The Kapali Carsi

The World Cup, Food Poisoning, London, Charles Dickens and more

I am back again after a short absence. What was I up to during this time? I continued to write for the Hurriyet Daily News (HDN) during my EconoMonitor absence, and my columns there summarize what I was up to.

Well first, I wrote about economists’ predictions on the World Cup– and why you should not take them very seriously. This was right after Spain was bashed by the Netherlands, and I predicted that more surprises were to follow. I think I have made pretty well with that prediction and still contend that, Brazil, the economists’ favorite, will not win it. Not with a team that can’t get near the style and panache of the famous 1982 team of Zico, Sócrates, Falcão, Éder and & co. Even if they win: Winning is not everything, as the trophy-less selecao showed us more than 3 decades ago.

I was scheduled to make a short speech on the Turkish economy on June 18, but fell to a sever case of food poisoning. I summarized the gist of what I wanted to say in my Friday column that week before flying to London to attend my friends’ 80th (40+40) birthday party and have a short vacation. I wrote a column about the economic impact of the Iraq war in Southbank Centre -no typo!:). I also had time to meet up with some economists/fund managers to discuss the Turkish economy. As I summarized my take from those meetings in my column, the emphasis was on politics for a change.

I was also able to “broaden my culture”:) during my London visit. I went on a couple of Charles Dickens-themed walks and visited the Charles Dickens Museum– where the author lived for two years in his 20s. I was reminded about some Dickens wisdom during that visit. I learned that if we had heeded the author’s advice on household balance sheets, we could have averted the Great Recession, as I noted in my review of Atif Main & Amir Sufi’s House of Debt, one of the best books on the financial crisis, if not the best.

And that brings me to my column today: What if you I told you Turkish Prime Minister (and Presidential hopeful) Recep Tayyip Erdogan was similar to a pigeon? Not dove, I mind you, a pigeon, so don’t have any “peace” images in your mind… Well, you need to read my latest HDN column to find out how. I will have an addendum to the column here at the blog in a few hours. So till then…

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