The Asian Financial Crisis 20 years on: part one

Leading market players reflect on the painful lessons Asia and Thailand learnt after the latter devalued the baht on July 2, 1997.

It is an extremely well worn phrase, but it was 20 years ago today well yesterday to be precise that Thailand took the momentous decision to drop its fixed exchange rate of 25 baht to the dollar and let the currency float freely. It resulted in an instantaneous 20% devaluation and marked the official beginning of the Asian Financial Crisis.

The action was, to continue quoting the Beatles album Sgt Pepper, guaranteed to raise a smile’, but mainly on the faces of the speculators who had been attacking the currency for weeks.

Initially, the Lennon and McCartney of this eponymous band were flagged as the...

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