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GROUNDHOG DAY

The relentless decline of the Turkish lira, as told through exasperated Financial Times headlines

By Edmund Heaphy
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Buying the Turkish lira, according to one analyst, is like “catching a falling knife.” Writing imaginative headlines about the currency’s unceasing ability to hit new lows, however, is even harder.

The currency’s problem is as much political as it is economic. In June, president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s reelection ushered him into office with newly expanded powers. One of his first moves was to appoint his son-in-law to lead the country’s newly combined treasury and finance ministry.

Erdogan has also increased his influence over Turkey’s central bank. He has long made his hatred of higher interest rates known. In May, he called them the “mother and father of all evil.” As far back as June 2013, he blamed the “interest rate lobby” for orchestrating protests in Istanbul. This pressure has made the country’s central bank reluctant to do one of the main things central banks do when a country’s currency is tumbling: raise interest rates. That has led to soaring inflation—and years of exasperated, and altogether interchangeable, Financial Times headlines about the lira setting yet another all-time low (all paywalled):

Aug. 6, 2018 Turkish lira plumbs new low after central bank’s policy tweak

Aug. 3, 2018 Turkish lira hits fresh historic low

Aug. 1, 2018 Turkey’s lira weakens to fresh record low against dollar

July 11, 2018 Turkish lira hits record low against the dollar

June 15, 2018 Turkish lira slides almost 6% in worst week in a decade

May 24, 2018 Turkish lira resumes slide despite rate hike

May 22, 2018 Lira swings to new record low in abrupt move

May 21, 2018 Turkish lira extends declines with heavy drop to new record

May 15, 2018 Turkish lira touches yet another low as Moody’s warns on bank risk

May 14, 2018 Lira hits low after Erdogan stamps authority on monetary policy

May 3, 2018 Turkish lira sinks to new record low as inflation rises

Apr. 10, 2018 Turkish lira strikes another record low on growing outflow fears

Apr. 9, 2018 Turkish lira hits new low as Erdogan chases high growth

Apr. 6, 2018 Turkish lira hits record low as political risks cast pall

Nov. 21, 2017 Turkey’s central bank takes action as lira hits record low

Jan. 11, 2017 Lira suffers 4% plunge – steepest since failed coup

Jan. 5, 2017 Turkish lira suffers fresh blow amid ratings junking fears

Jan. 3, 2017 Turkish lira falls to record low as higher inflation spurs selling

Dec. 1, 2016 Turkish lira slumps back towards record low after Opec deal

Nov. 8, 2016 Turkish lira rout deepens to hit fresh all-time low

Nov. 7, 2016 Turkish lira hits lowest level since at least 1981

Oct. 28, 2016 Turkish lira at another record low

Oct. 17, 2016 Turkish lira hits record low (again)

Oct. 13, 2016 Turkish lira sinks to fresh all-time low

Oct. 10, 2016 Turkish lira tumbles towards record low

July 20, 2016 Turkish lira falls to new record low on S&P downgrade

July 15, 2016 Turkish lira in steepest fall since 2008

June 8, 2015 Turkish lira hits low after election

Apr. 24, 2015 Turkish lira sinks to record low

Apr. 15, 2015 Turkish lira hits record dollar low

Dec. 14, 2014 Turkish lira hits all-time low as Erdogan takes EU to task

Jan. 16, 2014 Turkish lira hits new record low vs dollar

Sep. 5, 2013 Turkey opts for stable interest rates as lira hits record low

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