The current global financial turmoil and Asian developing countries
The world economy is now in difficult straits as a result of the financial turmoil sparked by the subprime crisis in the United States. In this turbulent environment, prospects for sustaining global growth and stability seem to hinge more than ever on developing countries, particularly the emerging-market economies of Asia. This paper contends that the current difficulties are linked to prior financial excesses and regulatory shortcomings which led to a buildup of vulnerabilities in financial and asset markets. The extent to which the Asian countries can decouple their growth from this ongoing turmoil depends on their prevailing domestic economic conditions and their policy response to possible shocks from the crisis. In this respect, fragilities and imbalances exist in many major Asian economies, not least in the form of credit, asset and investment bubbles which were allowed to expand in recent years as foreign capital poured in. Nonetheless, in general, the author maintains, countries in the region do have the policymaking capacity to deal with any adverse trade and financial impacts of the crisis. Beyond the macroeconomic policy response to the present conditions, however, lies an urgent need for regulatory measures which will reduce the systemic instability generated by financial markets and capital flows in the first place.
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