Let your currencies be

Asian policy makers need to learn to let go of their currencies. Markets are the best judge of value, not politicians.

Nearly three years after the birth of the Asian financial crisis, there are disturbing signs that Asia's policy-makers are making the same mistakes. Across the region, governments and central banks are doing their utmost to control their currencies. In Japan, comments from the Bank of Japan and the Ministry of Financeáare nearly always a precursor to heavy intervention to keep the yen fromáappreciating against the US dollar.

In Korea, official policy is to keep the won as weak as possible. Official organs of Korean state policy such as the Korea Development Bank and Korea Electric PoweráCompany are regular and massive sellers of won to keep the currency artificially low.

In Malaysia, currency controls...

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