Thursday, February 11, 2010

Vietnam as Remora...

Full article here. The east asian countries have served as canaries in the figurative coal mines before...

Vietnam as Asia's first domino
By Shawn W Crispin

BANGKOK - While global markets fret about European sovereign debts, could Vietnam be Asia's first over-stimulated economic domino? With a wobbly currency, fast and loose bank lending and an absence of local confidence in the government's economic management, Vietnam stands out as the region's prime candidate for a sudden market re-evaluation of the financial impact of recently ramped and frequently misallocated fiscal spending.

On the back of massive government pump-priming, Vietnam last year outperformed several of its regional peers with 5.5% gross domestic product (GDP) growth. To counteract the global economic downturn, the government pledged economic stimulus packages amounting to a whopping 8% of GDP. Although less

than half of that amount has actually been disbursed, on-budget spending and off-budget state bank lending propelled the economy through the global crisis.

With emerging signs of global recovery, the communist party-led government has signaled its intention to rein in the stimulus and return the economy to export-oriented growth. But a lack of policy coordination across state agencies and enterprises has further eroded local confidence in the government's ability to control future inflation and to a significant degree has undermined central efforts to contain pressures on the currency and an overheating property market.

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