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    Weird situations
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 15 February 2009
    The headline of the economy page in yesterday's Radikal daily was: "Contraction in Europe was far more than in the US that is responsible for the crisis". Under the headline, it was said that the economies of 15 EU countries using Euro contracted by 1.5 percent in average in the last quarter of 2008. On the other hand, the US economy contracted by 1.3 percent in the same period. [More]
    Latest developments (without comments)
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 12 February 2009
    Lately, we observe an intense data flow. Today, I would like to assess this briefly. Not all of them, the ones pertaining to the channels transmitting the effects of the global crisis into Turkey as well as their results. [More]
    Garbage issue
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 09 February 2009
    I guess it was the first years of elementary school. Our teacher used to say: "If everyone wipes her garden, the streets will be as clean as a whistle." I do not know whether it was because I was 'over-comprehensive', but I could not get it: "If my mother wipes our garden, will not the garbage dirty the garden of our neighbor? So, what will our neighbor do? If he also wipes his garden, what will happen to the garden of the other neighbor?" [More]
    Degree of naivety...
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 08 February 2009
    I really cannot believe some certain things. I have worked as a bureaucrat for many years. And I have been living in Ankara and smelling the bureaucracy for many more. On my last article in this column, I referred to technical reasons while I was speaking about what cannot be the subject of dispute between Turkey and the IMF. However, I see I missed the probability that in Ankara, 'technical' reasons might not be valid every time due to obvious 'technical reasons'. [More]
    What cannot be the subject of the dispute?
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 05 February 2009
    I do not know the subjects of the disputes with the IMF. I would like to select and comment on two subjects addressed by the media. I remember reading some texts that there exists a dispute on the issue of 'fiscal rule'. However, I do not think that introducing fiscal rules can be a subject of dispute; even it is so, it does not make sense. [More]
    Unfortunately, it seems like we are right...
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 02 February 2009
    In general, when conducting macro-level analysis, we group the economy under sectors; for examples public sector, the central bank, banks, corporate sector, households and outer world. In short, a wide-range consolidation is made. For instance, the behavior of a group of companies is examined under the context of an individual company. At times, the consolidation moves further decreasing the number of the sectors examined. [More]
    Uncertainty: Will EU reforms continue?
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 01 February 2009
    In my last commentary, I tried to shift my focus away the crisis and addressed the medium-long run and thus the issue of reforms. Among the barriers beyond the implementation of a series of reforms that are known or considered to be efficient in economic terms, the most important one was that the winners and the losers of the reform could not be determined in advance. [More]
    When the EU seems to come up in the agenda...
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 29 January 2009
    Currently, we are wondering what will be the magnitude of the economic contraction in 2009. The only thing we care about is whether we can decrease the size of this contraction via taking measures. Because, if it is manage, less people will lose their jobs and we will limit the rise in unemployment. However, just one and a half year ago, we were still discussing the second generation (micro) reforms. The issue considerably occupied the agenda, a lot of people started to comment and speak on the issue, which was a good thing. [More]
    This was exactly what we needed now...
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 26 January 2009
    Global shock, and the big earthquake and then the global crisis and recession... We have been using these phrases since recently. However, we were talking about how Turkey needs to create a new wave of reforms for instance in most of 2007 and in 2006. You know, the reforms we used to call 'micro reforms' and we started to call 'second generation reforms' as we thought it implied the real meaning better. In professional terms, it was quite exciting to comment on these reforms. On the other hand, as the economists of a country that shockingly did not manage to understand the terms like 'stability', 'budget constraint' and 'disciplined economic policy' we were proud that the archaic times have passed and that it was time for saying new things considering the medium and long term. [More]
    Need for a nut-case team
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 25 January 2009
    Among the most unpleasant aspects of this crisis for Turkey is that it creates a great ambiguity that we cannot and will not be able to control. Measures are taken throughout the world, one after another. Nonetheless, the pessimistic climate is not disappearing. It seems like it is beginning to disappear, but the optimism lasts only for a couple of weeks. After that, new unfavorable developments appear, some people or countries are getting into trouble and the world is becoming covered by a new pessimistic climate. This implies a great ambiguity regarding what tomorrow will bring. [More]