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    Have you read the book “Financial Crises and Turkey”?
    Güven Sak, PhD 10 December 2009
    It would be good that you have. 2008 crisis that emerged in the United States of America as a financial crisis came to Turkey as a real sector crisis. The hurricane on the other end of the ocean reached our shores slowly. While we were wandering what that was and whispering "It will not necessarily hit is directly, it can also pass by Turkey" owing to our profound experience on watching crisis from a distance; we was caught by the storm. That storm was not similar to the crises we were used to. How were the crises we were used to? Where did the difference emerge from? Did we give the possible responses to the last crisis? What were those we could do but we failed to? What can we expect now? Answers to such questions can be found in Fatih Özatay's new book titled "Financial Crises and Turke [More]
    This time there were one million people after the iron rice bowl
    Güven Sak, PhD 05 December 2009
    Let us put it more straightforward. Last week one million forty thousand people took the civil servants selection examination in China. 2010 program envisaged that 15 thousand people will be employed; but one million forty thousand people took the selection examination. The exam was held in 44 centers. Last year, 770 thousand people had taken the exam. The number of positions to be filled was around 13 thousand 500 in 2009. I heard about the news from the centerfold photograph of the British the Guardian and I could not stop wondering. Here in Turkey, we have more important concerns as you all know; we are so busy with going at hammer and tongs that we do not have the time left to take a look around. In an environment where everyone, including the Prime Minister, fights with passion with h [More]
    Or should we write Dubai with a W?
    Güven Sak, PhD 03 December 2009
    Have you ever visited Dubai? Those who did know how unreal it looks: it is like Disneyland. There is nothing genuine; it is all imitation. At least this is the impression I get. Liquidity abundance before the 2008 crisis led to a real estate madness also in Dubai. It was when those huge buildings were constructed. It was then when the fake city called Dubai rose over the desert. Back then, money could make things happen. You could carry out an activity worth hundred dollars with only one dollar. Payback time came along with the crisis. On the eve of the Sacrifice Festival, Dubai World, public company administering these activities in Dubai, requested to delay debt payments for six months. Asking a six month delay in effect implies a call to restructure debts. Minister of Finance of Turkey, [More]
    Have you ever looked at Turkey with scrutiny?
    Güven Sak, PhD 26 November 2009
    Things might escape from attention within the daily struggles, but they should not. Things might be shaded by the severity of the power struggle; but they should not. Pessimistic discussions focusing on elections might upset you; but they should not. Politics might be in opinion nowadays that it is useful to establish the impression that the history of full of dark pages. But this is not completely true. The most important indicator for this is the achievements of Turkey: Turkey is a unique actor in its region; it is highly different than all other countries of the region. Have you ever scrutinized Turkey lately? Let us do this today and enter the Sacrifice Festival with higher hopes. [More]
    Why did Saudi Arabia finance the World Food Summit in Rome?
    Güven Sak, PhD 21 November 2009
    At the beginning of this week, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) launched the World Food Summit in Rome. As the media suggests, the meeting was not much successful; it was referred to as a waste of time. Developed countries did not declare a concrete program to fight with world hunger. Ordinary "politician" declarations were made considering the elimination of hunger. The last issue of the Economist magazine started an article on food security with a quotation from former US Foreign Minister Henry Kissinger: At the first World Food Summit convened in 1974 Kissinger said "within the decade, no child will go to bed hungry". Now we are in 2009, and the number of hungry people rose by 100 million reaching a billion. [More]
    No fire lasts forever
    Güven Sak, PhD 17 November 2009
    At the point we arrived, it will be useful to assess the situation of the climate of economic recession. The major point of discussion nowadays is: Did the signals of economic recovery spreading around the world in waves come up automatically in itself or did the measures implemented by governments had an effect? What do you think? Let us admit that this question alone is of critical importance for Turkey, because Turkey ranks at top of the list of countries that did not implement worthwhile measures during the crisis. Or, did the Turkish government do the right thing? The answer is: no they did not. Let us see why. [More]
    Following Brazil, Taiwan also decides to tighten foreign fund inflows. Why?
    Güven Sak, PhD 14 November 2009
    So, what do we do now? Do we wait for a third incidence to judge a conclusion as per the principle "One is a blip, second is a coincidence, third is a trend"? Or will we start to take the ongoing process seriously? Capital controls used to be blamed. But now, they are not considered as bad. Have you noticed that the IMF, guardian of the global system, has not pressed a motion of censure yet? We believe they are also trying to figure out. What is going on? Why is that so? What is the message lying behind? [More]
    Or is Mr. Erdoğan not completely wrong? How about the caches of firms?
    Güven Sak, PhD 10 November 2009
    Do you follow the Asian economies nowadays? They are performing really well. In Asian economies, exports are quite important. Yet, world trade does not reflect an astonishing recovery. So, looking at the impressive performance of Asian economies, one wonders what goes on. What is that which they have but we do not? Is it that the caches of firms there are wider than ours? Honestly, what does the firms' caches talks put into our minds by Honorable Prime Minister of Turkey imply? Or is not Mr. Erdoğan completely wrong? How about the caches of Turkish firms? Let us see where do we head when we ask questions one after the other. [More]
    Why did they just leave those giant cities?
    Güven Sak, PhD 07 November 2009
    In a recent issue, Radikal daily published a news story titled: "It was a civilization as developed as Ancient Egypt; they disappeared 3600 year ago". The story told the destiny of the Caral-Supe, central of the earliest civilization of South America. Caral-Supe existed 5000 years ago; at the same age with the Ancient Egypt. In this respect, can it be considered as the first shrinking city of the world, just as Detroit in USA has shrank by half since 1950? Have you ever thought about this? Why did they just leave those giant cities? I believe the issue is closely related with climate change. Today, let us observe the fate of Teotihuacan city and then conclude with climate change and environment. [More]
    Who would like a new Demirbank incident?
    Güven Sak, PhD 05 November 2009
    I believe that no one would like a new Demirbank incident nowadays. Would you? No, none of you would. The question in the title is exactly what the recent "What shall we do with the government debt securities (GDSs) in Central Bank's (CBRT) balance sheet?" discussion wants to make us ask. The point "Treasury-friendly central bank" policy will drive us to will be a new Demirbank incident. It is also the Demirbank incident what resulted in the explosion of banks' balance sheets in 2001. This path will end in no good. Let us see what the issue is. [More]