Izzy Finkel

Izzy Finkel writes about economics and Turkey, and sometimes both.

From The Blog
19 May 2023

It wasn’t dodgy polling that convinced Turkey’s opposition they stood a chance at overturning Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s two-decade rule, or not dodgy polling alone. In the twelve years since Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu became leader of the CHP, the UK has cycled through three main opposition leaders and five prime ministers. Turkish voters have been here before – so many times before – and are attuned to subtle changes in the air. This time the changes weren’t even subtle.

From The Blog
17 March 2023

‘If you invest your tuppence wisely in the bank/Safe and sound,’ the directors of the Fidelity Fiduciary Bank sing to Michael Banks in Mary Poppins, ‘Soon that tuppence, safely invested in the bank/Will compound.’ The boy, who would rather spend his money on a bag of crumbs to feed the pigeons, is unswayed by their doggerel.

Short Cuts: In the Inflation Basket

Izzy Finkel, 16 February 2023

Eachmonth a team of 292 people goes shopping on behalf of the nation. They visit village post offices, department stores, petrol stations and pubs, seeking out, at the most recent count, 211 ladies’ handbags, 566 cabbages and 286 ballpoint pens. The shoppers don’t actually buy anything. They record the prices they find, check them, then publish the monthly results so the rest...

From The Blog
15 February 2023

‘In politics, you leave the way you came in.’ In Turkey the phrase is attributed to Süleyman Demirel, the seven-time prime minister and president in 1999 when a magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck just east of Istanbul. Voters, resolving to punish officials who’d been complicit in construction practices that killed 17,500 people in their beds, used the next election to install Erdoğan’s AK Party for the first time. Twenty-four years later, some are returning to Demirel’s words after the twin earthquakes that hit southern Turkey and north-west Syria on 6 February.

From The Blog
18 October 2022

In the last few days, opponents of the Truss-Kwarteng mini-budget have seen it roundly demolished, with one of its architects banished and the other seemingly retained as ornament. And yet its critics may come to regret their victory. Jeremy Hunt has scrapped most of the tax-cutting measures mooted last month and is now poking around Whitehall with his scissors, promising that no department is ‘ring-fenced’. With the reversal of the mini-budget comes a return to the logic of austerity, which is precisely – to steal David Cameron’s line – what ‘got us into this mess’.

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