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August 21, 2017

Asia is Adding to its FX Reserves in 2017 (China Included?)

Perceptions often lag economic shifts. President Trump for example campaigned against China’s currency manipulation at a time when China was selling foreign exchange in the market, and thus didn’t…

China: Quarterly Outflow Measures

February 27, 2018

The Rise of Islamist Groups in Malaysia and Indonesia

The rise of Islamism in Malaysia and Indonesia could have severe consequences for the two states’ societies, political systems, and overall stability.

Students pray at an Islamic boarding school in Indonesia.

February 20, 2018

Southeast Asia
Shifting U.S.-Indonesia Relations to a Transactional Approach

The U.S.-Indonesia relationship has often disappointed. It’s time to rethink U.S.-Indonesia ties and try to achieve real security goals, rather than make bold plans for cooperation that never come to…


September 8, 2016

Emerging Markets
The Most Interesting FX Story in Asia is Now Korea, Not China

China released its end-August reserves, and there isn’t all that much to see. Valuation changes from currency moves do not seem to have been a big factor in August, the headline fall of around $15 bi…


August 29, 2016

Monetary Policy
Is The Dirty Little Secret of FX Intervention That It Works?

Foreign exchange intervention has long been one of those things that works better in practice than in theory.* Emerging markets worried about currency appreciation certainly seem to believe it wor…


January 12, 2006

Asian central banks back in the fx market

Pretty much all of them.   It is 2004 all over again. From Dow Jones: Foreign-exchange traders said the central banks of South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan and Singapore bought U.S. dollars Thursday, pu…

May 8, 2017

Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia: Heading Backwards on Freedoms

The thirtieth ASEAN Summit, held two weekends ago, and this year’s fiftieth anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, offer opportunities to reflect on ASEAN’s progress—and the might…

Thirtieth ASEAN Summit

April 20, 2017

Vice President Mike Pence in Indonesia

On his current visit to Indonesia, Vice President Mike Pence appears likely to play a role he is quickly becoming accustomed to---the low-key, reassuring, figure who provides continuity in U.S. forei…

pence-indonesia tour

April 19, 2017

Jakarta Election Signals Erosion of Religious Tolerance

The rise of hard-line identity politics at the center of Jakarta’s gubernatorial election raises questions about Indonesia’s reputation for tolerance.

October 14, 2007

Why did China only add $100b to its fx reserves in the third quarter?

Chinese reserve growth, on the surface, seems to be slowing.   The q3 headline increase was “only” $101b – down from $135b in q1 and $130b in q2.   The actual slowdown is even more dramatic.    If Ch…