Final Word from Thursday, May 26, 2016

Rarely does a public servant talk back to his ranking officer during an official ceremony, but outgoing CNB Gov. Miroslav Singer did it yesterday. After Pres. Miloš Zeman appointed Jiří Rusnok to succeed Singer and Zeman spoke of his own objection to the devaluation of the crown, Singer provided a comment to Zeman's statement. The word "devaluation," Singer said in correcting Zeman, only applies when a currency has a fixed rate of exchange, not when it floats, as does the crown. Zeman let the comment slide, instead of saying that he doesn't follow the CNB's style guide. Singer clearly doesn't want to go down in history as the Great Devaluator of 2013, placing him alongside Antonín Zápotocký (1953) and Václav Klaus/Josef Tošovský (1990). If Singer wants to be consistent, though, he should also correct Yves Mersch of the ECB, who warned last month against "competitive devaluations" and certainly wasn't alluding to North Korea. [Czech Republic intervention regime depreciation monetary policy Czech National Bank]

Glossary of difficult words

parting shot - a final remark, typically a cutting one, made by someone at the moment of departure;

ranking officer - superior; officer of the highest rank;

to let slide - (in this context) to let something objectionable stand without taking action against it;

style guide/manual - a prescribed format for written communication that must be followed within an organization.


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