Sunday, October 19, 2008

MZ and Economics

The one I found doesn't look nearly this good. It is covered with dust, and has not run in four years. These MZ 250s were made in East Germany during the Communist era. It is a two-stroke single, with a four-speed transmission and an Earles Fork. I do not know yet whether it is for sale. What do you think, boys?

I located this old gem on the INFER conference's Sunday junket to a beautiful monastery and to the historic city of Alba Julia, about three hours south of Cluj-Napoca. I got to chatting with our driver, Mihai, who mentioned that he had a 1962 MZ that had been his father's. I told him I would love to see it, and he took me home to look at it after the trip. It is missing the huge front fender, and has instead a "sportier" smaller one. I do not know if that came with it, or was a replacement (the photos are of a 1960 model found at

As it turned out, I spent the whole weekend with my new INFER friends from the disciplines of econometrics and empirical research in economics. I learned quite a lot about the themes of the conference, which were "Globalization, Integration and Transition." There is a lot happening in the EU these days, and Romania is in the thick of its integration and transition into the mainstream of the European economy. A lot of uncertainty was expressed over the impact of the current credit crunch on the ability of Romania to sustain its 7 -9% annual growth rate in GDP, which it has achieved for the past five years. Of course, such uncertainty is worldwide today. More specifically, I learned that construction has accounted for some 30% of GDP in Romania in recent years, most of which is of office buildings, malls and private homes, rather than public works and infrastructure projects. There is a very low overall unemployment rate, and wages have been rising at 25% per year. Clearly the country will soon begin building major highways, which will change its look and feel forever.

Come soon, clan McDougall, come now. This country is too beautiful to miss, and too energetic to stay that way.


SKM said...

I say ship the bike and car home as a package deal. We can use the car to replace Alex's, which is on its last legs. And the bike looks "short" enough for me to handle. Besides another classic would love the stable. And I'm sure the car & bike would get plenty of exercise.
Bring part of Romania home to NH.

Duncan McDougall said...

Could be, though I may find a better bike. (And if Klaus comes home, he is going to be Dad's car. Alex will have to go buy a Daewoo, like everyone else starting out.)