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    How did the US economy grow? What did Turkey miss?
    Güven Sak, PhD 03 November 2009
    American economy grew by 3.5 percent in the third quarter of 2009. Thus the free fall of the economy came to an end, period of recovery begin. So, are we done now? No, we are not. With the end of the free fall in the US economy, does the period we look forward to, where Turkey will grow at the highest level, begin? Of course it did not. We are at the beginning of a period where apples must be separated from oranges. First, let us calculate what we missed. If you wonder what Turkey missed in policy inertia, please go on reading. [More]
    Environment is now the core: Why did Apple abandon US Chamber of Commerce?
    Güven Sak, PhD 31 October 2009
    Environmental movements were at the edge of the system until today. They were opponents. But it appears that they will from now on be at the very core of the system. 21st century capitalism will be determined by the decades of opposition by environmental movements. While we all are thinking how the end of the economic crisis will be, capitalism seems in a rush to turn green. See that soon the darkest conservatives will become environmentalists. Environment is now becoming the core. What made me think that? Haven't you heard? Apple Company left US Chamber of Commerce on grounds that the Chamber does not take progressive and constructive attitude towards climate change regulations. Capitalism is becoming green. Let us see what is going on. [More]
    Venezuelan Central Bank will purchase GDS; what about the CBRT?
    Güven Sak, PhD 29 October 2009
    Venezuelan National Assembly amended the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) Law this week. According to this, BCV can now purchase government debt securities (GDSs). News agencies announced this with "end of Central Bank independence in Venezuela" spots. They said, in Hugo Chavez's country, what is abnormal must be regarded as normal. Reading about this, the statement by CBRY Governor Durmuş Yılmaz as "We will create a GDS portfolio" came to my mind. CBRT would as well purchase GDSs just as Chavez asked from BCV. But what would be the result? [More]
    Brazil’s credit rating increased; Turkey’s outlook turned to positive
    Güven Sak, PhD 24 September 2009
    Ramadan holiday must not make us ignore recent positive developments. It seems that things are beginning to get back on tract in the world; does not it? First of all, Medium Term Program (MTP) was announced. Keen efforts of Ali Babacan, State Minister for Economy, have delivered the initial results; denial period in public finance ended. Denial period also seemed to have ended with Pre-accession Economic Program (PEP), but in the same period detailed changes were introduced in both the government and bureaucracy and economy became to be of secondary importance. With the MTP, however, the denial-oriented approach to fiscal condition was replaced with acceptance and thus the disaster in public finance became visible to all of us. In fact, it is a good thing that the fiscal outlook put forth [More]
    Do you follow the discussions in the US?
    Güven Sak, PhD 19 September 2009
    Nowadays United States of America (USA) does not discuss the 2008 crisis much. Three out of four headlines in the web site of White House (www.whitehouse.gov) is not related with the 2008 crisis. Three-fourths of the headlines and the agenda of the USA are occupied by the health insurance reform draft of President Obama. The discussion is not carried out on rambling grounds as in Turkey. There exists a quite tangible health insurance reform draft. Those who like it and those who oppose it discuss the draft. What the reform means is put forth openly and clearly. Nobody throws his voice as people in Turkey does considering the "democratic opening" issue.  One immediately gets what the other says because they do not decide the issue and play with his own rules. This discussion is important. I [More]
    It is OK for them, but what about our government?
    Güven Sak, PhD 17 September 2009
    Medium Term Fiscal Program (MTFP) began to be shaped. Now we at least know that there exists a text on which an agreement is reached "within the government" in general terms. This is a positive development. Now we will wait to see what the general statements mean and whether or not these will be put into practice problem-free. Of course in the meanwhile we can start evaluating the existing parts of the document. Today, let us continue thinking on the fiscal discipline and fiscal rule concepts. In this context, it might be easier to evaluate the figures announced. [More]
    What is fiscal discipline?
    Güven Sak, PhD 15 September 2009
    Turkey overcame the 2001 crisis by tightening the belts. Base issue was the budget discipline. Now we are faced with the 2008 crisis. And we are at the beginning of a period where we have to tighten the belts.  Budget discipline is again the base issue. Then, is the problem in 2008 is the same with that in 2001? No, it is not. Let us explain why we think this way. [More]
    Do you follow the changing geography of overweight
    Güven Sak, PhD 12 September 2009
    Last week, we said that one billion overweight people all around the world can be taken as an evidence for the unsuccessfulness of economists. Our aim was to explain to the "we do not like economists" group that occupied the agenda with the emergence of the global crisis that not all economists are the same. There existed good economists and bad economists. Thinking that a subject about economics would be too boring alone, we opened the issue with overweightness. However, the data on the number of overweight people and people suffering from hunger were printed wrong on the newspaper. So, we had to go back to the overweightness topic and give the correct data. Therefore, the topic today is the changing geography of overweightness. Let us see how the bitter end of real socialism trials derai [More]
    What is the challenge faced in the tight space?
    Güven Sak, PhD 10 September 2009
    Today let us continue with the topic we started to talk about on Tuesday. The topic was the upcoming period. When you look around, Turkish government that reflected the image of a sleeping beauty since the beginning of the crisis seems to open its eyes this time, when the issue of economic policy is considered. We cannot know whether or not the government will open its eyes, but we had better get prepared. Opening the economic issues of the coming period to discussion in advance can help us getting prepared in a way. With such an opinion, last week we opened to discussion the proposition "Are we in a climate where economic policy space tightens?" [More]
    Does economic policy space really tighten?
    Güven Sak, PhD 08 September 2009
    What should come to our minds when we hear that economic policy space tightens? I guess two things can come: First, there is no action to take in the current economic process. There is no option other than bowing to the inevitable. Second, there are actions to take; but the opportunity to take those is either nonexistent or highly limited; i.e. there exist no room and no means. Let us view the economic policy space in the coming period with this lens. Does the space really tighten? [More]