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 […]

What Ever Happened to the Misery Index?

Remember the 1960s? The 1970s? Back then, inflation surged from one peak to another but failed to deliver the low unemployment rates promised by the Phillips curve. In fit of frustration, economist Arthur Okun invented what he called the misery index—the sum of the inflation and unemployment rates. As the following chart shows, those were […]

The tsar and the sultan (queen) meddle with monetary policy

Governor Erdem Başçı did indeed save the best for last during his briefing on the Central Bank’s first Inflation Report of the year on Jan. 28. At the Q&A session, he said the monetary policy committee (MPC) would cut interest rates at an emergency meeting on Feb. 4 if annual inflation fell more than one percentage point in January. Here is […]

QE será, será

I always dismissed arguments that the eurozone’s time as an economic power was up, pointing out the strengths of the common currency area. But I finally realized that I have been wrong all along. I start my latest Hurriyet Daily News (HDN) column by explaining why the Europeans do not know how to conduct monetary policy:)- I […]

Six puzzles of the Turkish economy

I have been burning a lot of brain cells of late on six puzzles of the Turkish economy. I have already made some way into solving some of them, while I am still baffled by others. I will simply state them today, with the hope of sharing my answers over the course of the next […]

Five Reasons Not to Fear Deflation: Which Ones Make Sense?

In a post earlier this week, I explained why a majority of economists fear deflation. They argue that deflation disrupts the operation of financial markets and labor markets in a way that risks touching off a downward spiral. At the same time, they say, deflation weakens the power of monetary policy to reverse the downward […]