IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Volatility and contagion in a financially integrated world : lessons from East Asia's recent experience

  • Alba, Pedro
  • Bhattacharya, Amar
  • Claessens, Stijn
  • Ghosh, Swati
  • Hernandez, Leonardo

The buildup of vulnerabilities in East Asia is shown here to be mainly the result of weaknesses in financial intermediation, poor corporate governance, and deficient government policies, including pro-cyclical macroeconomic policy responses to large capital inflows. Weak due diligence by external creditors, fueled partly by ample global liquidity, also played a role but global factors were more important in triggering the crises than in causing them. The crisis occurred partly because the economies lacked the institutional and regulatory structure to cope with increasingly integrated capital markets. Trouble arose from private sector decisions (by both borrowers and lenders) but governments created incentives for risky behavior and exerted little regulatory authority. Governments failed to encourage the transparency needed for the market to recognize and correct such problems as unreported mutual guarantees, insider relations, and nondisclosure of banks'and companies'true net positions. Domestic weaknesses were aggravated by poorly disciplined foreign lending. The problem was not so much overall indebtedness as the composition of debt; a buildup of short-term unhedged debt left the economics vulnerable to a sudden loss of confidence. The same factors made the crisis's economic and social impact more severe than some anticipated. The loss of confidence directly affected by private demand - both investment and consumption - which could not be offset in the short run by net external demand. The effect on corporations and financial institutions has been severe because of the high degree of leveraging and the unhedged, short-term nature of foreign liabilities, which has led to a severe liquidity crunch. Domestic recession, financial and corporate distress, liquidity constraints, and political uncertainty were self-reinforcing, leading to a severe downturn.

If 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.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2008.

in new window

Date of creation: 30 Nov 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2008
Contact details of provider: Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Reinhart, Carmen & Kaminsky, Graciela, 2000. "Las crisis gemelas: las causas de los problemas bancarios y de balanza de pagos
    [The twin crises: Te causes of banking and balance of payments problems]
    ," MPRA Paper 13842, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. La Porta, Rafael & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. " Legal Determinants of External Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 1131-50, July.
  3. Maurice Obstfeld, 1984. "Rational and Self-Fulfilling Balance-of-Payments Crises," NBER Working Papers 1486, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1998. "Law and Finance," Scholarly Articles 3451310, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Miller, Marcus & Zhang, Lei, 2000. "Sovereign Liquidity Crises: The Strategic Case for a Payments Standstill," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(460), pages 335-62, January.
  6. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti & Nouriel Roubini, 1998. "What Caused the Asian Currency and Financial Crisis?," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 343, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  7. Maurice Obstfeld, 1995. "Models of Currency Crises with Self-Fulfilling Features," NBER Working Papers 5285, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
  9. Ronald I. McKinnon & Huw Pill, 1996. "Credible Liberalizations and International Capital Flows: The "Overborrowing Syndrome"," NBER Chapters, in: Financial Deregulation and Integration in East Asia, NBER-EASE Volume 5, pages 7-50 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Balance-of-Payments Crises," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 11(3), pages 311-25, August.
  11. George A. Akerlof & Paul M. Romer, 1993. "Looting: The Economic Underworld of Bankruptcy for Profit," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 24(2), pages 1-74.
  12. Steven Radelet & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1998. "The East Asian Financial Crisis: Diagnosis, Remedies, Prospects," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 1-90.
  13. Barry Eichengreen & Ashoka Mody, 1998. "What Explains Changing Spreads on Emerging-Market Debt: Fundamentals or Market Sentiment?," NBER Working Papers 6408, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2008. See general 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.