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The Asian Economic & Financial Crisis

Rapid Economic Growth in East Asia. From the 1960s and through the early 1990s, most nations in East Asia rapidly developed their economies. According to Thurow, Japan, largely because of its penetration of American export markets, which had a GNP of only 50 percent of U.S. GNP in 1970, had by 1991 become the world's largest creditor nation and seemed poised to become its wealthiest economy. Even more remarkable was the economic growth of East Asia's tiger economies, the newly industrializing countries (NICs) of South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan, followed soon after by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. During the period 1986-1996, South Korea increased its per capita income by ten times, Thailand five times and Malaysia four times. In just 27 years, 1960-1987, East Asia's percentage of world GDP increased from 13.7 percent to 18 percent and was predicted to increase to 22 percent by 2000. Alon and Kellerman said "such success led to acclaim for the Asian 'miracle' and recommendations [for the rest of the world] to adopt the 'Asian model.' An Asian millennium in the 21st century seemed at hand.

Asian Crisis. On July 2, 1997, the Thai government announced the devaluation of its currency, the baht. Alon and Kellerman summarized the ensuing economic and financial crisis, which was felt most acutely in the Southeast


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