Author: admin | Date: February 11, 2014 | No Comments »

TURKEY, WHICH SITS at the crossroads of the world between Europe, the Arabian peninsula and Russia, had six years of growth after its 2001 financial crisis, when the Turkish lira lost more than half of its value.

 

From 2002 through 2007, Turkey’s economy grew an average of 6.8 percent annually. Type TUGPCOYR <Index> GP <Go> to graph gross domestic product in constant prices.

Slumping demand at home and abroad pushed the country into recession late in 2008. In the first three months of 2009, Turkey’s GDP declined a record 14.3 percent, making the downturn the country’s most severe since World War II.

Weak demand let Turkey’s central bank cut its benchmark rates beginning in 2008, while inflation remained at historical lows. Type TUCPIY <Index> GP <Go> to chart Turkish inflation, which topped 130 percent in 1995. Turkey’s consumer price in­dex declined to its lowest level, 5.2 percent, in May 2009. In October, the central bank cut its bench­mark overnight interest rate by half a percentage point to a record low of 6.75 percent. Since Novem­ber 2008, the central bank has slashed 10 percent­age points from its benchmark rate. Type BTMM TU <Go> to monitor key Treasury and money mar­ket rates for Turkey.

 

Fixed income is one of the most dynamic areas of finance in Turkey. The market is centered on government bonds. More info can be found at this website. In Turkey, unlike many coun­tries, 80 percent of domestic government bonds are traded on the stock exchange. The Istanbul Stock Exchange is one of the three largest emerg­ing-markets debt exchanges in the Europe, Mid­dle East and Africa region, along with those of South Africa and Russia.

 

VOLUME HAS INCREASED since 2002. In 2008, the total traded value of bonds and bills rose by almost 11 percent to 3.2 trillion lire ($2.5 trillion) from the previous year, according to data from the exchange. By contrast, the traded value in 1998 was only 100 billion lire.Turkish bond market

Type TUPM <Go> to track trading with the Istanbul Stock Exchange Bond Monitor function. Type TURKGB 011/03/10 <Corp> YAS <Go> to use the Yield & Spread Analysis function to ana­lyze a Turkish government zero-coupon bond that matures in 2010. To graph the ABN Amro Istanbul Benchmark Bond Index, type TRAB­NBM <Index> GP <Go>.

 

Volume in the over-the-counter Turkish bond market has de­clined since 2000. In 2008, OTC volume dropped 6.3 percent to about 625 trillion lire compared with the previous year. OTC trading accounted for about 15 percent of total volume in 2008.

Author: admin | Date: February 6, 2014 | No Comments »

Game of Chicken

The lesser prairie chicken, which is a candidate for list­ing under the Endangered Species Act, doesn’t like to do its mating dance near any tall structure. Scientists say it evolved to fear that predators will perch there before swooping in for the kill. This presents a prob­lem, since wind turbines atop 200- to 300-foot (60- to 90-meter) steel towers are being planned for the Texas panhandle and adjacent states, near some of the bird’s best remaining hab­itat. Companies such as E.ON AG want to build wind farms on that landscape.

Endangered Species Act

“The windiest parts of some of these states seem to be the areas that still have bigger con­centrations of prairie chickens;’ says Patrick Woodson, E.ON’s chief development offi­cer. A listing under the federal endangered species law would result in restrictions on any activities that kill the prairie chicken–or inhibit its reproductive urges.

 

JIM EFSTATHIOU JR.

Power Hungry China

If all of the wind turbines forecast to be installed worldwide in 2009 were somehow devoted to China, they would meet just 38 percent of its need for new electricity supplies. China would still have to build the equivalent of about 50 coal-fired power plants of 1,000 megawatts each. It’s enough to give pause to the politicians, scientists, economists and nego­tiators charged with crafting a treaty to slow the rise of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere.

 

China is stepping up its pur­suit of renewable power and was slated to build more than 10,000 megawatts of wind tur­bines in 2009, according to the American Wind Energy Associ­ation. While that total would outpace U.S. wind farm con­struction for the first time–and will be a bargaining chip at climate talks in Copenhagen in December–it’s still dwarfed by China’s overall needs.

 

Oliver Stone’s Two Heroes

Moviegoers will get director Oliver Stone’s latest take on capitalism in April, when fictional corporate raider Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas, returns to the screen in the sequel to 1987′s Wall Street. In the meantime, Stone wants you to get his views on socialism. His documentary South of the Border aims to show how a new generation of leftist leaders, such as Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Brazil and Evo Morales in Bolivia, is pulling Latin America free from U.S. political and eco­nomic dominance.

Oliver Stone's Two Heroes

Stone engages these politicians as friends, especially the most controversial of them, President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. As inter­viewer and narrator, Stone doesn’t hide his views—and doesn’t discuss Chavez’s heavy-handed efforts to blacklist supporters of Venezuela’s political opposition or shut the country’s oldest television station.

The film is meant as a counter­weight to U.S. media coverage, Stone said at its Sept. 23 premiere in New York, which Chavez at­tended. ‘We’re hearing one side of the story in America,” Stone said. He’s still struggling to get his side out: As of the premiere, South of the Border had no distributor.