Hungary’s modern Machiavelli: Gábor G. Fodor, the political thinker

At the moment I wouldn’t like to be in Viktor Orbán’s shoes. Let’s summarize briefly the troubles he has encountered in the last couple of weeks. First there was the less than successful visit of Angela Merkel, followed by his widely criticized meeting with Vladimir Putin in Budapest. His trip to Warsaw was a disaster. And then came yesterday’s stunning defeat in the Veszprém by-election, which caused such panic that today he called together the Fidesz presidium for an emergency meeting. In addition, nowadays criticism doesn’t come exclusively from the liberal papers. Magyar Nemzet has more or less found its voice as a conservative paper critical of the politics of the Orbán government. Even former colleagues, for example, Foreign Minister János Martonyi, voiced his disapproval of Orbán’s pro-Russian foreign policy.

On top of everything else, one of his greatest defenders, a so-called political scientist who describes himself as “a political thinker,” gave a long interview to Magyar Narancs in which he revealed details of the political strategies of the Orbán regime. These revelations were shocking, especially to right-wing followers of Viktor Orbán who thought that the prime minister’s program was a collection of high-minded ideas, noble goals for the good of the country. Well, Gábor G. Fodor, the political scientist in question, disabused them of this lofty view.

What offended the faithful to such an extent? G. Fodor in an interview described Viktor Orbán’s political career as nothing more than a series of manipulative moves devised to improve his standing in the polls. No grand ideas, only mendacious slogans that his stupid followers believe. His advisers look down on these people who can so easily be manipulated. Even his more sophisticated followers believe that Viktor Orbán’s concept of “polgári Magyarország” (a democratic Hungary based on middle-class values) was something the prime minister was truly aspiring to. Here is what G. Fodor says: “There are many among the right-wing intelligentsia who have the mistaken notion that the concept of ‘polgári Magyarország’ was a political reality, but it was no more than a political product. These people still think that Hungary between 1998 and 2002 was really ‘polgári.’ That is a huge mistake. This is at the bottom of their current aversion to the present regime.” Well, if G. Fodor is correct, Tibor Navracsics is among these duped right-wing Fidesz leaders because just yesterday he defined himself as someone who, I guess in opposition to current Orbán politics, believes in the “polgári Magyarország” that existed during the first Orbán administration. And if this is the case, as I believe it is, let’s hope that it will not be the “moderate” Tibor Navracsics who will save Hungary from Viktor Orbán. After all, Navracsics seems to believe in something that never really existed.

Hungary's modern Machiavelli, Gábor G. Fodor

Hungary’s modern Machiavelli, Gábor G. Fodor

Anyone who thinks that G. Fodor is not a faithful follower of Viktor Orbán is mistaken. He is one of the most loyal defenders of the Orbán regime. According to him, everybody who devotes himself to political analysis is “really a soldier” who “defends the truth of the government.” Later in the interview he spoke of Viktor Orbán as a political genius who needs no advisers.

All this reminded Hungarian commentators of Niccolò Machiavelli, who indeed was a very important political thinker, the father of modern political science. But his best-known work, The Prince, became notorious over the centuries. “Old Nick” for the Devil or Satan is no coincidence. Neither is the adjective Machiavellian, meaning cunning, amoral, opportunist, something or someone characterized by expediency and deceit. Here are a few fairly typical sentences from The Prince:

… those princes who have done great things have held good faith of little account, and have known how to circumvent the intellect of men by craft, and in the end have overcome those who have relied on their words.

[A prince must be] a great pretender and dissembler; and men are so simple, and so subject to present necessities, that he who seeks to deceive will always find someone who will allow himself to be deceived.

G. Fodor, who seems to be an excellent student of Machiavelli, I’m sure finds all these qualities in his idol, Viktor Orbán. And they are, to his mind, admirable qualities. But members of the right-wing intelligentsia were appalled by G. Fodor’s political analysis. As an unnamed Fidesz politician told Népszabadságif G. Fodor were a member of the government, this interview would be as devastating for Viktor Orbán as the Balatonőszöd speech was for Ferenc Gyurcsány. G. Fodor’s description of Orbán’s political methods further undermines the prime minister’s credibility. Barna Borbás of Válasz was obviously shaken and came to the conclusion that “we have to figure out what we have exactly. What is still reality and what it is that we have to let go because it seems that the System of National Marketing is truly no more than a product.” Note that he used the word “marketing” instead of “cooperation.”

Magyar Nemzet’s Zsombor György was equally shocked. He called the interview “an atomic bomb” because, if G. Fodor’s allegations are correct, then “the trust in the ‘polgári-keresztény’ governance is shaken to its very foundation.” All those values–like God, nation, family, Transylvania–were just packaged goods to be sold to the naive folks. György is upset by the Machiavellian notion that a leader’s primary duty is to make people do what he wants. “We must protest. This is not the mission of political leaders in a democracy.” Suddenly, Magyar Nemzet discovered that in a democracy “there must be transparency, information, dialogue and compromise.” György and his political allies want to believe that “GFG presents only his version of governance and that the greater part of the political leadership believes in polgári Magyarország.” Yet it seems that György is not convinced that G. Fodor is not telling the truth. “After all, Gábor G. Fodor is the strategic director of the political think tank that assists the government’s work. But reading this interview we can state: God save us from anyone listening to him. What he is talking about is a different world and another value system.” Is it?

I am shocked that these people seem to be truly shocked. It looks as if they honestly believed all the political marketing that was put in front of them when actually it was “Old Nick” who was guiding the hands of their great leader all along.

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An
Guest

So finally right wing conservatives start to realize that they’ve been used by a power-hungry carrier politician with no moral principles? Rude awakening, but it’s high time.

Member

I do not find anything new about in what the “great believers” just discovered now. If any of them bothered to read this blog, every single item in question were listed here for years. THey are surprised that Orban was lying and manipulating? WHo are they kidding “Do not listen to what I say” in order to get elected… Who said that? and that was just the beginning. I guess maybe these fantastic “insiders” lived in denial because all the signs are facts were there. THEy accused everyone who tried to reason with them with conspiracy. I do not buy into the “great surprise”, they knew it, but the ship started to sink…

Technicus
Guest
I’m shocked that Professor Balogh is shocked that these pundits were really shocked. While I believe that there were average folks who identified with and believed in the polgári slogans, the propagated conservative, christian middle class values, most of these pundits knew exactly what’s been going on. Up until Simicska’s recent change of heart the same columnists, journalists of Magyar Nemzet as well as those of (Heti) Válasz, Mandiner and the rest dutifully acted – just as GFG prescribed – as soldiers with pens. They created bogus stories, defended Orban at every turn, the slightest criticism would have been tantamount to treason and spread arguments to the readers with which said readers could go out and defend Orban. In many cases both the pundits and the readers knew that Orban wasn’t right (they were both in on the lies), but still the readers needed the intellectual ammunition because the dwindling number of readers of MN or the printed HV are the most faithful Orbanists, who want actively to fight for Orban and against the communists/jews/liberals. I think there is a serious amount of faux self-righteousness proffered here. The GFG interview is only a pretext, too good an opportunity to pass… Read more »
Csodapeter
Guest

I’m shocked that Professor Balogh is shocked that these pundits were really shocked.

Ditto

Webber
Guest
I couldn’t agree more. What hurts them the most – what kills them – is the realization that a lot of people hate them and see through their lies. Hir TV people were obviously in shock when people at protests in Budapest turned their backs on them and shouted that they were liars. That was a boycott in the original sense. It is extremely effective. They don’t understand it. They are convinced that they are actually “popular” that they represent the voice of the majority. They still don’t understand what happened to them in Veszprém. I hope they never understand it. And, on that note, the really disappointing thing about the interview with G.F.G. is that an otherwise interesting weekly such as Magyar Narancs should have seen fit to even talk with the creep, – a person who has helped with witch hunts against people like Agnes Heller and others; a liar and a scoundrel a gentleman wouldn’t shake hands with. I’m disappointed when I see people like G.F.G. on ATV. I’m disappointed when I see otherwise reputable people talking on Fidesz channels. Why foul themselves? Instead of giving people like GFG more media exposure (as if he didn’t have… Read more »
gez
Guest
You would need a discipline that isn’t characteristic of this Hungarian leftist media scene. The right wing or government managed media, hell, the government itself (including Orban) know that not talking to, ignoring the adversaries, the questions posed to you are the only methods which work. Treat them as if they don’t exist. No interview has been conducted with any opposition politician in Magyar Nemzet or Heti Valasz, why would they give space to them? The right-wing media workers are disciplined and acutely aware that they are cogs in a political machinery and act accordingly. They understand (even obsessed by) the power of the media, which the Hungarian left wing never did. Hence the fact that the there is no electronic media outlet that is owned/edited by left-leaning people, while Fidesz acquired dozens of assets or have their editors replaced (such as at origo.hu, which is now solidly fidesznik). Orban hasn’t given a single interview in at least 5 years — not counting those talks in which he spreads his ideas without the slightest challenge from the “interviewer”. The eagle doesn’t address the fly, as they say at Fidesz, but to be honest I wouldn’t expect anything other than inane… Read more »
googly
Guest

Webber,

You wrote: “the really disappointing thing about the interview with G.F.G. is that an otherwise interesting weekly such as Magyar Narancs should have seen fit to even talk with the creep.”

How would this wonderful information have had so much of an impact, or even gotten out to begin with? Maybe you really are a Fidesz troll, lamenting that Fodor’s admissions have further tarnished Orbán’s image.

If you’re not a Fidesz mole, then you should learn the difference between a fluff piece and a hard-hitting piece of journalism. Your Fidesz-oriented brain not only feels that attacking the character of people who disagree with you is the best way to debate, but that freezing out all your “enemies” from “your” press organs is the right way to provide the truth to your audience. A much better approach to journalism is to conduct interviews with anyone in a position to know things, then asking them hard questions, which seems to be what this journalist did. You must hate honorable people who play fair, because they seem “weak” to you. That is the problem of modern politics, both here in Hungary and in many Western countries, and you are its embodiment.

Webber
Guest

Puppy’s still following me I see.
Now I’m a Fidesz troll with a Fidesz-oriented brain?
Stunning logic.

googly
Guest

Ah, just like a Fidesz troll to ignore the content of the remark and focus on the insults. Thanks for making my point for me!

Also, just because you can’t understand the logic doesn’t mean it isn’t solid. You don’t seem to have much ability to understand logic in general, so I’m not surprised. Ask someone smart, or at least smarter than you, to explain it.

StopHolocaustCleansing
Guest
StopHolocaustCleansing

Other Topic:
This is how the Embassy of Hungary and the American Hungarian Federation co-sponsored a Holocaust Cleansing event in Washington D.C.

The following text was pitched to the journalist of Georgetowner Magazine:
“approximately half-a-million Hungarian Jews perished in a steady stream of shipments and deportations from Hungary in the Nazis’ last act of horror toward the close of World War II, never stopping in their pursuit of the Final Solution. This occurred in spite of often heroic efforts by many Hungarians to stop, delay or prevent the tragedy.”

Again, Hungarians saved, Nazis deported. You can read more about this type of holocaust cleansing in Professor Braham’s essay.

American Hungarian Federation on the event linking Georgetowner Magazine’s article
http://americanhungarianfederation.org/news_holocaust2015.htm

Professor Randolph Braham on methods of Holocaust cleansing
“It was he in fact who first aimed to unburden the national conscience over the Holocaust by consistently repudiating the idea of any official apology. It was also Antall who first suggested that in any discussion of the Holocaust, if it must be discussed at all, emphasis should be placed on the rescue activities of the Righteous rather than the on perpetrators.[15]”
http://hungarianspectrum.org/2014/03/22/randolph-l-braham-the-assault-on-the-historical-memory-of-the-holocaust/

Member

If you read further down on the americanhungarinfederation’s page it gets even worst. Apperently the only “with the exception of the massacres of partisans and Jews in Novi Sad in 1942 (whose perpetrators fled to avoid prosecution by Hungarian authorities only to return to Hungary with the German occupying army in 1944) and the 16,000 “alien” Jews who were returned to German-held Ruthenia in 1941” Hungary did not do anything bad!

Guest
I share your outrage, but I think it is a pretty hopeless endeavour to try to get Hungarians confront in all its horror what their forbears did to Hungarian citizens of Jewish descent during their enthusiastic implementation the genocidal Hungarian Holocaust. Unlike the Germans, the vast majority of Hungarians would prefer to forget about the whole thing, or if that was not possible, then to whitewash it out of all recognition. And apart from that, there is actually a significant minority of Hungarians who fully approve of what happened, just regret it bitterly that the job could not be finished one hundred percent. In the end, we Jews are totally alone with our grief, outrage and inconsolable memories, and it is pointless to expect sympathy or understanding, however much the Jewish leadership might try to force it out of others. They can try, but it is a hopeless task in which they will never succeeed. On the contrary, the more they try, the more antipathy they generate with their efforts. Yes, the lies and misrepresentations, the libels and defamations must be combated, though without too much sanguine hope that the message would find a sympathetic hearing or even get through… Read more »
latefor
Guest
Dear Mike Balint, You might enjoy these few lines from the famous poem: “If” by Kipling. “If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:” **** Somehow I do not think that isolation would be an answer. And I don’t believe that calling people “anti-Semites” on an regular bases by some of the activists is working for you. The average non-anti-Semite will get angry and upset because of these generalised name callings, I can tell you this from personal experience. Also, the poor victims of the Holocaust should be allowed to rest and their cases should be dealt with by historians. I do (and most of us) sympathise with your pain. Please stop looking at us as your potential future enemies. Please, for the sake of all of us, Jews and Christians alike. Best regards to you.
Guest
Dear Latefor Thank you for the Kipling quote. Generalisations might be sometimes right and appropriate, sometimes wrong and inappropriate. Some generalisations are unfair to those they do not apply to, thus can be unfortunate and misdirected in part. Other generalisations are spot on. Most non-Jews are antisemitic to some degree, though some are not. Some non-Jews are in fact proud to be antisemites. And there are some non-Jews who are actually philosemites. Not many, but there are some. Historically, antisemitism or Judeophobia was a religiously-based handmaiden of Christianity. With the rise of language-based nation states, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe, it mutated into a racially-based handmaiden of nationalism. One way or another, it is one of the most deep-rooted components of European civilization itself. To me it seems that it does not matter very much one way or another whether Jews name call or not. The real problem of the antisemites of one sort or another with the Jews is that Jews exist, not what they say or do. Unfortunately, as long as there is antisemitism, the victims of Holocaust cannot rest in the minds of Jews. Yes, for non-Jews, their cases can be dealt with by historians, just… Read more »
Guest

Actually, the best and most effective response to Holocaust cleansers, relativizers and deniers is, on the one hand, “to go forth and multiply,” live long and prosper, and on other other hand to continue to maintain a strong and active worldwide diaspora and a powerful, and in practical terms invincible State of Israel.

Eternal vigilance is of course the price of freedom, and it’s a given that our relevant institutions must fight and neutralise Holocaust cleansers, relativizers and deniers wherever they rear their ugly heads.

Guest

And as long as we live on, preserve, widely disseminate and in particular make sure that we pass on to the next generation of Jews the memory and documentation of the incontrovertible evidence of what happened in all its horrific detail, the mendacious assertions of Holocaust cleansers, relativizers and deniers will always be ultimately shown up to be the mere shameful and despicable lies that they are, in the light of the simple, unvarnished and incontrovertible historical truth.

Because the truth will out, always, as long as we make sure it does.

Member

Dear Mike Balint. I´m just a simple, mortal man. I appreciate your comments very highly, and I myself have tried to uderstand the way that led to the Holocaust. While I was not yet borne by the time it happened I feel some kind of deep sorrow over the people who are not with us and their unborn children because of the Holocaust. I feel bad becase even I am a product of a culture that brought forth the deepest barbarity. How could the european civilisation end in the Shoa against its own, most valuable principles of humanity? Are we no more than animals? I dare to face the Holocaust and I realise that it is not the “jews” problem but mine. I foster my son in the light of that insight. My best wishes.

ps. a reflection would be apprecieted, please help me

Guest

Dear Attila Neumerker

You are a good person and your thoughts are very much appreciated. If most people thought like you, we would have no tensions between Jew and non-Jew, and sincere reconciliation would have already happened as a matter of course a long, long time ago.

Thank you your your very kind comment.

Member
Dear Eva: I am so glad you brought up and quoted Machiavelli. I am a great admirer of his political handbook “The Prince”, and his other books. I carry “The Prince” in my car and whenever I have to wait for my wife at stores or doctor’s appointments, I read from it, including the hundreds of pages of explanations and historical references the translator was and publisher included. Without the explanations and historical references, we would skim over many, many sentences of Machiavelli, which are carefully constructed with double meaning or which are circulars, start out to favor one thing but end up favoring the opposite, by the time one gets through. No politician should hold a high position without being thoroughly familiar with the principles Machiavelli laid out about governing people. He did it with truly a very good understanding of human nature, emotions and logic. My opinion and I hope you don’t get upset, that it was not Machiavelli who was wicked, it was not him, who was a cheater, conniver, shifty and morally corrupt and he does not condone these things entirely. He was just very, very familiar with human nature and the ways by which people… Read more »
Webber
Guest

Don’t be surprised if you’re disappointed by the interview. I, personally, can’t see why some people have made such a big deal about it (esp. on t.v.). In the interview G.F.G. evades questions by firing observations back about where the question came from, or by going off onto bizarre tangents, such as one about someone being a “myth” (I won’t spoil it by saying who). Forked tongue is the right expression – I wouldn’t trust a word that reptile is able to utter. Making any conclusions at all based on that interview is just…. assuming logic where there is none. And that was my only conclusion from the interview: G.F.G. sees it as his mission in life to make the idiotic, irrational and illogical steps of his lord and master appear clever, and he’s paid quite handsomely for doing that.

Guest

This guy Fodor must be some kind of incredibly inept “political adviser” to have “inadvertently” put his foot in his mouth this way. Orbán may well say that with such “friends” who needs enemies?

But maybe Fodor is not inept at all, just a hack on Simicska’s payroll, who until now merely pretended to be Orbán’s most faithful soldier, but has now suddenly taken off that mask.

Irrespective of any hypocritical protestations of his about Orbán’s supposed political genius.

As they say in Hungarian: “Addig jár a korsó a kútra, amíg el nem törik” (Any pitcher repeatedly taken to the well will eventually break) and “Aki másnak vermet ás, maga esik bele” (The biter bit/Hoist on his own petard).

Schedenfreude – the delicious pleasure derived from the misfortune of others: now it is the podgy little Victor’s turn to be in its focus. And not before time, either.

Webber
Guest

Having read the interview, my guess is that the guy actually is just that bizarre. I got the feeling that GFG wanted a chance to tell the adoring masses more about who he is and what he does. He seems to think he’s just great, his boss (Orban) is incredible, and what he does for his boss is almost too fantastic for words. He must be so used to being surrounded by adoring Fidelitas twerps that he doesn’t realize how he comes off.

Guest

Yep, the guy is just bizarre, a smart idiot, too clever by half, who finally proved to be an utter disaster for his pudgy little boss.

petofi
Guest

@gybog.

I learnt my Machiavelli the same way. I also like him: not only what he outlined, but its brevity
as well.

Putin and Orban has moved Machiavellian philosophy to a more drastic level–not only should one instill fear in the populace but spread hardship and hunger to occupy the citizenry.

I harbor just the faintest of hopes…not that Fideszniks have ‘seen the light’ but that they have
lost their nerve in following the ‘short boys’ into doom just for the sake of lucre.

ambator
Guest

I disagree with Webber on whether G. Fodor is a reptile.
To me he always appeared as a rat. In every respect, starting with his views and closing with his looks and manners. It bespeaks of the entire Orban regime that this guy is one of their chief spokesmen.
And after hearing two weeks ago a lecture by the other “chief,” Andras Lanczy, I saw confirmed my initial assertion that the Orban regime is incredibly short on intellect and long on lies. I would even go as far as to say that all the right wing “intellectuals” and the Batthanyi Circle of Professors and their ilk, all those other cheap opportunists willfully participated in the deception and are fully complicit in the crime. The only alternative to that, if they were idiots and morons, who didn’t recognize the rat, when they saw it.

Member

Let’s not sully the name of intelligent, sensitive rodents or lizards with the likes of this GFG homunculus…

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F64iD_Tz_Vg&w=640&h=390%5D

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dq_apH2y_bk&w=640&h=390%5D

Live long and prosper
Guest

After OV’s falling out with SL, then the Merkel, Putin and Warsaw visits, then the by-election defeat, then the attention paid suddenly by the EU to the Paks (Top Secret) deal, and now reading all these comments, I begin to feel that the tide has turned. And it is now, when OV is on his back foot, that SL should hit him and his coterie with the publication of scandals, thick and fast. It’s hard to know if I am just feeling wishful or if there are genuinely signs that the regime is crumbling. I still know sadly simple followers who cannot (openly?) admit to having been deceived.

Jon Van Til
Guest

It may be timely to recall Leon Festinger’s classic research on “When Prophecy Fails”. The more the leader’s prediction of good and great times proves errant, the more his adherents cling to him and his (by then slightly revised) visions. May apply as well to the songs of guitar-strumming socialists and the messages cheered by those called by Facebook to the squares of the city…

Max
Guest

Századvég has turned into a money laundering party unit under Habony and Szalai-Bobrovniczky. G. Fodor and some other third-rank intellectuals only serve to provide a cover for that operation.

Meanwhile here is another article on what has really been going on in the foreign ministry since last April. Orbán apparently told his old guard foreign policy lieutenants as early as late 2013 that their services would not be needed in the ministry from April 2014 as he wants to redirect the entire country towards Russia.

http://privatbankar.hu/makro/flort-vagy-hazassag-orban-kivezet-minket-a-nyugati-erdekkorbol-278206

Miki
Guest
They are getting more and more stuck in their own web of lies. Nearly all of the spokesman of Fidesz and VO himself try to blow away all the critics by using complicated terminology and are quoting intellectuals. Most of the time done in the wrong way, but a lot of people are that impressed that they think it’s all making sense what they hear. A good example is the illiberal democracy. This is just copied by everybody like it has meaning and Fidesz has a plan to achieve this. Nothing is explained though about what the illiberal democracy means. What does it mean not being free and who is not free? Are people not allowed to choose their own path in life, choose any job, practice any religion, travel freely to any place? If so why on earth would anybody support such an idea? GF is just like that, spreading complicated nonsense. I believe they are really facing the end, and they see no way out. They just continue spreading these nonsense in combination with plain lies. I think they won’t stop doing this and it will go the same way as the famous Minister of information Muhammed Saeed… Read more »
Webber
Guest

The sale of Hungarian and Slovak branches of the Russian-owned Sberbank is back on the agenda. I’ll say it again – IF the Hungarian state buys it, I think the question will not be if but when it is declared bankrupt. It might, of course, be “re-capitalized” with a massive bailout of taxpayers’ money. Worth watching.

dezsozoltan3
Guest

@webber

Everybody knows that Sperbank Hungary (formerly Volksbank Hungary) isn’t worth a dime.

I think the “taxpayers” will purchase it, however, because:

(A) Fidesz can steal via the transaction as the seller will give back to Fidesz a part of the inflated purchase price;

(B) Fidesz by purchasing these worthless assets (even Sperbank knows that its Hungarian subsidiary is a piece of excrement) can further sweeten the Russian relationship;

(C) when Sperbank will be owned by a state-controlled SPV fideszniks will have access to yet another cookie jar (via which they can arrange the cancellation of debts for favored companies etc.).

So, I think all the important reasons are there for a signature good deal, backed up by legal paperwork so that the deal will be unassailable.

Poor lefties are just blinking like they were in the movies (but they never had the know-how to do these deals) and should the tide turn fideszniks will just give some crumbles to the lefties who will immediately forget about these deals.

It’s so easy and it feels so good, it’s almost like a separate art form, one can almost hear it being done, like a beautiful performance of a violin concerto.

tappanch
Guest

The Hungarian SIPC, named BEVA has only 12 billion HUF. The broker Buda Cash, which was taken over by the National Bank for fraud lacks 100 billion forints!

The Hungarian state cannot lawfully compensate the depositors of the brokerage and 4 related banks.

http://www.portfolio.hu/vallalatok/100_milliarddal_nem_tud_elszamolni_a_buda-cash.210546.html

Webber
Guest

Who owned Buda Cash?

kolmog
Guest

5 people with every day names. One of them (Janos Gyarmati) is apparently a long-time resident of the Philippines. No detailed CV is available about any of them, though Gyarmati was already involved in the Globex scandal (a similar brokerage bankruptcy) in the 1990’s. I too would like to know more about these people. Pinter was the most famous, but even his exact background is a bit murky.

tappanch
Guest

The brokerage and the 4 banks have 115,000 accounts

Webber
Guest

One or two more crashes like that, and there could be serious systemic damage – a real breakdown. I hope they keep things in control. Little people will suffer if they don’t.

kolmog
Guest

That’s unlikely. There are only very few independent financial institutions in Hungary. Unless Condorde or Equilor are in danger and both at the same time, I wouldn’t worry.

Vtornik
Guest

It occurred to others as well that Orban would very much like people to believe that “he got it”.

Yesterday index.hu, today vs.hu published an article with this message.

Sure, Orban makes mistakes from time to time, but he is ready to admit such mistakes and if he is persuaded by his colleagues then he can change his mind and do things differently. So deep down he’s a good man. He is all too human. I’m told people who meet him regularly all find him very likable actually.

http://444.hu/2015/02/24/a-fidesz-nagyon-szeretne-azt-sugallni-hogy-orban-viktor-megertette/

buddy
Guest

OT: US Ambassador Bell now taking your requests on how to better understand Hungary. Interesting idea, and her style is very disarming…
http://youtu.be/OPulzTGWo9A

Webber
Guest

Here are illustrations for Ambassador Bell on how to do business, government style:
1. Let’s say you’re high up in (the Hungarian) government or own a business close to Fidesz, and you notice a little business you’d like to buy – you’re an entrepreneur, after all – but the owner doesn’t want to sell. What do you do?
2. Let’s say there’s a piece of real estate you’d like to have, but there’s a shop in it that’s making good money and you can’t get the owner to sell out. What do you do?
Answer: Turn to your good friends at the Hungarian tax authorities! Report those business people who don’t want to do business with you! (suspicious!) The tax authorities will visit the businesses in question every week, week after week, searching for problems with the books. Sooner or later they might find something. If they don’t, well, the businessman might discover he wants to do business with the entrepreneur after all!
It’s easy to get ahead in Hungary! It’s a great capitalist country, just like the US of A. You just need to have the right acquaintances!

buddy
Guest

Speaking of being shocked, GFG’s interview reminds me of the classic line by Capt. Louis Renault from Casablanca, where Renault states that he is “shocked, shocked, to find gambling going on in here!” (right before he is handed his winnings, of course…)

só
Guest

Finkelstein is back. I wonder how Arpi Habony talks with Finkelstein. Does he have an interpreter? Probably the sidekick who carries his gucci handbags speaks some English.

http://hvg.hu/itthon/20150224_fidesz_elemzese_veszprem

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