Archive

  • June 2020 (4)
  • May 2020 (5)
  • April 2020 (3)
  • March 2020 (6)
  • February 2020 (3)
  • January 2020 (4)
  • December 2019 (2)
  • November 2019 (3)
  • October 2019 (3)
  • September 2019 (2)
  • August 2019 (3)
  • July 2019 (2)

    Deeper in 2020, slower in 2021
    Güven Sak, PhD 28 June 2020
    “The crisis like no other will have a recovery like no other,” IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath said this week. I couldn’t agree more. We have never had a sudden stop in global economic activity like this one. It is only natural that we do not yet have a real idea of how to get out of this mess. For an economist, this is a real-world experiment of planetary scale. [More]
    Throw out the old policy menu
    Güven Sak, PhD 21 June 2020
    Telecommuting is one of the great novelties of our lives in this age of COVID-19. It isn’t that the technology is new of course, but the manner in which we use it definitely is. You can be at a meeting in Riyadh in the morning, participate in a debate in Berlin in the early afternoon, and be in a workshop in Washington, D.C before dinner, all the while staying at home in Ankara. No jet lags, no overnight stays, no hassle at crowded airports. You can participate in the global debate – at times more than it is necessary, as we now have more free time than usual. [More]
    Ready for the second round?
    Güven Sak, PhD 14 June 2020
    We are all getting ready for the second round of the fight between the virus and humanity. The first round was all about “flattening the curve,” meaning that we had to limit contagion through severe physical distancing measures, lockdowns and curfews. The virus has equalized all economies in this first stage, if I may say so. It didn’t matter how rich or poor your country was, your population was vulnerable just the same, and you had to shut down your economy just the same. As Jerome H. Powell, chair of the Federal Reserve, put it so elegantly, “It’s the virus, not the usual suspects” that led to the sudden stop in global economic activity. [More]
    A change in the nature of uncertainty
    Güven Sak, PhD 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. [More]
    Total disconnect
    Güven Sak, PhD 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. [More]
    Our Three Weeks with the COVID-19 Virus
    N. Murat Ersavcı 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. [More]
    On the Shape of Recovery
    Güven Sak, PhD 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. [More]