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Adults in The Room summary

Yanis Varoufakis

My Battle With Europe’s Deep Establishment

4.1 (76 ratings)
17 mins

Brief summary

'Adults in The Room' by Yanis Varoufakis is a memoir of his time as Greek Finance Minister during the country's financial crisis. Varoufakis provides insight into the politics and economics behind the crisis, the role of the Eurogroup and his struggle for reform.

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    Adults in The Room
    Summary of 7 key ideas

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    Even though Greece faced bankruptcy in 2010, they were forced by the European Union to take on more debt.

    In 2010, Greece made headlines when it began receiving a series of bailouts from the European Union. But how did it end up in such dire straits? And what was the reasoning behind the bailouts?

    You might think the global financial crisis of 2008 was the primary cause. But, in truth, the Greek economy was already quite fragile before that; the banking fiasco was simply the final straw.

    Prior to 2008, the Greek economy had been weakened through rampant tax evasion and government corruption. The budget was also a mess. Mismanagement of federal funds had resulted in a great deal of overspending.

    Now, poor budgeting was nothing new to Greece. In fact, the country often spent more money than it generated, a problem it would then try to solve by devaluing its currency. But this method only worked when the country was using the drachma as its currency. When Greece adopted the euro, currency devaluation was no longer an option.

    Faced with few other options, Greece’s new deficit-reduction plan was to borrow lots of money from Germany and France. Naturally, borrowing money only created debt, sinking Greece further into a financial hole. And this is where the country found itself in 2008 when the financial crisis hit.

    Meanwhile, other EU countries had their own problems: the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the French president, Francois Hollande, had already used a lot of government funds to bail out their own banks, which in turn had loaned a lot of money to Greece.

    With Greece facing bankruptcy, Germany and France worried they might never see those loans repaid, which would further destabilize their own banks.

    So how could they keep Greece solvent so that it could repay its loans?

    Because the European Central Bank isn’t allowed to loan money to insolvent or bankrupt countries, Germany and France had to find a way to get the money from somewhere else. So Merkel and Hollande decided to lie to Europe’s taxpayers: the two leaders claimed that Greece wasn’t insolvent at all. No, no, it simply needed another loan to get back on its feet. And honest Europeans across the continent ended up footing the bill.

    Once again, Greece got a loan to pay off other loans, and the hole deepened.

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    What is Adults in The Room about?

    Adults in the Room (2017) is a fascinating behind-the-scenes account of what it’s like to deal with the European Union establishment, as experienced by the former Minister of Finance of Greece. This scathing exposé shows that, when it comes to global politics, the best interests of weaker nations aren’t always of the utmost importance to those in charge.

    Adults in The Room Review

    Adults in The Room (2017) by Yanis Varoufakis exposes the inner workings of the European Union, shedding light on the power dynamics and decision-making processes behind the financial crisis in Greece. This book is definitely worth reading because:

    • It offers a behind-the-scenes account of the negotiations and discussions that took place during this critical period, providing a unique perspective on what really happened.
    • Varoufakis's bold and unapologetic approach offers a refreshing take on the economic and political landscape, challenging conventional wisdom and raising important questions.
    • The narrative is full of dramatic moments and personal anecdotes, making it an engaging read that keeps you hooked from start to finish.

    Best quote from Adults in The Room

    Between them, the leaders of France and Germany had a stake of around 1 trillion euro in not allowing the Greek government to tell the truth; … to confess its bankruptcy.

    —Yanis Varoufakis
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    Who should read Adults in The Room?

    • European citizens
    • Anyone interested in European politics
    • Students of economics and world affairs

    About the Author

    Yanis Varoufakis is an economist and the former Minister of Finance of Greece. A celebrated academic, he’s lectured at universities around the world, including the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Sydney. His other books include And the Weak Suffer What They Must?: Europe, Austerity and the Threat to Global Stability.

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    Adults in The Room FAQs 

    What is the main message of Adults in The Room?

    The main message of Adults in The Room is the behind-the-scenes account of the European debt crisis and the challenges faced by the author, Yanis Varoufakis.

    How long does it take to read Adults in The Room?

    The reading time for Adults in The Room varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Adults in The Room a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Adults in The Room provides a fascinating insight into the dynamics of international politics and economic negotiations. It is definitely worth reading for anyone interested in this topic.

    Who is the author of Adults in The Room?

    The author of Adults in The Room is Yanis Varoufakis.

    What to read after Adults in The Room?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Adults in The Room, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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