Final Word from Monday, March 2, 2009

Czech banks are proud to have mostly avoided the subprime crisis by staying away from risky American-style mortgages. The CR nevertheless risks getting pulled under by a wave of mistrust in the economies of Central and Eastern Europe. In one of the most recent exposés on the subject, The Economist warned of a catastrophe if the contagion in the region isn't contained. The risks in CEE shouldn't be overlooked, but why aren't The Economist and other such esteemed publications beating the drum just as loudly about the U.S.? Barack Obama has just identified 2009 budget spending of $3.94 trillion and a deficit of $1.75 trillion. Simple arithmetic shows that the expected deficit is 80% of the projected revenue. None of the "basket cases" of CEE come anywhere close to this. The day-to-day situation in CEE might be more urgent, but the risk of contagion from the U.S. is ultimately far more serious.[Czech Republic President United States of America]

Glossary of difficult words

exposé - a report of the facts of something, esp. a journalistic report that reveals something scandalous;

contagion - the communication of disease from one person to another by close contact;

to contain something - to prevent a severe problem from increasing in extent or intensity;

esteemed - respected and admired;

budget - see Page 114 of the budget for a summary of spending and revenue; many press reports have incorrectly used the 2009 deficit figure ($1.75 trillion) but the 2010 revenue figure ($3.55 trillion);

basket case - a person or thing regarded as useless or unable to cope with a situation.


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