Sunday, 21 October, 2018


U.S. behind ‘economic assassination attempt’ on Turkey - Erdogan

U.S. behind ‘economic assassination attempt’ on Turkey - Erdogan U.S. behind ‘economic assassination attempt’ on Turkey - Erdogan
Conrad Doyle | 16 September, 2018, 14:59

The lira was trading around 6.100 on Friday, a day after the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) announced the biggest hike in its benchmark interest rate in more than a decade, to 24 percent. It later shed some of those gains but was still up over 2.7 per cent in value at 6.15 to the dollar.

Erdogan has always been pressuring the central bank to keep interest rates low to encourage economic growth, even though that growth has encouraged reckless borrowing and caused consumer prices to spike higher.

Erdogan accused the central bank of failing to control inflation, now standing at 18 percent, and again aired his unorthodox view that low rates bring inflation down. While there was wide expectation that interest rates would rise on Thursday, veteran emerging-markets investor Mark Mobius raised doubts about the benefits of such a move.

There is also alarm over the direction of monetary policy under Erdogan who has railed against interest rates as "the mother and father of all evil". Erdogan said that all savings should be converted to lira, and called on Turks to trust the national currency.

The lira had weakened earlier on Thursday before the central bank decision as Erdogan's fierce criticism of the central bank and high interest raised doubts in investors' minds about how much the bank might tighten policy.

The bank´s intervention was the latest aggressive rate hike to calm economic turbulence in an emerging market after the Argentinian central bank´s recent hike from 45 to 60 percent on August 30.

Guido Chamorro, co-head of US dollar emerging debt for Pictet, said emerging markets were now having to hike rates to avoid their currencies been trampled as increasing numbers of developed economies begin to raise their borrowing costs.

It said the policy would be "maintained decisively until inflation outlook displays a significant improvement".

The Turkish chief despatched the forex down spherical 2 percent ideal two hours sooner than the bank's decision, rattling markets by vocally criticizing the central bank for missing inflation targets and reiterating his conception that ardour fee hikes trigger label increases.

His demands for lower interest rates have fueled concerns that the central bank lacks independence.

With the relief rally in Turkey still in full swing, attention turned to Russian Federation and whether its central bank would also lift interest rates following a tumble in the rouble and sanctions worries.

Erdogan, a self-described "enemy of interest rates", has pushed banks to lend more to boost private spending. "If you say 'inflation is cause, the rate is the result, ' you do not know this business, friend".

Earlier, the United States has imposed sanctions on two Turkish government ministers and doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports over the continued detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson on espionage and terror-related charges.

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