US economist's Grexit plan attacked by academics

Greek researchers from US institutions hit out at controversial plan drawn up by University of Texas economist

August 1, 2016
greece, greek flag, european union

More than 20 Greek academics have written to a US university to complain about a faculty member’s “secretive” involvement with Greece’s former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.

Some 23 university professors and researchers put their names to a letter concerning James K. Galbraith, an economics professor at University of Texas at Austin, following revelations about a secret "Plan X" contingency plan he helped to draw up in case of Greece’s exit from the eurozone in 2015, according to the Greek Reporter.

Professor Galbraith – son of the influential left-wing economist John Kenneth Galbraith, who died in 2006 – acted as a senior adviser to Mr Varoufakis last year when Greece came close to leaving the euro

Disclosures in Professor Galbraith’s new book, Welcome to the Poisoned Chalice, about plans to establish a parallel banking system in case Greece’s bailout negotiations with lenders failed have provoked anger.

According to the letter from faculty members from several US universities, including Stanford, Harvard, Tufts and Boston University, which was sent to Texas president Gregory L. Fenves, Professor Galbraith’s plan amounted to a “monetary and military coup” that would involve “undermining democracy” via the declaration of a state of emergency rule.

“His plan to use the armed forces is especially shocking, because the Greek Constitution, drawn up after seven years of military dictatorship, only defines the police as responsible for maintaining public order,” says the letter.

“By law, the exclusive task of the armed forces is to protect the country against external enemies,” it adds.

It also criticised Professor Galbraith’s alleged regret that Plan X did not take place, even though this would have included “financial measures [such as] nationalization of the central bank (by law independent of the government)...[the] closure of banks and a system of promissory notes (IOU’s) for public expenditure payments until a new currency was printed”.

“We believe that participation in the design of undermining democracy and social class in any country is contrary to the ethical standards expected of the faculty of a prestigious university,” the letter adds, claiming that Professor Galbraith “tarnished the reputation of the University of Texas at Austin and the L.B. School Johnson School of Public Affairs, and the decision to publicly rant about it creates further doubts about his ethics and judgment”.

“The academic freedom of expression must be in accordance with appropriate ethical conduct and fundamental democratic rules,” the letter concludes.

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

United Nations peace keeper

Understanding the unwritten rules of graduate study is vital if you want to get the most from your PhD supervision, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

David Parkins Christmas illustration (22 December 2016)

A Dickensian tale, set in today’s university

Eleanor Shakespeare illustration (5 January 2017)

Fixing problems in the academic job market by reducing the number of PhDs would homogenise the sector, argues Tom Cutterham

poi, circus

Kate Riegle van West had to battle to bring her circus life and her academic life together

man with frozen beard, Lake Louise, Canada

Australia also makes gains in list of most attractive English-speaking nations as US slips