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Turkey’s currency crash was so bad that Apple seems to have suspended online sales there

November 24, 2021, 11:25 AM UTC

Good morning. David Meyer here in Berlin, filling in for Alan.

Thanksgiving looms in the U.S. (which is why this will be the last CEO Daily of the week), so turkeys are on many people’s minds. But this morning I’d like to highlight the country rather than the bird.

In case you missed it, the Turkish lira crashed 15% against the dollar yesterday. Much like the last time it fell so dramatically, back in 2018, the drop was largely down to President Erdogan’s mania for suppressing interest rates, despite the fact that Turkish inflation is running very high—if you think the U.S.’s 6% is bad, try 20%.

Erdogan is so convinced that this is the right path that he has sacked three central bank governors, who sided with pretty much everyone else in disagreeing with him, over the last couple of years. He also defenestrated central bank deputy governor Semih Tümen last month, and yesterday Tümen hit back with this: “We need to abandon this irrational experiment, which has no chance of success, and return to quality policies that will protect the value of the Turkish lira and protect the welfare of the Turkish people.”

In the big picture, the lira’s travails could have an impact on Turkey’s ability to service its debts, and there is a risk of consumers switching their savings into dollars and further pressuring the domestic currency. But there’s also been an immediate effect on the likes of Apple, which appears to have suspended online sales in the country. That’s not surprising, given that it would otherwise be selling its iPhones at a steep discount, compared to pricing in more stable countries. (The company itself has not yet publicly commented on the fact that its Turkish online store won’t let people buy stuff.)

How upside-down is the situation? Check out this quote from an Istanbul Apple Store employee, who told Reuters: “It is pretty surreal with the economy and all, but people see [high-end electronics] as a store of value and flock to stores. They know they’ll be able to sell it a year later for more than what they paid.”

Erdogan shows no sign of backing down, so let’s see if his unorthodox strategy really does fight inflation, as he claims it will. (I wouldn’t bank on it.)

More news below. And do also read Jennifer Alsever’s piece on workplace practices that cause employee burnout: Beware situations that feature lots of micromanagement, people being overworked, and an excess of “side conversations” among workers.

David Meyer
@superglaze

david.meyer@fortune.com

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This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer.

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