Final Word from Tuesday, December 21, 2004





Czechs whose buying options were limited under the old regime are making up for lost time. Household borrowing is rising rapidly. Shoppers give little thought to worldly affairs when deciding whether to put their DVD player on plastic, but today's easy credit might not last. Speaking on national TV in the U.S. last week, commentator Pat Buchanan predicted a run on the dollar. A gradual decline in the dollar's value can benefit Czechs by making fuel and consumer electronics cheaper, but panic selling of the dollar would drive up interest rates in the U.S. and elsewhere. Lenders get nervous when financial markets hit a period of uncertainty, and they start looking to get their money back. What George W. Bush does in the coming months with the U.S. deficits will have repercussions not only in Washington and New York, but also in Prague and Brno. [Patrick J. Buchanan bank Czech Republic currency]

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