On the Ground.In Asia
Marriott, Cherie, Global Finance
While the skittish behavior of stock investors in Asia has caused stock markets to fall in recent weeks, the financial heavyweights monitoring the region's progress are posting rave reviews. In fact, they are more than confident that the region is achieving its reform objectives by focusing on recapitalization and fundamental reforms rather than promoting quick gains on main boards.
Joseph Stiglitz, the chief economist at the World Bank, has lashed out at "whining foreigners" who, he says, are unhappy with the pace of reform only because they are being stymied in their attempts to buy assets at bargain prices. In a shift from the usual rhetoric about restructuring, Stiglitz warns that too much consolidation could backfire because the sale or destruction of excess capacity would limit supply and boost inflation.
Stiglitz's view that Asia's economies are being run by reform-minded leaders and that progress is being made, is also shared by officials at the International Monetary Fund. …