LONDON -- When push came to shove, Varoufakis faced the difficult choice of going along with more of the same, despite knowing that it would fail, or trying to pivot to a new approach. He bravely opted for the latter. While his brash style undermined outcomes, it would be a real tragedy to lose sight of his arguments (which have been made by many others as well).
MoveOn and Robert Reich have launched an emergency campaign to press the Obama administration to use its influence in the International Monetary Fund to push for a just end to the crisis in Greece.
ATHENS -- The IMF and Greece's other creditors have assumed that massive fiscal contraction has only a temporary effect on economic activity, employment and taxes, and that slashing wages, pensions and public jobs has a magical effect on growth. This has proved false. Indeed, Greece's post-2010 adjustment led to economic disaster -- and the IMF's worst predictive failure ever.
BERLIN -- Tsipras squandered Greece's opportunity, because he and other Syriza leaders were unable to see beyond the horizon of their party's origins in radical opposition activism. They did not understand the difference between campaigning and governing. Realpolitik, in their view, was a sellout. Of course, it is precisely the acceptance of necessity that marks the difference between government and opposition.
ATHENS -- The current disagreements with our partners are not unbridgeable. Our government is eager to rationalize the pension system (for example, by limiting early retirement), proceed with partial privatization of public assets, address the non-performing loans that are clogging the economy's credit circuits, create a fully independent tax commission and boost entrepreneurship. The differences that remain concern how we understand the relationships between the various reforms and the macro environment.
Additional policy measures -- beyond monetary policies -- are vital to make a durable exit from the global financial crisis and to safeguard financial stability. Crisis legacies need to be addressed. The traction of monetary policies must be increased with complementary reforms and financial excesses need to be contained.
BERLIN -- Great crises often produce enduring images. For the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this has often been a terrified child cowering behind protective parents; for 9/11 it was brave firemen rushing headlong into collapsing buildings. Last month saw what could become one of the lasting images of Europe's unending crisis: the sight of burning cars and buildings after riots outside the European Central Bank.