August 21, 1999 |
The president of the Philippines said he will go ahead with plans to amend the country's constitution, despite protests Friday by more than 150,000 Filipinos who said the changes could endanger the nation's democracy. The protests in Manila and other major cities resembled in some ways the revolt that toppled dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos in 1986, with seas of yellow-clad protesters, confetti and the backing of former President Corazon Aquino and Roman Catholic Church leaders.
December 17, 1997 |
Amid the economic gloom that stretches from Tokyo to Bangkok, the Philippines suddenly has become an oddly joyous place as it conducts what may be the world's longest Christmas celebration--20 days from mid-December to early January--that turns this capital into a giant yuletide party. Clerks at the department stores wear Santa Claus caps, and Christmas carols fill hotel lobbies and cafes. Huge gold stars hang from light poles along Roxas Boulevard.
November 30, 1997
A country-by-country look at the economic crisis that has swept Asia, and the challenges nations face in restoring growth. (Stock market and currency changes are since Jan. 1. Currency changes versus U.S. dollar). THAILAND * Currency decline: -36% * Stock market decline: -52% * Population: 60 million. During the export boom of the early-90s, Thai banks flush with cheap foreign capital lent heavily to domestic borrowers, fueling a real estate bubble. Imports surged.
July 13, 1997 |
So far, investors appear to believe that the currency devaluations in Thailand and the Philippines were the right medicine. In Thailand, the main stock market index has surged to 628.55 from an eight-year low of 464.77 on June 19, for a gain of 35%. In the Philippines, the composite stock index rocketed 190 points on Friday, or 7.6%, to 2,701.14, immediately after the nation's central bank stopped defending the peso. The index still is down 15% year-to-date, however.
July 13, 1997 |
When it's going your way, capitalism naturally seems like the only logical economic system. What's not to like about the gloriously healthy U.S. economy and the ever-rising stock market, for instance? But when capitalism goes awry, the cost in human terms can be devastatingly high. And suddenly the wisdom of abiding by a free-market system is lost on many people.
May 27, 1997 |
For most of this century, sugar was king. A handful of barons controlled the Philippines' top export commodity, accumulated vast fortunes and ruled their fiefdoms with iron fists and private armies. But big sugar producers are now begging for help, saying they will be forced out of business along with more than 60,000 workers if tariffs on imported sugar are reduced as planned in July. "If nothing changes . . . most sugar producers will be on the verge of bankruptcy," Negros Occidental Gov.