Another day, another collapse in the Turkish lira, only this time there was a twist: as the hyperinflating currency implodes, Erdogan has finally had enough of the relentless pummeling, and is starting to shut down Turkey's markets.
But first, let's back up: heading into Friday, the lira accelerated its historic descent, weakening past the 16 per-dollar mark for the first time ever, as the central bank's pledge to end a four-month cycle of interest rate cuts on Thursday failed to convince investors that inflation can be brought to heel. That was just the start however, and the currency plunge only accelerated crashing as low as 17.14 just hours later, bringing declines this week to 17%. YTD the currency has lost more than half of its value!
As a reminder, the central bank yesterday cut its benchmark one-week repo rate by a further 100 basis points to 14%, its fourth reduction since September spurred by demands from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to lower borrowing costs in the face of surging consumer prices as part of his batshit insane monetary policy Erdoganomics whose only possible outcome is the collapse of Turkey's economy and hyperinflation. The resulting sell-off accelerated a 54% plunge in the currency so far this year as real rates fall further below zero with inflation now standing at an annual 21.3%.
Erdogan then responded to the economic pain caused by rising prices by ordering a 50% increase in the minimum wage next year, guaranteeing even more inflation as it will increase production costs that will see inflation accelerate by a further 2% to 8% next year, Erkin Isik, chief economist at QNB Finansbank, wrote in a note to clients.