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Turkey’s vulnerable lira plunges to record low after central bank sackings

In a midnight decree, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan rid the central bank of key bureaucrats who opposed his calls for lower interest rates ahead of next Thursday’s key meeting.
Customers wait in front of a currency exchange agency as a screen shows rates near the Grand Bazaar, in Istanbul, on March 22, 2021.

Turkey’s embattled currency hit its lowest-ever rate of 9.19 against the US dollar Thursday morning following a midnight presidential decree firing three high-level central bank bureaucrats ahead of a key monetary policy meeting next week.

The dismissals were interpreted as a means to clear the opposition before the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) scheduled for Oct. 21 where further rate cuts, as stubbornly demanded by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, are likely to come on the agenda. Erdogan declared in August that interest rates would go down in the fall, insisting that lowering interest rates would combat inflation.

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