ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
The biggest Asean story is the US economyBy David Swartzemtruber
However, the early morning brought with it news that a debt agreement had been reached in Washington D.C., to avert an historic debt default and Asian markets responded with relief.
Tokyo jumped 1.94 percent in the afternoon, Hong Kong rose 1.51 percent in the morning and Sydney added 1.97 percent, while Seoul gained 1.75 percent and Taipei climbed 0.45 percent.
Shanghai edged 0.15 percent higher.
Singapore shares were higher at midday on Monday, with the benchmark Straits Times Index at 3,223.4 in early trade, up 1.07 percent, or 34.14 points and Thai stocks opened up 10.32 points at the start of trade Monday morning.
The early details indicate that the agreement is not substantive enough to truly address the economic problems the US faces, but just good enough to get the country to the next debt crisis.
Media reporting from the US have frequently characterized the debt debacle as an example of a “dysfunctional” political system in the US and who can doubt that given the recent weeklong siege in Washington.
With so many issues needing solutions, it is regrettable that from now until the November 2012 elections, politics will drain the attention of the US from the real economic and international challenges it faces.
Some critics view the budget impasse as a symptom of decline in the US empire and there is mounting evidence to support that view as Asia begins to assume a larger role on the world stage.
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