WASHINGTON, D.C. // The Honorable Leszek Balcerowicz, Ph.D., Professor at the prestigious Warsaw School of Economics - formerly the Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Finance of the Republic of Poland, and President of the National Bank of Poland - delivered a very insightful economic lecture here on December 1, 2008 at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland.
Prof. Balcerowicz Lecture At Polish Embassy. Professor Leszek Balcerowicz, veteran Polish economist and politician, is show above-right being interviewed by a bevy of Poland's news media following his lecture entitled "The Financial Crisis and Emerging Countries."
Ambassador Robert Kupiecki introduced Prof. Balcerowicz, and moderator Dr. Grzegorz Kozlowski, First Counselor and Head of Economic Section. The specialized and very attentive audience consisted mainly of economists and financial personnel from Washington embassies and think tanks; and notably in attendance was Latchezar Petkov, Ambassador of Bulgaria.
Prof. Balcerowicz presented his scholarly lecture - "The Financial Crisis and Emerging Countries" - which was illustrated with projected charts and graphs that made the complex subject matter of macro/micro economics easier to grasp. The Professor's keen sense of humor well served to make the heavy subject matter a bit lighter now and then.
Today's volatile econometrics were examined and explained in detail. The world's past financial meltdowns were revisited in relation to our present monetary woes and panicked stock markets. The socialist caused economic problems of the formerly communist controlled Eastern Bloc countries were laid out. The good news is that the Czech Republic and Poland are two of the emerging capitalist countries now best situated to suffer the least, and to recover sooner rather than later, from the present industrial downturn. Prof. Balcerowicz was loathe to give any time lines for the eventual world-wide markets recovery, saying with a sly smile that he unfortunately didn't possess a crystal ball to make such predictions.
During the extensive Q&A session, Prof. Balcerowicz made some very interesting pronouncements, with a sampling as follows:
"Regulate, regulate, regulate" - to fix the crippling housing mortgage crisis and the resulting international banking and investment meltdown.
"They must privatize and downsize" - if Poland's shipyards are to survive and prosper in the European Union.
"It is imperative to stimulate the economy and production" - is advice given to the incoming President Obama administration during its first 100 days in office in order to restore the American consumers' confidence.
At the reception, when a confessed economics-challenged person told Prof. Balcerowicz that he found the whole matter of world economics to be very complicated and difficult to understand, Balcerowicz, with a wave of his hand, sublimely condensed his entire lecture into one understated remark: "Really its not...actually it's just a matter of common sense."