Jim Cramer: Turkish Lira 'Crisis'? It Could Turn Out to Be Anything But

 | Aug 10, 2018 | 7:33 AM EDT
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We all act as if the Turkish lira is about to take us down in a heartbeat. It has been getting hammered and we are concerned that, what, it could spread? That there could be a fall in the government? That a new government would come in and be, somehow, less stable? Less open-minded? Less kind to journalists who are investigating it?

Give me a break.

How quickly people forget the month of January 1994 when inflation rose 70%, the Turkish lira plunged from 15,000 to the dollar to 24,000 so fast that often the machines we had back then simply couldn't keep up with it. How little people remember how the pro-Western government of Tansu Ciller, the first woman prime minister and a great friend of the United States, desperately tried anything to stem the foreign trade deficit and boost their foreign currency reserves, including taking money from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

It all ended badly if you want to go back in time to the end of the Turkish secular society that all started right then. That's when the seeds were sown for the most regressive, anti-free speech, all but in name religious dictatorship of President Recep Erdogan.

So let me get this. We are now going to sell stocks again, as we did back then in 1994, on a glint of a downfall of what can hardly be called a democracy?

It's pretty ironic when you think about it. It would be incredibly bullish to have a secular democratic Turkey come about. The thing that could possibly do it is what's occurring now, the freefall of the currency.

Just as it was a bad thing back in 1994, arguably this could be a good thing because the world benefits from a democratic Turkey, not just the Turks who opinion polls show are extremely unhappy with the Erdogan government but can do nothing about it.

So, sell away on this Turkish lira crisis. But for those of us who lived through the beginning of the downfall on secularism in Turkish government, we know that a collapse in the lira can be a game-changer, and, this time, back to what Turkey was when it was a thriving democracy and had every hope of being a regular member of the European Union.

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