22 June, 2021


How forex trade gunslingers blew away the Asian Tiger myth


WHEN foreign speculators ganged up on Thailand's currency in February, and later turned on its Southeast Asian neighbours, the spreading crisis was popularly dubbed the "Tom Yam effect". That label, derived from the spicy Thai soup, seemed apt at the time. No longer.

Andrew Maule, an analyst with Vickers Ballas, says the economic contagion now gripping most of Southeast Asia has gone way beyond hurting regional currencies. It's now threatening entire economies and has cast a shadow of doubt over whether the 'Asian Miracle' economies that strutted their high growth rates had turned into an Asian Myth at the hands of the likes of philanthropist-speculator George Soros, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan.

Canny speculators in the Sorosled pack smelt blood in the weak economic fundamentals of Thailand, whose exports were negative last year and where huge foreign loans had been frittered away in unnecessary investments. Underneath all its bluster, this Asian Tiger was actually very ill. As speculators called Thailand's bluff,...

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