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    Low interest rate-high exchange rate: current account surplus
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 16 March 2009
    When there was no global crisis, the main focus of this column was how the economic problems of Turkey can be dealt with. The results of the studies and discussions carried out by a group of colleagues elaborating on these problems were frequently reflected in this column. [More]
    Fourth economic package has good intentions, but…
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 15 March 2009
    On Friday, 'fourth economic package' was announced. Since it is the fourth package, there must have been three packages announced earlier. I do not want to be unfair at this point, because I remember the third package. On the other hand, my attitude is not that unfair at all. First two economic packages, God knows whatever they were, did not occupy the national agenda and thus my agenda. And the third package was a regular 'mixed' law involving several decisions from all kinds. [More]
    Burden of the measures on budget
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 12 March 2009
    In my previous commentary, I stated that if the current global situation continues and a new measure package is not announced, the economy will contract by 6.5 to 8.5 percent in 2009. But, there were other scenarios as well: the rate of contraction depended on export performance, global risk-taking appetite, consumer confidence in the economy and the amount of credits extended by banks. [More]
    This is not just an economic crisis
    Güven Sak, PhD 12 March 2009
    Are you aware that the current global disaster is not just an economic crisis in the sense we have been used to during the last three decades? Decision-makers, including Honorable Prime Minister of Turkey, may not be aware of this yet; but USA President Barrack Obama is. Let us see how we know he is aware and what we miss. [More]
    “I am currently feeling what the figures will tell you two months from now”
    Güven Sak, PhD 10 March 2009
    A few days ago, a businessman while explaining senior bureaucrats the problems companies in his city face said "I am currently feeling what the figures will tell you two months from now". Is not this basically what happens? Nowadays, balance sheets for 2008 are being announced. What do we learn? We learn the condition of the company in 2008. Now, it is March 2009. Turkish Statistical Institute (TURKSTAT) announces 2008 data with a similar delay. As a result, what is going on is reflected on the figures with a two-month delay. Balance sheets are announced and the crisis becomes evident. Announced balance sheets do not provide new information. They just validate what was evident months ago. And they underline how much Turkey needs an emergency evaluation mechanism. Today, let us emphasize ho [More]
    Please do not read if you do not want to be upset
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 09 March 2009
    Now, it is time for the contraction figures for 2009. First, I would like to explain the method I followed. First, I formed a small and simple model that uses quarterly data for the 1998-2008 period. This simplicity enables disregarding all details and focusing solely on growth. [More]
    Economic contraction in 2009: too unpleasant to write about
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 08 March 2009
    On Monday, I said that the question 'how much will the economy contract in 2009?' must be answered by the help of a technical model. In fact, I have the initial results on my computer for a while. But, I did not want to announce them here as they are extremely unpleasant. Therefore, I wanted to make more trials and minimize the margin of error. Today, I will not give any figures but go on comparing the situation in 2009 with that in 2001. [More]
    The reform decreases corruption perception and increases public satisfaction
    Güven Sak, PhD 07 March 2009
    First findings of the research "Vision of the Society about Public Administration and Public Services" were recently announced. The research was carried out by Fikret Adaman from Bosporus University, Ali Çarkoğlu from Sabancı University and Burhan Şenatalar from Bilgi University, on behalf of TEPAV (Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey). The data for the study carried out with the participation of around 2040 respondents from all around Turkey representing the urban population was compiled during November-December 2008. First findings were announced the week before. The comprehensive report will be published in two months. [More]
    How much will the economy contract in 2009? (2)
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 05 March 2009
    The title question can also be asked as "What will be the contraction in 2009 in comparison with 5.7 percent of contraction in 2001?" To give a satisfactory answer for this unpleasant question, I evaluated the export performance on Monday. Exports of Turkey fall down by gradually increasing rates since October. Pace of slowdown in January was around 25.7 percent. According to data provided by Assembly of Turkish Exporters, volume of exports fell down by 35 percent in February as compared to the same month last year.  On Monday, I stated that a 20 percent fall in 2009 exports as compared to 2008 would roughly result in a 3.5 point fall in growth rate. On the other hand, in 2001, Turkish exports did not fall down, but increased by 12.8 percent. [More]
    To what degree we are ready for the Everlasting Trials Period
    Güven Sak, PhD 05 March 2009
    Are your aware that the process we are in has an everlasting period? Barack Obama, new US President explained what this period meant in the best way possible. A few days ago, he spoke: "In brief, the issue is this: We will do whatever heals the wounds. It will take time to shape all details of the complete plan pertaining to the steps to be taken. Moreover, some parts of the plan must be reevaluated and revised. Then, we will try it. If one measure does not work, we will try another one."  The words of Obama are highly in harmony with the words Franklin Delano Roosevelt used in 1930s as the latter also liked to state that his economic program composed of "brave and insistent trials". So, is this depressing? No, it is not. Accepting the reality rather than fighting against it is the prerequ [More]