Erle Frayne D. Argonza
Buoyed up by the positive economic performances and regional integration efforts of ASEAN member-states, let me ensue with the ASEAN agenda, and articulate this time the matter of the Asian Monetary Fund or AMF. What makes the urgency of constituting the AMF even more exigent is the recent pronouncement made by the Asian Development Bank or ADB about the same theme: launch the AMF now!
The idea of an Asian Monetary Fund actually began with the late strong man Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines. Awash with colossal hoards of gold, Marcos vouched for the creation of an Asian Monetary Fund that shall function as monetary stabilizer, steward of an Asian currency, and financer of bold development projects.
As per note from some of his own former close supporters (they were my fellow economists in the Independent Review, c. 1998 to 2000), Marcos was very eager to back up (securitize) the Asian currency with his very own gold hoards (they amount to hundreds of trillions of US. $ today).
It was too bad that Marcos had downside images among the global financiers, who conspired behind the scenes to overthrow him. They never liked the idea of an AMF that will compete with their stooge thug bank International Monetary Fund, and they were salivating to control his gold hoards. The Trilateral Commision in fact undertook steps toward aiding the process of social turbulence to unfold in the Philippines, turbulence that eventually overthrew the dictator.
It took some time before the AMF idea would resurface. The opportunity for resurfacing came with the Asian financial meltdown of 1997. That crisis saw the region’s currencies attacked by an insidious cabal of Western oligarchic financiers fronted by George Soros, who all rested happy from their criminal currency attacks that fattened their coffers by the trillions of dollars.
Thus came the technocratic and public policy responses to the crisis of that time, with the Asian Monetary Fund idea floating to the surface as a viable option. Necessarily, the stabilization of currencies will come with the institution of an Asian currency, which came alongside the AMF idea.
It then took many years of haggling and bargaining before a continental resolution was finally signed into a sort of a memorandum of undertaking. To recall, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives (Philippines), Hon. De Venecia, took much pains to legwork Asian leaders into finally signing the concordat and presenting the same to the Philippine state leaders for immediate action after accomplishing his mission.
This time around, it is the Asian Development Bank that has taken the cudgels for pushing for the urgent institution of the AMF. As articulated in a previous article, the ADB is among the continental institutions that can aid in launching an ASEAN central bank (circa 2015) as well as an Asian Monetary Fund.
Since the ASEAN is the most actively engaged regional formation among Asians, it is the most logical body that can facilitate the launching of the AMF. Its country members could easily role play the core membership of the AMF, with the quid pro quo that the latter will aid ASEAN in forming its regional central bank comes 2015.
As early as the late 90s yet, this analyst was very highly supportive of the institution of an AMF and Asian currency. The launching of the currency alone will catalyze the stabilization of monetary-fiscal environments, and can even out the very uneven cost of living situations across countries.
AMF would surely be of great help to insulating Asia’s emerging markets versus the destructive undercurrents of the economic crises of North America, Europe, and Japan. It can likewise aid enormously in regional trading efforts, precisely by securitizing and/of directly financing the pioneering and expansion efforts of exporters.
I would, however, add a caveat to the AMF’s formation: securitize the operations via a gold reserve standard or equivalent. The eradication of the gold standard in 1971 is among the factors behind monetary-financial instabilities and emergence of criminal financial predators over the last four (4) decades, predators that were responsible for de-industrialization, agricultural decay, and economic decline altogether.
The launching of the AMF shouldn’t be delayed a day longer. The global economic roof is collapsing due to the structural defects of the northern economies, and so as a measure of mitigation the region’s own economies be insulated from that crash through launching of the AMF, buffering financial collapse via collective money reserves for contingency uses, and instituting the Asian currency very soon.
To re-echo the theme: there is no better time to constitute the AMF than now. Act now, before it is too late!
[Philippines, 17 November 2010]
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