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Financial Crisis in East Asia: Bank Runs, Asset Bubbles and Antidotes

  • Marcus Miller
  • Pongsak Luangaram

Was the East Asian crisis just a creditor panic with a mad scramble for liquidity that brought the banking system to its knees and the region's much-vaunted 'economic miracle' to a standstill? Or was the miracle indeed flawed by fundamental problems in asset prices and resource allocation? After a summary of the facts and an outline of various types of financial crisis, we conclude that the truth involves both factors, interacting in a vicious downward spiral. There certainly was panic among the creditors but it was triggered by genuine problems of overinvestment and overvaluation in emerging East Asian economies. Before turning to outline various approaches of crisis prevention and management and a brief account of the future prospects, we discuss how contagion can occur in environments where investors are poorly informed and each looks to the others for guidance. The paper ends with immediate steps that might help resolve the current crises; and with proposed reforms to the international monetary system to prevent a recurrence.

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Paper provided by Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation (CSGR), University of Warwick in its series CSGR Working papers series with number 11/98.

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Date of creation: Jul 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wck:wckewp:11/98
Contact details of provider: Postal: Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation (CSGR) University of Warwick Coventry CV4 7AL, U.K.
Phone: +44 (0) 1203 572 533
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  1. Marcus H. Miller & Lei Zhang, 1999. "Sovereign Liquidity Crisis: The Strategic Case for A Payments Standstill," Working Paper Series WP99-8, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  2. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1996. "Models of currency crises with self-fulfilling features," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 1037-1047, April.
  3. Hali J. Edison & Pongsak Luangaram & Marcus Miller, 1998. "Asset bubbles, domino effects and 'lifeboats': elements of the East Asian crisis," International Finance Discussion Papers 606, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Bernanke, Ben S, 1983. "Nonmonetary Effects of the Financial Crisis in Propagation of the Great Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 257-76, June.
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  8. Michael P. Dooley, 1997. "A Model of Crises in Emerging Markets," NBER Working Papers 6300, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Diamond, Douglas W & Dybvig, Philip H, 1983. "Bank Runs, Deposit Insurance, and Liquidity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 401-19, June.
  10. Milton Friedman & Anna J. Schwartz, 1963. "A Monetary History of the United States, 1867–1960," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie63-1, December.
  11. Mathias Dewatripont & Jean Tirole, 1994. "The prudential regulation of banks," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9539, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  12. Young, Alwyn, 1994. "Lessons from the East Asian NICS: A contrarian view," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 964-973, April.
  13. Stephen W. Salant & Dale W. Henderson, 1976. "Market anticipations, government policy, and the price of gold," International Finance Discussion Papers 81, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. 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.
  15. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, June.
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