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.
On the Shape of Recovery
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.
Why we aren’t going to be ‘roaring back’ to life
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.
Helping the WHO to focus is what the G20 is about
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.
A different kind of recession
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.
Do you believe in COVID-19’s transformative power?
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.
The price of a leaderless world
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.
Lessons from Turkey’s refugee crisis for dealing with COVID-19
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.
Just how bad is COVID-19 for Turkey's economy?
15 March 2020
Last week, the only thing Turks were talking about was Idlib. The coronavirus, dubbed COVID-19, was an exotic news story from distant lands. Since the outbreak has been classified as a pandemic and taken over the global news cycle, our object of existential anxiety has shifted overnight. Turkey has proven itself ready so far, with only two documented cases of the virus and no deaths. Still, the virus has entered the country, and its spread is inevitable.
Unpleasant refugee arithmetic with the EU
08 March 2020
The issue of forced migration and internally displaced persons (IDPs) is perhaps the most defining problem of our age, and the civil war in Syria is its most typical case. It is very difficult to deal with because it is a regional problem that can only be addressed through global cooperation. Yet our European partners so often seem to be forgetting this simple truth, and try to wish away the refugee crisis at their door.