Monday, 27 October 2008

Hungarian economy

IMF steps in to avoid collapse

There has been no doom-and-gloom economic news on Conductive World for a month now. This is not of course because there has been a shortage of such news, on the contrary, simply that the day-by-day slide of the world economy, now county-by-country rather than bank-by-bank hardly need bringing home to anyone any more.

Today’s dire news is worth reporting here, that the International Monetry Fund, backed up presumably by the European central banks, has had to step in to prevent the total collapse of the Hungarian economy , with a bail-out of an as yet unannounced sum.

Hungary has been the economic basket-case of the European Union, so today’s rescue package comes at no surprise. Ordinary Hungarian citizens certainly have no illisions about the state of their national economy – and no faith whatsoever in their government’s ability to run a clean and sound economic ship. They themselves have already started to turn their backs on the Forint, preferring to save or borrow in some harder currency such as the Euro or the Swiss Frank (not, I guess, the English Pound!).

And like in all bail-outs the good news of the has to be tempered with two cautionary qualifications:

(1) there is no such thing as a free lunch: bail-outs always come with strings, economic strictures for private citizens and for their public services being high on any list;

(2) bail-outs are great but they are rarely if ever ‘enough’, what comes next?

So what has this to do with Conductive Education?

Not that long ago, it may seem, the world of Conductive Education revolved around Budapest but in fact for some years now the centre of gravity of Conductive Education has shifted beyond the frontiers of Hungary to the ever-larger and ever-more-dispersed international movement. The reasons for this are diverse and are not of immediate concern here. In one respect, however, Hungary has remained vital for the well-being of the conductive movement, in that through the Pető Institute Hungary remains by far the largest producer of conductors.

Let us hope that it can retain its present level of output over the recessionary years ahead.

Meantime, conductor-production outside Hungary remains very low and, even in a boyant world economy there was little reasonable chance of substantial expansion of this in any foreseeable future. We no longer live in a boyant world and this has serious implication for any hopes of expanding conductor-training to new bases around the world.

Already, however, in different ways in different countries, people have begun looking for cheaper alternative means to create conductors. This too is not an immediate topic for discussion here (though it it a vital queston and will have to be returned to), except to remark that such projects’ futures will now toohave to be viewed in terms of the wider economic future.

Hard times in Hungary. Another general reminder of hard times to come all round, and a further particular worry for the world of Conductive Education..

Note on possible consequences for Hungary

What price could Hungary pay for the dollar billions of the IMF? Portfolio.hu, 27 October
http://www.portfolio.hu/en/cikkek.tdp?cCheck=1&k=2&i=16130

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