Squaring up to the speculator

The business year in pictures
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The Independent Online
Beyond these shores, meanwhile, global stock markets surged in the first half of the year only to begin what now appears to be a serious downward descent in the wake of the Asian financial crisis.

Malaysian prime minister Mahathir bin Mohamad blamed fickle Western investors in general and George Soros in particular for the collapse of Asian currencies and stock markets. In the fullness of time, however, it has become apparent that the so-called Asian economic miracle has succumbed to the age-old economic demons of over-development and over- borrowing.