Final Word from Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The individuals named by international media outlets as the Person of the Year are almost exclusively key financial players who either helped cause the crisis (Ben Bernanke of the Fed, Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs) or who took privileged advantage of it (investor Warren Buffet). By this logic, the Czech Person of the Year should be Miroslav Kalousek, who is now one of the most vocal opponents of a bad state budget, or else the top bankers who avoided a meltdown by covering up their problems and by gouging their customers "because they can." But no, the real People of the Year are the small and midsize Czech business owners who run an honest shop, still believe that capitalism means making a good product for a good price, and who dipped into their own pockets before laying off any workers. The odds were stacked against these entrepreneurs from the very beginning, because of the behavior of the pseudo-People of the Year, but they made the best of a very bad situation and deserve some recognition.[Czech Republic Berkshire Hathaway Federal Reserve United States of America Time magazine Financial Time Wall Street Journal Report Maria Bartiromo]

Glossary of difficult words

outlet - a store or operation;

Bernanke - Time magazine's Person of the Year;

Blankfein - the Financial Time's Man of the Year;

Buffet - the Wall Street Journal Report's Person of the Year;

privileged advantage - an advantage over others because of privileged access to information or individuals of importance;

Kalousek - as finance minister, he adamantly refused to lower his extremely optimistic GDP growth forecast;

"because they can" - an attitude in business whereby someone charges a high price because the customer has no other option;

shop - business; operation;

to dip into one's own pocket - to make use of one's own financial resources;

pseudo - not genuine; fake.

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