Home » As it happened: Rockstar economist laments Australia’s ‘creeping irrelevance’, while Bendigo Bank predicts no rate cuts until 2025

As it happened: Rockstar economist laments Australia’s ‘creeping irrelevance’, while Bendigo Bank predicts no rate cuts until 2025

Some describe him as a rockstar economist.

Greece’s former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis is in Australia right now, and just made a speech at the National Press Club.

Varoufakis rose to fame after the Greece austerity measures and financial crash during the GFC.

He’s a vocal left-wing critic of classic neoliberalism, with his popular books including Talking to My Daughter About the Economy, Game Theory and his newly released Technofeudalism: What Killed Capitalism.

One thing that’s less known about Varoufakis is that he’s actually a dual Australian citizen after being naturalised in 1991.

His speech today focuses on what he says is a “common existential threat” for both Australia and the continent of Europe: “creeping irrelevance”.

“It is due to two reasons,” he says.

“Firstly, we have invested far too little, for far too long.

 “We have allowed ourselves to go on an ill considered slide from a strategic dependence on the United States to a non-strategic, self defeating servility to Washington’s policy agenda.”

He went onto advise Australia to “ditch the old rentier business model of banking on holes and homes”. 

“That’s now a Ponzi scheme whose maintenance will result in a country marred by minimal investment, low productivity, debilitating inequality, high inflation and low wages pushing its talented people into a low innovation sinkhole.”

“It has never been so dismal to be young in Australia.”

He went onto argue for ending negative gearing, making gas companies pay more tax, and building more social housing.

Safe to say, bring your popcorn.

You can catch up on his speech on ABC iView.