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Otázky a procvičení k 2. lekci

5.5.2018, Zdroj: Verlag Dashöfer

Otázky a procvičení k 2. lekci


Economic bright spots

Since there's such a lot of depression in the media about economic bad times, I thought I would look on the positive side, and at some reasons why small, well run countries don't need to be desperately worried about the situation.

First of all I must say that there isn't much good news available. Good news usually means that we reach some new level, some positive new peak. In fact, there is no way to reach new peaks when major economies like the US, France, Germany Japan and the UK are experiencing massive falls in their stockmarkets, when many banks don't want to lend money, and multi-national companies based in the US or London are making cutbacks as they expect much lower profits or even losses.

One of the problems facing smaller countries is that a lot of their international companies have debt which they need to pay back. Past profit forecasts are not realistic in today's economy. That's why they have to cut costs. Cutting costs may mean stopping their workers from travelling, cutting their expenses or benefits (including language tuition!), forcing them to take unpaid holiday, asking them to take pay cuts, asking people to volunteer for early retirement, or even making people redundant. Some or all of such actions are being taken by multinational companies with branches in the Czech Republic.

Now for the good news. The reality is that the problems for many multinationals largely originated in their base countries- for example the UK, the US, and Germany. Although they might like to change their recent histories, they can't. They have to deal with the fact that profits are not coming in their base countries. On the other hand, profits still exist in the areas which their capital helped to develop over the last decade. It doesn't make sense, most of the time, for them to cut dramatically in areas where they can still make money. That means in areas where the population still have money in the bank to pay for goods. That's generally the case in the Czech Republic, a fiscally conservative, socially tentative, but fundamentally quite lively new economy.

In recent years there has been a lot of talk among economists about something they call ”decoupling“. The idea is that because the world economy has grown, it is possible for some areas to continue growing while others contract. Well, can it happen? Does it happen? The answer seems to be ”sort of“ or ”more or less maybe“.

We certainly live in a different economic era. While the UK, Eurozone, US and Japan were reporting massive falls in GDP (Gross Domestic Product) for the last quarter of 2008, India and China only reported slower growth- down to 6.8 % in China, and 5.3 % in India. These are the two biggest countries in the world, with over one billion people each. Of course everywhere including these countries feels the economic crisis, but we should remember that the media which is reporting it is mainly in countries like the US, UK and Western Europe, which are the worst affected. The politicians there also

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