Sunday, June 21, 2009

EconNews Roundup

The ratings war continues. Just like the Mehmet Topuz incident, although both Tim Ash and Fitch have made good points, I think the real winner here was the media. Hurriyet Daily News did a pretty good job covering the issue from scratch, and Referans and Dunya, the two Turkish business dailies, covered the Fitch conference well as well. Incidentally, I had coffee with someone who was the meetings: I was told that the Fitch Turkey head actually named a finance house as an example of behind-the-doors government critique of Turkish economic policy. I have nothing against Fitch (except for a general dislike for rating agencies for having done their share in the financial meltdown) and have never met their Turkey head, but I just found this extremely unprofessional. Luckily, none of the newspapers I checked revealed the name, so a big kudos to the media. BTW, half of the speech shoudl be at, but I haven't had the time to check it out.

I try not to include Turkish links here, but this one is a must: Referans claims that the Ministry of Finance (MOF) has really won out from the special tax cuts three months ago. This is exactly the opposite of what I was claiming a few days ago, so I read on: The taxes they are referring to VAT, which wasn't cut in the first place. Of course, if you sell more cars as a result of the VAT, since you didn't cut the VAT, you are bound to collect more VAT. As for the figures that matter, i.e. the special consumption tax, I had already reported the figures. The article has also some figures and graphs that have nothing to do with the article: They report the special tax figures, but then talk about VATs in the artcile. Disappointing from a daily I usually trust...

Lies....Was there an album by Guns'n'Roses with that name? I really hate to be taken for an idiot, so that's all I have to say about that. In the meantime, business leader do all the crying.

It is not the best time to argue for weakness in Turkish bonds, after Treasuries have rallied 100bp on the back of a larger-than-expected cut from the CBT and IMF mambo jumbo. But I am only joking, I fully concur with the analyst, as I have been detailing in my columns for the past month or so.

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