The Asian financial crisis, also called the "Asian Contagion," was a sequence of currency devaluations and other events that began in the summer of and spread through many Asian markets. The currency markets first failed in Thailand as the result of the government's decision to no longer peg the local currency to the U. As a result of the devaluation of Thailand's baht, a large portion of East Asian currencies fell by as much as 38 percent. International stocks also declined as much as 60 percent. Luckily, the Asian financial crisis was stemmed somewhat due to financial intervention from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
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This piece was originally featured in the Australian Financial Review on July 02, Twenty years ago, on July 2, , the Thai baht broke its peg with the U. Growth plunged from positive 7 percent in the years leading up to the crisis to negative 7 percent, with Indonesian gross domestic product declining 13 percent. This had profound economic and political implications for the region, and indeed, the global economy.
The Asian financial crisis, like many other financial crises before and after it, began with a series of asset bubbles. Growth in the region's export economies led to high levels of foreign direct investment , which in turn led to soaring real estate values, bolder corporate spending, and even large public infrastructure projects. Heavy borrowing from banks provided most of the funding. Ready investors and easy lending often lead to reduced investment quality, and excess capacity soon began to show in these economies.
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