July 6, 2007


From political darkness, economic optimism (Shawn W Crispin, 7/07/07, Asia Times)

After nearly two years of political doom and gloom, suddenly Thailand’s economic prospects are brightening. Foreign investors have ushered in the 10th anniversary of Thailand’s spectacular 1997 collapse with a buying binge, recently bidding up the local bourse and currency to 10-year highs. But should foreign punters be so optimistic?

Foreign capital is rushing into the country, with foreign equity inflows so far this year exceeding US$3.7 billion, including an inrush of US$600 million over the last fortnight. Foreign direct investments (FDI) has also exceeded expectations, and some economic analysts believe those capital inflows could accelerate in the months ahead as the government approves more foreign applications to produce so-called “eco-cars”.

Political uncertainty and policy miscues have this year weighed against the Thai bourse’s performance, which on a price-equity ratio basis has lagged badly most other global emerging markets. Now with deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra fading from view, and the ruling military junta that ousted him sticking to its promise to hold democratic polls by year’s end, investors see new clarity in the country’s political outlook.

“It’s clear now that Thailand is not going to fall off the cliff anytime soon,” says Cem Karacadag, an economist with Credit Suisse. “And it’s the cheapest market in Asia.”

Gotta be able to tell an authoritarian phase from a totalitarian regime.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 6, 2007 10:34 PM

oj, we've disagreed before, but never till now would I have accused you of naivete.

Plase review the ever-growing population estimates for the southernmost Thai provinces. Where do you suppose all those people are coming from, and why?

Posted by: ras at July 6, 2007 11:57 PM

Malay Muslims aren't Thai.

Posted by: oj at July 7, 2007 7:50 AM

Interesting that the article doesn't mention that probably 2000+ have been killed by a growing Muslim terror movement in the past few years. And the killing is usually up close and personal - head shots, knives, and decapitations. They must not have a good bombmaker.

Are you saying Thailand should pre-emptively attack Malaysia?

Posted by: ratbert at July 7, 2007 9:14 AM

How would attacking Malaysia make Malays into Thais?

Posted by: oj at July 7, 2007 9:37 AM

Is this post being written in code? I think I need to lay down, I feel a migraine coming on. Are you guys saying that Malaysia and Thailand are one in the same or that they aren't?

Posted by: erp at July 7, 2007 4:35 PM


No code - OJ is just unwilling to admit that 2000+ dead Thais (including lots and lots of children and teens) is worthy of consideration as a major terror initiative.

The former PM of Malaysia was a hard-core anti-Semite and overall thug (even more so than Ahmadinejad). He encouraged Muslim terror groups to start attacking targets in southern Thailand. They have killed scores of police, army, and civilians. The attacks are now moving north, kind of like the old maps showing the growing range of the 'killer' bees or the fire ants.

The coup in Thailand last year wasn't really influenced by the terror, but any major attack in Bangkok would affect the political situation. The Muslims know it, and are trying.

Hence the question about a pre-emptive attack. What other inference is there to draw from OJ's 7:50 AM comment?

Posted by: ratbert at July 7, 2007 5:05 PM

The South is Malay and Muslim. They don't care to be part of Thailand so won't be.

Posted by: oj at July 7, 2007 8:34 PM

Thank you, I feel better now. Everything is back to normal again in Southeast Asian where fair play reigns.

Posted by: erp at July 8, 2007 8:42 AM