The Financial Collapse Of The Thai Baht Finance Essay

The East Asiatic fiscal crisis started off with the fiscal prostration of the Thai tical on the 2nd July 1997, caused by the Thai authorities ‘s determination to drift the tical and cutting its nog to the US dollars. At that clip, its imports was more than its exports, and Thailand had already amassed a load of foreign debts which had efficaciously made it a belly-up state even before the prostration of its currency.

The devaluation of the Thai tical sets off an huge meltdown of the part ‘s foreign currency markets. Table 1 below shows the badness of the autumn of the exchange rates of the eight East Asiatic states.

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Table 1 – Depreciation of Exchange Rate ( Per US $ )

Lowest Rate

Lowest Month


Indonesian rupiah



July 1998

-83 %

Thai tical



January 1998

-53 %

South Korean won



January 1998

-47 %

Malayan ringgit



January 1998

-42 %

Philippine peso



September 1998

-40 %

Nipponese hankerings



August 1998

-21 %

New Taiwan dollar



August 1998

-20 %

Singapore dollar



August 1998

-19 %

Beginning: LIM, Chong Yah, 2000, A Postmortem on the East Asiatic Exchange Rate Crisis,

Keynote reference at the 7th Conference of the East Asian Economic Association held in Singapore

By 1998, recession had hit most of the East Asiatic states, with Indonesia, South Korea and Thailand being the most affected. Thailand was the worst affected, with six back-to-back quarters of negative Gross Domestic Products ( GDP ) growing. Singapore, on the other manus with merely two back-to-back quarters of negative GDP growing was the least affected. Table 2 shows the figure of quarters each state was in recession.

Table 2 – Number of Quarters in Recession





Hong Kong


Dutch east indies




South Korea






Beginning: LIM, Chong Yah, 2000, ‘From Recession to Recovery in East Asia: A Non-IMF and Non-World Bank Explanation ‘ , Accounting and Business Review, Vol. 7, No. 2, 145 – 162

The eight East Asiatic recession states had a common characteristic – free replaceability of their domestic currency to the US dollar, and frailty versa.[ 1 ]This existed in the balance of payment excess states of Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore, and in the balance of payments shortage states of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea and Thailand. The latter five states suffered from what the International Monetary Fund ( IMF ) called “ serious cardinal disequilibrium ” in the balance of payments before the eruption of the East Asiatic fiscal crisis. This disequilibrium in balance of payments resulted from the states distorted investing mix. Besides land guess, foreign currency denominated short term loans were used to fund buildings of mega-projects that could non be exported and therefore, cut downing the ability to gain foreign exchange for the state.

It was remarked by Professor Lawrence Summers, the so Secretary to the US Treasury that any state with a balance of payments shortage on current history transcending 5 % of GDP was in danger of an exchange rate prostration.[ 2 ]In add-on, the US dollar under force per unit area to appreciate, began to vanish in the domestic market as Gresham ‘s Law sets in, being substituted by other currencies. The balance of payment crisis turned shortly into an exchange rate crisis when the supply of domestic currency progressively exceed its ‘ foreign demand, therefore doing the exchange rate to plump.

In contrast, China did non hold this exchange rate job and had a healthy growing for its GDP with existent growing rates of 8.8 % , 8.7 % and 7.2 % in 1997, 1998 and 1999 severally. This is primary due to four factors which we will discourse below.

First, China had a strong capital control. China ‘s currency was non exchangeable on capital history and aliens do non keep any Renminbi ( China currency ) denominated fiscal assets which could hold been sold. For illustration, aliens are merely allowed to buy particular foreign currency denominated portions which are non lawfully available to domestic investors in the domestic equity markets. Should the monetary values of these portions fall, they can merely be sold to other aliens and be paid in dollars. Hence, in the event that all the foreign portfolio directors make a tally together at the same clip, there will non be any deductions on the value of the domestic currency. This contrasts precisely with the state of affairs in Southeast Asia in 1997.[ 3 ]

In add-on, legal purchases of foreign exchange is restricted to importers, Chinese citizens who are authorized to go abroad, fiscal establishments or endeavors that requires foreign exchange to refund foreign currency loan or foreign investors who wish to direct back all or some of the domestic currency dividends declared by the house ‘s board of managers.

Hence, Chinese citizens that had assumed the diminution in value of the Renminbi by and large could non change over their domestic currency into foreign currency. Likewise, China ‘s limited foreign exchange hereafter markets are merely unfastened lawfully to houses which want to fudge a demand to finish a future-related dealing that is denominated in foreign currency. This efficaciously stopped speculators from taking short places in the domestic currency.[ 4 ]

The 2nd factor was the exceeding strong balance of payments place before the crisis. As shown in Table 3 below, China ‘s current history was in excess from 1996 to 1998. In fact, the current history excess of US $ 29.7 billion was an historic record. Hence, China did non hold the demand to increase its adoptions abroad to finance a shortage current history unlike other states in the part. In add-on, China was running a big capital history excess because of immense influxs of foreign direct investing. Therefore there was an all clip high of US $ 40 billion of capital influx in 1996 and the official foreign exchange militias besides grew by US $ 31.4 billion and US $ 34.9 billion severally in 1996 and 1997, in malice of a big sum of unfavourable mistakes and skips.

Table 3 – China ‘s Balance of Payments 1996-1998 ( Billions of US dollars )




Current History




Trade Account




Capital History




Mistakes and Omissions




Change in Militias




Notes: Additions in modesty are indicated by a negative mark.

Beginning: State Statistical Bureau ( 1997 )

Third, China ‘s official external debt was modest in regard to its official retentions of foreign exchange when compared with a figure of other states in the part. For illustration, as seen from Table 4, China ‘s official militias of US $ 105million are about 90 % of its official external debt in 1996. In add-on, one tierce of this debt was made from loans from international fiscal establishments and foreign authoritiess which have high refund footings and concessionary involvement, while short-run debt accounted for merely approximately 13 % .[ 5 ]This caused China ‘s reported debt service ratio to stay reasonably invariably below 10 % .[ 6 ]

Merely before the Asiatic fiscal crisis in 1997, the official militias were more than 8 times that of reported short-run external duties. In contrast, the ratio of short-run external debt to international militias was more than 100 % in Indonesia, South Korean and Thailand.[ 7 ]

Table 4 – China ‘s Militias and External Debt, 1995 – 1998 ( Billions of US dollars )





Official foreign exchange militias





Official external debt

Commercial loans

Short-run loans













Independent estimations of:

Entire external debt: World Bank


Deutsche Bank

JP Morgan

Moody ‘s

Commercial loans: Bismuth



















Beginning: State Statistical Bureau ( 1998 )

The last factor that cushioned China from the East Asiatic fiscal crisis is the assurance the Chinese families have in their fiscal system, particularly the four biggest state-owned Bankss. During the East Asiatic fiscal crisis, nest eggs continued to be deposited into the Bankss by families and this increases Renminbi by 100s of one million millions annually. Since 1993, the national nest eggs rate had increased and had since exceeded 40 % of the GDP, seting China near the top of the universe ‘s salvaging conference.[ 8 ]In add-on, the per centum of national nest eggs contributed by families had besides risen enormously. And with the absence of alternate fiscal assets, families will go on to lodge big parts of their fiscal assets into bank salvaging sedimentations every bit long as they have assurance in the banking system, therefore doing Bankss to hold no liquidness issues.

Question 3 – Part 2.

The East Asiatic fiscal crisis in 1997 is both an economic and political crisis to Indonesia. Indonesia ‘s initial reaction was to raise of import domestic involvement rates, float the Rupiah ( Indonesia currency ) and fasten its financial policy. In October 1997, Indonesia desiring to liberalise the economic system reached an understanding on an economic reform plan with the IMF, taking at riddance of the state ‘s detrimental economic policies ( such as the clove monopoly and the National Car Program ) and the state ‘s macroeconomic stabilisation. On its recommendation, Indonesia revamps its banking industry ; undertake structural reforms and cuts duties on cardinal merchandises.

In add-on, Indonesia was asked by IMF to crest its rising prices at 5 % and reduces its current history shortage to less than 3 % of its GDP. On 1st November 1997, a twenty-four hours after IMF announced its fiscal aid bundle to Indonesia ; it orders the closing of 16 Bankss. However, the closing of the Bankss create more panic which leads to bank tallies as people lose assurance in the banking system, and by November 1997, two-thirds of the Indonesian Bankss had a run on their sedimentations. The rupiah remained weak and the so Indonesian President Suharto was forced to vacate. In August 1998, Indonesia and IMF signed an Extended Fund Facility ( EFF ) under the leading of its new President B.J. Habibie which included important structural reform marks. In October 1999, there was another alteration of presidential term to President Abdurrahman Wahid and in January 2000, Indonesia and IMF signed another EFF which has a scope of economic, structural reform and administration marks.

However, there was contention that the policies directed by IMF to stablise the economic system, in peculiar the exchange rates were utile. Jeffrey David Sachs in his 1997 New York Times article “ The Wrong Medicine for Asia ” highlighted that the East Asiatic fiscal crisis had introduced wholly different jobs that IMF is familiar with, and that IMF ‘one size-fits-all ‘ policy does non look to work on Southeast Asiatic states. In add-on, Joseph E. Stiglitz, another economic expert lamented the IMF for enforcing conditions on states that were seeking fiscal aid and that such patterns were counter-productive.[ 9 ]

By utilizing exchanges rate at the clip IMF was approached for aid as a mention point, the graph in Figure 1 shows that in fact, the exchange rates did non stabilized and were deteriorating alternatively. Hence, an economic policy that works in a state at a specific clip may non accomplish the same consequences in another economic system.

As the fiscal crisis spread the economic system of Singapore dipped into a short recession. The short continuance and milder consequence on its economic system was credited to the active direction by the authorities. For illustration, the Monetary Authority of Singapore allowed for a gradual 20 % depreciation of the Singapore dollar to shock absorber and steer the economic system to a soft landing. The timing of authorities plans such as the Interim Upgrading Program and other building related undertakings were brought frontward. Alternatively of leting the labour markets to work, the National Wage Council pre-emptively agreed to Central Provident Fund cuts to take down labour costs, with limited impact on disposable income and local demand. Unlike in Hong Kong, no effort was made to straight step in in the capital markets and the Straits Times Index was allowed to drop 60 % . In less than a twelvemonth, the Singaporean economic system to the full recovered and continued on its growing flight. [ 27 ]


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