Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Asian Currency Crisis - A Fait Accompli?

Bacha, Obiyathulla I. (1997): The Asian Currency Crisis - A Fait Accompli? Published in: Malaysian Journal of Economic Studies , Vol. 34, No. 1-2 (1997): pp. 67-92.

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Abstract

This paper analyzes the East Asian Currency Crisis to examine what factors led to the crisis and the differential impact across countries. Empirical data of 7 Asian countries over the period 1990 – 1996 is examined. The sample of seven countries is divided into two categories; crisis countries and affected countries. Comparison of several economic indicators is made between these two categories to determine what factors led to the severe consequences in the crisis countries as opposed to affected countries, all of which were subject to contagion.

The crisis countries were found to have had aggressive growth policies that were fuelled by reflationary strategies; particularly rapid monetary growth and capital inflows. With higher relative inflation and repressed interest rates, exchange rate equilibrium as dictated by purchasing power and interest rate parities were out of line given pegged exchange rates. The currencies had become overvalued. The result being current account deficits that were financed by capital inflows, increasingly in the form of short term foreign currency denominated loans.

The combined impact of all of this had been to increase the crisis countries’ vulnerability to a speculative attack and a resulting self-fulfilling crisis.

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