Secondary Effects From Easy Money Policies

In recent weeks we have highlighted the effects that theultra-loose monetary policies put in place by the Federal Reserve and other major global central banks are having on other economies.  Mongolia for example, floated a bond issue in one-day that equaled 20% of it's entire economy, and completed the sale at extremely low rates.  The lack of yield in established economies has pushed investors into riskier assets, lowering rates in the process.  It has also created low borrowing rates for consumers across the globe.  Asian consumers in particular have used these low rates to borrow heavily, leaving them in precarious financial positions.  The Wall Street Journal over the weekend published an article on page A12 detailing the rising leverage in many Asian economies.  Across the region, bank credit-to-GDP has grown to 104% as of June, up from 82% in December 2007.  Certain large economies in the region, such as Hong Kong (275%) and Singapore (137%), are particuarly worrisome.  Economists are concerned that if the slow growth that developed economies are facing flows through to these Asian economies they will be unable to sustain this borrowing and the next time this story is written it will likely be appearing on page A1 with a crisis headline.