szerző:
hvg.hu

Recently, Zsigmond Járai - speaking of course as a private individual - called for state debt to be progressively cut and for the budget deficit to be reduced to zero in a study.

The central banker, who was the Fidesz government's finance minister between 1998 and 2001, has until now refrained from releasing studies and manifestos, but this work, published as a supplement to the financial daily Világgazdaság, proposes measures so radical that they outdo even György Surányi and Lajos Bokros, the wise old men of Hungarian monetarism. At least they never dared to go this far. Bokros has recently being calling for the state budget to be cut in order to spur on growth, but he didn't insist on getting rid of the deficit. Surányi has been suggesting that the Growth and Stability Pact is strangling growth: the straitjacket is too loose for some, suffocating for others. And now Járai calls for the Hungarian economy to "voluntarily" adopt measures that go well beyond the Maastricht criteria.

Let's for a moment take seriously Járai's first demand, that state debt should be cut back. Hungary's GDP in 2004 was a bit more than HUF20,000bn. State debt, according to the Central Bank, amounts to HUF12,280bn. Let us assume that the Central Bank, trying to prove its serious intent, decided use up €10bn - or HUF2,500bn - of its own reserves (thereby more or less emptying its coffers) in order to pay off debts, thus sharing some of the government's burden. Some HUF10,000bn would remain. But the net (after outstanding debt) asset value of every Hungarian household together doesn't amount to HUF12,000bn. Since, in the end, it's the population that pays, a debt-cutting action of the type Járai advocates would amount to a vast misappropriation of household assets.

Now take a look at the other extreme, a solution that would not burden the population as much, if for no other reason than that Járai suggests taking a vague "lengthy period of time" to pay of state debt in order, what's more, to spur faster economic growth. Growth 2-3% faster than today's 4% GDP growth - which Járai predicts - would bring HUF400-600bn extra every year. If we spent just this surplus on realising his goal, then it would still take 15-20 years to reach that glorious zero - and of course we would be foregoing the benefits of that surplus. I have a feeling that if we did this the whole world would be laughing at us. The Italians, Greeks and Belgians would be laughing loudest, because their public debt is as much as or more than the total value of their total annual GDP, and yet they still don't come up with such weird ideas.

hvg.hu English version

Circus of governors

The procedure for selecting a new president for Magyar Rádió seems to be following the rules of absurd drama. Phantom civil society organisations suddenly take physical form to cast the deciding vote on the question of who will run public radio. Fortunately, press freedom does not depend on the radio being run by the Socialists and/or the Free Democrats instead of Fidesz.

hvg.hu English version

What to do about silent pauses during interviews?

Interviewers often use silence as a way of finding out how a candidate will perform in a stressful situation. And silence is a deadly trick: the candidate, there to prove him or herself, can be forced onto the back foot. And that is precisely what the interviewer wants to see. Can the candidate stay calm and think sharply in that situation?

hvg.hu English version

A fourth public TV station?

It's not clear whether there is a country anywhere in the world that operates four public-service television stations. But from September that's what our small country will be doing, with the launch of the new Democracy channel.

Jakab Péter lett a Jobbik frakcióvezetője

Jakab Péter lett a Jobbik frakcióvezetője

Minden kaposvári kosaras szerződését felbontották

Minden kaposvári kosaras szerződését felbontották

Most megnézheti, mennyire lett forróbb a szülővárosa, mióta él

Most megnézheti, mennyire lett forróbb a szülővárosa, mióta él

Őrizetbe vették Michel Platinit

Őrizetbe vették Michel Platinit

Lehet, hogy ez kerül majd a telefonjára? A Huawei titokban egy másik rendszerrel is kísérletezik

Lehet, hogy ez kerül majd a telefonjára? A Huawei titokban egy másik rendszerrel is kísérletezik

Búzatáblában találták meg a húga megölésével gyanúsított férfit

Búzatáblában találták meg a húga megölésével gyanúsított férfit