Friday, April 17, 2009

Newest Fiction from Nazim

but not Hikmet, this one is Ekren. Nazim Ekren, Deputy PM in charge of economic coordination, told NTV that IMF money could be used to help out the private sector and to counter unemployment. For one thing, this would be totally counter to the general practices of the Fund, even a much more lenient Fund awash with ample money and willing to throw it away. Moreover, with the primary deficit on its path to 1.5%-2% territory, the government's projection of 0.5% means that it is actually curbing not increasing expenditures. Even if the Fund was more lenient this year, the 2010 and 2011 figures do not make sense from a debt sustainability view. So believe it or not, if you take Ekren's words and government's fiscal projections together, they somehow do not fit in together. Or am I missing something?

Even more entertaining were the Minister's remarks that the only structural reform left was to make Istanbul a financial hub. I and the economist friends I was discussing the latest news with first thought that the Minister is knows his stuff: He should have thought that making Istanbul a financial hub would include all the necessary reforms that would be required. But alas, that wasn't in his mind at all. Forget about labor sector reforms, education reforms and the like: All the problems will go away once Istanbul is a financial hub.

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