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  • LIFE

    The best prime minister Thailand never elected

    Life, Chris Baker, Published on 16/11/2018

    » Anand Panyarachun's two spells as unelected prime minister in 1991-2 had such a profound effect that they now seem preordained by history. This splendid book shows how the reality was otherwise.

  • LIFE

    Understanding China's banks

    Life, Chris Baker, Published on 26/01/2017

    » Every couple of years now, a book appears predicting the imminent crisis, breakdown, collapse or disintegration of China. The professor Cassandra touting a recent example passed through Bangkok last week. Among such works there is a subset that focuses on finance, especially banking. These books and articles argue that China's banks are inefficient because of government control; that they are racking up debt, much of which is hidden; and that, unless they are quickly privatised, they will be the spark for the aforesaid crisis, breakdown, collapse, or disintegration. In the last month, I have twice been treated to this argument first-hand, once from an American and once from a Japanese.

  • LIFE

    At long last, history is told

    Life, Chris Baker, Published on 04/05/2015

    » Only a few years ago, the history of Thailand was often expressed as a "Thai race" that migrated down from the north to occupy a seemingly empty land, and then a string of kings defending them from violent neighbours and nasty colonialists. The Thai-Chinese scarcely made an appearance. A History Of Thai-Chinese, however, seeks to redress the balance.

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