Final Word from Wednesday, April 6, 2022

After the Czech National Bank exited from the 41-month devaluation of the crown five years ago today, interest rates again became its main instrument of monetary policy. The CNB didn't reverse the devaluation by withdrawing the extra crowns from the market. Instead, it started revaluing the crown by raising its interest rates faster than almost anyone else. This continued until March 2020, when covid got in the way and the CNB quickly cut its benchmark rate from 2.25% to 0.25%. In recent interviews, and esp. in the one with Ekonom in Jan. of this year, Gov. Jiří Rusnok seemed to express regret that his team misjudged the situation. As it turned out, he told Ekonom, covid didn't mean the end of the world. He didn't say specifically that the CNB cut its rates too abruptly, but from the perspective of revaluation, the CNB had ground to make up when it resumed its rate hikes in June 2021. Don't expect Rusnok to make the same "mistake" twice, even if you think the end of the world is near. [ Czech Republic revalue devalue currency intervention overreaction ]

Glossary of difficult words

revaluation - a calculated upward adjustment to a country's official exchange rate relative to a chosen baseline;

to misjudge - to make an incorrect estimation or assessment of;

to make up ground - to hurry or do something more quickly or more frequently in order to compensate for a delay in progress.

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