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    How do business owners get richer while their companies fail to flourish?
    Güven Sak, PhD 12 July 2013
    How can business owners become richer while their companies fail to flourish? Have you checked the Fortune Global 500 and the World’s Billionaires by Forbes?  I take a look at the rankings every now and then. The former gives the ranking of the 500 largest corporations in the world by revenue and the latter gives the net worth of the world’s billionaires. The first is based on companies, the second on persons. For years, Koç Holding has been the only company from Turkey on the Global 500 list. Meanwhile, the number of Forbes billionaires from Turkey has been increasing each year. The 2013 lists were recently released. Turkey still trails behind in the Fortune Global 500 while the number of billionaires in the Forbes list has reached 43. Compared to America’s 132, that's not bad at all. Thi [More]
    Turkey needs a positive agenda
    Güven Sak, PhD 09 July 2013
    Turkey may never make the leap to the high-income group of countries if it cannot play its hand correctly while a new world order is taking shape. The other day IMF managing director Lagarde said that the IMF might revise down the global growth estimations for 2013. Explaining the grounds for the revision, Lagarde particularly emphasized that 2013 growth might be lower than expected in emerging market economies, not for developing or low-income countries. This is new, specific to 2013. Everyone is wondering how the Chinese economy will slow down. This new situation inevitably will affect Turkey. What happened when the chairman of the Federal Reserve System of the US stated the obvious and said, “we cannot keep on purchasing bonds forever. There is an end to this and it is not that far away [More]
    Let’s see the next candidate in Egypt
    Güven Sak, PhD 06 July 2013
    It is now back to square one in Egypt. So early. It has just been a year with their first democratically elected president. Yet so obvious. Mohamed Morsi has been character familiar from a Greek tragedy, if you ask me. You know that mood, the (“When a god plans harm against a man, he first damages the mind of the man he is plotting against”) mood. Remember Antigone of Sophocles. That is why his approval rating has fallen from the high 78 percent at the end his first 100 days to a low 32 percent at the end of his first year. Yet he was the first democratically elected president of modern Egypt and a coup is always a coup. Inherently evil. Bad to institution-building.So is a coup-with-Tahrir-backing the solution? No. Definitely not. Remember the 1919 Keynes introductory. Let me dir [More]
    Will the European crisis continue for another decade?
    Güven Sak, PhD 05 July 2013
    I claim that the European crisis will continue for another decade. They have been in denial for five years, you see. Europe is important for Turkey. It is our primary trade partner. More than half of Turkey’s exports are still to Europe. True, the share of the Middle East and North Africa in Turkey’s exports is increasing, but the European market in the north is five times as big as the sum of southern and eastern Mediterranean markets. Moreover, the former demands more sophisticated goods. The economic health of Europe is important for Turkey. But the European economy has yet to overcome the global economic crisis of 2008. And it does not seem likely to do so in the coming decade. Let me tell you why I think so. [More]
    Turkey is a highly centralized unitary state
    Güven Sak, PhD 02 July 2013
    With only 15 percent of public officials working in local administrations, can we expect there to be a meaningful local goal? The Gezi Park Protests taught us how important it is to delegate local decisions to local authorities. I don’t know about you, but I loved how Istanbul’s Mayor Kadir Topbaş said, “I will not even change the location of a bus stop without asking the people.” That’s how it should be. Administrators should not take any action before consulting local opinion. For a better administration, Turkey needs to upgrade its local democracy. Local representatives elected by the people should act knowing that they will be held accountable. But I think there is one issue to be solved first. Let me touch upon it today. In Turkey, localization is generally seen homologous with federa [More]
    Egypt as the sand castle of Morsi
    Güven Sak, PhD 29 June 2013
    Mohamed Morsi, as the first democratically elected president of Egypt, assumed office on June 30, 2012. So, this Sunday is his first anniversary, and there will demonstrations in Egypt on the day. His promise was to tackle the problems of Egypt head on in the first 100 days. At the end of his first 100 days, his approval rating was around 78 percent. Now at the end his first year, it has declined to 32 percent. Why this steep decline? I see two reasons here. First, he could not formulate a more inclusive form of government. Yet he should. He should have reached out and started healing the polarization in Egypt. He could not. Second, he just could not start dealing with the sandy and false foundations of the Egyptian economy. No major economic reform project still in sight. IMF a [More]
    Turkey was as rich as South Korea back when it demanded freedom
    Güven Sak, PhD 28 June 2013
    In 2012, South Korea obtained 14.168 patents from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Taiwan had 11.624 patents and earned the fourth place on the list. The other day I was in Washington DC, listening to the American official who is the head of the office that carries out the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. He talked about the TTIP as a new-generation free trade agreement that will set new norms of investment and doing business in the entire world. The talk instantaneously jumped to North Africa. A lady stressed that it was important for the region to sign a series of free trade agreements with the countries of the region in order to ensure its economic development in this new era. This is the very iss [More]
    Turkey’s contribution to the new world order
    Güven Sak, PhD 25 June 2013
    The TTIP engagement between the EU and the US should not be considered just another free trade agreement. Turkey immediately needs to overcome its domestic agenda and get back to world events. The modus operandi of the beautiful blue planet of ours has been taking new shape. The European Union (EU) and the U.S. decided in June to launch a new process of transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP). This means the investment and doing business climate of the world’s biggest market will be redesigned. We are talking about almost half of the world’s GDP and Turkey’s largest trade partner. This is nor merely a matter of the EU turning on us to side with the US after swindling Turkey into a Customs Union agreement. There is a qualitative difference, if you ask me. A new world order is [More]
    Just open that damned chapter!
    Güven Sak, PhD 22 June 2013
    The European Union-Turkey relationship has again moved from one extreme to another. The end result is still the same: the accession process is still on hold. It was on hold when all the EU leaders were praising Turkey for its democratic and economic achievements; it is still on hold as some EU leaders are criticizing Turkey’s government for its harsh crackdown on protests and its interference in the press. Like a pendulum, the mood changes, yet the facts remain: Croatia and Turkey started their EU accession processes together. Croatia got in last year, while Turkey is still waiting with quite a few chapters to go. And look who is spearheading the criticism against Turkey’s harsh response to peaceful demonstrators. Angela Merkel. Have we all forgotten Stuttgart 21? It made 2010 the [More]
    Would Mark Zuckerberg take to the park?
    Güven Sak, PhD 21 June 2013
    In the photo above, Zuckerberg is shaking hands with former French President Sarkozy. Which one do you think looks like the president? Mark Zuckerberg is only 29 years old, which is the average age in Turkey. He founded Facebook as a college student, which later went public and made him a billionaire. His is currently valued at about $14 billion and  is the CEO of Facebook. The company that you all know, the one that has “move fast, break things” posters on its walls. These kinds of companies founded by young innovators change the rules. That’s what distinguishes our era. The other day I found myself thinking whether Mark Zuckerberg would go to the Gezi Park protests if he were in Turkey. I believe he would. Let me tell you why. [More]