Australia is falling behind not only because the model that we have relied on for quite some time, which is our heavy reliance on China you regard that as out-moded that that is finished, and that we need to look elsewhere.
What is the solution to that, Yanis?
Investment! It is not just Australia by the way; not being critical of Australia. It is also the European Union. The two blocks that are suffering, if you want, I consider Australia a small block, and the European Union. The European Union and Australia.
Because the business models of both Europe and Australia have relied upon for prosperity are now defunct, and it is the United States and China that are steaming ahead, coming out of the crisis stronger.
This, of course, is clouded over by the merging Cold War between them, and Australia and the European Union are running a very serious risk of being left behind.
Because the … future are Green Energy, artificial intelligence, robotics, and this is where there is insufficient investment – both in Australia and in the European Union.
And at the same time we have to remember that if Sierra Leone, or you know, some developing country that is simply impoverished are not investing – well you can understand that they don’t have the money to invest.
But both Australia and the European Union – we are swimming in money. We never had so much money as we have today, but we are wasting it, we are not investing it into the things that we need, and I totally concur with the point we just heard about the manner in which Women’s rising discontent has been completely ignored by the Government.
But in the end, imagine we were exploring The Universe – Startrek like – and we chanced upon some alien Civilisation we would look at where they were putting their resources you know judge their collective character.
Where are we putting our resources today? In the large corporations that are already sitting on a huge stash of – into men and into the powerful …
(Interview disrupted due to being out of sync.)
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