Politics: Trirong, Korn, Tarisa & the Thai Weather

Power players pray for good rainny season

By Pooky, this blog economics journalist

  • They say, “Too many cook spoil the broth,” but in Thailand, there is also the weather.

Thailand’s prime minister, Abhisit, just appointed Trilong to be the deputy prime minister in charged of economics. Right away Trirong said he would set up a 30 member advisory team.

  • It looks good! Trirong is a killer at economics-with that special term-building skill.

“The cabinet laughed with Trirong cracking jokes and the mood is very warm and pleasant,” said True TNN cable news reporters.

Trirong puts the 30-member advisory team this way. “They will responsible for developing four key economic sectors and restructuring of the country’s economic system is being set up,” said Trairong.

The advisory team’s main duty will be to provide recommendations on how to settle the problems in the four key areas –the agricultural, industrial, logistics, and monetary and fiscal sectors, said Mr Trairong. “The plan will set out how the country’s economic fundamentals and model should be. Without such a plan, future generations will face difficulties,” the new deputy prime minister said.

  • But what ever plan Trirong is cooking up, Korn is also cooking up another plan.

Korn puts it this way, just a day ahead of Trilong’s appointment, Korn said, “The 17 policy initiatives are primarily policies that were approved by the cabinet in 2009, including helping 1 million people across the country refinance underground debt worth 100 billion baht; establishing a new national savings fund with contributions starting at 100 baht per month; and creating a new public-private partnership framework to help finance new investment in infrastructure and public services.”

  • Specialization?

So it appears that Trirong will be looking after the macro view, while Korn focuses on implementing at the micro level of government policies that are already in the pipe-line. So looks like some serious “big and small tuning to do.”

Then on top of it all, Trirong is bringing with him, some former top Thai financiers, including Thanin the Tom Yum Koong crisis days finance minister, and Pridiyathorn a former central bank governor. Then the chairman of Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) Niphon, and Praipol, a lecturer at Thammasat University’s economics faculty.

So it looks like Trirong’e team on macro and Korn on micro-and loaded with lots of technocrats and monetary big players.

  • But will too many cook spoil the broth?

Well the government of Abhisit had run straight into the Thai central bank’s monetary policy before-particularly on the issue of the level of the baht. Korn wanted a competitive baht, while Tarisa of the Thai central bank wanted stability.

Now Tarisa wants a gradual up-ward interest rates movements.

  • Thailand, a tropical country

Meanwhile, the irrigation department says the level of the waters in Thailand’s dams are at about 50% level, and they will probably have to be cutting short water supply for irrigation activities soon-but because of the good world price for rice, rice farmers have went out to grow off season rice crop-with some reports saying the area have increased normal off season growing by 100%.

“Where will the water come from for all of them, I do not have a clue,” said the irrigation department.

“It will rain and save the situation,” said the Thai agriculture minister.

In the mean time, Myanmar will export about 1.5 millions tonnes of rice this year and Vietnam another 4 million tonnes. And everyone is running away from the high price Thai rice, as the Thai government have stocked up on rice with millions of tonnes for sale.

  • An ever changing weathery mood of Abhisit?

And as some weather forecaster in Thailand sees drought, it had been a massive torrential tropical storm in Thai politics between the coalition parties making up the Abhisit government. As always, Abhisit is a killer when it comes to keeping his political opponents from showing good performances that can win votes away from him.

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