Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Four down, one to go...

It’s the right time to give off some optimism and there’s a concrete reason behind it. The term of current president of Poland will end exactly in a year. And like many Poles I believe this is bound to happen, especially after Janusz Palikot has filled me with confidence, saying that “voters have their heads screwed in”.

Meanwhile Mr Kaczyński is encountering the interminable problem of friends, or rather lack of any. Nobody knows why, but all prominent economists in this country steer clear of the presidential palace and the head of state himself. But those are not the experts who are reluctant to advise the president, that is Lech Kaczyński, who is biased against them and unwilling to take them on. For the first time this became a burning issue, when the president had to appoint a central bank governor. After a long-lasting anguish be finally selected Sławomir Skrzypek (sorry, but this guy doesn’t even have his entry in English wiki!), whose qualifications for this position have been… Well there could have been some other eligible candidates…

The history has repeated itself recently. This time the president had to point three (out of nine, the remaining six are appointed by the houses of Polish parliament) members of the Monetary Policy Council and he was in a fix… Eventually he selected:

Zyta Gilowska, until 2005 a member of Civic Platform, then joined Law and Justice and took office of finance minister in the cabinets of Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz and Jarosław Kaczyński. By running a pro-cyclical fiscal policy (just recall cutting the social benefit premium in 2007), she greatly contributed to the current public finance deficit. Her motto: “It’s running well, so let’s add fuel to the fire.” Views on monetary policy: unknown, but inferring from her past moves, I suppose she’s likely to put forward cuts of interest rates to stimulate the booming economy.

Wojciech Roszkowski, politician, member of Law and Justice, currently deputy to the European Parliament, a graduate of Warsaw School of Planning and Statistics, specialises in economic history. (Any) knowledge or views on monetary policy: kept in the dark

Adam Glapiński (this chap’s biography doesn’t occupy space on English wikipedia servers as well), a dedicated friend of the president and one of his economic advisors. His field of studies in the history of economic thought, in which he lectures at my school. His rousing lectures are tinged with digressions on the current economic order of my beautiful country. The most often repeated waspish remark is that the independent Poland after 1989 is just a “PRL in disguise”.

The new makeup of MPC is… Hard to pick a right word… Crippled?

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