Sep 24, 2019

Lids become a "black market item" in Turkey as inflation worries loom

Data: Investing.com; Chart: Axios Visuals

Turkey’s new central bank governor has cut the country's interest rates by 7.5 percentage points in the past 2 months and the Turks are behaving as if the country is headed for another bout of strong inflation.

The intrigue: The uncertainty in the country is growing such that supermarkets can't keep lids on their items.

  • Lids are becoming so hard to find that people are literally stealing them off the shelves, Bloomberg's Taylan Bilgic reports. In fact, they are becoming a "black market item," according to supermarket workers in Istanbul's working-class Gungoren neighborhood.

What's happening: "As Turks hunker down for the winter, a time of higher food prices, they've traditionally turned to home canning to stretch the summer harvest, cooking vegetables and fruit and pickling them to stock up for the colder months," Bilgic writes.

  • "An unprecedented shortage of lids, used to keep a tight seal in place, is giving a glimpse of the urgency that many Turks feel about the task this year."

What they're saying: "People think prices will surge in the winter, so they take precautions," Ibrahim Bilici, the owner of a dollar store, told Bilgic.

  • "I've been doing this job for almost 30 years. I've never seen anything like this."
  • Still seared in people's minds are memories of a spike in the cost of fresh fruit and vegetables, whose annual price increases peaked at almost 73% in April.

Go deeper: Turkey faces an economic crossroads after Istanbul elections

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Trump on northern Syria pullout: U.S. will "ONLY FIGHT TO WIN"

President Trump addressed his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from northern Syria as Turkey ramps up an offensive against U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters in the region in a series of Monday tweets.

"The Kurds fought with us, but were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so. They have been fighting Turkey for decades. I held off this fight for almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home. WE WILL FIGHT WHERE IT IS TO OUR BENEFIT, AND ONLY FIGHT TO WIN.
Go deeperArrowOct 7, 2019

The end of stock market corrections

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Normally the health of business drives a country's asset prices, but that's not what's happening at the moment, according to Deutsche Bank Securities chief economist Torsten Slok.

What's happening: The S&P 500 has risen by around 20% so far this year, despite weakening U.S. economic data and a slowing labor market. Earnings growth, typically the bread and butter of equity market returns, was negative in the second quarter and is expected to be negative in the third and fourth quarters as well.

Go deeperArrowOct 10, 2019

Turkish lira rises on ceasefire, but gains look unsustainable

Data: Money.net; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Turkish lira strengthened against the dollar on Thursday after Turkey agreed to pause its offensive in Syria for 5 days to let Kurdish forces withdraw from a “safe zone" Turkey has established.

The big picture: Neither the ceasefire nor the bullish run that Turkey's bonds and currency have seen recently is sustainable, Petar Atanasov, co-head of sovereign research at emerging markets asset manager Gramercy, tells Axios.

Go deeperArrowOct 18, 2019