Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Origins of the Global Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Asia


The roots of the present financial crisis can be located in significant structural changes in the U.S. economy and its financial system after the 1960s. Paramount among these is the growth of the financial sector and its overshadowing of the real economy. With the slowdown in long-term growth rates, the U.S. progressively became a debt-driven economy, particularly in the financial and household sectors, which became unsustainable. This is related to the increasing imbalance in wealth and income distribution that produces under-consumption for the vast majority, and excess savings for a small minority. Changes in the financial industry in terms of heightened speculative and Ponzi financing resulted in greater fragility and instability in the financial system that was bound to crack. The Minsky moment arrived in 2007/8.

The second part of the paper examines the consequences and impact of this crisis in some Asian countries. While most Asian countries enjoy strong macro-economic fundamentals and relatively robust financial systems, they are nevertheless feeling the full brunt of the fall out. We examine how these economies are impacted through the trade and investments channels, revealing a consequence of global integration.


2009 Violet Wurfel ASEAN Lecture Series

“The Origins of the Global Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Asia”

Office of the UP President
Office of the UP Vice President for Academic Affairs
UP Department of Political Science
UP Third World Studies Center

March 11, 2009 (Wednesday), 10:00 AM-12:00 NN

Pulungang Claro M. Recto, Bulwagang Rizal (Faculty Center)
University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City


Welcome Remarks and Background of the Lecture Series
Teresa S. Encarnacion Tadem
Third World Studies Center
University of the Philippines-Diliman

Introduction of the Speaker

"The Origins of the Global Financial and Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Asia"
Michael Lim Mah Hui
Social, Economic, and Environment Institute (SERI)
Penang, Malaysia

Open Forum

Final Remarks from the Speaker

Perlita M. Frago-Marasigan
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines-Diliman


Dr. Michael Lim Mah Hui’s professional background spans 30 years as an international banker and academician.
Dr. Lim worked in major international banks that included Chemical Bank (now J.P. Morgan Chase) in New York and Tokyo, Credit Suisse First Boston in Singapore and Hong Kong, Deutsche Bank in Singapore and Jakarta, Standard Chartered Bank in Jakarta, and the Asian Development Bank in Manila.

Dr. Lim has a multi-disciplinary background in finance, economics and politics. He received his B.A. (Honors) in Economics from the University of Malaya, a master’s degree in International Affairs, another master’s degree in Sociology, and a Ph.D. in Development Studies from the University of Pittsburgh; and Certificate of Business Administration from Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Prior to his banking career, Dr. Lim did research in and taught Political Economy and Sociology at Duke University, Temple University and the University of Malaya.

Most recently he has delivered public lectures on the present international financial crisis in Tokyo at the Asian Development Bank Institute and the International Developing Economies, in Bali at the U.N. High Level Policy Dialogue on Food, Fuel and Financial Crises, in Singapore at the Singapore Economics Society and Bankers Association, in Bangkok at the Experts’ Workshop on Financing and Development in Economic Commission of Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP-UN) and the Annual conference of Federation of ASEAN Economics Association, in Kuala Lumpur at the Harvard Project in Asian and International Relations and at Pricewaterhouse Coopers briefing for senior management, and in Manila at the Asian Institute of Management and the University of the Philippines.

His recent articles on the financial crisis have appeared in the Bangkok Post, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, The Edge, the Straits Times (Singapore), The Star (Malaysia), the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, U.N., the Third World Resurgence, the Levy Economics Institute, and the Journal of Applied Research in Accounting and Finance.

He has published the following books and manuscripts: The Ownership and Control of the 100 Largest Corporations in Malaysia (Oxford University Press, Kuala Lumpur, 1981); Transnational Corporations from Developing Asian Economies, ESCAP/UNCTC Publications Series B No.7, United Nations, 1985; Women and the Industrialization Process in Asia: Close-up Study of the Thai Textile Workers (a report submitted to the Social Development Division of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific, Bangkok, 1986.)

He was Senior Fellow at Asian Public Intellectuals Program of the Nippon Foundation for 2007/8. He is now Fellow at the Social, Economic and Environment Institute (SERI), in Penang, Malaysia.

(Please see this link for his other lectures.)

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