French Hill, CEO of Little Rock-based Delta Trust and Bank, offers an op-ed for financial news network CNBC on the more than two decades of eastern Europe’s freedom.
Hill, a former economic advisor in the George H. W. Bush administration, was a witness to history as former communist countries such as Poland and Hungary were transformed into free countries.
Today, many of those countries are experiencing economic prosperity thanks to a foundation laid several decades ago. Hill reflects:
Economists consider Poland’s two decades of freedom a success.
Inflation is under control; the economy continues to grow in spite of European economic headwinds. The Poles continue to lead in fiscal reforms with government debt limited to 60 percent of GDP (“Washington, are you listening?”); a proposal is pending to limit the growth in government spending to consumer price index plus one percent; and, the Poles are considering reforms to retirement benefits by extending the retirement age from 65 and 60 to 67 for men and women, respectively.
Polish banks are liquid, profitable, with adequate capital; corporate tax rates remain low, less than 20 percent, preferable to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development average of 24.5 percent and far superior to the penurious 38 percent rate experienced in the United States.
In short, we are indeed reading of the Eastern European Tigers.
Read his full commentary at this link.