Turkish Lira Jumps After Erdogan Summons Economic Officials To His Palace

With Turkish capital markets in free fall, the Turkish lira crashing to record lows...

... and one year TRY swap spreads hitting 17%, the highest since the days just after Lehman's failure and AIG's bailout...

... and chaos increasingly gripping the Turkish economy as the central bank is barred from doing the one thing that is so desperately needed to arrest the TRY plunge, i.e., hiking rates, by a president who is not a fan of monetary tightening, this morning Turkey's cartoonish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan decided he had had enough of watching a run on his currency and summoned economic decision makers to his palace to discuss the plunge in the lira, Bloomberg reported.

With the lira extending its longest losing streak in seven months on Wednesday after the U.S. exit from the Iran nuclear deal sent oil prices surging, the lira reversed losses after news of the meeting, fueling speculation that authorities may take measures to stem a market rout.

Earlier on Wednesday, Turkey’s central bank announced measures to boost foreign exchange liquidity and stop the run on the currency, although it failed to stem the plunge. Central Bank Governor Murat Cetinkaya was also expected to attend the meeting at Erdogan’s palace at 2 p.m. local time, according to the Bloomberg sources.

Separately, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said on Wednesday that Turkey’s government has “never fought the markets” and the central bank will continue to do what’s needed. Market fluctuations are temporary and won’t create permanent damage, Simsek said, although it was not clear from his comment that after waging war against the Kurds for the past two years, Erdogan would now shift his sights to Lira sellers.

Of course, when nothing of substance is revealed following today's "gathering", which may reveal that one or more top Turkish policymakers are also traitors and supporters of Gulen, just so Erdogan has a scapegoat for a day or two on whom to blame the ongoing economic collapse, we expect the TRY freefall to accelerate.