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    Future problems of Turkey’s exports
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 14 June 2010
    Last week I participated into a meeting organized by the Undersecretariat of Foreign Trade. The theme of the meeting to be discussed by a limited number of bureaucrats, exporters and academics was how possible negative impacts of the depreciation of Euro on Turkey's exports can be prevented. [More]
    Recent developments in production and foreign fund utilization
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 13 June 2010
    This week data on two important indicators were announced: industrial production index and balance of payments in April. So today I would like to evaluate the recent developments in these figures. I will start with the net foreign fund utilization ratios for banks and firms, which is the balance of payments item that concerns us the most in the global financial crisis process. [More]
    How did the bus number 187 get painted in Stalin?
    Güven Sak, PhD 12 June 2010
    Just like here, they place enormous billboards on buses that are used for local transportation in Russia, too. The citizens of former Leningrad, now Saint Petersburg are also used to the ads on buses. But I'm guessing no one has ever seen one with a Stalin ad on it. Well, now they have. They first saw it in May 2010. Actually the night of the first day, someone or ones covered it up by painting it all white but the following day, bus number 187 was on the road again with the huge Joseph Stalin ad on it. That's when I started to wonder. Was this the case in certain districts, or was a much more widespread inclination in question? The data was rather odd: Not only in Saint Petersburg, but also in Moscow. Not only in Russia, but also in Ukraine, and Yakutia. Not only in former Soviet region, [More]
    What will happen to Euro?
    Güven Sak, PhD 10 June 2010
    What is the difference between Europeans and Americans? I don't mean the characteristic differences. Assume you have attended a meeting to talk business: what is the difference between the meeting carried out with Europeans and with Americans? I, myself, don't think that I have numerous, deep experiences, however, I have an answer to this question: I have left all the meetings, carried out with Americans, with a solid answer to the question on my mind, while I have always had mixed emotions coming out of a meeting carried out with Europeans. I have always felt in-between, as if I have both received an answer, and not have received one, at the same time. While everything was openly talked about in one, that was never the case in the other. Having conversations with Europeans has always made [More]
    Are flying fish rare?
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 10 June 2010
    I talked about this before, but not in detail. Last September a roundtable meeting organized by a Brussels based think tank and IMF was held with limited participation.  IMF delivered two presentations on the domestic demand stimulating measures that should be implemented to tackle the global crisis. The Fund declared that it supports these measures. Also the Chief of IMF made an evaluation. [More]
    Paced growth can not be attained without realizing that the new-normal is different than the old one
    Güven Sak, PhD 08 June 2010
    The financial market is going through a stressful period. If you want evidence, take a look back at last week. The U.S employment data showed that the recovery was not even as strong as they thought. When the new Hungarian government, while explaining why they would not be able to keep their election campaign promises, said 'we might end up like Greece', instead of saying 'we took over a wreck', everybody was worried sick. It was confirmed in the G20 meeting that there still is not a consensus on what the new-normal is. This is sad, of course. There still is not a wide unanimity that the new-normal would be different than it used to be. When the diagnosis is not unanimous, neither is the treatment. The markets are in such a mood that it seems as if they are guerillas combatting on enemy fi [More]
    Need for a flying fish
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 07 June 2010
    I believe it is obvious that if some countries have trade surpluses, some others should have trade deficits. Of course this statement might be wrong if the countries with trade surpluses secretly export goods and services to aliens. Nonetheless we can easily assume that such a transaction cannot be kept secret for long. In that case, foreign trade or current account surpluses will be one side of the coin while foreign trade or current account deficits should be the other side of the coin. [More]
    Hungary and the fiscal rule
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 06 June 2010
    Things turned into an "entertainment" once again. A web page that gives instant notifications about the developments in the world markets (Bloomberg) is open as long as my computer is on. When I left my office for lunch on Friday things were looking fine in Europe. When I turned back to my office, I saw that the markets were heading down. Soon, US markets opened the day with severer negative developments. One of the fun parts is this: [More]
    How did Starbucks get kicked out of Forbidden City?
    Güven Sak, PhD 05 June 2010
    Nowadays, I, myself, am once more bored of the country's agenda. If there is any of you who wants to rest their heads a little bit, like me, please step front. May I present you an article today, that has, just like Seinfeld, no subject? Let's give it a try. Did you know, in Forbidden City, located in Beijing, the capital of China, there once existed a Starbucks? I did not. It opened in 2000 and closed in 2007. Why was it closed? Along with a campaign 'our culture is being eroded' that was started in an internet blog site, the Starbucks Forbidden City had to be closed because of the growing public reaction. And where? In China, a country where even the internet restraints are so strict that 'Google' company recently decided to withdraw from the country, it seems the blogs can be effective. [More]
    It is the result that should be taken into consideration, not the rhetoric
    Güven Sak, PhD 03 June 2010
    The Israeli raid against the six-ship flotilla which carried armless civilians, the fact that nine civilians, four of whom were citizens of the Turkish Republic, lost their lives during this raid, is utterly frustrating, agonizing. It must be condemned. Diplomatically expressed as 'disproportional use of power', the raid was, with the words of Barones Tonge, who was a speaker at the United Nations Palestine's Indispensable Rights Commission that I have recently attended, was a 'violent attack', just what the 'disproportional use of power' expression is trying to mask. Since our belongings are on their way back, the first thing to do now is try to understand what is going on so that we can find an answer to the question 'what in the world was that ship doing over there?' Letting rhetoric as [More]