Saturday, April 24, 2010

Explaining 99 Luftballoons with a Beauty Contest

I am supposed to be archiving my columns, but as you know, I am a big-time slacker, so I can't help but think about Monday's Hurriyet column, which I will write tomorrow morning, as I always do.

I had promised some time ago to write on explaining how to make use of credit data, so that's an option. I could also talk about some of the recent Turkey articles in the foreign media, which make me wonder if it is really the same country I am writing about.

I had mentioned one of those articles back in July, along with a potential explanation on these biased Turkey stories. But now that I am thinking about this issue more, although the main arguments of these articles do not make sense economically, there is a reason for their Luftballoons: Turkey does look much sounder macroeconomically than many of its peers, especially in the region. That's not because Turkey is an economic wonder, but rather because the region had really messed up to the financial crisis.

There is also the famous Keynes beauty contest example going on: If you try to guess who will win a beauty contest, you need to decide not who the most beautiful girl is, but who you think the jury will think the most beautiful girl is.

Anyway, maybe I am just thinking (or rather writing) aloud at this stage, but I may write on this for this week's Hurriyet column.

As for Turkey overtaking Germany, it reminds me Ozal's claim in the 80s that Turkey would overtake Germany by the new millennium, so I'll simply repeat Emin Colasan's response to him in his book Turgut Nereden Kosuyor, Where is Turgut Running From: Nah geceriz!- If you don't speak Turkish, I am sorry, but I have no idea on how to translate this expression.

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