Friday, August 30, 2013

Nothing to Fear

Companies and banks are also financially healthier...All signs so far - from manufacturing to consumer spending - are pointing to a firmer rebound, not just in the US but also in other recently stagnant developed economies like Europe and Japan...So while Asia may be in for a rocky ride as the US eases out of QE, most economies are in a good position to manage the adjustment without giving in to fears of a new crisis. - The Korea Herald 

Fiona Chan wrote the "Fears of Asian financial crisis may be overblown" at The Korea Herald dated August 29, 2013. Her article attracted my attention for it is about the economic situation of Asia and contains materials related to the Philippines. She thinks that Asia has nothing to fear for it has strong economic fundamentals and actually have experienced "boom for the last three years". Countries, which she identified as strong include Taiwan, Philippines and South Korea. In fact, she also thinks that the US, EU and Japan were already out of recession pit and on their way to recovery. 

My reading of Austrian analysis about Asian economy leads me to a different conclusion from Chan. If she thinks that those who see a repetition of the Asian financial crisis in the coming years are misguided, Austrians think that a far greater crisis is actually approaching. We just do not know when. It depends on several factors particularly in relation to the political and economic move of the US. But either way, we cannot escape a far serious economic bust. 

Even reading Chan's article, you will see a hint about the kind of monetary system that we have right now. She said that "if the authorities tighten monetary policy to stabilize currencies or reduce inflation, that risks sapping economic vitality." This is an admission that existing monetary system is unstable. Any attempt to stabilize it will make the situation worse. So the tune that we are playing now is to allow lose monetary policy and let inflation has its way.

You can detect another indication that we are not in a healthy condition when she quoted one economist saying " 'Asian economies have been on a steamroller boom for the last three years, and the fact is that many Asian economies are fundamentally on a much firmer economic footing this time around. '... they do not 'appear to be in danger of falling into an outright currency crisis.' " From Austrian point of view, this is exactly the one to fear - the boom she is referring to for it is caused not by sound business practices, but by credit expansion. After this, bust follows depending on the length of the impact of the easy money injected to the economy in the first place. So I assume that if we could interview an Austrian, he would say "It's actually the reverse: Asian economies are on a more serious and shaky economic footing right now." 

If Chan saw that the world economy has already escaped the 2008 crisis, for an Austrian, the crisis has never been solved. It was actually expanded...