Indeed, no room was allowed for alternative viewpoints regarding the situation. The crisis then occurred during July of 1997, when the Thai baht was floated. It is rather interesting that the very same players predicting continual prosperity, have moved to the exact opposite of their previous opinions, now profiting from the collapse and gloomy predictions for the future of the Asian economy.
The role of the World Bank was thus significant in the failure to predict that NIC crisis during the late 1990s. Its opinions were held in such high regard that little could be done to sway it. As seen above, however, the Bank was also caught up in the cycle of illusion perpetuated during the time by the various elements mentioned above. Respected economists, journalists and other influential entities served to sway the Banks opinions and to make almost impossible any contradictions to the contrary (Saker, 1996: 5).
This is somewhat reminiscent of consensus opinions of human history, including the view that the world was flat or that the earth was the center of the universe. There was no proper analysis of the situation as it presented itself in truth, and those who called for such analyses were ostracized at worst and disregarded at best.
The many ordinary Asians that suffered as a result of the economic collapse have become a symbol of the negative effects of globalization on the lives of people who do not play powerful roles in the economic world.
Such globalization has far reaching economic effects that also translate to culture and politics. Once again, the role of the World Bank and other influential institutions is disturbingly reminiscent of historical phenomena such as the cultural and political domination of the Church.
Indeed, the failure of the World Bank to predict the crisis is indicative of its corporate immobility and inability to adequately consider all sides of a situation. The tsunami-like and overpowering opinion of the powerful served to completely override any attempts at logic, such as that no economic boom is perpetually sustainable. Nonetheless, perhaps the crisis served as a valuable lesson to those in power and to those prone to hysterical and extreme assumptions. On the other hand, human beings have never been known for their ability to learn from their mistakes, as can indeed be seen above from the fact that opinions can be swayed like the turn of a hand.
Perhaps the greatest lesson learned from the crisis is that there are not certainties in the economy of any given country. Furthermore the importance of focus on a properly analyzed reality is stressed in favor of assumptions made on the strength of mass and powerful opinion. Perhaps even the World Bank has learned from its mistakes and will in future be better able to predict either crises or prosperity.
Saker, Neil. (1996). “Guest Viewpoint: Thailand Update:.