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Derivatives and Global Capital Flows: Applications to Asia


  • J. A. Kregel

    (The Jerome Levy Economics Institute)


There are four factors involved in the current financial crisis in Asia that have caused surprise. Since the Latin American debt crisis was thought to have been aggravated by the dominance of syndicated private bank lending, borrowers were encouraged to increase private direct investment flows. The stability of capital flows to Asia was used as an example. Yet, the Asian crisis appears to have been precipitated by the reversal of short-term private bank lending. Second, the flows of capital to Asia have been used as example of the benefits of free international capital markets in directing resources to the most productive uses. Yet, in the aftermath of the crisis it appears that total returns on equity investments in Asia have in fact been lower than in most other regions throughout the 1 990s. Third, it appears that in a number of Asian countries, the majority of the international lending was between foreign and domestic banks. It has been suggested that the major cause of the crisis is unsafe lending practices by the Asian banks permitted by inadequate national prudential supervision. Yet, these economies were the most advanced on the road to market liberalisation. One of the cardinal principles of financial liberalisation, formed in the aftermath of the Chilean crisis, is that the creation of institutional structures ensuring the stability of the financial system should precede financial market liberalisation. Indeed, many countries were following this advice. It is interesting to note that the lending banks were generally large, global banks who employ highly sophisticated risk assessment procedures. Yet, they appear to have continued lending well after the increased risks in the region were generally apparent. This suggests that even the most sophisticated operators in global financial markets have difficulties in assessing risk, and that their regulators were no more successful in imposing prudent limits. Finally, private portfolio and direct investment flows were considered to be preferable to syndicated bank lending because they were thought to segregate the problem of foreign exchange instability from asset market instability. Syndicated lending was denominated in the currency of the lending bank, and the exchange rate risk was borne by the borrower; but direct equity investors purchase foreign financial assets denominated in foreign currency and thus bears the currency risk. It was suggested that in a crisis the foreign investor would suffer first from a fall in asset prices, and second from a decline in the exchange rate, which would discourage him from liquidating the investment and reduce selling pressure in the foreign exchange market. Yet, the linkage between the collapse in exchange rates and equity markets appears to have been even closer in Asia than in other experiences of financial crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • J. A. Kregel, 1998. "Derivatives and Global Capital Flows: Applications to Asia," Macroeconomics 9809001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:9809001
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stephen J. Brown & William N. Goetzmann & James M. Park, 1998. "Hedge Funds and the Asian Currency Crisis of 1997," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 98-014, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yan Liang, 2011. "Money-manager capitalism, capital flows and development in emerging market economies: a Post-Keynesian Institutionalist analysis," Chapters,in: Financial Instability and Economic Security after the Great Recession, chapter 9, pages 179-201 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sergio, 2001. "Hedging and financial fragility in fixed exchange rate regimes," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1151-1193.
    3. Paula Marina Sarno & Norberto Montani Martins, 2018. "Derivatives, financial fragility and systemic risk: lessons from Barings Bank, Long-Term Capital Management, Lehman Brothers and AIG," Working Papers PKWP1812, Post Keynesian Economics Society (PKES).
    4. Anastasia Nesvetailova, 2012. "Liquidity Illusions in the Global Financial Architecture," Chapters,in: Research Handbook on International Financial Regulation, chapter 15 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Martin Mayer, 1998. "The Asian Disease: Plausible Diagnoses, Possible Remedies," Macroeconomics 9805015, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Kearney, Colm, 1999. "The Asian Financial Crisis," Quarterly Economic Commentary: Special Articles, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), vol. 1999(1-Februar), pages 29-55.
    7. Ilene GRABEL, 2004. "Trip Wires And Speed Bumps: Managing Financial Risks And Reducing The Potential For Financial Crises In Developing Economies," G-24 Discussion Papers 33, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
    8. Leonardo Burlamaqui & Jan Kregel, 2003. "Towards a Political Economy of Competition in Finance and Development," Anais do XXXI Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 31st Brazilian Economics Meeting] a49, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    9. Machiko Nissanke & Howard Stein, 2003. "Financial Globalization and Economic Development: Toward an Institutional Foundation," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 287-308, Spring.
    10. Martin Mayer, 1998. "The Asian Disease: Plausible Diagnoses, Possible Remedies," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_232, Levy Economics Institute.
    11. Nahid Aslanbeigui & Gale Summerfield, 2000. "The Asian Crisis, Gender, and the International Financial Architecture," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(3), pages 81-103.
    12. Eugenia Correa & Wesley Marshall & Alfredo Delgado, 2017. "Financial speculation, global crisis and food sovereignty," Economia Coyuntural,Revista de temas de perspectivas y coyuntura, Instituto de Investigaciones Economicas y Sociales 'Jose Ortiz Mercado' (IIES-JOM), Facultad de Ciencias Economicas, Administrativas y Financieras, Universidad Autonoma Gabriel Rene Moreno, vol. 2(1), pages 93-120.
    13. Leo F. Goodstadt, 2009. "The Global Crisis: Fatal Decisions - Four Case Studies in Financial Regulation," Working Papers 332009, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
    14. Ilene Grabel, 2003. "Predicting Financial Crisis in Developing Economies: Astronomy or Astrology?," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 243-258, Spring.
    15. Eric Tymoigne, 2010. "Detecting Ponzi Finance: An Evolutionary Approach to the Measure of Financial Fragility," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_605, Levy Economics Institute.

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