By Jeffrey D. Sachs, Bokyeong Park, Wing Thye Woo, Naoyuki Yoshino (editors)
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Extra resources for Asian Economic Papers. Volume 7, Issue 1, Winter 2008
Balance of payments need is only one of the eligibility criteria used by the IMF. In any case Malaysia’s foreign exchange reserves were not extraordinarily high at the time (about US$ 15 billion, down from a pre-crisis level of US$ 25 billion). Therefore, if wanted, presumably Malaysia could have entered an IMF program. The real issue was that this option was not politically acceptable to the Malaysian leadership. For over nearly 3 decades New Economic Policy (NEP) (renamed National Development Policy [NDP] in 2000)—perhaps the most comprehensive afªrmative action policy package ever implemented in any country in the world—has been central to the Malaysian economic policy (Snodgrass 1980).
5 percent. BNM also revised the formula used in computing the base-lending rate (BLR)13 so that reductions in the intervention rate are better reºected in cost of bank credit. 5 percent. The 3-month inter-bank rate (BNM’s policy rate on which other short-term interest rates are based), which was raised from 10 percent to 11 percent in February 1998 to defend the exchange rate, was reduced in a number of stages to 4 percent by early 1999. The default period for reclassiªcation of bank loans (which was reduced to 3 months from 6 months in January 1998) was changed back to 6 months, with a view to reducing the pressure on the banks to set aside capital against non-performing loans.
5 percent). 9 percent in 1996. Foreign currency exposure of the banking system remained low thanks to BNM’s policy of specifying stringent net open positions on foreign borrowing. By mid 1997, the aggregate net open position (bank liabilities denominated in foreign currency net of equivalent assets) of the banking system was less than 5 percent of total bank liabilities (BIS 1998). Despite this apparent soundness, in the lead-up to the crisis there was a heavy accumulation of outstanding domestic credits in the banking system, with a heavy exposure to the property sector (broadly deªned to include share trading and the real estate sector) (Soros 1998).
Asian Economic Papers. Volume 7, Issue 1, Winter 2008 by Jeffrey D. Sachs, Bokyeong Park, Wing Thye Woo, Naoyuki Yoshino (editors)