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British pound debacle worsens Asia’s woes

TOKYO — When Larry Summers says it’s bad, you know it’s bad.

Ex-Treasury Secretary Summers made his bones amid the wreckage of the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis. Summers was a key member of the financial fire brigade tending to — and at times making worse — a blazing meltdown that left big scars.

As such, there’s nothing comforting about him speaking of the collapse in UK assets in “contagion” terms – terms similar to those he and other senior US Treasury officials used, in an Asian context, 25 years ago.

“I do certainly think we’re living through a period of elevated risk,” Summer told Bloomberg on Thursday. “Earthquakes don’t come all of a sudden — there are tremors first. Most of the time, when there are tremors, they’re just tremors and it goes away, but not 100% of the time.”