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July 12, 2018

THE BIG MAN SPEAKS: Turkish lira hits record low after Erdogan interest rate comments.

“Erdogan said yesterday interest rates must fall,” said a treasury desk trader at one bank. “This has been interpreted as a desire for a Turkish central bank rate cut at a time when additional tightening is expected and inflation has exceeded 15 percent.”

The central bank’s monetary policy committee, which has raised rates by 500 basis points since April in an effort to put a floor under the currency, will next meet on July 24.

Erdogan has described high interest rates as “the mother and father of all evil” and has repeatedly expressed a desire for lower borrowing costs to spur economic growth.

Investors believe the credit-fueled economy is overheating and want decisive interest rate hikes to tame double-digit inflation.

If Erdogan wants to cut interest rates and go on an official spending spree while inflation is rising, his country could go Full Venezuela — and everyone knows you never go Full Venezuela.