Asian Crisis Timeline
From Frontline timeline at http://pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/crash/etc/cron.html, 1999
and Eun Mee Kim's The Four Asian Tigers, 1998.
Thailand's currency, the baht is affected by a massive attack from speculators concerned about Thailand's slowing economy and political instability.
May 14, 1997
Thailand, with the intervention of Singapore, spends billions of dollars of its foreign reserves to defend the Thai baht against speculative attacks.
July 2, 1997
Thailand devalues the baht. News of the devaluation drops the value of the baht by as much as 20%--a record low. The Thai government requests "technical assistance" from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This announcement effectively devalues the baht by about 15-20%, and triggers the East Asian crisis.
July 8, 1997
Malaysia's central bank intervenes to defend its currency, the ringgit.
July 11, 1997
The Philippine peso is devalued. The Philippines' central bank requests an extension on the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) from the IMF, and the IMF board approves the request. Indonesia widens its trading band for the rupiah in a move to discourage speculators.
July 14, 1997
The IMF offers the Philippines $1.1 billion in financial support under the fast-track regulations drawn up after the 1995 Mexican crisis.
July 18, 1997
The IMF announces that it will make more than a billion dollars available to the Philippines to help relieve pressure on the peso. The IMF action is the first use of its "emergency funding mechanism."
July 24, 1997
Currency meltdown is reported in Malaysia. The Singapore dollar starts a gradual decline. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad accuses "rogue speculators" for Southeast Asia's economic upheaval. He later singles out billionaire financier George Soros.
July 28, 1997
Thailand calls in the IMF
August 5, 1997
Thailand agrees to adopt tough economic measures proposed by the IMF in return for a $17 billion loan from the international lender and Asian nations. The Thai government closes 42 ailing finance companies and imposes tax hikes as part of the IMF's insistence on austerity.
August 11, 1997
The IMF unveils a rescue package for Thailand, totaling $16 billion in loans from the IMF and other Asian economies.
August 14, 1997
Indonesia abandons the rupiah's trading band and allows the currency to float freely, triggering a plunge in the currency.
August 15, 1997
The Hong Kong dollar is attacked by speculators, leading to a hike on interest rates overnight, and is defended with assistance from Beijing.
Oct. 8, 1997
Indonesia asks the IMF and World Bank for help after the rupiah falls more than 30% in two months (with a low of 3.845 on October 6), despite interventions by the country's central bank to prop up the currency.
Oct. 23, 1997
Hong Kong's stock index falls 10.4% after it raises bank lending rates to 300% to fend off speculative attacks on the Hong Kong dollar. The plunge on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange wipes $29.3 billion off the value of stock shares. The South Korean won begins to weaken.
Oct. 27, 1997
Rattled by Asia's currency crisis, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummets 554 points for its biggest point loss ever. Trading on US stock markets is suspended.
Oct. 31, 1997
The IMF agrees to a loan package for Indonesia that eventually swells to $40 billion. In return, the government closes 16 financially insolvent banks and promises other wide-ranging reforms. The IMF announces that it will delay a $700 million quarterly disbursement to Russia due to the country's lax tax collection.
Nov. 3, 1997
Sanyo Securities Co. Ltd., one of Japan's top 10 brokerage firms, goes bankrupt with liabilities of more than $3 billion. It is the first Japanese securities house to go bust since World War II.
Nov. 17, 1997
Hokkaido Takushoku Bank Ltd., one of Japan's top 10 banks, collapses under a pile of bad loans. The Bank of Korea abandons its effort to prop up the value of the won, allowing it to fall below 1000 against the dollar, a record low.
Nov. 8, 1997
South Korea's stock market's index falls sharply, while its currency the won keeps losing value to reach an all-time low. (The won lost 14% of its value this year.) Foreign investors sell $71 million of shares in the half-day trading. Concerns rise that South Korea's financial turmoil may surpass the recent market meltdowns in Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Taiwan's stock and currency market plunges on November 7th and 8th amid concerns that the South Korean won's collapse will wipe out Taiwan's competitiveness against South Korea.
Nov. 21, 1997
South Korea requests IMF aid.
Nov. 22, 1997
South Korean nationalists criticize the IMF loan request as humiliating. President Kim Young Sam apologies on television to the country for South Korea's economic malaise.
Nov. 23, 1997
At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vancouver, President Clinton describes the Southeast Asian economies as temporarily experiencing a "few glitches in the road."
Nov. 24, 1997
Japan's fourth largest brokerage house, Yamaichi Securities, announces its decision to shut down. Concern about Japan's financial and economic condition rise.
Dec. 2, 1997
Russia's central bank raises interest rates for the second time in less than a month, giving up efforts to shore up the country's slumping currency and bond markets with direct intervention.
Dec. 3, 1997
The IMF approves a $57 billion bailout package to South Korea (world's 11th largest economy), the largest in history. President Bill Clinton earlier urges "tough medicine" for South Korea.
Dec. 8, 1997
The Thai government announces that it will close 56 insolvent finance companies as part of the IMF's economic restructuring plan. 30,000 white-collar workers lose their jobs. Michel Camdessus, the IMF's managing director, praises Thailand for "solid progress."
Dec. 12, 1997
The IMF restarts its loan disbursement to Russia. The pact releases $700 million delayed in October. In the accord, the IMF urges Russia to boost revenues and cut spending.
Dec. 18, 1997
Kim Dae Jung becomes South Korea's first president elected from the country's opposition party. Within days, the South Korean won hits new lows.
Dec. 23, 1997
In an unprecedented move, the World Bank releases an emergency loan of $3 billion, part of a $10 billion support package, to South Korea to help salvage its economy.
Dec. 24, 1997
Seoul wins an early payment of $10 billion in loans from the IMF and Group of Seven (G-7) to forestall a default on its short-term loan debts. In return for the aid, South Korea agrees to expedite financial reforms and open its domestic financial markets.
Jan. 5-6, 1998
Asian currencies plunge as investors return to the foreign currency markets. The Indonesian rupiah, the Thai baht, and the Philippines peso plunge to new lows each day. The volatile currencies markets in turn affect stock markets in Tokyo and Hong Kong.
Jan. 6, 1998
Thailand asks the IMF to ease the terms of its $17.2 billion bailout package. Its currency falls again and is worth less than half of its value in the summer of 1997.
Jan. 7, 1998
In a speech given in Helsinki, Finland, chief economist of the World Bank, Joseph Stiglitz, breaks with orthodoxy and questions the assumptions and effects of the "Washington Consensus.".
Jan. 8, 1998
International creditors agree to a 90-day rollover of South Korea's short-term debt. The Indonesian rupiah nose-dives to an all-time low after Indonesian President Suharto unveils his state budget plan. Critics say that the unrealistic budget does not comply with the IMF's reform program.
Jan. 8-9, 1998
Indonesians clear store shelves of food and staple goods fearing that further currency declines will lead to food shortages.
Jan. 10, 1998
Pressured by the IMF to take strong measures against Indonesia's ongoing economic decline, Suharto postpones 15 major government-subsidized projects--a number of them linked to members of the Suharto family--to help cut expenditures and foreign debt.
Jan. 12, 1998
Asia's largest private investment bank, the Hong Kong-based Peregrine Investments, files for liquidation. The company is left badly exposed from its loan investments in Indonesia.
Jan. 13, 1998
Students in Jakarta rally to protest against the IMF-imposed policies.
Jan. 14, 1998
South Korean labor unions agree to discuss layoffs with businesses and government leaders. Layoffs are a key condition insisted upon by the IMF in exchange for the fund's record $57 billion aid package. IMF chief Michel Camdessus defends the IMF's demand for mass layoffs saying that they are the only way Seoul can restore its financial credibility and draw in foreign investment.
Jan. 15, 1998
Suharto signs a new loan deal with the IMF agreeing to eliminate the country's monopolies and state subsidies. Prices for basic food staples increase by as much as 80%. The IMF signing follows a week of the rupiah's free-fall--10,000 to the dollar--which prompts waves of panic buying in Indonesia.
Jan. 21, 1998
All Southeast Asian currencies and the South Korean won plunge.
Jan. 22, 1998
Officials from South Korea meet with international bankers in New York in an effort to restructure the country's short-term debt. Indonesia's currency plunges to a new all-time low--12,000 rupiah against the dollar--amid anxiety over Suharto's apparent choice for vice president-Technology Minister Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie.
Jan. 28, 1998
International banks and South Korea agree on a plan to exchange $24 billion of short-term debt for longer-term loans.
Feb. 6, 1998
South Korean unions, government and businesses reach a landmark agreement to legalize layoffs. The legislation is ratified by Seoul's National Assembly.
Feb. 13, 1998
The IMF and major economic powers warn Indonesia not to impose a rigid currency regime, which may shake confidence in Indonesia. However, the IMF package not only has failed to stabilize Indonesia's markets, but has led to severe civil unrest, as witnessed in the riots in Jatiwangi and coastal Pamanukan and Losari.
Feb. 16, 1998
Indonesia announces its move toward a fixed exchange rate system and asks the IMF for alternative measures.
Feb. 17, 1998
The IMF releases a further $2 billion to South Korea, reaching $15 billion out of the $21 billion Seoul rescue package agreed to in December 1997. Meanwhile the National Assembly of Korea adopts legislation for labor, corporate, and government reform.
Feb. 19, 1998
Camdessus announces that he will extend the IMF's loan program to Russia by one year. He also says that the IMF will relax the stringent tax-revenue targets that have been used as a criteria for awarding loans to Russia. The US monthly trade report suggests the possibilities of the Asian financial crisis starting to affect the US economy. Asian markets end missed, with Honk Kong weak, Tokyo flat, and Singapore and South Korean stock rallying.
Feb. 21-22, 1998
Indonesia suspends its plan to implement the controversial currency-board system, following intense pressure from the United States and other members of the Group of Seven (G-7).
Feb. 24, 1998
Following criticisms from the G-7 leading industrialized countries, Japan's market takes a nose-dive, closing at its lowest in a month amid doubts about economic reform.
March 2, 1998
The Indonesian economy is on the brink of hyperinflation. Reuters calculates the year-to-year inflation to be around 31.74%. (In February alone, according to official figures, food prices rose 16.07%, housing 10.03%, textile15.62%, and services 9.31%. Five people died when troops opened fire during recent riots.)
March 4, 1998
Malaysia's financial troubles at one of its premier banks sends shockwaves through financial markets across the region.
March 9, 1998
The IMF announces that is delaying a $3 billion installment of its $40 billion loan package to Indonesia, citing Suharto's unwillingness to implement his side of the deal. This prompts a charge from Suharto that the IMF reforms are "unconstitutional."
March 9-10, 1998
The growing tension between Indonesia and the IMF radiates to other markets. The governor of Japan's central bank announces that investigations of its officials for releasing inside information for lavish entertainment.
March 11, 1998
Suharto is sworn in for a seventh five-year term as president of Indonesia.
March 19, 1998
Key Asian stock markets rebound on renewed optimism that the region's economic problems might finally be easing.
March 21, 1998
The IMF and the Indonesian government makes "considerable progress" toward a new deal to counter the country's economic crisis. The IMF is considering the Mexican model for solving Indonesia's debt problems.
March 23, 1998
Russian President Boris Yeltsin abruptly dismisses his entire cabinet, including Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin. Yeltsin appoints Energy Minister Sergei Kirienko as acting premier.
March 24, 1998
The US announces that it will send $70 million in food and medical emergency aid to Indonesia, despite the fact that the IMF had suspended its loan package. The US emergency aid is intended to quell the increasing food riots.
March 26-27, 1998
The news of a 16-trillion-yen economic stimulus package in Japan only temporarily cheers the market. Meanwhile, Indonesia promises cooperation with neighboring Malaysia in the repatriation of Indonesians who have fled to neighboring countries to escape the economic chaos of political repression. Eight Indonesians and a policeman are killed during the riot when Malaysian authorities begin the deportation of hundreds of immigrants detained in camps near Kuala Lumpur.
April 8, 1998
Indonesia and the IMF reach a third pact in six months for a bailout. Both sides make concessions: the IMF withdraws its mandate that the government dismantles its subsidies of food and fuel, Suharto agrees to close more insolvent banks. IMF Deputy Director Stanley Fischer declares "the worst of the crisis is over."
May 4, 1998
The IMF resumes a stalled lending program to Indonesia, approving a payment of $1 billion.
May 5, 1998
Students in Indonesia hold demonstrations across the country, protesting steep fuel and energy price hikes. Student protests denounce the Suharto administration for its failed economic policies and demand extensive political reforms.
May 12, 1998
In Indonesia, troops fire into a peaceful protest at a Jakarta university, killing six students and sparking a week of riots.
May 19, 1998
Suharto attempts to assuage student demonstrators by promising early elections. The students reject his proposals. Suharto's key parliamentary allies call for his resignation.
May 21, 1998
Suharto resigns after 32 years in power. Vice President Habibie succeeds as president.
May 22, 1998
The IMF indefinitely postpones aid disbursement to Indonesia of $1 billion scheduled for June 4. US Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin says the aid should be delayed until the political situation stabilizes.
May 27, 1998
Russia's financial system is stretched to the breaking point as panic-stricken stock and bond markets continue to plunge, forcing the central bank to triple interest rates to 150% to avert a collapse of the ruble.
May 27-28, 1998
A two-day, nation-wide strike is held in South Korea by union workers to protest the growing wave of unemployment in the country. Since February, South Korean companies have been laying off 10,000 workers per day.
June 1, 1998
Russia's stock market crashes and Moscow's cash reserves dwindle to $14 billion amid unsuccessful attempts to prop up the ruble and pay off burgeoning debts. President Clinton pledges support for Yeltsin.
June 12, 1998
Japan announces that its economy is in a recession for the first time in 23 years.
June 17, 1998
The yen's fall to levels near 144 to the dollar rattles Wall Street, prompting the US Treasury and Federal Reserve to intervene to prop up the yen. Japan and the US spend some $6 billion to buy yen in order to strengthen it. Clinton calls on Tokyo to quickly resolve its banking problems and stimulate the economy.
June 24, 1998
Russian Prime Minister Sergei Kirienko submits a budget austerity plan to the IMF, which releases a previously held loan installment of $670 million.
June 25, 1998
Indonesia and the IMF announce a fourth agreement to rescue an economy quickly sinking into chaos. The IMF agrees to restore subsidies for food and fuel and provide another $4 billion to $6 billion for basic necessities.
July 1, 1998
Russia's Lower House of parliament, the Duma, postpones action on spending and tax reforms needed to close the budget deficit and qualify for IMF loans.
July 6, 1998
Moscow's markets get pummeled as the government fails to raise cash by selling government shares of a state-owned oil company. Moscow hints that an IMF loan agreement is near.
July 10, 1998
President Clinton calls on the IMF to quickly conclude negotiations over emergency loans for Russia after for help from Boris Yeltsin, sparking a rally in Moscow's markets.
July 13, 1998
The IMF announces a package of $23 billion of emergency loans for Russia. The international lender dips into an emergency line of credit to provide its share of financing. Russian stocks and bonds soar.
July 16, 1998
Russia's Duma approves some of Yeltsin's $16 billion proposed tax reforms needed to meet conditions for IMF loans. But it rejects higher sales and land taxes.
July 19, 1998
Yeltsin vetoes tax cuts approved by parliament and issues decrees imposing a 3% tax on imports and quadrupling land taxes to close the budget deficit and secure IMF loans. He also pledges renewed efforts to collect taxes.
July 20, 1998
The IMF gives final approval to a $22.6 billion loan package to Russia. However, because the Duma fails to enact some of the austerity measures mandated in the loan agreement, the first two planned installments are reduced from $5.6 billion to $4.8 billion.
July 28, 1998
The IMF announces that it will ease conditions on its $57 billion aid package to South Korea which had been blamed for rising unemployment and overburdened welfare programs.
August 3, 1998
Wall Street reacts to the deepening crisis; the Dow plunges 300 points in its third-biggest loss.
August 4, 1998
Amid speculation that China will be forced to devalue its currency, Hong Kong's dollar and stock market come under attack.
August 6, 1998
The World Bank approves a $1.5 billion loan for Russia as Moscow puts pressure on striking miners and tax deadbeats in an effort to put its finances in order. Asian markets plummet as Hong Kong and China step in to defend their currencies against attack.
August 11, 1998
The Russian market collapses. Trading on the stock market is temporarily suspended. World markets are rocked by fears of a financial meltdown in Asia and Russia.
August 13, 1998
Russia's markets collapse on fears that Moscow will run out of money and default.
August 14, 1998
Yeltsin calls for an emergency session of parliament and declares that "there will be no devaluation" of the ruble. In Hong Kong, authorities spark a stock rally by moving to foil speculators with surprise purchases of stocks and dollars.
August 17, 1998
Russia announces a devaluation of the ruble and 90-day moratorium on foreign debt repayment, triggering panic in Moscow as Russians line up to buy dollars. Western leaders denounce the Russian default. Latin American stock and bond markets plunge on fears of default and devaluation in South America.
August 19, 1998
Russia fails to pay its debt on GKO or treasury bills, officially falling into default. The IMF and Group of Seven (G-7) say they won't provide additional loans to Russia until it meets existing promises.
August 21, 1998
Russia's economic crisis shakes world markets, bulldozing stocks and bonds in Latin American and reverberating through the US and Europe. Russia's Duma calls for Yeltsin's resignation. Investors pile into US Treasury bonds as a safe haven from the storm, causing yields to drop to record lows.
August 24, 1998
Yeltsin dismisses Kirienko and names Viktor Chernomyrdin as prime minister.
August 31, 1998
After weeks of decline, Wall Street is overwhelmed by the turmoil in Russia and world markets. The Dow Industrial average plunges 512 points, the second-worst point loss in the Dow's history.
Sept. 4, 1998
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan says that the US is ready to cut interest rates to keep the crisis from snuffing out US growth. "It is just not credible that the United States can remain an oasis of prosperity," he says. Latin stocks and bonds plummet.
Sept. 7 or 8, 1998
Russia's Duma rejects Prime Minister-designate Chernomyrdin and the central bank chairman resigns, deepening the country's political and economic turmoil. Russian investors and lenders estimate their losses at $100 billion. The Dow surges 381 points after Greenspan suggests that policy makers are considering an interest cut.
Sept. 10, 1998
The Dow loses 249 points as Brazilian stocks fall 16%, adding to drops that have erased half the Brazil market's value. In Mexico, the Central Bank sells some $50 million in its first attempt to buoy the peso in three years. Yeltsin nominates Yevgeny Primakov as prime minister.
Sept. 11, 1998
The IMF announces that the debacle in Latin American markets is "an overreaction to Russian events" and that it is ready to lend Latin American countries, using an emergency line of credit. Investors flee Brazil, drawing out more than $2 billion a day despite an interest rate rise to 50% by the Central Bank.
Sept. 17, 1998
Tokyo's Nikkei index hits a 12-year low amid steep declines in Hong Kong, France, Britain and the US. The Dow drops 216 points. Congress blocks Clinton's request for $18 billion in funding for the IMF.
Sept. 23, 1998
Pushed by the New York Federal Reserve, a consortium of leading US financial institutions provides a $3.5 billion bailout to Long Term Capital Management, one of the largest US hedge funds, amidst fears that a the panic in the financial markets.
Sept. 24, 1998
Stocks on Wall Street and in Europe swoon amid fears that the losses suffered by the world's largest banks in the Long Term Capital debacle could put the entire banking system at risk.
Sept. 29, 1998
The Fed cuts interest rates by a quarter point.
Sept. 30, 1998
Worries that the Fed isn't doing enough to rescue the US and global economies cause a 238-point drop in the Dow, for a loss of more than 500 points in a week. Investors around the world flock to US Treasury bonds for safety, causing the yield on 30-year bonds to drop below 5% for the first time in three decades.
Oct. 3, 1998
Japan announces a $30 billion aid package for Southeast Asia to help the region recover from recession. G-7 ministers create a rescue plan for Brazil.
Oct. 5-8, 1998
In Washington, the IMF and World Bank hold a joint plenary session to debate the global economic crisis.
Oct. 15, 1998
The Fed cuts interest rates for a second time to prevent weak financial markets from tripping the US into a recession. The Dow shoots up 331 points and world markets rally.
Oct. 22, 1998
Amid warnings of winter food shortages in Russia, Moscow creates an emergency food reserve and approves an emergency spending plan that will require the central bank to print at least $1.2 billion to help pay back wages, rescue banks and bring food to desperate regions.
Oct. 27, 1998
Brazil's President Fernando Cardoso announces an austerity plan of $80 billion in tax increases and spending cuts over three years in order to secure an IMF assistance package.
Oct. 31, 1998
The IMF refuses to disburse to Russia a $4.3 billion installment of the $22.6 aid package it agreed to in July, and says it will not resume negotiations about disbursement until Russia produces a realistic budget for 1999.
Nov. 5, 1998
Russia strikes an agreement with foreign investors to accept repayment in rubles of $40 billion of debt frozen in August, but says it will not be able to repay $17.5 billion of debts due in 1999 and will reschedule them. Russia also wins an $800 million loan from Japan, originally part of the IMF rescue deal.
Nov. 6, 1998
The US agrees to provide 3.1million tons of food to Russia to help offset Russia's worst grain harvest in 45 years and declining food imports because of the fall of the ruble.
Nov. 13, 1998
The IMF, World Bank and leading industrial nations announce a $41.5 billion rescue package for Brazil.
Nov. 17, 1998
The Fed, citing "unusual strains" in the credit markets, cuts interest rates for a third time in seven weeks.
Dec. 2, 1998
The World Bank projects that the crisis has cut world growth in half, to around 2%, and that unless Japan reverses the decline of its economy, the world could fall into recession in 1999. Official studies report that 80 million Indonesians--or 40% of the population-- have fallen below the poverty line since the start of the economic crisis.
Dec. 3, 1998
In Brazil, the congress rejects a key social security tax increase sought by the IMF, prompting a rout in Brazilian markets and stock sell-offs throughout Latin America and on Wall Street.
Jan. 15, 1999
The Brazilian government allows its currency, the real, to float freely on world markets by lifting exchange controls. The move leads to a surge in markets in Latin America and around the globe as investors buy up Brazilian stocks at reduced prices.
Jan. 27, 1999
Brazil's central bank raises interest rates in an effort to stabilize the market and to stem capital flight which has reached $200 million to $500 million a day.
Feb. 2, 1999
Arminio Fraga, a former portfolio manager to billionaire George Soros, is named president of Brazil's Central Bank.
March 25, 1999
The IMF approves a $1 billion increase in its emergency loan package for Indonesia. The fund also approves the release of a $460 million installment that it had held back due to Indonesia's delay in closing down insolvent banks.
March 29, 1999
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above the 10,000 level for the first time in its history.
May 12, 1999
The Dow Jones Industrial tops 11,000.