One Night In Bangkok

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There is frustratingly little good information out there on exactly what is behind the military coup in Thailand. The coupsters don’t seem to be all that bad—except, you know the whole “take over the country with our guns” thing—and the word is that they plan to reopen the financial markets tomorrow. They don’t seem to be about the cancel their countries bonds or nationalize industry. They keep saying things like they are just going to run the country until a new leader can be chosen.
We’ve heard a few different explanations. One of our friends thinks the Thai coup is an ethnic conflict between the Thai military and the ethnic Chinese who have done so well in business there. The ousted president was born to two Chinese parents. Another friend said it is just competing business factions—one based in the military, the other in the civilian government—taking the competition to the next level. Yet another says the military are simply good government reformers who were worried their country was being plundered by its leadership.
But this is DealBreaker, so we’ve been digging into the financial effects of the coup. The cost of credit-default swaps on Thailand’s debt jumped more than 100% yesterday, from $36,000 to $75,000 for a $10 million contract, before settling down to a $54,000. That’s not exactly a panic premium from the coup.
Reports from the Stalwart seem to confirm the market’s reading of the situation. Half the Stalwart team is in Thailand and reporting that the day after the coup was declared an official holiday and that Starbucks was still open.
Coup? What Coup? Got My Starbucks [The Stalwar]

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