econintersect.com
       
  

FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.



posted on 06 August 2016

Is It Ethical To Criticize That Which You Have Not Read?

by Yanis Varoufakis

Galbraith's letter to Kathimerini: Let's talk about academic-journalistic ethics, shall we?

Athens daily Kathimerini published a letter signed by 23 'US-educated Greeks' sent to the University of Texas' President denouncing James K. Galbraith (a long-standing professor there, pictured below) for having helped me design a "monetary cum military coup d'etat".

At least that was their description of my Plan X - a preliminary contingency plan to counter the European Central Bank's Plan Z, with which Greece is being threatened continually since 2012 - see the Financial Times report here.

Once more, the victims of the troika's six-year-old coup d'etat, which has pushed the Greek people into a vortex of Depression and Insolvency, are being portrayed as coup plotters.

The purpose of this campaign, in which Kathimerini has played an energetic role, is to vilify anyone who resisted the troika, who did her or his duty to defend Greece's democracy, and who continues to argue that the only way to end Greece's crisis is to oppose the troika.

What is new here, with the letter of the 23, is a new violation - this time of the most basic of academic principles: "Never criticise a text that you have not read!"

As Galbraith demonstrates in his response to Kathimerini (see below), the 23 'US-educated Greeks' based their denunciation letter on misinformation peddled by, amongst others, Kathimerini - e.g. the preposterous allegation that Plan X included a plot to arrest the Governor of the Bank of Greece. Here is the Galbraith response:

To the editor of Kathimerini:

I understand that you have published the letter to the President of The University of Texas at Austin from twenty-three self-styled "US-educated Greeks."

The authors state that their knowledge of my work comes from "interviews with the Greek press and extended excerpts from the Greek version of his book." Since the authors are US-educated and the book was published in English, let me ask: shouldn't they have read the actual book?

Had they done so, they would have found that the allegations they make are factually false.

The letter refers to a memorandum I helped to prepare for the finance minister in 2015, which it describes as a "contingency plan." I prefer the term "preliminary plan." The work of a small team cannot fully prepare for such a dramatic event.

It was indeed "contingent." The contingency was that the European Central Bank might revoke the Emergency Liquidity Assistance then supporting the operations of Greek banks. This would have triggered a forced exit of Greece from the euro against the will of the government. The threat had been delivered by the president of the Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, in late January. There were also suggestions by Wolfgang Schäuble, the German Finance Minister, that Greece might take a "holiday" from the euro.

The memorandum was prepared at the request of the Prime Minister as he has stated on several occasions. As I wrote already a year ago, "at no time was the working group engaged in advocating exit or any policy choice. The job was strictly to study the operational issues that would arise if Greece were forced to issue scrip or if were forced out of the euro." The Prime Minister and the government received the work and made their decisions.

The letter describes the preliminary plan as a "monetary cum military coup d'etat," and claims that it would have involved "mobilizing the Greek armed forces to suppress possible civil disorder." This is false. We did not suggest using the military inappropriately or outside the Constitution. The only use of the word "mobilization" in my book refers to thecivil service.

The authors claim that we recommended the "arrest" of the governor of the Central Bank. We said no such thing.

Finally, the authors claim that I "regret" that Greece did not exit the euro in 2015. My personal feelings are irrelevant, but this claim is false. As reported by Kathimerini on July 6, 2016, "we were preparing for a scenario that everyone hoped to avoid."

The letter concludes that "academic freedom must be consistent with ethical conduct and fundamental democratic norms." Here we agree. One of the norms of ethical conduct is to refrain from false and defamatory accusations, based partly on inflammatory and evidently unreliable press reports.

James K. Galbraith

>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<

Click here for Historical Opinion Post Listing










Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted. You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.




Econintersect Opinion


search_box

Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF


The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.


Take a look at what is going on inside of Econintersect.com
Main Home
Analysis Blog
Slow Economic Growth Will Be Around For A Long Time
The Job Guarantee, Wage-Price Inflation And Alternative Solutions: Part 2
News Blog
The World's Most Boring Jobs
PewDiePie Weathering The Storm
American Doctors: The Prognosis Isn't Good
What We Read Today 24 March 2017
The Federal Reserve Banks Provided $91.5 Billion Remittances To The U.S. Treasury In 2016
17 March 2017: ECRI's WLI Growth Index Shows Continued Moderate Slowing Of Rate of Growth
Durable Goods New Orders Improved in February 2017
Why NASA Won't Send Humans To Venus
Rail Week Ending 18 March 2017: Short Term Rate of Growth Slowing
How Taxes And Transfers Affect The Work Incentives Of People With Low And Moderate Income
How Tourism Affects China's Current Account Surplus
Infographic Of The Day: The Habits Of Highly Successful Entrepreneurs
To Where The Maple Syrup Flows
Investing Blog
Avoiding The Trap Of The Demo Trading Account
Snap's Pre-IPO Revenue Per User In Context
Opinion Blog
Robots, Aliens, Corporate Drones - Who Will Be The Citizens Of The Future?
Is Our Hard-wired Negativity Bias Useful Or Something To Overcome?
Precious Metals Blog
These Gold Stocks Will Produce Much Bigger Gains Than Gold Itself
Live Markets
24Mar2017 Market Close: Trumpcare Collapses But Little Affect On The Markets
Amazon Books & More






.... and keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government































 navigate econintersect.com

Blogs

Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day
Weather

Newspapers

Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government
     

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed
Google+
Facebook
Twitter
Digg

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution

Contact

About

  Top Economics Site

Investing.com Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2017 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved