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Saturday, June 04, 2005

Thailand bank boss fined $4.6bn – Largest Fine On Earth!!

BBC reports A former Thai central bank governor has been fined 186bn baht ($4.6bn; £2.5bn) for his leading role in the country's 1997 financial crash. Rerngchai Marakanond spent that figure trying - and failing - to prop up the country's currency during the crisis. The Bangkok Civil Court has now ordered that Mr Marakanond must reimburse the Bank of Thailand within a month.Otherwise he will face the seizure of his personal assets. "The court finds that the defendant committed grave negligence by using the country's foreign reserves until they went into deficit," said a judge, reading out the verdict. The court heard how Mr Rerngchai ignored calls to devalue the baht until it was too late, and most of Thailand's foreign reserves had been eroded.At the time, he argued that a devaluation would mean a massive surge in the country's foreign debt. The currency was finally devalued in July 1997, but not before 186bn baht had been spent trying to prop it up. Thailand's financial crisis started after an overheated property bubble burst at the end of 1996. Danile Dredzer wonders with this fine culture - despite seemingly good reserves, who would come forward to hold such positions in future and points to Brad Sester's question about china's economic fragility-Issuing renminbi debt to buy dollars is not going to be a winning trade. Look at what happened in Korea, which issued won debt to buy dollars. And China is issuing lots of renminbi - both cash and renminbi denominated central bank bills - to buy dollars. The People's Bank of China will take losses, potentially large ones, when - and it is a question of when - the renminbi is revalued to reflect China's growing productivity

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