Turkey's currency is in crisis mode.
For months, the lira's been falling against the dollar and inflation's been rising. People are worried Turkish companies and banks might not be able to pay back their debt. Meanwhile, President Erdogan calls interest rates "the mother and father of all evil" – so he's refused to use Econ 101 and raise them to get inflation in check. And the rise in US interest rates – plus tensions between the US and Turkey – aren't helping.
Tell me about that.
The two are basically in a standoff. This month, the US announced it was hitting Turkey with sanctions and extra tariffs – in part because the country refuses to release an American pastor kept on charges the US calls bogus. Today, Erdogan said Turkey will boycott US-made electronics. None of this is helping the Turkish currency: the lira's lost a third of its value in the past week. And yesterday, it hit a record low. Stock markets around the world are feeling the heat.
Is this the part where a bailout happens?
First Erdogan would have to suck it up and ask for help – which he doesn't seem ready to do. But even if he was ready to sit down and be humble, it's unclear if anyone's down to give Turkey an assist. The debt is coming from Turkish private companies, so orgs like the IMF may not help out. And Turkey isn't part of the EU – so it can't expect the kind of help Greece got.
So what's next?
Erdogan could try to make some smart money moves. Or if this crisis keeps going, Turkey could be headed for a painful recession.
Turkey doesn't exist in a vacuum. Foreign investors are getting reeeeally nervous. And the crisis has people worried that other developing markets – like Argentina and South Africa – are next.
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