Final Word from Thursday, February 19, 2015

The prisoner's dilemma is when you don't know whether to keep quiet or to rat out your partner in crime before he rats you out. The central-banker's dilemma is when you don't know whether to be your own man or the president's man. You must also be a political analyst, because you don't know how long Miloš Zeman will last at the Castle. What if Andrej Babiš took over instead, and you bet on the wrong horse? Quite the central-banker's dilemma! Zeman upped the ante yesterday by declaring straight out that he won't appoint anyone who supports the devaluation of the crown. Oops. Three interventionist CNB board members (Hampl, Lízal, Tomšík) better start toeing the line. But whose line should they and other CNB wannabes be towing, Zeman's or Babiš's? Zeman dislikes devaluations; Babiš used the "personal opinion" of one of his deputy ministers, Martin Pros, to warn central bankers against a sharp revaluation in the other direction. It's so confusing. Things will be so much easier for everyone when Agrofert is running the CNB too. [Czech Republic Mojmír Lubomír Vladimír president]

Glossary of difficult words

to rat someone out - to inform on someone to a person in a position of authority;

to up the ante - to increase what is at stake or under discussion;

interventionist - favoring intervention;

to toe the line - to conform or obey the rules;

wannabe - a person who tries to be like someone else or to fit in with a particular group of people;

revaluation - an increase in the legal value of a currency; a revision to the legal value of a currency.


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