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Banking

Everyone's a winner...

Economists and academics will long ponder why east Asia's currencies have depreciated so much. Euromoney thinks it may have found the answer - perhaps each country is trying to outdo the others for the title of cheapest currency in Asia.

The light dawned when the national football teams of Thailand and Indonesia were drawn against each other in the recent Asean Tiger Cup competition. In a farcical display of contrariness that left spectators (or should that be speculators) dumbfounded, neither side wanted to win - to do so would have meant playing champions Vietnam in the semi-finals; the loser would take on the weaker Singapore.

The teams held out at 2-2 until the last minute, when in desperation Indonesia put in a deliberate own goal, propelling Thailand into the semis against Vietnam, a match they were to lose. Both teams got their comeuppance; they were each fined $40,000 by the Asean Football Federation for the farcical rigging.

Could Asia have a hidden agenda? Does it secretly want weaker currencies?

And is there is a contest going on to see which nation can sink the fastest?

Forget fundamentals, regression analysis and correlation.

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