Final Word from Wednesday, October 11, 2023

A major inflation-related anniversary passed Czechs by two weekends ago, when their attention was fixed on the Slovak elections and remembering the Munich Accord. Seven years ago on Sept. 29, newly appointed Gov. Jiří Rusnok announced (starting at 9:35) that the CNB was declaring a "hard commitment" that the exit from the Kč 27/euro cap on the crown would not come before the second quarter of the following year. He also said that the risk of delaying the exit beyond the second quarter seemed minimal. The CNB had already forecasted on Aug. 5 that the crown would appreciate after the exit due to an increase in Czech interest rates and the differential. Rusnok was thereby giving speculators a six-month window until April 1 to plow into the crown in anticipation of handsome returns later. And plow into the crown they did. Of the €79bn purchased by the CNB with crowns during the 41-month devaluation period, €52bn was bought during this six-month period. When CNB Gov. Aleš Michl blames the Rusnok-led CNB for sharply increasing the money supply in 2016-17 and causing much of today's inflation, this is what he means. [ Czech Republic Robert Fico Czech National Bank currency exchange-rate ]

Glossary of difficult words

at the root of - the reason for (something);

exit - the end of an investment, strategy, policy or position;

(interest-rate) differential - the difference between interest rates in two different countries or currencies;

to plow into - to invest (money, profits, etc.).


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