Book Review: Nowhere to hide – Michael Lim Mah-Hui and Lim Chin (2010)

Sometimes I think I have a morbid fascination for financial crises. Just as well, since I think all life is actually chaos and order is a mere facade or (possibly) fading interruption.

To return to the topic at hand, it was rather reluctantly that I borrowed the above title. Yet it turned out to quite a gem. Apart from adopting a multidisciplinary approach and refocusing on historical context, it highlighted very interestingly the ‘carry trade’ cause in financial crises. Investors/speculators would borrow currency with low interest rates to re-invest in those countries with higher interest rates for profit. These investments were sometimes in local property resulting in an asset bubble. The book gave the example of New Zealand staving off such a crisis in 2005/2006. (See pages 103-105). 

Apart from that, its greatest merit is clarity and brevity. Particularly rewarding were pages 117-124. It surmised broadly the structure and foundations of the current economic/financial order. 

It is highly worth reading if not for investment then for a window into how the world is.

 

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