As we approach Koh Si and Koh Ha – the so-called Koh Rang Nok (Bird’s Nest Island) in Songkhla Lake – our boat runs past two floating security booths that serve as checkpoints before we are allowed to disembark on the islands. Located in the Pak Phayun district of Phatthalung province, the seven islands spread over 1,400 rai (224 hectares) are home to flocks of swiftlets whose nests are made of solidified saliva – the key ingredient in making bird’s-nest soup. The edible bird’s nest collected from Phatthalung is renowned for being the finest quality in Thailand due to the large size of the islands and their location in the middle of Songkhla Lake where there is a plenty of food, making the nests white and clean. In Thailand, the state grants concessions in nine provinces to private companies to collect nests for trade. Koh Si and Koh Ha come under the concession areas so permission must first be obtained before visiting the islands. Only … [Read more...] about An economic nesting ground
1997 economic crisis
Literally bridging Europe and Asia, Turkey has long appeared to refute Rudyard Kipling’s idea that “East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.” An EU Customs Union member with strong banking ties to the European Union, and a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Turkey has also been quite happy to involve Russia and China in its economic development. But the often delicate balancing act between these competing blocs may be thrown out of whack in the wake of the country’s current economic travails. Why? Per a tweet by Charlie Robertson, chief economist of Renaissance Capital, “Turkey is less than 0.1% of world equity markets. But #Turkey represents over 10% of NATO personnel – more than the UK and France combined – so US establishment (ie excluding Trump) will not want to lose Turkey.” So even if Ankara’s banking crisis does not trigger a global financial meltdown in the same manner in which, say, the … [Read more...] about Turkey’s ongoing crisis could fracture NATO
NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks finished lower on Monday (Aug 13) amid worries the Turkish currency crisis will spread to other emerging economies.The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 125.44 points (0.50 per cent) to close at 25,187.70.The broad-based S&P 500 fell 11.35 points (0.40 per cent) to 2,821.93, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 19.40 points (0.25 per cent) to 7,819.71.The declines in the US came after other leading equity bourses in Asia and Europe also pulled back as the Turkish lira tumbled to new lows against the euro and dollar.The fall has revived worries of a repeat from 1997, when a fall in the Thai currency mushroomed into a much broader Asian economic crisis.Emerging economy currencies already were under pressure due to Federal Reserve interest rate increases even before US tariffs on Turkey throttled the Turkish currency."The world borrowed a lot of dollars and the dollar is rising and the US interest rates are rising," said Karl Haeling … [Read more...] about US stocks fall on worries Turkish crisis will spread
Thailand had a reputation as the world’s fastest-growing country between 1987 and 1996, with an average of 9.5 per cent growth per annum. In that same decade , investment by financial institutions, especially financing companies, underestimated their proficiency and potential. Although their portfolios were focused on lending on investments, many loans inevitably involved speculative investment like real estate, and individual consumption like car leasing and stocks. The value of these loans increased 17 times and accounted for 54 per cent of total loans in 1996. There was a trendy towards hasty lending in the real estate and stock sectors. These were growing on building prices rather than on creating productivity. Investors crowded in, mainly buying property for short-term speculation, not as long-term investments, causing huge artificial demand and creating a bubble economy. Housing, land and share prices were spun much higher without a good foundation to support their actual … [Read more...] about Were lessons ever learned from 1997 financial crisis?
The media report of a group of former MPs from the Northeast paying a visit to three of their party's "respected elders" should be a cause for concern for democratically minded Thais. The first "elder" is Thailand's former prime minister and former army chief. This man is now 86 years old. Some 20 years ago, the government under this PM was responsible for the 1997 economic crisis that affected many countries across the world. Many blamed him for the tumult that took place in Thailand in the 1990s.The second "elder" (85), is the caretaker leader of Thailand biggest party. He is another elderly Thai who cannot say with pride that he has done anything good for society. The last is a notorious politician (84) who came to prominence by acting as a local boss in the Northeast -- after becoming owner of a fleet of transport trucks operating in the region.During his time as a cabinet minister in the early 2000s, this person was alleged to have ordered for a piece of land that belonged to a … [Read more...] about Out with the old