Erdogan's Growing Economic Woes
Some would call this a bubble:
Since late 2009, Turkey has lost $20 billion of foreign bank assets and taken on $50 billion of foreign bank debt
As we reported Aug. 3, Turkey's banks are still churning out consumer loans at a 30% annual rate, probably to capitalize the interest on loans bearing an 18% interest rate. The current account deficit is running at about $70 billion a year, which means that Turkey's banks will have to double their net external debt position to finance it. The Bank for International Settlements data (whence the chart was drawn) show no lending to Turkey from the rest of the OECD. We believe the money is coming from the Gulf states, whose largesse is not infinite.
Turkish exports declined last month as contracting European markets and adverse exchange rates mainly affected the performance of key automotive and textile sectors.
Turkey's exports declined 5.5 percent year-on-year in June to $10.85 billion, the Turkish Exporters Association (TİM) revealed yesterday, while exports posted a year-on-year increase of 3.6 percent in June.
"The biggest reason for exports decline in June was the shrinking demand in the automotive market. Automotive exports plunged by 22.3 percent. Also the ready-to-wear [retail] sector declined 12 percent as a result of shrinking demand. We are carefully following the declines in our flagship exports," Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan said yesterday, according to Anatolia news agency.
Erdogan's authority stems first of all from his reputation as an economic wizard, a story which the world continues to buy. Why anyone would buy Turkish banks under the circumstances is a mystery to this former banker, but bubbles, as they say, last until they feel like fundamentals.
An imploding domestic credit bubble, constraints on foreign borrowing, soaring food prices and declining exports look like a toxic combination for Erdogan.
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by Soeren Kern
Hamas would likely resort to violence to thwart any attempts to disarm the group. It is therefore highly unlikely the Europeans would confront Hamas in any meaningful way.
Spanish intelligence agents met secretly with Hezbollah operatives, who agreed to provide "escorts" to protect Spanish UNIFIL patrols. The quid pro quo was that Spanish troops would look the other way while Hezbollah was allowed to rearm for its next war with Israel. Hezbollah's message to Spain was: mind your own business.
If the European experience with Hezbollah in Lebanon is any indication, not only will Hamas not be disarmed, it will be rearmed as European monitors look on and do nothing.
What is clear is that European leaders have never been committed to honoring either the letter or the spirit of UN Resolutions 1559, 1680 and 1701, all of which were aimed at preventing Hezbollah from rearming.
by Debalina Ghoshal
According to former Bush administration official Stephen Rademaker, for the United States to respond to Russian violations of the treaty by pulling out of it would be "welcome in Moscow," which is "wrestling with the question of how they terminate [the treaty]" and thus, the United States should not make it easier for the Russians to leave.
by Guy Millière
Belgian security services have estimated that the number of European jihadists in Syria may be over 4000.
European leaders have directed their nastiest comments against the Jewish state, none of them has asked why Palestinian organizations in Gaza put their stockpiles of weapons in hospitals, homes, schools and mosques, or their command and control centers at the bottom of large apartment buildings or underneath hospitals. None of them has even said that Hamas is a terrorist organization despite its genocidal charter.
The majority of them are wedded to the idea of redistribution. Their policies are anti-growth, do not afford people any economic opportunity, and are what caused these economic crises in Europe in the first place. The United States seems to be following these thoroughly failed policies as well.
"Europe could not stay the same with a different population in it." — Christopher Caldwell, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe.
by Raymond Ibrahim
"I abducted your girls. I will sell them on the market, by Allah... There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell." — Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram.
Hillary Clinton repeatedly refused to designate Boko Haram a terrorist organization.
In Malaysia -- regularly portrayed in the West as a moderate Muslim nation -- any attempt to promote religions other than Islam is illegal.
"The reason they want to kill me is very clear -- it is because of being a convert to Christianity." — Hassan Muwanguzi, Uganda.
by Dexter Van Zile
Rev. Hanna Massad does not mention that perhaps Hamas actually wants the blockade to end so it can bring in more weapons and cement to build attack-tunnels so it can "finish the job."
Hamas does not just admit to using human shields, it brags about using human shields. Why does Massad have to inject an air of uncertainty about Hamas's use of human shields when no such uncertainty exists?
The problem is that any self-respecting journalist would confront Massad with a follow-up question about Hamas's ideology and violence, but not the folks at Christianity Today.