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the CEU Weekly An independent publication by CEU students and alumni

November 16, 2011, Year 2, Issue 9

American Policy Delusion

I still believe that the 2008 Financial Crisis was (is?) a recession that policy makers around the world, and especially in the U.S., could and should have solved relatively easily. America was the ground zero of this everlasting crisis, with the U.S. mortgage market playing the role of a catalyst which kickstarted the whole destructive chain reaction. And America must have been the originator of active market interventions aimed at solving the problem and preventing its deterioration. But due to a false prioritization of policy agendas, we are now facing

The Weekly Spam Review Page 3

A piece of urban literature Page 6

Hungary news

Relevant news stories from the Magyar nation with an insider perspective. In this issue of The CEU Weekly.:

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Join the CEU Weekly!

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Red

The Princess After twenty years of independence, politicians in Ukraine still remind me of fairy tale characters: kingmakers and the puppet court, villains from wild east, and a princess with the golden braided hair, shining bright in the kingdom, where shades of grey abound. She first made a fortune as a businesswoman trading Russian gas (hence the nickname, “gas princess”), entered politics, and in 2004 turned into the charismatic leader of the Orange Revolution, which catapulted her to the Prime Minister position. PAGE 8

Nyugati train Nyugati.

Janu ary.

CONTENTS 

ALUMNI Perspective Page 8

ARTS and Page 7

STUDENT Page 3

MAG YA R Page 3

LIFETIME Opportunity Page 3

6.20am. Dawn. A small man is hustling along before me. Crouched in himself, a jacket and a

-Delegate your vote! -Farewell, street?

Ella (She)

a realistic threat of a double-dip recession. First, there was a fear of inflation, and indeed hyperinflation, because the Federal Reserves Bank, the U.S. Central Bank, loosened monetary policy to recordlow levels. The main interest rate in the U.S. (the Federal Funds Rate) is now barely above 0%, which is a key indicator for the expanded monetary base. Increased level of cash circulation in any economy, in theory, leads to inflation in the medium run. However, the inflation rate (CPI) in the U.S. now stands at 3.87%, while in January 2011 it was just 1.63%. The reason for such rise between January and August is attributed to the increase in food and commodity prices: a key component of.. PAGE 2

From Princess to Prisoner: Yulia Tymoshenko and Ukraine’s politics

hat. Getting on the train, Army

- New Rector at Corvinus University - Hungary special: Where to take a walk in the Budapest autumn? Pages 4-5

checking which wagon to

Culture

Tip

take. Few people on the freezing corridor. Some wagons are filled. This

Ph rase

one is empty. No light. Cold. Page 6


the CEU Weekly

OPED

November 16, 2011, Year 2, Issue 9

American Policy Delusion, cont. consumer spending, and thus the Consumer Price Index. If you remove the food/ commodity factor, both current inflation and expectation of future inflation are very low for the U.S. and the rest of the developed world. A second factor, which American policy-makers seem to have misjudged, is the U.S. national debt. It's true that America has longrun insolvency problems, which earlier this year led to a downgrade of the U.S. debt securities by the Standard & Poor from AAA to AA+. Whether S&P has any credibility left since the 2008 Financial Crisis is a different story, however. We all remember that S&P with other rating agencies were falsely overvaluing junk assets, which in turn contributed to the whole collapse. For now, there is no doubt that in the future, the U.S. government must either raise taxes or restructure its budget to take into account the rising costs of social security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the high defense expenditure.

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The problem was that certain policy-makers feared a sudden debt explosion, spiking interest rates, and opposed fiscal expansion at the time of a recession. Fiscal stimulus to the economy is paramount to recovery in the short-run. Solving long-run issues is important but not at the expense of a short-run social catastrophe. US unemployment rate currently stands at 9.1%, and many have been unemployed for months. This is important because skills and knowledge are forgotten with long-term unemployment. Productivity is a direct factor of long-run growth, and abandoned workability is detrimental exactly to the long-run development that some American policymakers are trying to defend. By the way, is government e x p e n d i ture really exploding? No. In 2011, current government expenditure has been rising slower than in 2005. Have the interest rates

spiked because President Obama's stimulus package? No. Consider the long-term 30-year mortgage rates which are now of around 4.7%; they have fallen by 40% since 2007.

the US economy is back on a sustainable track, the debate on a solution for the long-run budget concerns can be restarted.

Below is a graph from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis which illustrates very well that both the interest rates and government expenditures have indeed fallen since 2008.

Rustam Jamilov Baku, Azerbaijan Alumnus of CEU Business School Junior Economist at the Central Bank of the Republic of Azerbaijan Lecturer at Azerbaijan State Economic University

Despite the domestic frictions created by the American conservative movement, the U.S. Government has nevertheless managed to launch two separates rounds of fiscal stimulus. Although the amounts were not enough, this was still much better than nothing. All in all, public expenditure on a struggling economy is paramount for shortrun recovery. Just as monetary expansion is required to provide urgent liquidity. While the economy is still unstable, problems of secondary priority can wait a little while. However, as soon as we can confidently claim that


the CEU Weekly

COMMUNITY

November 16, 2011, Year 2, Issue 9

The Weekly Spam Review We’ve left behind a week of heated debates, recrimination, argumentum ad hominem, and reductio ad hitlerum. We all have witnessed the effortlessness of Nazi analogies and accusations. After all one should use every trick in the book to win an argument! All things considered Godwin’s law has been failed to be rejected once again. To recapitulate, it states: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.”

Night after night, I’ve contemplated to find the fundamental and very unique foundation of the CEU online discussion. I must say for CEU the length of the online discussion has a different function. I claim “as a CEU online discussion grows longer, the probability of a reconciliation approaches 0.” I will call this Spammer’s Law.

Your “corner” Have any comments, ideas, corrections? Would you like to advertise a project? Write us at ceuweekly@gmail.com and get yourself published!

Student Tip # 314

The CEU Weekly is looking for -Communications Manager

314. Everywhere is too crowded? Use the orange computer lab located close to the basement cafeteria

Hungarian Expression of the week Phrase: Szep napot! Pronunciation: sep napót! Translation: have a nice day! Page 3


the the CEU Weekly

HUNGARY NEWS

November 16, 2011, Year 2, Issue 9

Delegate your vote! Signatures are being collected in Hungary for an interesting cause: according to the proposed change in the electoral law, elderly people would be allowed to delegate their votes to their children. According to the proposal the delegee should be at least 18 years of age and a direct descendant. Back in May the electoral commission had already discarded the proposal, after which it was submitted to the constitutional court. As the constitutional court did not find the petition unconstitutional, the electoral commission finally approved it. Now it is up to the citizens to decide: is it a proposal that is worth considering?

Farewell, to Red Army street?

New rector at Corvinus University Zsolt Rostovรกnyi will be the new rector of Corvinus University of Budapest from January - the majority of the 38 members of the senate of Corvinus University decided on Monday. Rostovรกnyi is currently the director of International Relations faculty and the International Relations doctoral school. He graduated from Karl Marx University of Economics, the predecessor of Corvinus. In Hungary, officially the President is to appoint the deans of public universities, so it is up to Schmitt Pรกl to verify the nomination. If he does so, Rostovรกnyi will take the office on the 1st of January.

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According to another proposal that had been submitted by MPs of the governing party Fidesz and KDPN (christian democrats), further renamings will take place after July, 2012. If the proposal passes, every street in Hungary that holds the name of someone who took part in the founding, building or sustaining of the undemocratic regimes during the 20th century will be given a new name. Additionally, streets named after something that resembles the memory of undemocratic regimes shall also be changed. Examples for this broad definition include the Red Army street and Engels


the the CEU Weekly

HUNGARY NEWS

November 16, 2011, Year 2, Issue 9

Hungary Special: Where to take a walk in the Budapest autumn?

The tomb of Gül Baba: a five minute walk from the 4/6 tram stop at the Buda side of Margit híd (Margaret bridge) takes you to the tomb of Gül Baba. It is located in the district Rózsadomb, known for its healthy pensioners and wealthy diplomats. Follow the tram tracks away from Duna and turn left when the tracks turn right. Head forward untill you see a steep, cobblestoned street on your left: Gül Baba street. It is the street that looks as if you were looking through a time machine – you will not miss it. Say good-bye to the city as you know it and let the magic begin. At the end of the street take the stairs, turn left and after a few steps another left. You should see your destination by now. Visit the tomb of the Ottoman Bektashi dervish poet, the „Father of Roses”, who is said to have introduced the flower to the country. If you arrive between 10am and 6pm you can get inside (the admission is free, although you might have to ring the bell and wait for the guard to open the gates for you), but even if you are late, it’s well worth visiting even without going inside. If you still have the time and energy, I would recommend following the basic map to Mansfeld Péter park. It has a spectacular view of the Parliament and a powerful statue of Mannsfeld Péter, one of the youngest victims of the 1956 revolution. There are a few benches to relax on while looking at the scenery. If you are bothered by the lighting of the statue, it is completely fine to spread some gravel on the reflectors built into the ground. As a good finish to the Rózsadomb walking tour, I wouldn’t miss a stroll on Bólyai utca, some (I) consider it the most beautiful street during this time of the year! Make sure you bring your camera with you, and share your best shots with us at ceuweekly@gmail.com . Have a good walking tour!

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URBAN LITERATURE

he Weethe CEU Weekly November 16, 2011, Year 2, Issue 9

Nyugati Train* , cont. by Moritz Poesch On the opposite side a man is wrinkled into the edge between window and couch. He looks up. Tired eyes. Unwilling movement from behind the jacket. Relatively young. End twenties, beginning thirties? Shock, surprise, vanishing fear, acceptance. He had slept and had gone astray. Hallo. - Hallo. Critical seizing of the other. I am wearing a fleece, sports bag, leather shoes – he stuff from the second hand store. Feels Weak. Still seizing me, than relaxing. Ok. His eyes close, he slightly turns away. When there is movement on the corridor he awakes and turns to me again. Shunning away from a might be question reveals the foreigner. To the airport. Yes. How long? T w en t y , t w en t y - f iv e , thirty… ok. I have thirty-five, 60 till take off. Drowsy. His eyes. Still clammy, cold, dark, grey. Where from? Germany. Germany. Ich Schlachter - I butcher. What? Ah. My eyes open, pretending a relaxed posture. He leans back. Quick look to the door. Ich arbeite Deutschland. - I work Germany. Open nodding on my part. Ein halbe Jahr - A half year. Where? Nürnberg. Köln. Greifswald. Close to the window besides him stands an ice tea bottle. It’s not 7am yet. When have you been to Germany? Last year. Deutschland gut. – You will go again? Not now. Difficult. Hhmh. Hungary? Nicht gut. Hungary nicht gut. Not pay. Hungary. Hm. You? How Hungary? Budapest? Good. Everything good. As if he did not know. Study, a small scholarship, a room. Everything good. He knows. later: What does he earn? 400 a month. Not good. No family, nothing. Food. He is going to is aunt. She lives outside of Budapest. Will you work there? Maybe. Visit. … We come back to the beginning: sheep butcher in Greifswald. Pig butcher in Köln. Cattle in Nancy. We talk about the prices, the wages, the ratio’s of animals per day, the differences for different animals. 10 hours. 100 pigs. One butcher. Standing. Machine? Yes, also with machine. Any break? One hour in Germany, half an hour in Hungary. One third of the wage in Hungary. Work. Sleep. A cold room. Work. Sleep. Three months in Greifswald, 2 months in Köln. In between Hungary. A labor migrant’s odyssey. I take meat, he starts again. Put in bag. Good meat, Germany, good meat. Take home. Eat. The foreman sees it. What happened when he saw it? Not good. Problem. I afraid. But then ok. Not too much he says. Here, Budapest, – no. The airport. I had gotten off. The train leaves. Metal moving along me. The bridge to the airport. Sausages in my bag as a present to bring home. Another world, having passed from a layer down, man, Budapest, Europe, to a layer up, on top of it, fearing its below. Pushed-thrown butcher. Sheep, pig, cows. Hungary, Germany, France. part of the machine. ice-tea bottle instead of meat. sausages in my backpack. facing the inability to bridge, the need to fly and forget. Rushing along steel, organized stores. Moritz Poesch Germany PHIL 2010 Alumnus *This article was printed for the first time in the second issue of the CEU weekly

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the CEU Weekly

ARTS AND CULTURE

November 16, 2011, Year 2, Issue 9

Ella (She) I kept silent, expectant like a blossoming plant, and like a blossoming plant eager and striving for light and fertile soil. However, my roots were getting exposed; a well known wind was carrying away the soil leaving only shreds of dust curling around me. Vanishing as a memory, also my metaphors linger languid in the paper, like beaten little animals trying to stay still, not to move. Do I have any right in treating my writing like this? In pushing myself to write things I don’t dare, or I can’t find the way of saying? I shall go on, I shall… -Hey, what’s up? We’ve been waiting for you downstairs. Are you ready with your stuff? Need any help? - My cousin, he can’t help but being annoying most of the time. He can’t understand any of these things, but it’s not his fault: he was raised to be a farmer like his elders. He’s a nice guy, though, he means well. -No, man. Thank you. I’ll go downstairs in no time, let me finish something first. They don’t know I killed a man last night. The man saw me with Ella and threatened with blackmailing us, telling her husband, you know, it would be a blast in the family. These things never happened around here before; they only see them on the news. One shot. Ella gave me her husband’s gun that rested on top of the wardrobe for years, under the sanctity of layers of dust. I got some bullets from my uncle’s gun: everyone seems to have a .38 around here. I met the man in the barracks by the train station, and waited till the train passed to shoot him in the head. He was stinking of cheap beer: perfect. The guys would say that he left the bar alone after some booze. Nobody saw or heard anything. I waited an hour or so until the next train was about to pass and then put the body on the tracks. The rain would wash away any blood and the crappy weather kept people indoors. For once I liked the weather in Sligo. I never thought about doing this, you know, I’m a journalist, an intellectual. For once, all the crappy readings and movies served to something useful. At least, they helped me in getting rid of some countryside dick and walk away. My train back to Dublin leaves soon. The station is not far away but my cousin insisted in driving me there, you know, the bloody weather. - Too bad you have to go Sean, next time you must stay longer. You work too hard, you know? And that boss of yours... But next time, you know. Ah, one guy we knew was found dead, the train mashed him last night, he was drunk as heck, they say. Poor guy. You must write it in your paper. I know it’s economy and that stuff, but you can still write these things, no? Ah, and Ella says goodbye, she’s sorry she can’t come, the little one has vomiting bug, you know. -Thank you for the ride, Pad, say bye to Ella and I hope the kid gets better. In a couple of day’s he’ll be rocking around with his bike. And for this guy, I’ll think about it. Poor guy indeed. My train began to move and Pad waved his hand with a candid smile. Some moments later I saw a yellow strip: the Garda Síochána. There was nothing there, no body, nobody. Just some rusty train parts around a decrepit, gray barrack, surrounded by grass. A perfect metaphor for decay and oblivion. Lucas Gilardone Argentina LEGS 2010 Alumnus

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he Weethe CEU Weekly

ALUMNI PERSPECTIVE

November 16, 2011, Year 2, Issue 9

From Princess to Prisoner: Yulia Tymoshenko and Ukraine’s politics, cont. Aspiring to become a president, she lost by a small margin to the “orange villain” Yanukovych. A flamboyant leader of the opposition and the most influential woman in Ukraine (according to magazine Focus), abroad she inspires fashion icons with her hairstyle and outfits, and makes the seasoned diplomats in Washington and Brussels melt. This is Yulia Tymoshenko, the Ukrainian Rapunzel. On October 11, 2011, Yulia was sentenced to seven years in prison on charges of abuse of office in 2009, when she agreed to high the gas price without her cabinet’s approval. The political show trial did not allow for a proper defense and based its sentence on Soviet-time laws. Recently new investigations began regarding her involvement in a contract-style murder and dealings with a former Prime Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Lazarenko in 1996-97, when she was a president of the United Energy Systems, a private company with governmental patronage, supplying Russian gas to Ukraine. The Tricky Gas Deal Ukraine, sandwiched between European Union and Russia, serves as a main (so far) gas corridor for Russian’s export to the EU (~80%). 2/3 of Gazprom’s income is gas sold

to Ukraine. This is why when Russian turned off the gas tap in 2009, everyone in Europe got nervous and cold. PM Yulia met with Putin in Kremlin and in five hours reached an agreement that restored gas flow to Ukraine and the EU. Both sides also agreed to no longer use intermediaries. The European Union sighed with a relief and turned a blind eye on the questionable deal. International Community’s Response Brussels, Washington and even Moscow denounced the sentence as politically motivated and cautioned Kyiv to free Yulia. Western officials called situation “democracy on trial” and “deeply disappointing”, to quote Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for

Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. This jail sentence puts into peril the four year long negotiations on the EU-Ukraine Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade and Association Agreements. It also played into hand of skeptics, dr ea m in g t o sa bo ta ge Ukraine’s integration into the EU, leaving only Poland its true supporter. Simultaneously, Russia offered to become a member in a Russian-led customs union and deep discounts on gas prices, without lectures on democratic values. And it is important to watch which way Ukraine swings, since it has turned into a bellweather for democratic processes in Eastern Europe. Behind the Curtains With so much at stake for the fledging democracy, one must wonder what was Yanukovych and Co thinking? Firstly, the most obvious explanation is political: Yulia would be the biggest threat to the incumbent regime during 2012 parliamentary and 2015 presidential elections. Hence it is convenient to eliminate the contender in favor of a handpicked successor. If Putin can do this with Khodorkovsky, then why not try the same in Ukraine? However, Ukraine is not Russia, as the former president Kuchma noted in his

About the CEU Weekly This is a student-alumni initiative that seeks to provide CEU with a regularly issued newspaper. The CEU Weekly is a vehicle of expression for the diversity of perspectives and viewpoints that integrate CEU’s open society: free and respectful public debate is our aim. We offer a place in which current events and student reflections can be voiced. Plurality, respect and freedom of speech are our guiding principles. This is a paper for the CEU community, by the CEU community; submissions for publication are not only welcomed, but encouraged. If you have something you would like published in the CEU Weekly, please visit our website for submission details.

infamous book. This means that an aspiring candidate to the EU cannot jail an opposition leader and get away with it. Secondly, some experts also believe that the trial was meant to push Russia to change the gas price for Ukraine and help shift the blame for the economic crisis from the current government. Finally, powerful oligarchs that surround Yanukovych constantly fight for power and personal enrichment. Yulia’s gas agreement eliminated a gas intermediary, whose owner Dmytro Firtash had been craving a revenge ever since. Who will climb Rapunzel’s long hair? However, it is possible that jailing Yulia may backfire, as she is already referred to as “Slavic Joan of Arc” and a freedom fighter. And although Ukrainians may be disillusioned with politicians in general and Yulia in particular, they could still mobilize to defend justice. If not in order to help Yulia, then for their own sake and their children’s better future. If acted united, Yanukovych and his crew will join the list of fallen villains. Maryna Yaroshchuk Ukraine IRES 2008 Alumna Care to comment? I will be happy to respond to your messages if you leave a post in the CEU Weekly Blog or Facebook Group Sources: Dzerkalo Tyzhnia, Interfax Ukrainy, UNIAN, Current Politics in Ukriane Blog, Ukraine’s Orange Blues

Electronic version of the articles

ceuweekly.blogspot.com

Write us at ceuweekly@gmail.com Editors: Rodrigo Avila B. (Editor in Chief ) Jonathan Day (Managing Editor) Editorial Council: Natalia Peral, Yusuf Yüksekdağ, Lucas Gilardone, Donald Mogeni, Moritz Poesch and Tamas Gyorgy

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Issue 9  

-Farewell, Red Army street?  ARTS and Culture Page 7 Ella (She) Hungary news  ALUMNI Perspective Page 8  LIFETIME Opportunity Page 3 Nyug...

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