Final Word from Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Lesy ČR forestry company and ČEZ electricity utility operate in different fields but are otherwise two peas in a pod. They're both controlled by the state, have opaque relationships with certain preferred suppliers and reward people on their supervisory board for looking the other way. They are also tremendously profitable and achieve this by using their monopoly positions to squeeze their non-preferred suppliers (in the case of Lesy) and customers (in the case of ČEZ). This tremendous profit is also used to "bribe" shareholders into not worrying about their special relationships or inefficiencies. They both also sacked their CEO. If Martin Roman of ČEZ made out better than Svatopluk Sýkora of Lesy and was booted up to sup. board chair, chalk it up to Roman's superior intelligence and social intelligence. He was smart enough to know not to concentrate his magnanimity on just one of the political parties.[Czech Republic ČSSD timber lumber]

Glossary of difficult words

(like) two peas in a pod - very similar;

opaque - intransparent; unclear or confusing;

to look the other way - to deliberately ignore wrongdoing by others;

to squeeze - to obtain something from someone by applying pressure;

to make out better than - to have greater success than;

to boot someone up - to elevate someone to a higher position instead of firing him or her;

to chalk something up to something - to ascribe or attribute something to a particular cause;

magnanimity - quality of being very generous or forgiving, esp. toward a rival or someone less powerful than oneself.

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