Final Word from Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A frequent criticism of the Nečas cabinet is that it contains no economists. Lawyers,doctors, and professional politicians galore, but no one with economic training (unlessIndustry Minister Martin Kocourek's bout at ČVUT counts). Is not having a fullfledgedeconomist on board really such a bad thing? Hank Paulson was a HarvardMBA, and look at the mess he got the U.S. into. Iceland's PM during the crisis, GeirHaarde, was an economist and former central banker. Other economists dreamed uphigh-leverage financial instruments, blabbered on about how "deficits don't matter,"and preached strong currencies while proceeding to destroy their own. The CR hassurvived precisely because it's behind the curve, not because it lacks economic innovation.Czechs have enough of that already from non-economist Miroslav Kalousek.Imagine what a pickle they'd be in if he had a PhD from Harvard or Columbia.

Glossary of difficult words

galore - in abundance; 

bout - a period of time spent in a particular way; 

ČVUT - Czech Technical University; 

to dream something up - to imagine or invent something; 

leverage - the use of various financial instruments or borrowed capital to increase the potential return of an investment; 

to blabber - to talk foolishly, mindlessly or excessively; 

behind the curve - lagging behind current thinking or trends; 

pickle - a difficult or messy situation; 

Note: alas, your publisher has an MBA in international finance.


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