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    “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]
    The ostrich tactic did not work; the global crisis is now the crisis of Turkey
    Güven Sak, PhD 03 March 2009
    There are different ecoles of people. Nowadays we are familiar with the kind that makes unnecessary explanations. While the global crisis becomes the crisis of Turkey, they wonder around and talk. Then, they talk again. If you incline your ear to them, you see that they are also placing advertisements here and there. In all, they are talking with big words. However, once you listen to them, your information stock and the boundaries of your analysis ability do not expand; you do not get enlightened about what you have to do. Though the things they say do not ease your suffering; they keep on talking. Nowadays, my favorite is titled "private sector that made billions of dollars borrowing in foreign currency participates in the crisis lobbies to survive". This type of explanation is in partic [More]
    How much will Turkey’s economy contract in 2009 (1)?
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 02 March 2009
    What will be the rate of economic contraction for Turkey in 2009? This question can certainly be answered by naming any figure. However, then, it is necessary to answer why will the rate be exactly 'that' figure, not lower or higher. It is necessary to enumerate the rationale for the contraction prospects so that it can be discussed whether they are realistic or not. A way of answering this question is employing a technical model. The most basic model will include the sup components of the national income (such as consumption, investment, exports and imports). Then, a series of technical calculations will be made based on the determinants of the components and their impacts on the components. In the current environment, the candidates for major determinants of components like consumption, [More]
    Hand in hand against the crisis
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 01 March 2009
    The economic program that has to be designed to tackle the crisis must involve many measures. A part of the measures are related to credit guarantee system which is required to ensure the operation of both foreign exchange and TL credits, which are currently blocked. Since the end of October, I have written several columns on how the system can work. In addition, the think-tank I work at, TEPAV published several notes on this issue. I observe that, in the recent period, some columnists as well as prominent names of political parties, for instance such as CHP leader Deniz Baykal, are considering the system as an important solution advisories. And this makes me really happy as the ultimate aim of the recommendations involved in this column is initiating an important discussion on the recomme [More]
    A new recommendation to tackle the crisis (3)
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 26 February 2009
    I believe that the need for an integrated approach against the crisis is apparent. Despite this, however, the current administration has always done 'piecework' until now: That decision two months ago, this decision two months later... This does not have a confidence-building impact. What is more, since the decisions are not taken under the framework of an economic program by paying regard to consistency, the funds that might improve growth and employment when allocated for a different area are wasted in less-efficient areas. So to speak, arms are wasted for nothing. [More]