One of the biggest problems in Hungary: Mortgages taken out in Swiss francs

Hungary not only had a huge problem with public debt, which was run up by the MSZP-SZDSZ government from 52% to over 80% of GDP within 8 years. Private debt was almost as big a problem. Up to a million households took on debt, denominated in Swiss francs, with no intervention from the MSZP-SZDSZ government or their placeman in the central bank, András Simor. Meanwhile the banks in Hungary, ran ads like this one, from an Austrian owned bank:

Not only was there no moves to curb these loans, a diplomatic cable sent in 2008, recorded the following:

National Bank Governor Andras Simor ruled out any direct assistance to borrowers, however, noting that, “foreign currency debtors should not be saved, since we finally have to learn that there is no such thing as a free lunch.”

No wonder that interest groups are willing to fight dirty, to protect Simor at all costs. He was the one willing to throw hundreds of thousands of Hungarians under the bus, to help out the banks. And why should he care? His position is not accountable to the voters so what does it matter if the ranks of the homeless increase, say tenfold. He is allowed to see out his term just the same.

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