After 16 years in power, the appointment of an ally as finance minister became the ultimate move by a president gaining an increasingly firm grip on the economy. No, I am not referring to any economy from our continent — even though parts of this script have a very familiar ring to them. Cadre deployment, a schizophrenic currency and lack of economic discipline are not flaws unique to our part of the globe. Turkey’s lira has fallen by almost a third in the past few weeks, triggered by that man again, Donald Trump, who took umbrage at the imprisonment of a US pastor. Authoritarianism, poorly thought-out economic policies and disastrous international relations have concocted a lethal cocktail threatening to engulf Turkey in serious economic turmoil. With one of the highest current account deficits among emerging markets and a corporate sector heavily reliant on hard-currency foreign debt — amounting to a quarter of GDP — the currency sell-off has tightened the noose on liquidity as co...

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