Sunday, January 29, 2006

Bank of Thailand (BOT) says baht's rise due to sale of Shin to Singapore

Sometimes I feel like there are 5 assholes sitting in a room, giving out the government position on things here. The explanations bear little or no direct relationship to reality, and are as simple-minded and idiotic as they could possibly be. Now, 80% of the time, I believe these 'expostulations' are nothing more than smokescreen to support the 'long con' that is Thai Rak Thai. In other words, the gov is lying, manipulating and catering to the rural voter base, and they really aren't as stupid as their explanations make them appear. But the other 20% of the time, I think these assholes actually believe what they are saying.

The fact that such people are in power shows the pervasiveness of corruption in Thai society, because how else could people of such limited ability have reached such high levels of responsibility?

from today's Nation:

BOT explanation of baht’s appreciation against US dollar spun in favour of Thaksin

Re: “Baht’s rise due to Shin deal – BOT”, Business, January 20. As reported, it appears that Bank of Thailand (BOT) governor Pridiyathorn Devakula and Finance Minister Thanong Bidaya are intentionally misleading Thai people about the reasons for the appreciation of the Thai baht against the US dollar. The baht/US dollar exchange rate is flexibly managed by the BOT at the broad instruction of the Ministry of Finance, ie, a managed floating-exchange-rate system pegged to a basket of currencies: the euro, US dollar, and the yen. The daily determination of the baht/dollar exchange rate is secretly determined by the BOT in regular consultation with the Ministry of Finance.

This means that the rise of the baht against the dollar since January 4 has been independently determined by the BOT, ie, it has nothing to do with alleged large inflows of capital to purchase Shin shares. No supply-demand relationship between the dollar and the baht is in action as far as Shin shares are concerned.

However, think carefully: Singapore’s Temasek Holdings does not have to wire money to Thailand because it can deposit the agreed US dollar amounts at Shin’s bank account in a Singapore bank. This is easily done, as Singapore is a major international financial centre. Moreover, it is a bad financial management practice to wire such a large amount into Thailand as this money eventually will be wired back to Singapore later. In effect, Temasek’s money is very unlikely to have ever arrived at any banks in Thailand for the purchase of Shin shares.


The reader goes on to note that rather than bring hard currency into Thailand, the sale has in fact resulted in "the flight of capital from Thailand to Singapore, ie, selling [Thaksin's] assets in Thailand in exchange for money directly deposited in Singapore." If this is not true, it would be interesting to know which Thai bank has been entrusted with the 70+billion baht proceeds from the sale. A simple question no Thai newspaper has figured out to ask.