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    Erdoğan must ask Lula the secret of his success
    Güven Sak, PhD 21 May 2009
    Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, popular President of Brazil, is visits Turkey today. He is the leader with biggest public support after Obama. As opinion surveys carried out in Brazil reveal, around 80 percent of the public supports him. But, his performance is in fact better than that of the President of United States of America. Obama has recently taken over the office. Lula on the other hand took over the administration in January 2003 following the elections carried out at the end of 2002. Then in 2006, he succeeded to be elected as the president for the second time. Do these dates sound familiar? It is important that 80 percent of the public still supports him at the end of the first half of his second term in power. In this context, it might not be logical to compare Lula with Obama. Pres [More]
    IMF is definitely useful
    Güven Sak, PhD 19 May 2009
    I guess talking about the IMF will be subject to prior authorization from now on. What we watched on television last week showed us that to do this it is necessary to take prior permission from Honorable Public Prosecutor principally. In this context, I believe that the second prior permission must be taken from economist Asaf Savaş Akat. Last week on television, Mr. Akat was acting like Deputy Public Prosecutor. So, we must be cautious, just in case. Honorable Public Prosecutor and Honorable Economist; in your sanction, I would like to call back the "Why is IMF necessary over the forthcoming period?" issue today. Yes, it is right; I, your humble servant, think it is a mistake that no IMF agreement has been signed yet. On top of it, I also believe that an agreement has still not been signe [More]
    Is the optimism grounded?
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 18 May 2009
      The number of positive opinions on both the global crisis and the Turkish economy has recently been increasing. A couple of commentaries that can be considered positively have also been published on this column. Of course it is nice to be optimistic, however, that optimism must be grounded. [More]
    Decreasing automobile prices, rising unemployment
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 17 May 2009
    Not only I but also other economists have been discussing since the last autumn on the facilitation of the conditions for benefiting from the unemployment aid, extension of the duration of the aid, revision of unemployment aid amount and concentration on skill development trainings geared to unemployed, in particular to unskilled ones. [More]
    What is the problem of European banks?
    Güven Sak, PhD 16 May 2009
    I know that it is weekend. But I do not think there is a rule saying "weekend commentaries should be entertaining, not serious." Can weekends be time of mediation or an opportunity to leave behind hullabaloo of life and take a top view on the environment? Why not? This is our intention for today. [More]
    Impacts of tax rate cut
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 14 May 2009
    Private consumption tax imposed on motor vehicles was cut as per a decision made on March 16. According to the March bulletin of Automotive Industrialists Foundation, decrease in the prices of automobiles and light trucks engine volume below 1600 cc as a result of this decision that will be in effect for three months is around 14 percent. The decision enables 1 to 6 % price reduction for the rest of vehicle types. [More]
    Certain things cannot be tackled by yelling
    Güven Sak, PhD 12 May 2009
    We are violently angry at banks. Mr. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, President of Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB), has been angry at them. Recently, Honorable Prime Minister of Republic of Turkey also started to express his anger for banks. Life is hard for banks. Have you noticed that, in fact we are angry at banks just because they act like banks? Nowadays, we request banks not to act like banks. But they continue acting like banks. Then, is it possible to change the behavior patterns of banks? Of course it is possible. To do this, it is necessary to take public measures that will change the meaning of acting "like a bank". Today, let us first touch upon the existing structural problems. Then, let us explain how the government can change the behavioral patterns of banks by impleme [More]
    On the possibility that we hit the trough
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 11 May 2009
    Today I would like to continue with favorable developments. It is still necessary to make a pick-up-with-tweezers operation; but it is okay; I take this trouble to find a single favorable indicator. Today's picking up operation focuses on indicators from abroad. [More]
    Favorable indicators
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 10 May 2009
    Today is Mother's Day; we would rather touch upon some favorable indicators after all of those pessimistic commentaries. Let us see what favorable development I can find. At least I know what to not do: I will not deal with data on the past. Yes, industrial production has felt down and so on, but there is no news here; everyone expected and knew that it would happen. [More]
    We continue to not like economists
    Güven Sak, PhD 09 May 2009
      Last weekend, we began with saying “no one likes economists”. Please let us continue with this topic this week. There is nothing changed: we also continue to not like economists this week. [More]