• Tag Archives Malaysia
  • Market Talk- September 4th, 2017

    Stock markets were spooked by North Korea’s sixth nuclear test over the weekend which had the usual effect of rallying safe-haven such as gold and treasuries. The US dollar also found a bid with the Japanese yen benefiting as money scattered from the risk. The Nikkei ended the day around 1% lower with exporters being hit but the currency appreciation was responsible for much of this move. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was also around 1% weaker but interesting to see that mainland market closed higher (+0.4%). A few markets were closed today (Malaysia and Vietnam) but the obvious one was the US closed for Labour Day. All this weekend news came after the US jobless number released on Friday but was probably more subdued because of the thin trading volumes.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Sep 4, 2017.


  • The Week’s Key Events: All Eyes On The ECB

    With the US markets closed today, market events this week will be dominated by G10 central bank meetings, among which the ECB stands out, but also notable will be the RBA, BoC and Riksbank. Consensus does not expect policy changes yet. There is also a busy calendar for the UK (PMIs, housing, IP and trade balance) along with GDP/IP releases elsewhere. In EMs, there will be monetary policy meetings in Brazil, Poland and Malaysia. Brazil BCB is expected to cut rates by 100bp.
    Central bank preview:
    The ECB remains trapped between a strong(er) EUR and a rapidly shrinking universe of monetizable bonds; as a result Draghi will emphasize the impact of a strong EUR on inflation dynamics but will refrain from disclosing the destiny of QE after the 2018 expiry. Given the recent EUR appreciation, the ECB will prefer waiting for the September FOMC before committing on QE. Most sellside desks call for the October meeting where BofA expects a 6m QE extension at 40bn/month. The RBA is also expected to remain on hold with communication potentially getting more interesting now that forecasts and Parliamentary testimony are out of the way. On the longer term, the domestic housing market in particular to have a more significant influence on monetary policy with the balance of risks favoring rates up. For the BoC, unexpectedly strong economic growth, below neutral o/n rates and the Fed on a hiking cycle means that the Canada should follow with a hiking cycle as well. This said, low inflation and inflation expectations along with CAD appreciation do not argue for urgency. As a result while some have said the BOC’s meeting is “live”, most expected the central bank to remain on hold in September and hikes +25bp in October.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 4, 2017.


  • June Swiss gold exports: 90% moving east — Lawrie Williams

    The latest figures for gold exports from Switzerland just further emphasise that physical gold is continuing to move eastwards in a big way. The country’s gold refineries sent 74% of their gold exports to Greater China (the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong) and India alone, while if we add in other south and east Asian nations – Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and South Korea – and the Middle East – Turkey, the UAE, Lebanon and Jordan – fully 90% of Swiss gold exports that month moved to this region.
    Why is this so significant? Switzerland produces no gold of its own, but its gold refineries between them are the world’s largest gold exporters taking gold bullion and scrap from mines and other sources, including good delivery 400 ounce bars, and re-refining these into the smaller sizes in demand in Asia and the Middle East and re-exporting the bullion mostly to these eastern nations.
    The latest Swiss figures also support the anecdotal evidence of extremely tight supply, with the Swiss refineries struggling to source enough gold to meet the eastern demand. In June, Switzerland exported in total 162.1 tonnes of gold while only importing 124.9 tonnes – a shortfall of 37.2 tonnes. This is the second month in a row where Swiss gold exports were substantially larger than imports – the figure for May was around 39 tonnes.

    This post was published at Sharps Pixley


  • Goldman, Citi Turn Positive On Gold – Despite ‘Mysterious’ Flash Crash

    Goldman and Citigroup Turn Positive On Gold – Despite ‘Mysterious’ Flash Crash
    – Gold bounces higher after ‘mysterious’ one minute ‘flash crash’ mistake
    – $2 billion, 50 tons or 1.8 million ounces ‘fat finger’ trade blamed
    ***
    – Massive selling at 0400 EST when U. S. markets closed and thin trading amid holidays in Muslim countries including Turkey, Singapore and Malaysia.
    – Mystery is that ‘fat fingers’ in gold market are always sell trades that push prices lower

    This post was published at Gold Core on June 27, 2017.


  • DOJ Moves To Seize DiCaprio’s Picasso, Rights To “Dumb and Dumber To” As Part Of 1MDB Case

    As part of the ongoing money-laundering probe of Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, 1MDB, which is perhaps best known for Goldman’s enabling and participation in what may end up being one of the world’s biggest, multi-billion, cross-border embezzlement schemes, on Thursday the DOJ moved to seize a Picasso and Basquiat paintings given to Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as rights to two Hollywood comedies, in complaints filed to recover about $540 million they say was “stolen” from 1MDB (with Goldman’s help).
    The DOJ filing was the latest in a long series of legal actions tied to money laundering at the fund set up by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2009 – who still remains in power – to promote economic development. In the complaint filed overnight, the department alleged that more than $4.5 billion was taken from 1MDB by high-level fund officials and their associates. Fraud allegations against 1MDB go back to 2009 and the fund is subject to money laundering investigations in at least six countries, including Switzerland and Singapore.
    “This money financed the lavish lifestyles of the alleged co-conspirators at the expense and detriment of the Malaysian people,” Kenneth Blanco, acting assistant AG said in a statement. The name of Goldman Sachs, which participated and directly profited from many of the 1MDB transactions, was oddly missing from today’s filing.
    Najib has denied taking money from 1MDB or any other entity for personal gain, after it was reported that investigators traced nearly $700 million to bank accounts that were allegedly in his name.
    And while we won’t hold our breath to learn why Goldman’s involvement was mysteriously dropped, Reuters reported that Leonardo DiCaprio has turned over an Oscar won by Marlon Brando to U. S. investigators probing the 1MDB money laundering. DiCaprio also initiated the return of other, unidentified items that the actor said he accepted as gifts for a charity auction and which originated from people connected to the 1MDB wealth fund, they said in a statement.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 15, 2017.


  • Asian Metals Market Update: May-29-2017

    It is a big week for the US dollar as well as gold, silver and industrial metals. US May nonfarm payrolls will set the trend for the US dollar and also decide whether there will be more than one interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve this year. UK elections trends can result in safe haven demand for gold from the nation. India will decide the GST rate on gold sales and jewelry sales this week too.
    Geopolitics gets a new nation in the form of Philippines. State versus ISIS war in a small region of the nation will greater chances of the same spreading to more parts of Philippines. The current situation in Philippines is similar to Syria of 2012. Assad’s war started with a small bunch of so called terrorists which has gulped the whole nation. I will be looking for clues whether Philippines will be converted into a Syria as state heads of both these nations do not bow to the whims and fancies of NATO leaders. (NATO and the UN have a history of ousting pro people leaders like Gadaffi, Assad, Hosni Mubarak to name a few). I am very confident that both gold and bitcoins will benefit if the situation in the Philippines turn to worse.
    Philippines problems get aggravated by its neighbor, the most populous Islamic nation in the world ‘Indonesia’ and also Malaysia. Indonesia and Malaysia have a great percentage of population leaning towards the ISIS. The peaceful nation of Australia will also get affected if Philippines problems get aggravated. I am looking at the geopolitical developments in East Asia including the South China Sea.

    This post was published at GoldSeek on 29 May 2017.


  • Global Stocks, US Futures Rise On First Day Of Q2 As Trump-Xi Meeting Looms

    After the best quarter for US stocks since 2015, global equities have started off Q2 on the right foot, despite caution about the upcoming meeting between President Trump and China’s Xi Jinping later this week, and Fed Minutes which are expected to be more hawkish than the FOMC statement.
    European shares opened broadly higher, with Europe’s Stoxx 600 rising 0.3% – its 5th day of gains – following a rally in Asian markets on upbeat final PMI data and after a report that Chinese President Xi Jinping will create a new economic zone. S&P futures were modestly in the green, pointing to a higher open for the S&P on the first day of the new quarter.
    Mostly positive mfg PMIs out of Asia:
    Vietnam 54.6
    Philippines 53.8
    Japan 52.6
    Korea 52.4
    Indonesia 50.5
    Thailand 50.2
    Malaysia 49.5
    — David Ingles (@DavidInglesTV) April 3, 2017

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 3, 2017.


  • Global Stocks, US Futures Slide Spooked By G20 Protectionist Shift; Dollar Drops For 4th Day

    Global markets start the week mixed with Asian stocks rising (Japan was closed for holiday), European stocks sliding, weighed down by declines in oil-and-gas shares and banks, and S&P500 futures also down. The dollar fell to a six-week low, falling four days in a row for the first time since early November as G20 leaders scrap a long-standing commitment to reject all forms of trade protectionism, suggesting the “weak Dollar” camp in Trump’s inner circle is winning.
    Equities retreated in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, as did S&P 500 Index futures. Japan’s stock market was closed Monday for a holiday. Indexes rose in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand. The Australian 10-year yield resumed a retreat after rising at the end of last week. The yen touched its strongest in three weeks, while the Korean won was the highest in five months. Oil fell for the ninth day in 11.
    “European equity markets have started the week with a heavy risk-off sentiment after the G20 communiqu explicitly reflected U. S. intentions to establish trade protectionist measures,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior market analyst at London Capital Group, told Reuters. “As the world’s number one economy is preparing to set significant barriers against the world, investors are increasingly worried,” she said.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Mar 20, 2017.


  • Quiet Start To Quad-Witching St. Paddy’s Day: Futures Flat, Global Stocks Mixed

    A quiet start to today’s quad-witching St. Patrick’s day, with European stocks mixed, Asian shares and U. S. index futures (-0.1%) little changed ahead of industrial production data with just Tiffany’s set to report earnings.
    Emerging markets headed toward the best week in eight months even as the global equities rally spurred by the Federal Reserve’s outlook lost momentum. The lack of a more hawkish tone in the FOMC’s statement meant the dollar was poised for its biggest weekly loss since February. As Bloomberg observes, markets from Malaysia to Turkey climbed, while Jakarta’s benchmark touched a record before erasing gains. Shares in Tokyo dropped weighing down the MSCI Asia Pacific Index after it posted its biggest gain since November. Chinese stocks slipped 1 percent as investors sought more evidence of a sustainable economic recovery, but indexes were set for a 1 percent increase for the week. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index touched its highest level since August 2015 on Friday. While up only marginally on the day, it was on track for a 3.2 percent gain for the week, its biggest since September. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose 0.2 percent, bringing its rally for the week to 4.2 percent, far outpacing a 1.3 percent advance for the MSCI All-Country World Index.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Mar 17, 2017.


  • Brother Of Kim Jong Un Assassinated In Malaysia; US “Strongly Believes” North Korea Behind Murder

    Update: According to a U. S. government source speaking to Reuters, the U. S. strongly believes that North Korean agents murdered the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Malaysia. This, even though U. S. authorities have not yet determined exactly how Kim Jong Nam was killed, according to the source, who did not provide firm evidence to support the government’s conclusion.
    * * *
    Just two days after North Korea embarrassed both the US and Japan by test-firing a new, nuclear-capable ICBM with a 2000 mile range, with neither Trump nor Abe able to articulate a clear retaliation strategy, moments ago Yonhap news agency reported that the elder half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been assassinated at Kuala Lumpur airport.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 14, 2017.


  • Brother Of Kim Jong Un Assassinated In Malaysia; US “Strong Believes” North Korea Behind The Murder

    Update: According to a U. S. government source speaking to Reuters, the U. S. strongly believes that North Korean agents murdered the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Malaysia. This, even though U. S. authorities have not yet determined exactly how Kim Jong Nam was killed, according to the source, who did not provide firm evidence to support the government’s conclusion.
    * * *
    Just two days after North Korea embarrassed both the US and Japan by test-firing a new, nuclear-capable ICBM with a 2000 mile range, with neither Trump nor Abe able to articulate a clear retaliation strategy, moments ago Yonhap news agency reported that the elder half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been assassinated at Kuala Lumpur airport.
    Kim Jong Nam, 45, who had lived outside North Korea for years, was reported to have been killed by poison needle by two women who fled the scene by taxi, the reports said.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 14, 2017.


  • Brother Of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Assassinated In Malaysia

    Just two days after North Korea embarrassed both the US and Japan by test-firing a new, nuclear-capable ICBM with a 2000 mile range, with neither Trump nor Abe able to articulate a clear retaliation strategy, moments ago Yonhap news agency reported that the elder half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been assassinated at Kuala Lumpur airport.
    ***
    Kim Jong Nam, 45, who had lived outside North Korea for years, was reported to have been killed by poison needle by two women who fled the scene by taxi, the reports said.
    He was once considered to be the heir to late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il but he fell out of favor with his father in 2001 after he was caught trying to enter Japan on a false passport, and was arrested at Tokyo airport, apparently en route to Disneyland. Kim Jong Nam had been critical of Kim Jong Un, reportedly saying in 2012 that he ‘won’t last long’ because of his youth and inexperience. The two brothers have different mothers, Bloomberg reports.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 14, 2017.


  • Global Stocks, Futures Slide On US Protectionism Worries Following Trump Travel Chaos

    European, Asian stocks and S&P futures all drop after traders were left with a sour taste from the potential fallout of Donald Trump’s order halting some immigration and ahead of central bank decisions from the U. S. and Japan. Markets in Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam are all shut due to the Lunar New Year public holiday, leading to a quiet Asian session. Oil rebounded after sliding as much as 0.7%. Gold was unable to hold its overnight gains and has dipped into the red to $1,190 after rising just shy of $1,200 in early trading.
    “Concerns on protectionism appear to be rising after President Trump’s executive order to restrict immigration,” said Adam Cole, head of G10 foreign exchange strategy with RBC in London.
    As Bloomberg notes, Trump’s executive order halting immigration from seven predominantly Muslim nations drew criticism from world governments and some of the largest companies, bringing the geopolitical and international trade risks surrounding the new U. S. president into sharper focus. As DB’s Jim Reid adds, the domestic affairs of the US hit the headlines all weekend with widespread global criticism and anger over President Trump’s immigration executive order.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 30, 2017.


  • Dollar Rebound Continues, Europe Stocks Pressured By Banks As Much Of Asia Goes On Holiday

    US equity futures are unchanged, trading near record highs after digesting a spate of earnings results on Thursday. The dollar pared its weekly loss as the yen and pound slid, while gold headed for its longest slump in three months. European equities fell and markets in Asia were mixed, while markets in China, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam were closed Friday for the start of Lunar New Year. Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore had shortened sessions.
    The dollar continued its recovery against a basket of other currencies on Friday, while banks dragged European shares slightly lower following underwhelming results from Swiss major UBS. The two-day recovery comes after the dollar suffered a 4 percent drop in the three weeks from Jan. 3 as doubts emerged about how Trump’s policies will play out for the currency, particularly after both Trump and Treasury Secretary-designate Steven Mnuchin hinted at concerns over its strength. The yen extended its biggest decline in a week and Japanese bonds rose as the BOJ stepped in to buy more debt than expected. The pound also slid ahead of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s meeting with Donald Trump.
    “The (dollar) has experienced a powerful rebound re-establishing post-U. S. election relationships between the performance of risk assets and U. S. bond yields on the one hand and the (dollar) on the other hand,” said Morgan Stanley FX strategists led by Hans Redekker, in a note to clients.
    Trump suggested overnight he would push ahead with a 20 percent border tax on Mexico, spurring a slump on the peso and refocusing market expectations on his pro-business policies which, along with healthy corporate results, helped stocks on Wall Street to fresh record highs. However, the peso has since rebounded after the White House backtracked on its border tax proposal, when Sean Spicer said it was only “theoretical.”
    On the political calendar, all eyes will be on the upcoming meeting between UK PM Theresa May and Donald Trump today. She will be the first leader to meet the President and a lot of attention will be placed on the outcome. May wants to try to pave the way for a free trade deal with the US post-Brexit and Mr Trump, in spite of his protectionist biases, would probably like to help the UK prosper if for no other reason than to help prove his point that the EU is flawed and the UK is better off outside of it. So although it’s a very early meeting where nothing will be decided it’ll be interesting to hear from the leaders afterwards. Trump’s ability to be confrontational on the global stage was demonstrated yesterday as we saw US-Mexico trade relations continue to grow strained as Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto officially cancelled a planned meeting with Trump as the latter continued to signal intentions of building “the wall” and substantially increasing border security. He said that if the Mexicans had no intention of paying for the wall they should cancel next week’s trip. This is precisely what they’ve done.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 27, 2017.


  • Trump Dumps TPP, Obama’s ‘Gold Standard’ Trade Deal

    I will renegotiate NAFTA. If I can’t make a great deal, we’re going to tear it up. We’re going to get this economy running again. #Debate
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 20, 2016

    So the trade wars have begun. Less than 72 hrs into to his first term, President Donald Trump has wasted no time making good on a number of campaign pledges, including today’s signing of an executive order to pull the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.
    The 12 nation deal was dubbed the ‘Gold Standard’ by former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and was supposed to be the high-water mark of ex-President Barack Obama’s economic legacy – continuously championed by Obama and his backers on Wall Street, but was not yet approved by Congress.
    The deal was initially designed for the US, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Brunei, Chile and Peru, but plans to extend its corporate reach would eventually include all countries in South America and the Pacific Rim. The other 11 nation signatories will likely move ahead with the deal regardless of the US, but it will be a weaker play in terms of geopolitical leverage.
    This latest announcement follows Trump’s inauguration speech, promising from now on to put ‘America First,’ while promoting the anti-globalization mantra of , ‘buy American and hire American.’
    Said Trump: ‘We’ve been talking about this for a long time,’ adding that today’s move will be a ‘great thing for the American worker.’

    This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JANUARY 23, 2017.


  • Side Notes, January 14 – Red Flags Over Goldman Sachs

    Red Flags Over Goldman Sachs
    Just to prove that I am an even-handed insulter, here is a rant about my former employer, Goldman Sachs. The scandal at 1MDB, the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund from which it appears that billions were stolen by politicians all the way up to the Prime Minister, continues to unfold.
    The main players in the 1MDB scandal. Irony alert: apparently money siphoned off from 1MDB was used to inter alia finance Martin Scorcese’s movie ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, in which Leonardo di Caprio plays a major boiler room operator/ hustler who makes a fortune by defrauding his clients. When the WSJ contacted the people involved in 1MDB, all of them strenuously denied wrongdoing, with the exception of the only currently imprisoned one, who ‘declined to comment’. The money is gone, but it seems nobody took it. It is so to speak a Malaysian luxury miracle, proudly aided and abetted by those doing God’s work on the other side of the Pacific pond – click to enlarge.
    At last count, law enforcement officials in seven countries are investigating the scandal, with the unsurprising exception of the officials whose boss did the stealing. As the slogan of the Malaysian Tourism Board puts it: ‘Malaysia, truly Asia.’

    This post was published at Acting-Man on January 14, 2017.


  • Against China, Vietnam Stands Alone

    Forecast
    Vietnam will pursue its island reclamation projects and defense partnerships more discreetly to avoid directly challenging China. Despite Vietnam’s efforts to connect with global markets, its reliance on imports of raw materials and incomplete industrial chains may mean that such integration could damage its export-oriented economy in the long run. Rising protectionism in the developed world will hamper Vietnam’s attempts to overcome its structural economic flaws, rising debt, and inefficient state-owned enterprises. Analysis
    The balance of power in Southeast Asia has been quietly shifting in China’s favor, and perhaps no country feels it more than Vietnam. In the span of a few months, Hanoi – once the staunchest advocate for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – became the first participant to shelve the trade pact, well before US President-elect Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw from it. At the same time, Vietnam softened its criticisms of China and took steps to mend ties with Beijing. Rather than positioning itself squarely in China’s crosshairs, Hanoi began a more subtle pursuit of its maritime claims and alliances with stronger partners, keeping its options open and its defenses ready.
    More so than most of its neighbors, Vietnam can neither fully reject nor embrace the growing power on its northern border. Some, such as the Philippines and Malaysia, have eagerly joined Chinese-led trade blocs and dispute-settling mechanisms. Others, like Japan and Singapore, have firmly backed Washington’s regional agenda. Vietnam has historically opted to strike a delicate balance between the two, but as the region adjusts to a new political reality, Hanoi’s strategy is becoming increasingly difficult to pull off.

    This post was published at FinancialSense on 12/22/2016.


  • World’s Biggest Real Estate Frenzy Is Coming to a City Near You?

    If they were anywhere else in Beijing, the five young women in cowboy hats and matching red, white, and blue costumes would look wildly out of place.
    But here at the city’s biggest international property fair — a frenetic gathering of brokers, developers and other real estate professionals all jockeying for the attention of Chinese buyers — the quintet of wannabe Texans fits right in. As they promote Houston townhouses (‘Yours for as little as $350,000!’), a Portugal contingent touts its Golden Visa program and the Australian delegation lures passersby with stuffed kangaroos.
    Welcome to ground zero for the world’s largest cross-border residential property boom. Motivated by a weakening yuan, surging domestic housing costs and the desire to secure offshore footholds, Chinese citizens are snapping up overseas homes at an accelerating pace. They’re also venturing further afield than ever before, spreading beyond the likes of Sydney and Vancouver to lower-priced markets including Houston, Thailand’s Pattaya Beach and Malaysia’s Johor Bahru.
    The buying spree has defied Chinese government efforts to restrict capital outflows and shows little sign of slowing after an estimated $15 billion of overseas real estate purchases in the first half. For cities in the cross-hairs, the challenge is to balance the economic benefits of Chinese demand against the risk that rising home prices spur a public backlash.

    This post was published at bloomberg


  • Clif High-DOW & Gold $125,000-Hyperinflation Coming

    The following video was published by Greg Hunter on Nov 12, 2016
    On gold and silver, Internet data mining expert Clif High says never mind the recent price drop. High says, ‘They’re real money, always have been, and you are going to need it. . . . How can it be silly to hold real money? Americans are going to have to face up to the fact that we have been deluded by a propaganda press that was attempting to sow a particular viewpoint around the world. We tried to conquer the world with dollars and the threat of bullets . . . . Our dollars were accepted all around the world, and people gave us real stuff for those green pieces of paper. They’re not going to do that anymore. So, if you want that coconut from Malaysia . . . you are going to have to pay something that has value. Those little green pieces of paper will not after a short period of time. They are going to have value inside the country for a while, but outside the country, people are going to say I want gold or silver or oil. I want to see something of value.’
    High can’t name a price for gold and silver, but his ‘predictive linguistics’ says, ‘At some point in 2017, probably past mid-year, we’re going to be looking at hyperinflation so bad that the DOW will be measured around $100,000 to $125,000. Meaning, the dollar will be so worthless that it will take $125,000 to buy the little basket that is the DOW. I also have language that says an ounce of gold will be approaching the DOW in terms of value. This is not ludicrous. In the last depression in 1933 and 1934, after the shutting of the banks . . . we had a point where gold and the DOW were the same, and gold dominated the DOW for decades.’


  • How Gold Came to South Korea’s Rescue

    Nineteen years ago, South Korea came precipitously close to bankruptcy.
    The Asian financial crisis had spread like a virus. Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and other Southeast Asian countries were all affected, inciting fears of a global economic meltdown if the crisis couldn’t be contained.
    Before 1997, South Korea had been held up as a textbook example of economic reversal and resilience.
    Once a poor colony, the country underwent an unbelievably rapid transformation in the second half of the 20th century, propelled by smart policy reforms and heavy investment in education. Many called it the ‘Miracle on the Han River.’ By the end of the century, Korea had grown to become the world’s 11th largest economy. Residents had the incomes to enjoy comfortable, ‘Western’ lifestyles.
    But in the summer of ’97, the bug arrived in Seoul. Businesses began to fail. Left with nonperforming loans, banks collapsed, while others discontinued fresh lending. The won was in freefall. Liquidity dried up. Foreign investors yanked nearly $18 billion out of the country. Hundreds of thousands lost their jobs.
    Korea’s only recourse was to seek help from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and in December, the lender approved a gargantuan $58 billion bailout package, the largest in history. The deal required Korea to liberalize trade and its capital accounts, reform its labor market, restructure corporate governance and more.
    A new crisis emerged, then, which native Koreans still refer to as the ‘IMF Crisis.’
    The government wasted no time in raising the funds to pay back the loan, and on January 5, 1998, a national campaign was launched that today stands as one of the most moving shows of patriotism and self-sacrifice the world has ever known.

    This post was published at GoldSeek on 28 September 2016.