Friday, October 12, 2012

Anwar Ibrahim's Forex Losses and a "Small" Matter of Plagiarism

I always enjoy blogger Stop The Lies and made a comment today on an article "Plagiarism – Malay Mail or Malaysiakini?".

The other blogger is one I consider the Master, Another Brick In The Wall. While the focus of ABITW's latest article is Tony Pua, "Is Kit Siang senile too, Tony Pua?", nothing would be complete without Anwar Ibrahim being worthy mention.

I did not comment on that post but if I did I would have said, "Sifu, please don't waste your time on the failed businessman"

But ABITW was giving Tony a lesson in DAP history vis-a-vis the Bank Negara forex losses, Lim Kit Siang and of course failed finance minister, Anwar Ibrahim.

Getting to the matter at hand I really do like this pic taken from Free Malaysia Today, in a report 3 June 2012, "Nor the main culprit behind forex scandal"

The FMT report was centred on a forum, "Bank Negara Forex Scandal – When Government Becomes Speculator" in Penang attended by happy personalities in the above pic.

In it, a retired Bank Negara deputy manager, Dr Rosli Yaakop, is reported to have made this statements, which I excerpt -
"He said Bank Negara strategy was to hit a currency for a couple of yards and once the initial transaction has gone through, re-hit it again with another couple of yards normally only minutes later."

"This will send shocks to the market and dealers will scramble to buy the currency, sending the currency value up."

"But then, dealers caught on to the scheme hit back," said Rosli.

"In 1992, he said Bank Negara gambled on the British Pound. It bought the Pound long and George Soros, major player in forex market, short."

"When the Pound was devalued, Bank Negara lost USD5.5 billion and George Soros gained USD1.7 billion."

"Rosli said experts estimated Bank Negara’s exposure for having lost that much was USD27 to USD33 billion, which was five times more than its foreign reserves and its entire assets of USD20.7 billion in 1992."

"Rosli said that reasonable profits made before 1992 – 93 was the impetus incentive for Bank Negara to gamble in forex in a major way."
Okay, enough of copy pasting already.

Now, this is an article taken from Asian Finance Bank 2009 archives, which is actually taken from Malaysia Today written by someone named Hakim Joe, posted in August 2009.

In it are relevant excerpts as well -
That BNM made reasonable profits during the years before 1992/3 could have been the incentive for them to “go into the forex market in a major way.”

One of BNM’s strategies was to hit a currency for a couple of yards and re-hit it again with another few yards a couple of minutes later (once the initial transaction has gone through). This is done to shock the forex market into action and to “strengthen” the targeted currency as the massive demand for it would hypothetically send other dealers scrambling for it. Additional demand would then send the currency up and BNM could then retire with a healthy profit without having to sit on that position for the next few months. Great tactics if one has the liquidity and if no one caught on to the scheme.

Soros sold the British Pound short. BNM bought in long. Then came the European currency crisis and the sterling bombed. Soros made US$1.7 billion. BNM lost US$5.5 billion.

If one were to lose US$5.5 billion, the exposure would have been typically five to six times that amount, meaning between US$27 billion and US$33 billion. That is three times Malaysia’s GDP or more than five times Malaysia’s foreign reserves (at that time in 1992). Even the entire BNM assets were only valued at US$20.7 billion in 1992.
I do not know why Asian Finance Bank had that aricle but that is not of any concern for the moment.

The point is unless, Dr Rosli Yaakop is Hakim Joe (or the FMT copies extracts from Malaysia Today incorporating words to attribute it to Dr Rosli Yaakop, which cannot possibly be so), here is the worst and incontrovertible proof of plagiarism by anyone.

Also, unless Dr Rosli Yaakop is Hakim Joe, I guess all those at the forum including those happy personalities have been taken for a mighty good joy ride.

No wonder they look so happy, especially your good friend and mine, Anwar Ibrahim, thanking Lim Guan Eng for a job well done.

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