Malaysia's Mahathir Speaks Out
April has been a cruel month for the rulers of Malaysia. Standard & Poor's lowered its rating of the country's currency, citing the fear that bad loans may reach 20% of local banks' portfolios by yearend. The local stock market dropped 2.4% in one day, in part because of rumors that Malaysian Airline System, the national carrier, was preparing a complex restructuring that would also cover its chief executive's personal debts. The deal renewed foreign investors' concerns that the country was sanctioning rescue attempts for politically linked conglomerates at the expense of minority shareholders.
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