The East Asia crisis and corporate finances : the untold micro story
AbstractExplanations of the causes of the Asian crisis have focused on macroeconomic factors leading to the crisis. This paper offers a complementary corporate distress perspective linking the crisis to corporate finances. Key ratios for companies in various countries are presented in the paper. The global benchmarking imposes a consistent cross-border analysis of financial risk and performance, and sheds light on the crisis. The study provides a statistical review of the financial practices and performance of corporates in Asia: Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, and Thailand benchmarked against financials of corporates in other countries: Latin America, and industrialized countries: France, Germany, Japan and USA. A thematic point that comes across in all the results of the corporate financial analysis is unsustainable rapid (and probably excessive) investment in fixed assets financed by excessive borrowing in some Asian countries- e.g., Indonesia, Korea and Thailand. The East Asian investment-spending spree resulted in poor profitability, reflected in low, and declining return on equity, and return on capital employed. It leads to the conclusion that at the core of the corporate crisis were financial excesses that violated prudent financial practices, and eventually lead to the inevitable financial distress we are witnessing. Therefore, the empirical findings presented in the paper lend credence to the view advanced by Krugman that crony capitalism was at the core of the crisis. Crony capitalism was manifested in supportive bad policies-e.g., implicit government guarantees, and poor banking supervision- that lead to poor credit allocation decisions in the banking dominated financial system. Preliminary findings suggest as well vast differences in Economic Value Added between countries- developing and developed alike. The conclusions from an economic value added approach indicate that in an era of increasing capital mobility, corporates are not adhering to global standards in creating shareholder value. The analysis leads to policy conclusions.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 1990.
Date of creation: 31 Oct 1998
Date of revision:
Banks&Banking Reform; Payment Systems&Infrastructure; Economic Theory&Research; International Terrorism&Counterterrorism; Environmental Economics&Policies; Financial Intermediation; Economic Theory&Research; Banks&Banking Reform; International Terrorism&Counterterrorism; Environmental Economics&Policies;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Steven Radelet & Jeffrey Sachs, 1998. "The Onset of the East Asian Financial Crisis," NBER Working Papers 6680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.