Because this entry is long, I will say it upfront: the diversification of 2015-2018 at its core was due to: Collapse in crude oil price, with Brent dropping from around $110 per barrel in early 2015 to about $40 per barrel by late December 2015. Half of the reduction in petroleum share of government revenue […]

Back in January, the official deficit projection for 2015 was revised up by the government to 3.2% of GDP from 3.0% due to the falling energy prices. I concluded then the new target was achievable if government revenue would increase by at least 1.2% YoY. It was a reasonable target eight or nine months ago. […]

There is a narrative going around in Malaysia that a government which has a majority of its debts denominated in a local currency can never default on its borrowings. For the purpose of clarity, it is the case where a national government has control over both its fiscal and monetary policy. I have trouble with […]

Among all the local newspapers in Malaysia, I reserve my utmost respect for The Edge. Unlike other papers, it has critical analyses and is less susceptible to explicit political bias. The Star and the New Straits Times (the NST especially) are political hacks. Others like the The Sun which can be objective more than once are […]

I have been doing some preparatory work for a report on the 2013 federal government budget. The budget will be tabled at the Parliament this Friday. In the course of doing so, I have come to wonder if the comparison of budget deficit (as typically understood) across governments of the world is really fair. Specifically, […]

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