Final Word from Monday, March 17, 2014

In its latest edition, The Economist printed a Crony Capitalism Index, which measures the wealth of billionaires in 23 countries according to the percentage of their money that derives from "rent-heavy" sectors. Rent-seeking, in this context, is behavior that improves the welfare of a person at the expense of the welfare of someone else, with or without corruption being involved. Russia and Ukraine place very high on the Crony Index, at No. 2 and No. 4, while Poland is No. 18. The CR isn't included, but when we applied the same methodology to the CR's six Forbes billionaires (Petr Kellner, Andrej Babiš, Karel Komárek, Radovan Vítek, Zdeněk Bakala, Pavel Tykač), we found that the CR would be much higher than Poland and not so far behind Ukraine. Czech billionaires made their wealth largely in rent-heavy industries. Only the "rent-light" car sector saves the CR from being one of the most cronyistic countries in the world. [Czech Republic automobile PPF Agrofert KKCG CPI BXR NWR Czech Coal]

Glossary of difficult words

crony capitalism - an economic system in which success in business depends on close relationships between businesspeople and government officials;

to derive from - to arise from or originate in;

cronyistic - of or relating to cronyism (favoritism to friends or associates without regard for their qualifications).

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