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    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]
    Is height enough for success?
    Güven Sak, PhD 24 January 2009
    What is the secret of success in life? Is it the chemical process a fetus is exposed to that determines the future? Or, is what we call success is just the ability to take the opportunity, which is an ability that proves itself in any case? Of course, the mentioned "ability to take the opportunity" is not a gift of the nature, but it is to be nurtured.  But, how is it possible? How can one attain the ability to take the opportunity?  In fact, what Joseph Nye, an international relations professor at Harvard University defines "smart power" is exactly this "ability to take the opportunity" and is nothing but the product of a series of skills. And, nowadays, it is the "ability to take the opportunity" that Turkey needs. [More]
    Need for an integrated approach
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 22 January 2009
    We shall not pin our hopes upon individual solutions in the period of crisis we are going through. This fact was relevant even for four months earlier, but it is much more relevant today. There exist interrelated problems and there is a need for an economic program that will take into account and at least ease all of those problems - expecting that a program would completely resolve problems would not be realistic - so as to be able to reach the shore (2010).  To clarify the situation, I will enumerate the mentioned interrelated problems once more. [More]
    Obama era is a window of opportunity for Turkey
    Güven Sak, PhD 20 January 2009
    Today is a historic day. President Obama will begin his term as the President of the United States.  Though Israel's latest Gaza operations will force Obama to make immediate foreign policy decisions, the new President will most likely have to focus on economic issues. Expectations are quite high and the problem is more serious than any other that we have ever faced. While immediate foreign policy decisions are forcing the doors, we will see that domestic decisions for the economy will in fact be foreign policy decisions. And the task to shape a new global economic architecture will be carried out by the administration that is to take the office. By this way, a change in style will take place. This is what is going to happen, regardless of whether it is desired or not. We are standing just [More]
    Search for a bridge to the other side
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 19 January 2009
    I have been repeating after and after that the global crisis will affect Turkey through four different channels. There are measures to tackle with the first three, namely the fall in external credits, narrowing down of domestic credits and worsening of confidence, as we also discussed here in this column. On the other hand, we do not have any means eliminate the negative affects realizing through the fourth channel, i.e. to prevent the fall in foreign demand for the goods produced in Turkey, in the short term. [More]
    Two years lost
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 18 January 2009
    I know that my recent columns are depressing, but so is the current situation not only in Turkey but throughout the world. The additional depressing factor in case of Turkey is that no comprehensive economic program is announced yet. Some individual precautionary measures have been introduced and the Central Bank have announced some relieving decisions; however, it is not sufficient as the measures announced by some other countries are considered. And this situation, normally, is forcing me to write more depressing columns. [More]
    Have you ever visited the Prime Ministry web site?
    Güven Sak, PhD 17 January 2009
    United States of America is getting ready for the Obama era. Inauguration is to be held next week. Bush period of "So many leadership with no followers", as Harvard professor Joseph Nye puts it, is coming to an end. Just a while before, we were saying that "President Obama will be the first president of the Star Trek generation" - in the article talking about "going to places where no one has dared to go before".  Presidency of Obama highlights that some things are not going to be the same for the United States of America. Please, do not show displeasure and say "nothing ever changes there".  You shall give America its due. But, do not worry, today, I do not have any intention to comment on America. I am just seeking to make an extended introduction on the subject of internet and communica [More]
    A bit of geometrics: Circle and chord
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 15 January 2009
    Note: Tangent is the line passing through a point on the circle. Chord is the line segment linking two points on a circle. The longest chord of a circle is the one passing through the center of the circle. That is, in time, a tangent can evolve into a chord. The acts of the chord cannot be determined at all; it can go and pass through the center of the circle. [More]
    Prerequisite for changing the reality is accepting it
    Güven Sak, PhD 15 January 2009
    You might be discontent with the reality you face. Changing that reality might be the main purpose of your life. However, you cannot fulfill that purpose by pretending as if that reality does not exist. Recently, in Turkey, we observe "a tendency towards flight from reality" with respect to both economic policy and foreign policy. Since leadership means accepting and trying to change the reality, this tendency is certainly bad. And in fact, it is extremely dangerous. Let's see why. [More]