Ten years ago this month, the value of the Thai baht took a nose-dive when the country ran out of foreign-exchange reserves. Within days, the financial panic spread to Indonesia, South Korea and Malaysia. By 1998, the regional disaster had become a global disaster, with the crash of Russia's ruble and Brazil's real.
|Anwar Ibrahim was Malaysia's deputy prime |
minister and finance minister during the crash
Never before had the world seen capital flight on such a scale and speed, causing stock markets and entire economies to collapse. In Thailand, authorities asked people to hand over their gold jewelry. In Indonesia, the rupiah fell 86 per cent against the dollar. The currencies of Thailand, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines all lost about half of their value.
Some people were quick to pronounce the Asian economic miracle dead, but 10 years on, many believe that these economies have fully recovered. At the same time, others think East Asia may be heading for another financial shock. Who is right? What were lessons learned from the crisis, and has the world learned them?
Riz speaks with two people who were in the eye of the storm. In Kuala Lumpur, Anwar Ibrahim was Malaysia's deputy prime minister and finance minister at the time. And in Washington, Steven Radelet was a top US treasury department official. Dr Radelet co-wrote Lessons From the Asian Financial Crisis with Dr Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University.
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This episode of Riz Khan aired on Monday 09 July 2007
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