TOKYO – The 1997-like paranoia wafting over Asia comes as the region commemorates how far it’s come these last 25 years. Or, more to the point, how far it hasn’t as new threats emerge.
Asia has strengthened its defenses markedly since July 2, 1997, when Thailand’s devaluation of the then fixed-rate baht set in motion what became known as the Asian financial crisis.
Banks are stronger, more diversified and less indebted. Governments are generally more transparent and nimbler. Lines are often clearer between public and private sectors. Buffers have been fortified, including trillions of dollars of amassed foreign-exchange reserves.