Manipulation of the baht



Re: Baht should be in 35 to 38 range (PM Mailbag Friday 3 April 2015) – It’s the same for sterling. We are told that the UK has the fastest growing economy in Europe and Thailand’s economy is in the doldrums, yet the pound is continuing to fall against the baht.

I’m no economist, but someone who is – or says they are, told me it was because of the UK’s deficit and national debt etc. If that is the case then how come the pound has fallen from 55 to 48 in 5 months? That’s about 12% during that time, yet the UK deficit etc, was the same last autumn. So, that appears to dispel that theory.

Another thing is low interest rates, not attracting big investors. Well, low interest rates are everywhere, including this country, if my bank account is anything to go by.

As far as I’m concerned three things flow from this: for someone like me on a modest fixed income, currency fluctuations such as this are just impossible to budget for. Another couple of baht off the rate and I cannot even meet the retirement income criteria of 65,000 per month.

Second, it’s a good job the Chinese are pouring in. The US/Euro/UK exchange rates are making holidays in Thailand a thing of the past for many. Other currencies are worth less, yet prices in Thailand continue to rise.

Finally, I share your view that it has to be a manipulation of the baht exchange rate by government. To have a falling baht would be a tremendous ‘loss of face’ at present. It would be seen as a failure by the current administration. No wonder Thai exporters are squealing, but I doubt they will be listened too.

My solution, after 8 years here, is to return to Europe (Spain), where the pound/euro rate is healthy and rental prices are the same, or even less. My pension will also return to index linked rises and be able to use a health service following 48 years of paying NI.

Sorry to leave in many respects, but constantly worrying about this steady decline of value in my pension is not something I want or need at my age.

Finally, before anyone has a go at me, I have to tell you I remember when it was 40 baht to the pound in around 1990 and I’ve known it as high as 90 in 1997/8 due to devaluation which I knew couldn’t last. But when I came to live here in 2006 it was steady at around 70 and I, like many, could not have reasonably foreseen a drop of a magnitude of 30%. I think it’s clear there is no connection whatsoever between economies and exchange rates. There is, quite simply and without doubt, manipulation all the time.