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Czech Republic & Slovakia

Column History
Prof. Barry Rubin - 8/15/2008
A nineteen-year-old man is to be beheaded for a bad joke interpreted as blasphemy. A father is accused of killing his son because he converted to another religion. They are not Muslims but Christians; the place is France in the mid-1700s.

The Czechs' Indian Gambit
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/29/2007
Then Czech deputy Minister for Industry and Trade, Miroslav Somol, sounded upbeat in his visit to India in early January 2003. At a meeting of the Confederation of Indian industry on Jan 6, 2003 he reminded the audience of their country's close economic collaboration with the erstwhile Czechoslovakia.

What the Czech National Bank (CNB) can Learn from Israel
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/28/2007
The (Czech National Bank) CNB is one of the most autonomous in the world. It is also heavily influenced by current economic fashions. These fashions were propagated and disseminated throughout the world by the IMF in the last two decades with disastrous consequences. The IMF (and most central banks) are obsessed with the attainment of low inflation and macroeconomic stability. These goals are commendable - but when pursued too zealously they are deflationary, recessionary and contractionary. Naturally, inflation tends to be lower when the economy contracts. Perfect macroeconomic stability is achieved only in a graveyard. Coupled with free capital flows this recipe is downright dangerous.

Macedonia vs. Unemployment, Part III
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/19/2007
The dissemination of information regarding employment practices, opportunities, market requirements, etc. should be a prime component of the activity of the Employment Bureau. It must transform itself from a mere registry of humans to an active, computerized exchange of labour. This can be done through computerized employment exchanges and intermediation. To change the image of the Employment Bureaus from places where the unemployed merely registers and receive benefits to a labour exchange can be done by publishing examples of successful job placements.

The Skoda Model
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/17/2006
Skoda Auto, the Czech-based carmaker, is completing its transformation from manufacturer of smoke-belching, low-budget, communist-era clunkers to producer of upscale, affordable, BMW-alikes. "Skoda" means in Czech pity or shame - an apt moniker for the company's erstwhile products.

Slovakia: Elections Will Determine Economic Fate of an EU Outlier
Marshall L. Stocker, CFA - 6/16/2006
Fifteen years after the communist government of Czechoslovakia was overthrown in the bloodless Velvet Revolution, the emergent Slovak Republic is awash in every color but red. Today, visitors to Slovakia’s capital, Bratislava, will see buildings once left unpainted in the uniformly gray color of solidarity, now bedecked in a full palette of colors, again save for red. As this decorative trend sweeps through the country-side, so too are the effects of Slovakia’s economic reforms sweeping Slovaks to prosperity. Yet, an imminent national election will determine whether these reform...

Reparations to Germans and Hungarians Expelled From Czechoslovakia
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/21/2005
As its disintegration in 1992 has proven, Czechoslovakia may have been merely an artificial multi-ethnic chimera. But it was also an industrial and military powerhouse. In the fateful 1930's, its - mainly heavy - industry was the 7th largest in the world. Even the Germans were awed by its well equipped and well trained army.



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