November 17th, 2011

Hungary in new talks with IMF, signaling humiliating reversal for government

Via MTI/realdeal.hu:

Hungary’s government is starting negotiations on a new type of cooperation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the course of scheduled consultations, the economy ministry told MTI on Thursday. In order to secure economic growth, Hungary primarily needs to protect its independence, its ability to finance itself from the markets. This is being made difficult by a protracted crisis in the euro zone, the ministry said in a statement.

Update: Via the external affairs office of the IMF:

The Resident Representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to Hungary, Ms. Iryna Ivaschenko, today issued the following statement:

“The IMF team currently in Budapest is conducting a regular Article IV review and the second review under Post-Program monitoring of the Hungarian economy. The mission for the Article IV consultation is not a negotiating mission, but a mission to conduct the regular economic surveillance that the IMF performs for all member countries. The IMF has not received a request from the authorities to initiate negotiations on a Fund-supported program.”

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  • Viking

    If The Supreme Leader had just signed a stand-by agreement in June 2010, with the explicit and very outspoken intent not to ever use it, only a few “jobbos” would have complained

    Now, as the financial turmoil happened, Hungary will have a hard time to get any favours, whatsoever, from the IMF, then why should they?

    I hardly think the IMF would have complained about the theft of Private Pension Money, so it was not that
    So what was the real reason to send IMF packing in June 2010?

    And now we will see an Hungarian Comedy being played in front of the world
    The question is if it will be funnier, than the Greek Tragedy we have been watching lately
    Hardly for the Hungarian people, but it may give the Greeks some comfort…

    • Viking

      Maybe answering myself with this quote from RealDeal:

      “The National Bank of Hungary (NBH) told MTI it learnt of the government’s intentions regarding the IMF from the ministry’s statement. In the case of any type of cooperation with the IMF, the commitment of the given country is made jointly by the country’s central bank and government, it said. The NBH must be included in talks with the IMF in the coming period, it added”

      This means that The Supreme Leader *must* agree with Hungarian Central Bank Big Wig Simor…

      Boy, do I want to be a fly in that conference-room

    • Tapolczy

      aww did we ejaculate into our pants little one? Go rejoice somewhere else you cocksucker, you don’t even understand the issue on bit which is clear, cocksucker.

      • Viking

        Tapolczy says:
        November 20, 2011 at 9:54 am

        ejaculate into our pants

        you cocksucker

        cocksucker

        You seem to be very interested in my clearly manly part
        Freud has a diagnose on that and it involves your father
        Did you also enjoy it also when he spanked you?

  • Leto

    The postcommies have started rejoicing all over the place. This is a major defeat for the Hungarian government (and for Hungary) indeed.

    • Sophist

      Forint back down below 250 to the CHF, maybe sufficient breathing space to avoid rate hike, defeat indeed.

      • Leto

        Hungary’s whole GDP is a lot less than the amount of capital some financial groups could mobilize in order to make an example of Hungary. This was really about preventing a precedent for them and they’ve won. No wonder the ones I call “postcommies” rejoice so much. The news simply means that Orbán-goverment licks their boots in order to avoid Hungary’s demise.
        Big words but I would have done the same if some armed thugs threatened to kill my family otherwise.

        • Sophist

          Well, at least it’s clear now that you are not some PR guy working for Fidesz; you’re not selling any of the “A new type of cooperation, which is arranged to suit Hungary’s own interests and economy could be a useful tool. This, unlike the old IMF deal, would not reduce but raise the country’s financial-economic independence,” moonshine like the government.” moonshine.

          The real boots the Orbán is kissing are those of the Hungarian polity, telling them they don’t have to work for the standard of living they aspire to. Never mind Horty, this was a Kádárist policy. Now we can get on with the usual debt medicine, and blame the bad taste on the doctors, rather than our own refusal to live conservatively.

          • Leto

            “The real boots the Orbán is kissing”

            Nope, not those boots.
            And it’s pretty clear what the price is. No more attempts to get people out of the foreign currency mortgage shit at the expense of foreign banks, crisis taxes on banks and multis will be eased, etc. Fellegi’s talks in China failed, apparently the Chinese didn’t want to get into a fight with those financial circles.

        • American in Budapest

          Oh please, you are such an amateur. The reality is Hungary has been living beyond its means since the early 80s when the Cummunists tapped the capital markets.

          You talk just like a 1920’s Nazi. Same talk about foreign conspiracies … same attacks on Jews …

          And you appear to be completely aware of what a parody you are …

          • Leto

            “And you appear to be completely aware of what a parody you are..”

            Oh, dear me! What a perfect textbook example for “the pot calling the kettle black”…

            @olga:
            The Hungarian equivalent for “the pot calling the kettle black” is “bagoly mondja verébnek nagyfejű” (the owl calling the sparrow big-headed)

        • Viking

          Leto says:
          November 17, 2011 at 9:01 pm

          Hungary’s whole GDP is a lot less than the amount of capital some financial groups could mobilize in order to make an example of Hungary

          Ooohh, poor little Hungary
          So little and vulnerable
          And so persecuted by those really bad foreigners
          First Trianon and now this
          And Hungarians carry no blame at all

          Good luck trying to sell in that to your English neighbours
          I still remember the night-watchman in that UK company in Milton Keynes 2005, just after the big earthquake in Pakistan. He had a lot of sympathy for the Pakistanis, … not

          The problem is just that your reasoning (as usual) does not add up
          It is not a ‘united front’ or whatever you want to call it against Hungary
          It is just that The Supreme Leader, with His policies pissed off foreign investors, so they try to limit their actual and potential losses
          If I did not have so much of my investment …and family.. in Hungary, I would have swapped country, because Hungary is going down the drain fast
          If I just could, which is impossible at the moment, get a good price for my investments, I would sell immediately and invest future income somewhere else, probably nearby

          That is the simple story of Hungary today
          And I have never heard so many negative stories from small business people, that I have heard the last few weeks

          • Bill E. Boye

            Most Hungarians, sad to say, always complain or if things go well-boast. This includes the Hungarians living abroad and the non-Hungarian speaking Hungarians as well.

    • Viking

      Leto says:
      November 17, 2011 at 8:25 pm

      This is a major defeat for the Hungarian government (and for Hungary) indeed

      Indeed “a major defeat for the Hungarian government”, but it is a real victory for Hungary *if* we get proper policies that are not aimed at pissing every one off

      I would really like to see what bad things would have happened to Hungary if Orban had signed some kind of standby agreement in June 2010

      Was it just that Orban hated the idea to have to speak *with* Simor?
      Is that it is all about?
      Orban’s vanity?

    • American in Budapest

      No, Hungary’s salvation. The IMF is part of the civilized world. Fidesz belongs in the 19th century.

      Long live the IMF!!!

      • Stephen Dedalus

        Are you in junior high school or something?

  • Manyhandles

    All the major issues confronting Hungary were sidelined and replaced with balderdash courtesy of Viktator and his crew.
    The Media Law, buying MOL shares: to what end we still wait with bated breath to learn? And, which company was formed to publish the year-on-year details of that little transaction on our behalf?
    Finally, Orban has to confront his in the shape of Andras Simor the governor of MNB and, the IMF;to name but two!
    The spouting jackass will not find these two giants an easy pushover and, as Viking so rightly points out, Oh, to be a fly on the wall in the forthcoming meetings of those adversaries.
    The worsening situation in the Eurozone does not augur well and the whole witch’s brew is bubbling up nicely for the post-commie brigade!

    • Leto

      “the whole witch’s brew is bubbling up nicely for the post-commie brigade”

      Agreed. Very sad.

      • Viking

        Leto says:
        November 17, 2011 at 9:27 pm

        Agreed. Very sad

        But who did wrong?
        Where does the buck stop for this debacle?
        Which Hungarian will step up and tell his peers:
        – I did wrong, I miscalculated, I am responsible!

        Or we will just be forced to listen to yet another “back-stabbing myth”?

  • Manyhandles

    Sorry, “confront his demons”!

  • Take a stand!

    You commies on here are a pathetic bunch! You have hungarian roots but are looking for the demise of the nation. Your supreme leader Gyurcsany and his cronies was the one who put Hungary in this mess in the first place.

    Gyurcsany the so called socialist as you know is one of the richest men in Hungary. He is an internationist and sold much of the nation’s wealth for 10 cents on the dollar! Why weren’t you vocal then?

    • Curious George

      What did he sell for 10 cents on the dollar? I’m just curious.

    • Viking

      Take a stand! says:
      November 18, 2011 at 3:45 am

      Your supreme leader Gyurcsany and his cronies was the one who put Hungary in this mess in the first place

      It actually started already in the good year of 2000, by The Supreme Leader, then accelerated into an art-form by Medgyessy 2002-2004 and first then Gyurcsány continued it

      Gyurcsány’s infamous ‘lie-speech’ was an attempt to break this tradition, but I do not think he succeeded so well with that, then Hungary has still, even with The Supreme Leader as The Great Helmsman, not implemented long needed cuts to its bloated State

      You may check that the most selling of Hungarian State Assets happened during the MDF Government 1990-1994
      This was the Government people like ‘leto’ liked and many of their voters and Ministers, went on to Fidesz, to serve and obey The Supreme Leader

      It is true that Gyurcsány did good business after 1990 and created his wealth, but that did all of the others that top the list over Hungary’s rich
      Some of them are (well) connected to Fidesz

      So what does this all tell us?
      That maybe it is not just a simple question of just MSZP and Gyurcsány
      Hungary and its Hungarians, are bigger than just that simplification

  • Sophist

    Leto,

    “No more attempts to get people out of the foreign currency mortgage shit at the expense of foreign banks”.

    So we could now adopt a more lawfull approach, investigate the alledged misselling and fine, compensate appropriately.

    Which banks to you regard as not-foreign? As I understand it even OTP has majority foreign ownership

  • Paul

    This point seems to have been missed:

    \The IMF has not received a request from the authorities to initiate negotiations on a Fund-supported program.”

    Ie the regime has made a unilateral announcement (possibly to preempt the downgrade to junk status today of govt papers?)that the IMF or the Central Bank knew nothing about. The IMF has agreed nothing with the Dear Leader.

    his is, once again, incompetence of highest order on the part of Fidesz, attmepting to hoodwink the international markets with the kind of unsubstantiated guff that the Hungarian public accept unquestionably from MTI etc. Problem is that in the real international *24/7 news* world Orban does not control the flow of the truth.

  • loans

    I opine that to receive the mortgage loans from banks you must have a great motivation. Nevertheless, once I’ve got a credit loan, because I was willing to buy a car.

  • Leto

    A typical post from the ones I call postcommies:

    “IMF should give an immediate ultimatum for the resignation of the incompetent dictator Orban Viktor in exchange of any funding.”

    It’s exactly just like as if “Obnoxious in Budapest” had written this.

    • Viking

      Except in your post I am not able to find this sentence, so where does it come from?

      We could all quote idiots from all over the world and apply their opinion to being yours
      Not a very productive way of performing a debate, is it?

      I suppose you is nervous that the other posters on this site do not post stupid enough comments for you to pick on
      Tough luck

    • Leto

      In analyst-speak:

      Neil Shearing, analyst at Capital Economics in London, speculates that the cabinet is aiming to agree something closer to a flexible credit line (FCL). “This gives access to finance as and when it is needed, but comes with fewer strings attached in terms of policy conditionality..

      **it goes without saying that the greater the conditionality attached to any IMF assistance, the better**”

      • Viking

        Since when was IMF known for signing Cheque en Blanco?

  • Abácsi

    Seems to be a lot of fuss about nothing. Borrowing is part of like, for people, business and governments. All lenders attach strings and all charge different rates of interest. It makes sense to have a line of credit available.

    All the hot air about ex-commies, foreign banks and multis misses the point. The ruling class (all parties) has looted the country and it is only because of banks and multis that Hungary has not slipped back into the dark ages. If the weather was different, we would be a banana republic.

  • democrat

    Simor is on record as saying that “all communication with the government is in writing”. There is no discussion at all, so it is likely that the IMF will be discussing things with the Central Bank. The Government was recently rebuked by the ECB for failing to consult as required. Apparently they sent the draft to the ECB in the morning and passed the law the same day. This current “announcement” may help the Forint in the short term but it will surely further damage the country’s reputation if indeed the IMF have not formally been approached.

    • Leto

      “the IMF will be discussing things with the Central Bank”

      Oh, that would be *really* ‘interesting’. Really, really. Well, that would call their cards for sure.

      • Viking

        The IMF speaks always with *both* the Government and the Hungarian Central Bank, then IMF always demands that both the National Government and the National Central Bank approve whatever deal they will agree upon

        Reading the Hungarian Government Press Briefings one can be excused for thinking The Supreme Leader lives under the illusion that He can dictate to the IMF to make a special agreement just for Him, denying the Hungarian Central Bank any role in this

        Good Luck!

  • Leto

    What financial construction would be this about?

    http://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/howlend.htm

    I think the 2008 giga-loan was an Stand-By Arrangements (SBA).

    I would rule out Flexible Credit Line (FCL) because Hungary doesn’t have “very strong fundamentals”.

    I don’t think the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) would be the one either.

    “Emergency assistance” is out for sure.

    On the other hand Precautionary Credit Line (PCL) seems to be taylor-made for Hungary. Provided there’d any agreement at all in the end…

  • Canadian

    All of you guys are missing the point and the severity of Orbans reversal on the IMF posistion.

    The siginificance is simple: there is no other option, no other monetary vehicles are willing to provide support. No support from the EU, no support from China, no support globally or from the bond market is available to backstop and keep the bond prices down.

    Basically, financial situation in Hungary is dire enough to warrent a huge reversal of PM’s posistion. The fact they are even in talks with the IMF should tell you that they are in much worse financial shape then they are willing to admit.

    For Orban, its an easy choice, either play ball with the IMF and their demands and at least govern the rest of your term or end up like the guys in Greece or Italy and be kicked out of office.

    At the fundamental political level its a huge reversal, the IMF will not give $$$ without a control over policy and law, they never have and never will, no matter what the nice press release says– its all semantics.

    read between the lines folks, things are worse then they appear regarding finance in Hungary.

    • Leto

      “no support from China”

      See my comment at November 17, 2011 at 10:42 pm
      Also read my remark at November 17, 2011 at 9:01 pm about the financial magnitudes at play.

      • Viking

        Funny that those “financial magnitudes at play” have time to bother about Hungary, then they are so busy with both Italy and Spain today and yesterday and probably tomorrow also

        Of course there is some elder men with beards sitting somewhere in the world controlling the European economy in general and the Hungarian in detail
        Spain and Italy they do before lunch and in the afternoon they work hard with Hungary until the end of night, then it is so important

        • wolfi

          Viking, you got it wrong!

          Hungary seems to be a special hobby of “Obama’s Boss” – “The Felon Who’s Steering America and Your Tax Money”

          AMERICA’S & OBAMA’S PUPPET-MASTER

          Guess who he is: http://commieblaster.com/george-soros-fund/

          PS: I almost choked from laughing at this – maybe this is leto’s source for all the wisdom he spouts here…

          • justasking

            @Wolf pup,

            “PS: I almost choked from laughing”

            Than I hope you keep laughing!

    • American in Budapest

      The Canadian is correct.

    • American in Budapest

      Go to portfolio.hu and look at the list of recent auctions. Many were undersubscribed and at least two failed. This is during the last two months.

  • Leto

    Have a bit a laugh, you too:

    http://online.wsj.com/video/eastern-europe-debt-threatens-credit-ratings/AC61D186-0149-4F91-A67D-25DBFED1D858.html

    “Hungary going down the plughole, haha..”

  • Leto

    I wrote earlier that a very typical postcommie post on the net is “IMF should give an immediate ultimatum for the resignation of the incompetent dictator Orban Viktor in exchange of any funding.”

    Let’s see what their party has been up to:

    “It’s an unavoidable and (absolutely) necessary thing to resume talks with IMF” – touted Attila Mesterházy touted for IMF yesterday. He also called for Orbán’s immediate resignation.

    http://nol.hu/belfold/_orban_vegye_a_kalapjat__

    The pictures shows when Irina Ivascsenko, the Budapest representative of IMF leaves after her talks with MSZP.

    • Leto

      Another important bit from the article:

      ” MSZP chairman and faction leader Mesterházy declined to answer any questions about the details of the talk, saying it was an informal talk and they had agreed on these talks before György Matolcsy’s Thursday announcement.”

      • Viking

        Leto says:
        November 18, 2011 at 5:31 pm
        The pictures shows when Irina Ivascsenko, the Budapest representative of IMF leaves after her talks with MSZP

        So the picture ‘I Kill’ is trying to paint (albeit a bit delayed in the delivery due to the moderation process on this site) is then that
        * the IMF is discussing with IMF how to oust The Supreme Leader

        That would then not be consistent with the official Fidesz line that The Supreme Leader in His Eternal Wisdom has just outsmarted both the IMF and the “market” with going “Turkey”

        I think we will hear both arguments from ‘I Kill’ in the years to come, then both are myths that will work for them

  • Viking

    From businessweek today:

    “Hungary may be emulating Turkey with its overture to the IMF, according to London-based economists Tim Ash of Royal Bank of Scotland and Peter Attard Montalto of Nomura. Turkey and the IMF had been discussing a possible stand-by loan accord for more than a year and a half when the government in Ankara announced in March 2010 that it no longer needed a backstop.

    “In the Turkish case the markets bought it, as keeping the IMF engaged provided some reassurance that in a worst case scenario IMF financing was still close at hand, even if a formal program had not been negotiated,” Ash said in an e-mail. “By keeping the IMF engaged in talks it had the insurance of an IMF program within reach but without paying the fee.”

    IMF Options

    A so-called Flexible Credit Line is a type of IMF assistance with no conditions. The FLC is reserved for countries “with very strong fundamentals, policies, and track records of policy implementation,” the IMF said on its website. Poland, Mexico and Colombia have such agreements.

    The Precautionary Credit Line is the IMF’s latest facility, introduced in August of last year, which is for “countries with sound fundamentals and policies, and a track record of implementing such policies.” While countries eligible may not meet the criteria of the FLC given some “moderate vulnerabilities,” these don’t require the same “large- scale policy adjustments” as traditional stand-by loans, according to the IMF.

    Fewer Conditions

    A PLC has fewer conditions than a stand-by loan, which Hungary obtained in 2008 to avert a default during the credit crisis. The stand-by loan’s conditions were “streamlined and simplified” in 2009 during the global financial crisis that struck after the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. to make it more “flexible and responsive” to countries’ needs, according to the IMF’s website.

    Hungary’s IMF agreement would need to provide at least 4 billion euros ($5.4 billion), equivalent to Hungary’s external financing need next year, to bolster investor confidence, Simon Quijano-Evans, a London-based strategist at ING Bank, said in an e-mail yesterday”

  • Viking

    testing posting, then 2 attempts failed

    • Viking

      How could my post above come before ‘leto’s post below, especially as ‘leto’ posted before and it was not a reply?
      The times seem to be correct also
      These bugs are a bit confusing

  • Leto

    Some more mortar shells:

    “Orban’s political and civic opponents are being threatened by censorship and prosecution.

    The markets have already have gotten rid of Berlusconi in Italy. The best imaginable shock to Hungary would be a change of government, too.”

    http://diepresse.com/home/meinung/kommentare/709615/Der-Puszta-geht-die-Puste-aus?from=suche.intern.portal

    (Use Google translate if you want to read the whole piece)

    • Leto

      The markets want MSZP (perhaps because Hungary’s “going down the plughole (haha)” (see above) due to the MSZP-SZDSZ economic policies of piling up debt. The markets, in the person of Mrs. Ivascsenko, have had talks with the only job candidate for getting Hungary back in line.
      Well, MSZP had got a track record of taking direct orders from the markets and they are an enthusiatic and revengeful ally to IMF anyway.

      • Leto

        has got

      • Viking

        Is it here we will soon get the story of Israeli planes training ‘touch-and-go’ on Ferihegy airport and how dangerous that situation was for the security of Hungary?

      • Viking

        Leto says:
        November 18, 2011 at 6:43 pm

        The markets want MSZP (perhaps because Hungary’s “going down the plughole (haha)” (see above) due to the MSZP-SZDSZ economic policies of piling up debt. The markets, in the person of Mrs. Ivascsenko, have had talks with the only job candidate for getting Hungary back in line

        And why in hell should the \market\ then speak with a clown like \MSZP chairman and faction leader Mesterházy\?
        What kind of ‘governing-credential’ does he have?
        Leading MSZP to a big election defeat?
        MSZP has started to take a more populist view in certain issues, demanding more than Fidesz, so they are definitely heading the wrong way and will be rather fast discarded by the \market\

        If the \market\ would make a job interview with one single Hungarian politician it would be no other than
        * ex-Finance Minister Lajos Bokros
        who did what IMF wanted 1995-1998, when being tasked by the MSZP Government at that time

        Bokros was also The Supreme Leader’s choice for a ‘technocratic’ government to replace the Gyurcsány administration in 2006, but the two politicians may have problems being in the same room today

    • Leto

      For others information, this is the article the Sweedish moron drooled about in his post at November 19, 2011 at 12:46 am.

      • Viking

        And where did you find MSZP in that article?

        Just search
        Die Presse Der Puszta geht die Puste aus
        and you will find the article and no support for MSZP in this Catholic Church founded media

        I mean they are obviously expressing God’s Will on Earth…

        • Viking

          Eri,
          Now it is impőossible to make replies also…
          Never know where the posts are going…

          My post “November 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm” should be a reply to
          Leto says:
          November 19, 2011 at 1:44 pm
          who maybe is a reply to any of my posts, but which one, then we seem to end up in separate parts of the thread

          Maybe our posts are not compatible to be so close to each other..?

    • Viking

      Leto says:
      November 18, 2011 at 6:30 pm

      Some more mortar shells

      Yes, from an Austrian conservative-liberal newspaper, that hails its tradition from the 1848 revolution as the beginning of its tradition as a liberal newspaper, citing it in its slogan “Free since 1848″
      Owned by a media-group funded by the Catholic Church

      Something Fidesz always hated of course?

      On the point if chanhing the Hungarian Government would give a “positive chock” to the “market”?
      I do not know, then changing Orban for some one else would not just work with Fidesz, the He is Fidesz

      But I would think that the current Minister of Finance can be changed, just to get some one who is seen more “technocratic” to implement whatever Orban agrees with the IMF

  • Viking

    “Hungary may be emulating Turkey with its overture to the IMF, according to London-based economists Tim Ash of Royal Bank of Scotland and Peter Attard Montalto of Nomura. Turkey and the IMF had been discussing a possible stand-by loan accord for more than a year and a half when the government in Ankara announced in March 2010 that it no longer needed a backstop.

    “In the Turkish case the markets bought it, as keeping the IMF engaged provided some reassurance that in a worst case scenario IMF financing was still close at hand, even if a formal program had not been negotiated,” Ash said in an e-mail. “By keeping the IMF engaged in talks it had the insurance of an IMF program within reach but without paying the fee.”

    IMF Options

    A so-called Flexible Credit Line is a type of IMF assistance with no conditions. The FLC is reserved for countries “with very strong fundamentals, policies, and track records of policy implementation,” the IMF said on its website. Poland, Mexico and Colombia have such agreements.

    The Precautionary Credit Line is the IMF’s latest facility, introduced in August of last year, which is for “countries with sound fundamentals and policies, and a track record of implementing such policies.” While countries eligible may not meet the criteria of the FLC given some “moderate vulnerabilities,” these don’t require the same “large- scale policy adjustments” as traditional stand-by loans, according to the IMF.

    Fewer Conditions

    A PLC has fewer conditions than a stand-by loan, which Hungary obtained in 2008 to avert a default during the credit crisis. The stand-by loan’s conditions were “streamlined and simplified” in 2009 during the global financial crisis that struck after the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. to make it more “flexible and responsive” to countries’ needs, according to the IMF’s website.

    Hungary’s IMF agreement would need to provide at least 4 billion euros ($5.4 billion), equivalent to Hungary’s external financing need next year, to bolster investor confidence, Simon Quijano-Evans, a London-based strategist at ING Bank, said in an e-mail yesterday”

  • Viking

    So is The Supreme Leader trying to ‘Go Turkey’?

    Turkey did something similar some time ago and had fruitless discussions with IMF about some type of co-operation, but not a standby loan
    After about 18 months, keeping the market happy with those discussions, Turkey just said:
    * Thanks for the coffee, we do not need your money

    The market was pleased with this, in Turkey’s case, but the dual question now is if the market will believe The Supreme Leader in his intention in these discussions and if IMF will accept Hungary to drag on these discussion for ever

    Given that Hungary has been the worst performer on the international market the last year, why should anyone outside believe a single word coming from Budapest, especially as they forgot to inform the IMF before the Hungarian Government released that press briefing yesterday
    This Government seems to have a big problem making easy things just easy

  • Canadian

    Leto

    The small size of Hungary’s GDP is also what makes it less attractive to the bond market vigliantes, the amount of CDS swaps written in regards to Hungary fiscal situation is so small in world markets that it does not attract much attention. Simply put, the spreads and potential profit are just too small for any large clearing house to take notice as the profits are too small.

    In XE markets, any sort of cross between the USD/EU/HUF is considered an “exotic” trade.

    Right now those with capital are calling the shots.

    Hungary should just take a lesson from Greece, borrow as much money as fast as you can under any false pretenses and then play nice and pretend that you wil pay them back until the world realizes you wont.

    Take that money and spend it all asap, build a 5th subway, 100 more hospitals/schools etc.. another M hwy, whatever, just spend it– if the population is going to get screwed, they might as well have as many new (whatever) that they can get.

    As bad as things are now, they will get much worse, your just about 1-1.5 years into a 5-6 year slump in the property market that will shave at least another 30% of current “discount” prices. The smart young generation will try to leave to greener pastures and then you will lose the most profitable tax base, have decling revenues, more cuts, etc…

    Look to what happened to the US lower/middle class over the last 5-6 years for guidance– and thats in a rich-well off (by eastern european standards) country.

    • Leto

      “Look to what happened to the US lower/middle class over the last 5-6 years for guidance”

      The comparison is quite relevant, I think. Obama is being grilled for trying to save these from lower/middle classes by those “markets”. I reckon actually, say, the battle for the foreign currency based mortgage borrowers in Hungary could be regarded as a side war theatre of that war.

    • American in Budapest

      Well, Canadian, let’s keep some perspective. A lot of Americans did rather well during the last 5 to 6 years.

      Moreover, the average American has to take his/her share of responsibility for electing Bush Junior twice to the White House, supporting a dumb war in Iraq, and putting nutcase Republicans back in control of the House of Represenatives.

      Responsibility ultimately lies with those who can vote.

      • justasking

        @Ugly American,

        “A lot of Americans did rather well during the last 5 to 6 years”

        And you’re quite right…unfortunatly, it wasn’t the ‘average’ American.

        • American in Budapest

          Not all of them. I have two friends, one was making $50K and the another $75K per year in New York. Now one is worth $20 million and the other $80 million. One did not even finish high school.

          I myself went from well below the average houshold to many multiples above it.

          • justasking

            @Ugly American,

            “I have two friends

            Oh, who are you kidding? You’re only friend is a buck.

            ———

            “one was making $50K and the another $75K per year in New York. Now one is worth $20 million and the other $80 million. One did not even finish high school”

            Yeah, I heard there’s big money to be made in the drug cartels
            ——–

            “I myself went from well below the average houshold to many multiples above it”

            And still…you can’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear :)
            ———

            One in 4 Americans can not afford the house in which they live.

            We just came back from Vegas the other day, you can pick up a 4000 square foot house for less than $ 175, 000 dollars…no wonder you Yanks cater to Canadians.

    • Curious George

      @Canadian – While I agree with most of what you wrote, I think trying to borrow as much money as your can & spending before the ship sinks will not solve anything and may make things worse. Essentially Hungarians (& everyone else) have to understand that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Even with IMF administration &/or a default, the future borrowing costs will be higher than without a default or IMF administration. This eventually is going to be borne by the remaining population (You’ve painted a Philippines-type scenario where many of their young skilled doctors, nurses, business & computer graduates & teachers became economic migrants in the UK, US, Dubai, Saudi Arabia & Hong Kong).
      I’m more worried that an entire generation and a half in Hungary is going to be sidelined when everything eventually recovers in a few years. I see many of the above 40s, and almost all of those older will find it hard to get by on to adequately paying jobs or pensions if Hungary’s competitiveness issues are not addressed now. This downturn is not just financial. It is also re-orientating how global economic activity will be conducted over the coming years as more and more people in developing countries achieve the skills set levels of the developed countries, and can do the same things cheaper, and maybe even better. This is going to result in more loss of jobs & lower salaries in developed countries, and definitely, later (or even no) retirement ages in countries which have higher budgetary liabilities.

      • Leto

        “I see many of the above 40s, and almost all of those older will find it hard to get by on to adequately paying jobs or pensions ”

        That shouldn’t be future tense. It should have been written in present tense.

        • Viking

          Leto says:
          November 21, 2011 at 12:23 pm

          It should have been written in present tense

          Well, it could also have been past tense

          When I came to Hungary in 1993 I quickly learned that Hungarians “in common” (whatever that is) thought that people over 35 yo had a problem getting work in many of the foreign companies setting up camp in Hungary at that time
          This should be related to ‘white collar’ jobs and Budapest specific

          The reason for this what that foreign companies wanted young people that had not been ‘destroyed’ by their work experience/ethics during the communist rule

          I also heard complaints that, OK it was probably better to work for a foreign firm, but you actually had to work at least 8 hours, and the foreign management expected that you put in extra hours at any time of need, so it was a chock for many used to just ‘staying at work’

          What happened to these over 35 I still wonder over. I assume the Public Sector did not have a problem recruiting people…

  • Leto

    Uh, I messed the grammar up:

    Obama is being grilled for trying to save these lower/middle classes from those “markets” who are calling the shots.

    • American in Budapest

      Leto,

      Obama poll figures up. He will be re-elected. In the third quarter real GDP grew 2.5 annualized (a lot faster than Hungary with an unorthodox economic policies) and last quarter will probably 3%.

      Moreover, Obama has had a scandal administration – he’s remarkably clean.

      • Leto

        He won’t be re-elected. Which I don’t like at all because he’s at least trying to save those people from the voracious big money. Not too many presidents did that.

  • Leto

    Let’s have a good look at this figure:

    http://www.imf.org/external/about/images/IMF-lending1.gif

    Now make sure you’ve spotted that huge valley at 2007. IMF is back in (very good) business.

    Is there a small country, with thoroughly messed up economy, which tries to steer clear of the restarted loan business? Well, no precedents allowed.

    • Viking

      Leto says:
      November 18, 2011 at 8:02 pm

      Now make sure you’ve spotted that huge valley at 2007. IMF is back in (very good) business

      Of course, those elderly grey-haired men (no women allowed) who ruled the world and have the IMF as their hedge-fund, created the crisis in 2008, then they needed some more profit in IMF

      Is not life wonderful when you have such easy explanations for everything?

    • Viking

      ‘leto’ is happily unaware the the UK’s debts ‘biggest in the world’, a staggering 492 %…
      Fourhundredninteytwo percent

      Wonder how big ‘leto’s part is?

      According to McKinsey, a consulting firm, by the end of March this year, the aggregate indebtedness of the UK – that’s the sum of household debts, company debts, government debts and bank debts – had risen to 492% of GDP, or almost five times the value of everything ‘Leto’ and his partners produce in a single year.

      That compares with 481% at the end of 2008

  • vdx

    “The mission for the Article IV consultation is not a negotiating mission, but a mission to conduct the regular economic surveillance that the IMF performs for all member countries. The IMF has not received a request from the authorities to initiate negotiations on a Fund-supported program.”

    So in the IMF they know nothing about the alleged negotiations, but it doesn’t prevent the Hungary’s Great Leader to claim otherwise. Perhaps in the IMF they don’t know that the Great Leader never lies and should be notified to adjust their statement accordingly.

    Obvious as it’s, no one will play along with Fidesz their games. This is a poker game where Fidesz has nothing in hands. Plain bluff directed at domestic Hungarian electorate.

    Seriousness of situation is such that the only help Hungary will get these days will likely have a form of “good advice”. Credit line from the IMF will then fall in the realm of dreams. And soon it will irrespective of the conditions imposed.

    • Leto

      If they didn’t have anything in hand then those financial groups would have already replaced Orbán with their comissioner (Mr. Andor?) a long time ago.
      BTW, according to the news, Mr. Simor, also from the opposing team, didn’t know either.

      • American in Budapest

        Leto,

        Will you ever grow up and get over your conspiracy talk about financial elites replacing prime ministers? I feel like I am reading the writings of a thirteen year old.

        • Leto

          That black pot called yet again..

          Let me second to Stephen Dedalus’s post at November 18, 2011 at 8:08 pm

        • Leto

          “talk about financial elites replacing prime ministers?”

          BTW, that’s exactly what Mr. Róna economist and banker, an ex-IMF guy, advisor to LMP, was speaking about a few days ago.

          • Leto

            Here’s a link to a far left portal which quotes Mr. Róna speaking about elites replacing prime ministers of the peripheral countries. He reckons Orbán’s successor economist László Andor would be. He’s an economist with strong MSZP ties whose name was among the first ones in the PM searching comedy following Gyurcsány’s fall.

            http://www.168ora.hu/itthon/rona-az-eu-levaltja-orbant-85729.html

      • vdx

        The question is what does Fidesz have in hands that would motivate IMF to give Hungary new credit line. Is Hungary that important? IMF will have hands full bailing out Italy.

        Yes, Simor didn’t know either. No wonder, given IMF – one of the parties “involved” has also learned only from the MTI report.

        Well, someone “lies morning, noon and night”, someone uses a lie as a “method of work” and someone simply swallow every crap put on the table.. Isn’t that right?

        • Leto

          “Is Hungary that important?”

          Yup. She’s in a good position for the falling dominos game.

          • Viking

            Leto says:
            November 18, 2011 at 9:53 pm

            She’s in a good position for the falling dominos game

            If you think that Hungary is *more* important than Greece, then I am afraid you will have to re-think

            Of course no European leader wants Hungary defaulting, but choosing between Greece or Hungary, the Euro-countries will save Greece

            And Greece will just be saved if it plays ball
            If Hungary does not play ball, why should Sweden and the other non-Euro countries give a rat’s ass for Hungary?
            The discussion today in Sweden, among leading nestor politicians, from both left and right, is how Sweden can speed up its entry to the Euro. They see this crisis now as a problem being outside the Euro
            Can make you think on alternative perspectives maybe…

      • Viking

        Leto says:
        November 18, 2011 at 9:05 pm

        according to the news, Mr. Simor, also from the opposing team, didn’t know either

        According to the news neither:
        * IMF,
        * The Hungarian Central Bank (Simor)
        * All members of the Cabinet (Government)
        knew about this very well thought through tactical move from The Supreme Leader

        Makes you wonder why the hurry?
        According to some British analysts, who also noticed that the IMF had not been informed before that Hungarian Press Briefing, this message about negotiations was a desperate try to cheat the market with some positive signals to head off a most likely downgrade of Hungary

        The bigger problem is if that really is true, then the verdict on this Hungarian Government will be very hard and it will have big troubles regaining any trust (= investments and credits at better than average conditions)
        It is a bit like pissing in your pants. It feels warm and comfortable
        A few minutes, rather fast you feel just wet and cold
        Need to take a bigger piss and a bigger one

        • spectator

          Wonder, this time who has benefited of insider “foresight” – regarding the sudden changes of exchange rates.
          Remember, when the memorable rantings of Mr.Szijjarto and Mr.Kosa managed to “influence” the markets too.

          • Viking

            Yes, my personal contacts with the Inner Circles of Fidesz did not know about this either
            They have been working hard on fulfilling my request of 350 HUF/Euro until Nov 25th
            Now they were taken off-guard by this sudden move, but they are working over-time now to get things back in order and continue to sink the HUF. An example is the interview Lajos Kosa gave to MTI Friday November 18th:

            “Hungary must not give up its core ambitions and can only sign an agreement for budget financing that will essentially not reduce the government’s economic control and independence”

            That type of statements will calm the “market” that was upset over this move, so now they do not need to pay so many Euro per Forint

  • jhorv

    This whole issue is simply about petty politics and not policy. The only reason Orban adopted an anti-IMF stance was because they would not allow him to keep the rest of the loan that was negotiated by the previous socialist government as a standby loan. Likewise, when the EU didn’t allow Hungary, Poland, and others to not include private pension contributions in their deficit calculations (which would have brought the Hungarian budget deficit below 3%) he then simply attacked private pensions.

    In the end, Orban pushed through the kind of policies that the IMF loves anyway: austerity and trimming government expenditures, a flat tax, etc. Getting rid of disability pensions is no doubt something that earned Orban a lot of respect within the IMF.

    The Fidesz has basically forced through everything that the MSZP-SZDSZ had failed to do after eight years in power. The last major obstacle for Orban is to introduce a property tax. Perhaps this flirt with the IMF is to pave the way for the inevitable? In other words, it was the IMF that made him do it.

    Stay tuned …

    • Leto

      “COMMUNST GEORGE SOROS ”

      :D

      That’s a good one. :)

      Btw, Soros actually belongs to the voracious money I mentioned above.

      • Leto

        Whadda…

        This was in response to wolfi at November 18, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    • Leto

      “Getting rid of disability pensions”

      That’s absolutely great news! There’s going to be a major revision of all these “disabled”.

      Here are ratios of disabled between age 20 and 60 in various countries:

      Hungary: 12%
      Slovakia: 6%
      Czech Republic: 6%
      OECD average: below 6%

    • Viking

      jhorv says:
      November 18, 2011 at 10:11 pm

      Fidesz has basically forced through everything that the MSZP-SZDSZ had failed to do after eight years in power.

      One may add that Fidesz always opposed any of those actions when in opposition during 2002-2010, giving the voters the impression that “no austerities would happen under Fidesz”, but that was of course not lying

  • Viking

    One of ‘I Kill’s’ mantra is that the Orban regime only gets criticism from “the left” internationally
    It is therefore interesting to quote
    * journalist KARL GAULHOFER from the Austrian “Die Presse”,
    which is since 1999 owned by the Styria Medien AG, a conservative-liberal media group founded by the Catholic Church

    The title is:
    “Der Puszta geht die Puste aus”

    “Erst vor 16 Monaten jagte Victor Orbán den IWF aus dem Land – angeblich, weil Ungarn seine Probleme selbst lösen könne, tatsächlich aber, weil sich der Premier an keine Sparauflagen halten will. Seitdem verstört der Rechtspopulist die Investoren mit immer neuen, ausnahmslos negativen Vertrauensschocks”

    “Orbáns Gegnern in Politik und Zivilgesellschaft drohen Zensur und Verfolgung. Sie können nur die Fäuste in der Hosentasche ballen und auf die nächste Wahl warten”

    “Auch in Ungarn wäre ein Regimewechsel der positivste denkbare Schock”

    When not even your friends like you any more…

  • Viking

    On this dull, grey and wet (misty) Saturday, when the weather is too bad to even go out an kick the dog around, why not do a a ‘leto’ (quoting some unknown idiot on the net and trying to apply that to the opponents on this web-site)?

    So here it comes:
    “Mr Orban’s genius shown another sparkle yesterday when he decided to outsmart those who artificially weaken the Ft. Going back to the IMF is a move to calm down the market, not to ask for a loan.
    And by the time it happens, the strategy to help the foreign currency debt-ridden people will have completed the process which is in their favour”

    This is what people call doing a ‘Turkey’ today
    Just see how this “person” is depicting The Supreme Leader having a “genius”, which sometimes do have an occasional “sparkle”
    If we just would have those commentators here…
    Or am I just missing ‘elle’?

    • Viking

      Erik,

      Why are several of my posts ending up here and not in the end of the thread?
      I did not do a reply or anything and the post is not being intended, so it was not treated as a reply
      If you check the times of the posts, you see they come in the “wrong” order also

  • Viking

    Hungary: amateur hour

    Back again so soon? Please join the end of the queue

    Although markets bounced on the announcement, it is unclear how long that can be sustained. The government has hinted strongly that it wishes to receive a pledge with few strings attached, but that is not how the IMF operates. It is safe to say that some of the markets’ initial enthusiasm anticipates an end to unorthodox policies such as arbitrary taxes, forcing banks to swallow large currency conversion losses, the nationalisation of private pensions and trying to force the governor of the independent central bank to quit.

    However much he wants easy terms, Mr Orbán will soon learn that solvency is a precondition for complete sovereignty

    The above is a quote from Financial Times ‘Lex’-column:

    “Lex is a premium daily commentary service from the Financial Times. It is the oldest and arguably the most influential business and finance column of its kind in the world. It helps readers make better investment decisions by highlighting key emerging risks and opportunities.

    Written with a sharp and authoritative yet often humorous voice, the column is unconflicted and fiercely guards its editorial independence. Traditionally it appears daily on the back page of the Financial Times, and sets the agenda on everything from company analysis and macroeconomics to financial markets to critical trends of the day”

    Obviously not everyone just loves Mr Orban and Hungary gets bad press due to that

  • Leto

    President Barack Obama and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao conferred today in a surprise meeting in Indonesia, focusing on economic matters.

    Well, this could be called “humiliating” for Obama, too. No, no sudden talk about communism, human rights or Tibet. Money talks. And the Chines have that.

    • spectator

      - Except Mr.Obama wasn’t bragging all over the place being “independent”, as a direct result of his “freedom fight”..!

      Mr.Orban successfully and expertly humiliated himself, all on his own power, his miserable little ego just didn’t let him be reasonable.
      Being an arrogant little prick doesn’t usually pays off, particularly, when not only your head, but your pockets empty as well.

      Interesting – as it may, that he still thinks, he’ll get away with it, the fooled masses will believe even these latest lies!

      Well, there is a Santa Claus too, not to mention the Easter Bunny…

      Even a Fidesz supporter can not be that stupid!

      – Or else.

      • Leto

        Using your own words, you’re a frustrated “little prick”… :D :D :D

        • spectator

          Dream on, dear!

          • Leto

            I’ve told you that spare these words for your kind because I’m not one. :disgusted:

          • Viking

            Leto says:
            November 21, 2011 at 1:05 am

            because I’m not one

            ‘I Kill’ does not know, then Hungarian State TV M1 sent a film about Harvey Bernard Milk (May 22, 1930 – November 27, 1978), who was the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California
            The film starred Sean Penn in the role as Milk

            And this in Fideszland, on VictorTV, on the first TV-channel?
            Makes you wonder who more in Fidesz/KDNP are not like ‘I Kill’?
            And Sean Penn, is he not a Communist?

            ‘I Kill’ can be happy to stay in the UK, where people are well known to be straight

    • American in Budapest

      Leto,

      You are so dumb …

      The Chinese are concerned about Obama’s push for greater American involvement in the region. Read the newspapers and educate yourself.

      • Leto

        @The black American pot in Budapest

        Of course, surely the Chinese wanted this sudden surprise meeting about money. After all they are the one who are short on (real) money, not your country. :D

        • Viking

          Leto says:
          November 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm

          surely the Chinese wanted this sudden surprise meeting about money

          Personally I have not a clue about this specific meeting, then I am not interested in it, but I know so much that the Chinese are seriously worried over the financial situation in both the US and Europe
          The reason is that the Chinese society exists on a very high rate of growth, now the orders from outside has slumped in big numbers and the Chinese production machinery has problems where to sell everything it produces
          This create a need for fewer new factories that can employ the endless stream of poor people from the countryside, creating a really big social problem inside China
          When the situation was good, an estimated 1.000 demonstrations and violent protests where held *every day* over China
          This number can easily explode, creating real problems for the Chinese Leadership

          So, no the answer is not just to print more money, not even for China
          If the plot was so easy China would just buy up all of Hungary and save the World Economy
          Not even the Chinese bought that myth

    • Leto

      The public debt of the US exceeded 15000 billions USD last Wednesday which is 99% percents of the total yearly GDP.
      The amount increases by 56 billions each day.
      The 23rd of November, in two days, is the “ultimate deadline” for coming to an agreement how to cut 1200 billions in the next 10 years. There doesn’t seem to be an agreement in sight.

      The US congress increased the debt ceiling 12 times in the last decade, 76 times since 1962. The US public debt is just about to hit the ceiling again, last increased to 15194 billions on the 8th of September.

      • Viking

        And what does that has to do with the simple fact that the Hungarian Forint’s relation to the Euro has been the worst performer the last year, on The Supreme Leader’s watch?

        Let the americans screw up their own economy, we need to concentrate on getting the Hungarian working and so far it has just been getting worse

  • Post-a-ghost

    Bokros was/is unliked in Hungary because of the draconian austerity measures he introduced when this country was once again going to be washed down the plughole courtesy of hapless and corrupt politicians.
    We all sing like canaries about the befuddled bunch of irksome b-st-rds in the parliament building but no one has a solution or remedy to get them to behave in a professional and responsible way.
    The Arabs have better ideas on how to remove their “deadwood”! Perhaps we should follow in their footsteps?
    The ballot box is a one-way ticket to watch the sshennanigans of Orban and Gyurscany.
    The custard pie clowns that have single-handedly destroyed what should have been a prosperous nation.

    • Viking

      Post-a-ghost says:
      November 19, 2011 at 7:16 pm

      Bokros was/is unliked in Hungary because of the draconian austerity measures he introduced when this country was once again going to be washed down the plughole courtesy of hapless and corrupt politicians

      Yes, Bokros and his actions were very unpopular 95-98 and that was a major reason for MSZP to lose the elections 1998, then Fidesz promised gold and green forrests

      Hungary’s economy was much better in 1998, than in 1994, so Bokros did a good job
      Hungary’s economy continued to be good until Orban started to increase the State Debt around 2000, by trying to bribe the populace before the 2002 year election

      The 2002 election was won by MSZP, which promised even more gold and green forests and the rest we see today

      Due to this not so strict fiscal policy from 2000, Hungarians now need to learn their Greek and that will be hard

  • Farkas László

    Trying to make sense out of the above articles, made me go to the IMF website, http://www.imf.org.

    “Article IV consultations” are apparently a routine, once a year evaluation of a country, and for the basis for a report:

    “IMF Article IV Staff Reports
    Article IV consultations usually take place once a year. IMF economists visit the member country to gather information and hold discussions with government and central bank officials, and often private investors and labor representatives, members of parliament, and civil society organizations. Upon its return, the mission submits a report to the IMF’s Executive Board for discussion. The Board’s views are subsequently summarized and transmitted to the country’s authorities”

    Some of the countries that have had such “consultations” recently have been the US, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Luxembourg, Slovenia and Australia. (besides the usual rogues gallery of third world suspects) I suppose Hungary is in good company as far as that goes, but in the case of the Hungarians I wasn’t totally reassured by this air of bureaucratic bonhomie. I read further on their website to find the report on Hungary:

    IMF Statement on Hungary
    Press Release No.11/422
    November 21, 2011
    Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement today:

    “The IMF has received a request from the Hungarian authorities for possible financial assistance. The authorities have sent a similar request to the European Commission and indicated that they plan to treat as precautionary any IMF and EC support that could be made available.

    “The IMF team currently in Budapest will now return to Washington for consultations with the IMF’s management and the Executive Board. Discussions on the 2011 Article IV will be concluded at a later stage.”

    Aha! The first sentence “lets the cat out of the bag”:

    “The IMF has received a request from the Hungarian authorities for possible financial assistance. The authorities have sent a similar request to the European Commission..”

    So what is this, a petition for another bailout? Can it mean anything else?

    Asking for further funds raises a number of questions, which likely have been posed by the IMF people to the Orbán government:

    1)How about that 60 billion you got under Gyurcsány? How are we doing with THAT loan? Are you able to meet the payments? Will you be able to pay back the principal besides the interest? When, and in how many years?

    2)How are you doing with revenue collection aka as taxes? Have you made any changes that minimise tax avoidance?

    3)What DID you do with that 60 billion? If we give you more, what exactly are you going to spend those monies on?

    4)If we increase your indebtedness by giving more, will you be able to sustain a heavier repayment schedule?

    5)How much cash reserves do you have on hand with which to weather an economic downturn (a concern for many other nations as well)? If you have a further recession, will you have to suspend payments?

    6)If we give you a second bailout, how do we know you won’t be asking for yet another a year or two from now?

    These aren’t political or ideological questions, they are the types of questions that any banker would ask who hasn’t lost touch with reality. They are not specific to Hungary either; they could repeat this question list with quite a few other other nations!

  • MHL

    Crumbling schools, tax avoidance still rife, disputes among the major protagonists, i.e. Simor Andras MNB Governor, and Orban Viktor/ Prime Minister,the so-called politicians out of their depth in all matters, foreign investment at a low ebb because of the pathetic nature of bureaucracy and endemic corruption, byzantine administration, manipulation of currency, off-shore bank accounts were many of the political elite deposit cash (allegedly), MOL investment farce with borrowed money(and we still don’t know the agents charged with looking after that transaction on our behalf…
    The list is endless. And, after all the blather from Orban Viktor, and his manipulative cronies, the country has still gone to the dogs and needs a bail out once again because the overall situation is dire.
    Dismal, deplorable, and, worst of all, what we have come to expect!

  • Farkas László

    Dear MHL,

    It all adds up to a request for another bailout, apparently. (I hope I am wrong about that.) So far it resembles what has been going on in Greece and other troubled eurozone countries.

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