A change in the nature of uncertainty
24 May 2020
The COVID-19 induced uncertainty has brought a sudden stop to real economic activity. We needed to slow down the spread of the virus to gain time and get to know the virus better. But now we are finally thinking about living with the virus, as new cases are subsiding. We cannot yet magically lift uncertainty, but we have a better sense of things. We are gradually moving away from the world of complete uncertainty into a world where we can assign probabilities to different eventualities, kind of moving from crisis management to change management. That’s what reopening is to many.
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.
Our Three Weeks with the COVID-19 Virus
14 May 2020
We thought for the first three days that it was a simple cold. But our sickness did not go away. Then, on the morning of 28 March 2020, Zeynep, my wife woke up complaining of severe headaches and pains in her joints. Soon her temperature rose to 38.5 C. Realizing what might be happening I immediately contacted our friend, Prof Dr Haluk Özen, Rector of Hacettepe University in Ankara, one of Turkey's best medical facilities. We were advised to go straight to the Department of Infectious Diseases at the Hospital.
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.