"Losing Faith" - Turkish Lira Crashes As Central Bank Unexpectedly Tightens Policy

The Turkish Lira is crashing by the most since the record low collapse in August amid Erdogan's standoff with Trump. The plunge comes as Turkey’s central bank unexpectedly tightened its monetary stance.

Bloomberg reports that the bank is suspending one-week repo auctions for an unspecified period “considering the developments in financial markets," it said Friday in a statement on its website.

The announcement comes less than a year after the central bank said it would use one-week repos as its main funding tool, abandoning an older framework that allowed the institution to adjust daily the cost of cash provided to banks.


“I’m under the impression that nobody domestically really believes the current state of things is going to last for very long,” said Cristian Maggio, the head of emerging-market research at TD Securities in London.

“While there’s no sense of imminence, building an FX buffer at a time of relative quiet in the market may be a better strategy than being forced to act when things are going down the drain.”

The bank's decision seems to be based on the apparent anxiety caused by this month's elections as households and businesses scooped up another $4 billion of hard currency last week, the most since 2012, driving their holdings to a fresh record.

Simply put, Turks are losing faith in their currency.

“It’s something that makes me concerned,” said Timothy Ash, a strategist at BlueBay Asset Management in London.

Low deposit rates, heightened concern over the inflation outlook and skepticism over the “anti-market” measures, such as price controls, that the government has taken is behind the “continued retail bid for dollars.”

How long before the blame for a crashing currency is heaped on Trump's shoulders?