A moral hazard story and growing economies

Published 22.09.2017 01:48

Some have been bewildered by the fact that Turkey's growth performance for 2017 has exceeded expectations. Although I have written a large number of articles in this column about Turkey's new growth path based on the latest growth figures, I won't repeat them. You can see them in the archive. However, I need to focus on Commerzbank, which is managed and used by the German state not only economically, but also politically - as it seems. In fact, Germany jumped at the 1.8 percent shrinkage in the Turkish economy in the third quarter of 2016 after the July 15 coup attempt, publishing reports that the Turkish economy was collapsing.

Commerzbank suffered losses above expectations in the second quarter of the year, while its balance sheet is gradually deteriorating with this loss. Moreover, the bank management's moral hazard had a big effect on this loss. Actually, the bank made a profit of 215 million euros in the same period of 2016. So, the impact of moral hazard on the bank's net loss of 637 million euros in a year is indisputable. It is a moral hazard in itself that the bank misled investors with false reports about Turkey and dismissed hundreds of its staff in an unexpected manner.

Commerzbank, of course, also has the basic weaknesses of the German economy, which is increasingly worsening and having difficulty competing with emerging Eastern economies. Commerzbank management described this year's unexpected loss as a "restructuring," but what this included dismissals, pushing the moral limits to a large e

xtent. Now, one of the biggest banks in Germany is collapsing, and the impact of rapid dismissals on this collapse is great. So, Commerzbank must confess openly: "In fact, the economy under the influence of the German state, which we rely on, is collapsing; our old structure could not endure this collapsing economy, so we have a large number of discharges and losses."

Oddly enough, Commerzbank says it is hopeful of this new structuring and has achieved substantial customer growth, but the effects of customer growth will be seen in the coming years. What customer growth can Commerzbank mention, while it has entered into a political discussion in political reports that it has published with one of the most dynamic economies around it and it advocates the failed German politics?

Commerzbank, which aired its dirty linen in public after Turkey's latest growth figures were announced, published reports last year, claiming that the Turkish economy was collapsing. Now, instead of apologizing to its investors and customers, the bank asserts that Turkey's growth is doubtful. So, it is insignificant as a singular example. However, what makes the bank my point of discussion is that it writes false reports and insists on them at the expense of deceiving investors, which points to a moral hazard. Well, what economic and political environment do banks, such as Commerzbank, come from, given that they have moved away from the financial and economic sphere, turning into a stick of the state and becoming the apparatus of a political party, rather than an economic institution?

I concretely saw this once again in New York when I was watching the U.N.'s 72nd General Assembly this year. The confidence that leaders of eastern and southern countries have in their economies was reflected in their addresses to the U.N. General Assembly. Almost all of them complained about hot conflict zones in their region and the possibility that cold conflict zones might turn into hot ones at any moment. They also indicated that these problems are the problems of humanity as they are impeding human development, and deteriorating growth and income distribution in countries. However, unlike the past, these countries have opened up their economies to the world and entered new paths of growth and development. This development path that began in China in the Asia-Pacific region is moving toward Europe through Asia and Turkey. In fact, this is quite a different rise than the one that started in developing countries in the early 1960s but fizzled out later.

This economic and political rise of developing countries or of the East in a broader sense must never be understood as a new nonaligned movement. In fact, The Non-Aligned Movement, which emerged in the early 1960s, was a group of countries that was produced by a bipolar world and that objected to U.S. hegemony by relying on the Soviet Union. They had closed economies and political regimes.

Although these states defined themselves as a third pole, they did not qualitatively differ from the Soviet model with their statist and closed nation-state models. Now, however, the objection of developing countries is possible as long as they open up their political regimes and economies to the world. For instance, China, India and Turkey have reached their present economic efficiency by increasingly opening up their economies to the world. As such, China and India will seize economic hegemony from the West as the first quarter of the 21st century ends. However, starting with developing Asia first and the Caucasus later, the Middle East, Turkey and Eastern Europe will achieve this equalization between the West and the East. This is an inevitable process, and the only thing that the West can do now is to delay it as long as possible. Obviously, it will escalate political chaos in developing countries in this transition phase as much as possible and eliminate or delay the new civilian political will in these countries.

Turkey's growth is true, just like the fast growth of China and others. But it is also true that the economy represented by Commerzbank and the paradigms of that economy have collapsed.

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