The crisis is going to affect us

Marian Miszalski

The government of Tusk does his best to convince our society that the financial crisis in America caused by profiteers and unreasonable state legislation that favoured the crisis as well as a lack of proper supervision of the US Federal Reserve (its long term chairman, the famous Alan Greenspan ‘did not notice’ the almost 200 % increase of money supply…) is not very dangerous to Polish people. But it seems that Polish citizens investing their savings in whatever they can (even in the American dollar that, wonders never cease!, in spite of the crisis gains in value against the Polish zloty faster than the euro) have different opinions about the crisis. This evokes some well-justified suspicion that despite the financial crisis the American economy is much better than the economies of the European Union countries, and especially much better than the Polish economy. Poland’s debt amounts to 169 billion euros, including the debt of the government (52 billion), of the banks (30 billion) and of the state companies (76 billion). The reserves in the amount of 50 billion euros constitute less than one third of this debt. Our economy, rightly described as peripheral, does not react to the crisis in the world financial ‘centres’ immediately, but it does not mean that with appropriate delay a wave of the crisis will not affect us, either. It is going to affect us. Deputy Prime Minister Pawlak says that ‘the most important thing is not to let the capital leave Poland’ but in the situation when 80% of our banks are in foreign hands, it is more important to ask ‘how to do that?’ To nationalise these banks?... For the time being the government takes the initiative to create state guarantee for the banks in case of interbank loans since reportedly the banks, facing a crisis of confidence, do not want to lend money to one another… Reportedly, because it is not clear whether this dislike really results from ‘limited confidence’ or perhaps from the knowledge about the pitiful condition of some eager borrower. And in such a case these ‘state guarantee’ would simply mean transferring on innocent Polish citizen and taxpayer the whole risk connected with rescuing bankrupts who fall into bankruptcy because of greed and fraud of virtual accounting ‘fiat money’… But if we are to believe the independent economists (e.g. Prof. Andrzej Kazmierzak from the Main School of Commerce in Warsaw), at present the Treasure bonds, which have been the constant source of financing the budget deficit for years, are not being sold; people do not want them… We have no data how many bonds have been sold to foreign profiteers but it is justifiable to suspect that the next step, after the demand for the bonds stops, will be to offer these bonds in mass quantities to buyers. If this happens, all state reserves can disappear. It is also alarming to hear that the Ministry of Finance and the governmental circles estimate the economic growth to reach almost 5 per cent whereas the independent experts doubt in an even 2 % increase…Similarly, the government ‘makes mistakes estimating its benefit’, presenting the evaluation and inflation estimates. The 2.5% inflation, spoken of in the official circles, strikes with the almost 5% inflation estimated by independent economists. Observing the movement of prices from the level of an ordinary household rather confirms the opinions of the independent economists. Reducing the level of inflation is beneficial for the government, not only for propaganda reasons, but also for the fact that the budget for next year can ‘save’ on the budget sphere, indexing expenditure according to the reduced inflation… However, it would be mainly saving on people’s salaries. At the same time a mass – affecting all citizens and accelerating costs of production, services and living – increase in prices of electricity and gas are de facto concealed taxes, which do not support our economic growth at all – on the contrary. There are many things indicating that the financial crisis is going to affect Poland and the blow will be severe but it will be delayed, which is caused by the peripheral character of our country. It is comforting to know that in this peripheral economy the refined instruments of ‘panning for gold from the air’ on the market of ‘securities’, based on expectedly unwise loans are not as developed as in the West. But these 80% of the banks, having their headquarters located abroad, which will not hesitate to rescue their conditions using the Polish state reserves and citizens’ savings, make us feel anxious. A ‘strike wave’ of the crisis is on its way to hit our peripheral economy.

"Niedziela" 45/2008

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: