Turkey is on the verge of economic collapse because of Erdogan's policies

David Goldman:
The Turkish central bank managed to halt the free-fall of the country’s currency last week with a sharp rise in interest rates. But the move failed to stop the free-fall of Turkey’s equity market and – far more dangerous – the collapse of the credit quality of Turkey’s banks. Only last October, the euro-denominated 10-year bond of Turkey’s largest private lender, Garanti Bank, yielded just 3%. Now it yields more than 7%, and the dollar value of the bond has fallen from over 120 euros to around 80 euros.

Turkey’s Istanbul 30 stock market index meanwhile has fallen by 35% in US dollar terms since August 29, 2017. Its most vulnerable lender, Halk Bank, lost 63% of its US dollar value in the same period and now trades at 40% of book value.

Turkey’s banks are shut out of world capital markets, and the country is hard put to raise the US$50 billion in new hard currency it needs to finance a current account deficit running at around 6% of GDP. Turkish businesses have about US$300 billion in foreign currency debt, and the cost of servicing it has nearly doubled in local-currency terms due to the lira’s depreciation since 2015. The banks will have trouble rolling over their existing short-term borrowings in hard currency, and trouble collecting loan payments from customers crushed by the collapse of the lira.
The problem is compounded by inflation running at around 20 percent on an annual basis.  While that is not Venezuelan in nature it is enough to wipe out any hope of building savings. While Erdogan has indicated he wants to modernize the Turkish air force and military, it will be hard to do with his current economy.

There are probably many factors behind the problem, but I think one of them is Erdogan and his Islamist despot mode of operation which stifles free enterprise.  He has also arrested productive people who he saw as not sufficiently servile to his regime.


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