May 31, 2018

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Turkish Currency Slide Poses a Political Challenge to Erdogan. “The lira’s recent drop has some voters questioning the long-dominant leader’s handling of the economy.”

Turkish households have been on the front row of the lira’s slide. Their eroding spending power is on display at gas stations, in particular, because Turkey imports most of its fossil fuel.

“I’m filling only half of my tank,” said 40-year-old Funda Sevinc, as she parked at a service station in Istanbul on Tuesday. “And we are going out less on the weekends.”

Many economists say Turkey must signal it is committed to prodding the lira, or risk being hit by an exodus of foreign investors. But the president, who survived a military coup attempt in 2016 and has a strong base of support among small businessmen and middle-income workers, says he is opposed to high interest rates because they slow down investment. Instead, Mr. Erdogan has urged Turkish people “who have euros and dollars under their pillows” to support the national currency by buying lira.

Hoarders and wreckers gotta hoard and wreck.

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