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And the Weak Suffer What They Must?: Europe's Crisis and America's Economic Future by Yanis Varoufakis

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CHAPTER 1

AND THE WEAK SUFFER WHAT THEY MUST

            My philosophy is that all foreigners are out to screw us and it’s our job to screw them first.

            —John Connally1

It was midsummer at Camp David when Richard Nixon’s treasury secretary and former governor of Texas John Connally convinced his president to unleash the infamous Nixon Shock upon Europe’s unsuspecting political leaders. At the end of a crucial weekend of consultations with key advisors, President Nixon decided to make a startling announcement on live television: the global monetary system, which America had designed and had been nurturing since the end of the war, was to be dismantled in one fell swoop.2 The calendar read Sunday, August 15, 1971.

A few hours after ...

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