Final Word from Thursday, September 11, 2014

Would you believe it if someone told you the soundness of Czech banks jumped in one year from No. 33 in the world to No. 24? Probably so, because Miroslav Singer has been drumming into our heads that the banking system is well capitalized and structurally safe. Would you believe it if someone told you the wastefulness of Czech government spending improved in one year from No. 53 in the world to No. 7? Maybe, if you believe Andrej Babiš's rhetoric about curbing waste and corruption. The Czech managers who were part of the World Economic Forum's 2014-2015 Global Competitiveness Report apparently believed the hype, and this helped the CR jump nine notches in the index this year, to No. 37. In areas that are easily measured, such as government debt, total tax rate, and starting a business, the CR didn't change much (with some exceptions). Where impressions matter, the Czechs rose in the world. [Czech Republic National Bank]

Glossary of difficult words

soundness - the quality or state of being in good condition;

to drum something into - to drive a lesson into (someone) by constant repetition;

to curb - to restrain or keep in check;

hype - extravagant or intensive publicity or promotion.

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