Saturday, January 30, 2010

Small (but important) clarification on the last Hurriyet column

A few readers asked how I had come up with the magical 5% target growth rate in my most recent Daily News column. Now, I can interpret this question in two ways:

1. How did "I" come up with this number?

2. Why would I be happy with this number, especially given Turkey's historical growth performance, which is less than 5%?

With regards to the first question, the target growth and deficit rates were disclosed by the columnists who met with Babacan last week, I was merely reporting on what they were saying. Incidentally, reading the papers last night, I learned that Babacan/The Treasury had officially asked bank economists to share their written opinions on what the coefficients a and b in my equation should be. So I guess Econ. columnists are deciding on the target deficit and and growth rates, market economists on the coefficients in the fiscal rule equation. That's what I call consensus-building and PPP:)

As for the second question, I am still exchanging a emails with a couple of readers. I will answer that question, while at the same time reflecting their views, once we conclude our cyber-discussion.

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