As a believer in free-market principles, The Volatilian™ seeks to explain the deficiencies of those principles where they occur, in the markets of Southeast Asia.
It will highlight the protectionist practices of national governments and their agencies, the existence of anticompetitive structures from monopolies and oligopolies to private and public cartels.
It will look at the levels of cronyism, favouritism, government patronage and restrictive regulation – which obstruct and frustrate fair, foreign participation across sectors and across markets.
And it will filter political/bureaucratic anomalies along with debilitating social/cultural customs and religious influences – all of which come with a degree of often hidden risk for foreign investors.
Such problems are not going to go away overnight – if ever. But a level playing field, as far as understanding the terrain is concerned, is all an investor needs to be able to make a decision on whether or not to allocate funds. After all, as important as it is to know where to put your money is to know where not to.
This is not a crusade to change how governments, corporations and vested interests operate in these markets; it is an effort to inform by providing a true depiction of the business cultures of these markets without the eyeliner and the lip gloss. We believe that if we can do that we will have been of service to the investors’ cause.