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    When does protectionism become a legitimate argument?
    Güven Sak, PhD 10 February 2009
    Two days ago British people were making a protest with the slogan "British jobs for British workers". The world is going through a process not we are unfamiliar with but we have forgotten for a period of time. This transition period will eventually end. The unknown element is what is going to happen at the end of the transition period. What is going to happen next is closely related with what we are going to do nowadays. What is going on? This is: The mechanism ensuring the functioning of the global economy with liberty is not working anymore. In such a period, there are two options ahead: We will either acknowledge that global crises require global solutions and introduce global measures along with the rest of the world or say "everyman will shape his own future". The fatalism in the latt [More]
    Garbage issue
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 09 February 2009
    I guess it was the first years of elementary school. Our teacher used to say: "If everyone wipes her garden, the streets will be as clean as a whistle." I do not know whether it was because I was 'over-comprehensive', but I could not get it: "If my mother wipes our garden, will not the garbage dirty the garden of our neighbor? So, what will our neighbor do? If he also wipes his garden, what will happen to the garden of the other neighbor?" [More]
    Degree of naivety...
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 08 February 2009
    I really cannot believe some certain things. I have worked as a bureaucrat for many years. And I have been living in Ankara and smelling the bureaucracy for many more. On my last article in this column, I referred to technical reasons while I was speaking about what cannot be the subject of dispute between Turkey and the IMF. However, I see I missed the probability that in Ankara, 'technical' reasons might not be valid every time due to obvious 'technical reasons'. [More]
    Okay, but what do the people living in Gaza thinks?
    Güven Sak, PhD 07 February 2009
    Have you ever seen Gaza? The first time I saw Gaza was in 2005. Israel had just retreated from Gaza. It was the times of the disengagement policy of Ariel Sharon. Gaza was under Palestinian rule. The initial impressions one could catch at a glance were: First, there was hung a flag with different color on top of each house. However, none of those flags was national flag of Palestine. Colors of flags varied from one neighborhood to another. Orange ones were al-Fatih flags, green ones were Hamas flags, black ones Islamic Jihad flags and red ones were Palestinian Liberation Front flags.  One would easily understand that he/she is walking around a more political part of Palestine as compared to West Bank. Gaze was divided from one neighborhood to another. Second, the areas named Organized Indu [More]
    What cannot be the subject of the dispute?
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 05 February 2009
    I do not know the subjects of the disputes with the IMF. I would like to select and comment on two subjects addressed by the media. I remember reading some texts that there exists a dispute on the issue of 'fiscal rule'. However, I do not think that introducing fiscal rules can be a subject of dispute; even it is so, it does not make sense. [More]
    Where does the difference between Korea and Turkey lie?
    Güven Sak, PhD 05 February 2009
    Nowadays, figures pertaining to the economy are not as exhilarating as before. Export figures for January indicated a 28% decrease. Yes, the performance of Turkey is bad, but are the Asian countries shown as examples of export-oriented growth model performing better? No, they are not. Recently, January export figures for Korea were also announced; exports of Korea have diminished by 32.8%. What is the result? Korea, one of the export leaders of Asia, is experiencing a trade deficit just like we do and more importantly for the first time since the Asian crisis of 1997. Then, where does the difference between the Korea and Turkey lie? [More]
    We are at a point where foreign policy will determine economic policy
    Güven Sak, PhD 03 February 2009
    The world has become a strange place. We are right in the middle of a global economic crisis that has deeply affected all of us and that tends to affect even further.  The global crisis originated from the US. What would you expect in such a condition? You would think that "the US hegemony has come to an end", wouldn't you? However, the reality does not seem so and also does not seem to evolve in that direction. President Obama keeps saying "we are done, we are ruined" all day long, but the present tendencies indicate that the US is still an important economic actor. We are rapidly entering a new environment. If you are wondering how the US will manage to preserve its importance in this new economic environment, please go on reading. [More]
    Unfortunately, it seems like we are right...
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 02 February 2009
    In general, when conducting macro-level analysis, we group the economy under sectors; for examples public sector, the central bank, banks, corporate sector, households and outer world. In short, a wide-range consolidation is made. For instance, the behavior of a group of companies is examined under the context of an individual company. At times, the consolidation moves further decreasing the number of the sectors examined. [More]
    Uncertainty: Will EU reforms continue?
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 01 February 2009
    In my last commentary, I tried to shift my focus away the crisis and addressed the medium-long run and thus the issue of reforms. Among the barriers beyond the implementation of a series of reforms that are known or considered to be efficient in economic terms, the most important one was that the winners and the losers of the reform could not be determined in advance. [More]
    “For God’s sake, what aspect of this crisis psychological!”
    Güven Sak, PhD 31 January 2009
    Doomsday Superstitions Catalogue; Entry No Two: "For God's sake, what aspect of this crisis psychological!" Since the international banking crisis hit the shores of Turkey, a form of explanation that is not even slightly related with the reality began to spread around. Whenever you say the word "crisis", people, with the common pedantry of those who does not know anything, take the lead and say "hey, that is totally psychological" even before you start talking about the measures needed to be taken. They assume such an attitude as if there is no problem in reality and you had a sort of a nightmare so that all problems will disappear once you wake up. Or, as if the problem will disappear completely right away if you do not ever mention it. Well, this is not the case. The people thinking that [More]