Critical Week for the Turkish economy

At first look, the domestic economic agenda looks light this week, with purchasing managers’ indices, preliminary exports and inflation being the main data releases. However, it may end up being the make-or-break week for Turkish assets, and eventually for the economy. The intro. to my latest Hurriyet Daily News (HDN) column pretty much sums up […]

A take by economists on racism in the US

The trial of Ali İsmail Korkmaz, the university student who fell into a coma after getting beaten by plainclothes police officers during the Gezi protests and died 38 days later, continued last week. Across the Atlantic, a Missouri grand jury decided not to indict a white police officer over the fatal shooting of an unarmed […]

A take by economists on racism in the US

The trial of Ali İsmail Korkmaz, the university student who fell into a coma after getting beaten by plainclothes police officers during the Gezi protests and died 38 days later, continued last week. Across the Atlantic, a Missouri grand jury decided not to indict a white police officer over the fatal shooting of an unarmed […]

How Many Miles Can You Drive on an Hour’s Wages? 100 Years in One Chart

Recently I came across this assertion in a comment box on one of my favorite websites: “The cost to fuel your car has never been higher as a percentage of disposable income.” Really? I know gasoline prices are high, but you just can’t make that assertion without looking at incomes and fuel economy, too. I […]

Income Inequality and its Sources

It is generally recognized that the distribution of income in the United States and within many other countries has become less equal since the 1980s. Increased inequality has been popularly interpreted as a negative development, and many proposals have been offered to reverse or offset the change in inequality. However, the interpretation of increased inequality […]

GDP: Seasons and Revisions

Growth from the fourth quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014, originally thought to have been about +0.1% in April, was revised last week to –2.9%. That’s at a seasonally-adjusted, annualized rate (SAAR)—the way the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) usually reports real GDP growth. News reports varied between shock and concern. […]

Who’s the Big Spender? Military Spending from Beijing to the Pentagon

According to the Pentagon, the rapid growth of China’s military spending reflects its increasing assertiveness in the region. According to Beijing, US military spending is the real issue. What are the facts? It has become an annual ritual. Recently, the US Department of Defense (DoD) usually released its report to Congress on China’s “military and […]

Obama Foreign Policy—Incompetence Writ Large?

At his West Point speech, President Obama articulated as close as we are likely to get to an ‘Obama Doctrine.’ The United States, he said, “will use military force, unilaterally if necessary, when our core interests demand it — when our people are threatened; when our livelihoods are at stake; when the security of our […]