Final Word from Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The world didn't end on Sat., as one radio evangelist had portended,but the world as we know it is indeed changing rapidly.For Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the end came on May 14.Sexual behavior of a sort that had long been tolerated withinthe IMF, according to the New York Times, suddenly costhim his political career. For Goldman Sachs, the possibility ofcriminal prosecution for its role in the 2008 crisis could be theend. (Read Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone to get into the mood).The pattern is often the same, whether it is Goldman, Enron,WorldCom, Arthur Andersen, Madoff, DSK or even - dare wesay it? - Osama bin Laden. Behavior that is tolerated or encouragedover a long period suddenly, with almost no warning,becomes anathema. What does this mean for Czechs? Withevery one of these game-changers, the probability increasesthat the Czech criminal elite will also get its comeuppance oneday. The case of DSK should be especially worrisome to them,because a man on the top of his game was left with nothing.

Glossary of difficult words

evangelist - a person who seeks to convert others to the Christian faith, esp. by public preaching;

to portend - to foretell, prophesy, warn;

anathema - something that is cursed or damned;

game-changer - something or someone that defines or redefines the course of events;

comeuppance - punishment or fate that someone deserves;

on the top of one's game - at the best position in one's career.


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