Final Word from Wednesday, June 13, 2018

For years, travel guides have been issuing stark warnings to tourists to stay away from non-bank money-exchange offices in Prague and other Czech cities. "They lure you in with attractive-looking rates that turn out to be 'sell' rates," says Lonely Planet. After nearly 29 years of such abuse, the CNB is cracking down. For years, debt-advisory centers have been warning about predatory lenders and seizure rules that have now helped send nearly 1m Czechs to debtor's court. After years of such loan-sharking, the CNB is cracking down. For years, banks have been giving mortgages at relatively low interest rates to almost anyone with a pulse, fully aware that it would lead to foreclosures when quantitative easing eases and interest rates shoot up. After years of feeding the frenzy, the CNB is cracking down. These crackdowns aren't an issue of "better late than never"; they're an effort by the CNB to cover its ass for when its own past policies send the country into a tailspin. [Czech Republic Czech National Bank devaluation crown]

Glossary of difficult words

rear - rear end, buttocks, ass;

to cover one's ass/rear - to make an effort to share or divert blame or to provide an excuse should something go wrong;

stark - unpleasantly or sharply clear;

to lure - to tempt (a person or animal) to do something or to go somewhere, esp. by offering some form of reward;

to crack down - to take severe measures against;

loan-sharking - the action or practice of lending money at unreasonably high rates of interest;

foreclosure - the action of taking possession of a mortgaged property when the borrower fails to keep up mortgage payments;

quantitative easing - the introduction of new money into the money supply by a central bank;

to ease - to become less serious or severe;

frenzy - a state or period of uncontrolled excitement or wild behavior;

to send into a tailspin - to cause to become increasingly chaotic and out of control.


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