CATCHING THE ASIAN FLU

THE SICKNESS THAT PUT THE TIGERS IN THE TANK CAUSES A BIG SNEEZE IN THE U.S. MARKET

Maybe you were distracted by the landing of Pathfinder on Mars or were just not paying particular attention when Thailand's currency, the baht, began to fall to earth like a wounded satellite. On July 2 the baht plunged more than 12% in value against the greenback. Then it crashed into the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, where government officials were forced to devalue their currencies. That triggered a region-wide crisis, in which stock markets gave up as much as 35% of their value, inflated real estate prices fell through the floor, banks collapsed, and hundreds of thousands of Southeast Asians, rich and...

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