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Why Learn Asian Crisis?

In an Increasingly Globalized World, Everything Is Connected…

Globalization in simple terms is: What’s happening in one part of the world affects your country and your individual life. Let’s see what kind of examples are there in our everyday life:

 Security threat (terrorism, organized crime, smuggling, piracy, etc.) isgetting more international, owing to developments in communications, transport, and financial technologies
 Natural disasters (global warming-induced tsunamis, floods, droughts, storms) have worldwide repercussions because of the global warming effect and other environmental degradation
 Contagious diseases (swine flu, bird flu, SARS, mad cow disease, foot-and-mouth disease) breaking out in onecountry can spread to the world within a few days owing to the rising mobility of people and goods (including cattle)
 Financial crises brewing in one country may have contagious effects throughout the world just like the cases of the Asian crisis and the credit crisis that’s going on now

Here, let me tell you a little bit about the credit crisis. This crisis beginning from the so-calledSubprime crisis in the United States is affecting every country in the world now. You may want to know more about it, of course. I will mention about it occasionally through the course. But I believe there are many more good sources of information on the Internet.

The best source I found so far is this: Go to and download the iTunes program on your computer. And then go to iTunesStore>iTunesU. Then you will see more than a hundred content providers such as Oxford University, Cambridge, Harvard, Stanford, and so on. You will find easily many audio or video programs whose title starts from words like credit crunch, the meltdown, the crash, the current economic crisis, the global recession, etc. You could play it either on your iPod or on your computer.

Globalization in theCorporate World

After the Cold War’s end, the world order has changed fundamentally:

 Former socialist economies (Russia and former Soviet republics in East Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia) have opened up, unleashing enormous opportunities for global corporations
 Newly emerging economies (China and India, and to a lesser degree Russia and Brazil) are presenting unprecedented marketpotential for multinational corporations, as well as creating globally competitive global corporations of their own
 What’s accelerating this globalization trend is the technological change going on in communications (the Internet, transoceanic fiberoptic cable, videoconferencing, etc.), aviation (enabling cost of air travel to fall), and finance (innovations in investment instruments, e.g.,derivatives and hedging tools)

On the topic of globalization and financial interconnectedness, the best source is the book written by Thomas Friedman, the columnist at The New York Times. It’s a very easy-to-read book, with full of examples that help you understand often-arcane financial terms.

Thomas Friedman, The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization, 1999.

Another book writtenby the same author deals with the rise of India and China and flattening of the “global playing field.” Although this is written more recently, I like the first book better because the second one has too many computer technology examples that sometimes bore you death.

Thomas Friedman, The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century, 2005.

The third book I recommend you is,Fareed Zakaria, The Post-American World, 2008.

Zakaria is the managing editor at a U.S. weekly magazine Times and the former editor at Foreign Affairs, the respected monthly current affairs journal. The major contention of this book is that “the rise of the rest” is everywhere, including China and India, and other developing countries fast catching up with the United States, thus the title...
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