Final Word from Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The popularity of the National Bank of Poland has plummeted since the bugging scandal involving Gov. Marek Belka. A hidden listening device caught him agreeing to intervene to prop up the economy in exchange for the sacking of the finance minister. It appears that Belka will get to keep his job. Belka's Czech counterpart, Miroslav Singer, also appears to be out of the woods. His position looked rickety after he and his colleagues intervened against the crown on Nov. 7. The bank's approval rating plummeted to 38%, and Singer became a regular fixture in Blesk tabloid, but a fresh poll shows that the CNB's rating has climbed back to 50%. Yet Czechs still don't know exactly why the CNB devalued the crown. The CNB refuses to subject itself to the freedom-of-information act regarding the fateful Nov. 7 meeting. Too bad we don't have any illicit tapes of what CNB board members were saying in the days before the decision.... [Czech Republic Polish eavesdropping Czech National Bank minutes devaluation intervention depreciation]

Glossary of difficult words

hanky-panky - behavior, especially of a sexual or legally dubious sort, that is considered improper but not seriously so;

to plummet - to fall or drop straight down at high speed;

to prop up - to provide support or assistance to something that would otherwise fall or decline;

out of the woods - out of danger or difficulty;

rickety - shaky, likely to collapse;

regular fixture - someone who is found so frequently in a place as to be considered to be part of the place;

illicit - illegitimate or illegal.


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