Thai Premier’s Rift With Central Bank Is Spooking Markets

  • At the heart of the tensions is Srettha’s plan to turbo-charge Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy by ramping up spending, subsidies and wages — the centerpiece of which is a $15 billion cash handout program. Bank of Thailand Governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput has called such spending “inappropriate.”
  • Just days before meeting the prime minister, the central bank raised interest rates to the highest level since 2013 as a preemptive action to ward off inflation pressure partly from the stimulus.
  • A day after the meeting, Srettha signaled a preference for a weak currency to help exports and tourism — the bedrocks of Thailand’s economy. Hours later, the BOT said it would intervene to curb extreme currency volatility.

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