Archive

  • May 2020 (5)
  • April 2020 (3)
  • March 2020 (6)
  • February 2020 (3)
  • January 2020 (4)
  • December 2019 (2)
  • November 2019 (3)
  • October 2019 (3)
  • September 2019 (2)
  • August 2019 (3)
  • July 2019 (2)
  • June 2019 (4)

    A change in the nature of uncertainty
    Güven Sak, PhD 24 May 2020
    The COVID-19 induced uncertainty has brought a sudden stop to real economic activity. We needed to slow down the spread of the virus to gain time and get to know the virus better. But now we are finally thinking about living with the virus, as new cases are subsiding. We cannot yet magically lift uncertainty, but we have a better sense of things. We are gradually moving away from the world of complete uncertainty into a world where we can assign probabilities to different eventualities, kind of moving from crisis management to change management. That’s what reopening is to many. [More]
    Total disconnect
    Güven Sak, PhD 17 May 2020
    Living in Ankara, I usually have to endure several tiring flights to participate in the events of universities, think tanks and international institutes. That is why the recent shift to virtual events has been a welcome development for me. Last week Fed Chairman Jerome H. Powel participated in one such virtual event at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in DC. He was saying that monetization was not that bad this time around. “The virus is the cause, not the usual suspects — something worth keeping in mind as we respond,” he said. I find this particularly important. [More]
    Our Three Weeks with the COVID-19 Virus
    N. Murat Ersavcı 14 May 2020
    We thought for the first three days that it was a simple cold. But our sickness did not go away. Then, on the morning of 28 March 2020, Zeynep, my wife woke up complaining of severe headaches and pains in her joints.  Soon her temperature rose to 38.5 C.  Realizing what might be happening I immediately contacted our friend, Prof Dr Haluk Özen, Rector of Hacettepe University in Ankara, one of Turkey's best medical facilities. We were advised to go straight to the Department of Infectious Diseases at the Hospital. [More]
    On the Shape of Recovery
    Güven Sak, PhD 10 May 2020
    COVID-19 requires true leadership. Winston Churchill’s words come to mind: “sometimes doing your best is not good enough. You must do what is required.” In the uncharted waters of the fight against coronavirus, that’s what we need to keep in mind. [More]
    Why we aren’t going to be ‘roaring back’ to life
    Güven Sak, PhD 03 May 2020
    When asked about the world economy after COVID-19, the U.K.’s Boris Johnson said that there was “absolutely no reason why economies worldwide should not come roaring back.” This was an extraordinary statement, and the prime minister obliged his audience with an explanation: “This is unlike 2008, there isn’t a systematic problem within the economy.” I disagree. [More]
    Helping the WHO to focus is what the G20 is about
    Güven Sak, PhD 19 April 2020
    President Donald Trump attacked the World Health Organization (WHO) this week, announcing a 60-day freeze of U.S. funding going into the organization. He said the WHO has “failed in its basic duty.” The president is an unashamed populist, and it’s almost inappropriate to take his words as a reflection of his thoughts. What is important here is how international organizations are going to come out of this, and two of the most important I’m thinking of here are the World Health Organization (WHO) and the G20, both of which are vital in this crisis. [More]
    A different kind of recession
    Güven Sak, PhD 12 April 2020
    COVID-19 is now stopping economic activity all over the planet. It is not the infectious disease itself that causes this effect, but the social distancing measures we have taken to buy us time. This is “the worst economic fallout since the Great Depression,” said Kristalina Georgieva, the Bulgarian economist who is now the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). We are used to have sudden stops in economic activity before in our part of the world, but this one is totally different. [More]
    Do you believe in COVID-19’s transformative power?
    Güven Sak, PhD 05 April 2020
    It seems like a deep thing to say: Nothing is ever going to be the same again. The times they are-a changin’. I don’t like it. Are we talking good change or bad change? And aren’t things changing all the time anyways? Sometimes we notice, sometimes we don’t, and it seldom has to do with the suffering people go through. [More]
    The price of a leaderless world
    Güven Sak, PhD 31 March 2020
    In times of great crisis, there are always those trying to leverage suffering for personal gain. It is the job of government to try to prevent that from happening as much as possible. In the 1918 flu epidemic, the United States put an 80 percent tax on all profits above 8 percent to prevent war profiteering. [More]
    Lessons from Turkey’s refugee crisis for dealing with COVID-19
    Güven Sak, PhD 22 March 2020
    Any economy, be it rice farming or high finance, relies on people working together. The COVID-19 pandemic has put an abrupt stop to this. Countries around the world are now rolling out economic measures to protect jobs and economic activity until we find a way to start back up again. [More]