Chart, credit cards : no Green Shoots in april…

Another month… and another weak report about credit cards in Thailand.

In april, the total number of credit cards went down compared to the previous month (-6 900)… The last month-on-month decline was… in february 2008 (-13 000 cards compared to january 2008)

But year-on-year, we still have a +8,45 %. growth.

(Source Bank Of Thailand, table FI_CB_080_S2)


As for the spendings, the negative trend is still there : -3 % compared to april 2008.

Card spending at home and abroad and cash withdrawals all dropped at an accelerated pace in April, a time when consumers normally spend a lot for the holidays. (Nation)


Disappointed ? You were thinking : “Damnit ! Obama told us about Green Shoots beginning of april… At the G20 in London, they said that. So do they today”. And Abhisit ? Our dashing Prime Minister also promised us flowers and honey… for later (Q4 2009) ? What the hell is happening ?

Yes. And they will continue to say so. And they will continue to be wrong. Pathetically wrong.

To behave like the Boiler Room (“buy ! buy ! cheap ! Everything is cool, normal again ! The crisis is over ! Buy ! ! Take a loan ! Buy a new car ! And a house too ! Interets rates are so low ! Buy !”) shows how deep is their desperation…

On the other hand, I’m going to tell you what won’t happen in the near future :

Somchai won’t increase his credit card spendings, because he won’t find a new job, with a better salary, created by a company that won’t export because there is no demand… And he won’t take a new loan (because the bank doesn’t want risk anymore) because he can’t, and because he’s afraid. Of losing the job he already has…

This will impact shops. And suppliers. Therefore production. Therefore companies profits. Therefore state’s revenues (taxes, VAT etc.), etc.

And the crisis won’t end.

Play it again Sam. Again and again. Multiply this chain of events by millions… in several countries…

The negative loop. Not a linear process…

[Tomorrow : a new chart. And new bad figures about the car market in Thailand… in may ! Holly cow, wait a minute, may was really supposed to be the month of the Green Shoots wasn’it ? !

And may was after the “revolucion” (you remember the thai army shooting on the streets of Bangkok…). So ? What happened ? Read again this article… From the beginning. 😉 ]

9 Responses to “Chart, credit cards : no Green Shoots in april…”

  1. 1 antipadshist 15 June 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Today is a fiersome “cake sharing” !

    Intense House debate on the cards over key legislation

    … to authorise the government to borrow Bt800 billion to overcome the economic downturn.

    The opposition Pheu Thai Party will put up a strong fight by arguing the government is not gearing up to tackle economic woes but to divide the debt-financed cake among coalition partners in order to cling to power…

    Of the total loans, the government has earmarked Bt500 billion for mega-projects under the jurisdiction of the Bhum Jai Thai Party. The remaining Bt300 billion will be shared by the Democrat and the Chart Thai Pattana parties.

    B500bln for BJT – sweet, huh ? 😀

    are Dems so humble – sharing B300bln with CTP ?

    something tells me that gov. will win and PT will lose – recently it was pointed out that Korn feels very confident that judiciary will support them. if so, then PT will not be able to provide any susbstantial arguments against the borrowing.

    so, let the CAKE SHARING begin ! 🙂

  2. 2 Pricilla 15 June 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Yes expect those mega projects will get both the personal wealth and war chest of Bhum Jai topped up nicely, who needs Taksin when you are on a roll like this. Yes, happy days are here again…

    Now I may be reading these so-called green shoots incorrectly, but am expecting this to be a temporary rebound followed by another crash due to the lousy fundamentals. I am completely free of debt, have no credit card at all, hold no US Dollars and am cashed up ready for it. If wrong then go to plan B.

  3. 3 antipadshist 15 June 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Bkk Post has another article quoting ex-PM Somchai saying that gov. are only trying to benefit themselves and allies by funding those mega-projects – while what they actually should do it help farmers.

  4. 4 Marvo 15 June 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Now I may be reading these so-called green shoots incorrectly, but am expecting this to be a temporary rebound followed by another crash due to the lousy fundamentals. I am completely free of debt, have no credit card at all, hold no US Dollars and am cashed up ready for it. If wrong then go to plan B.

    Hey Pricilla,


    That’ll be two of us going to plan B though when inflation sends our cash up in smoke 😉

    Note to self: Dream up something for a plan B!

  5. 5 ray 16 June 2009 at 11:37 am

    plan b: buy gold.

  6. 6 Pricilla 16 June 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Hi Marvo,

    Yes, hyperinflation is one outcome with the three stooges printing money, there again if it is deflation then that won’t be hurting the cash any. And as Ray says gold can be a good hedge in inflation, interesting watching where that is going at the moment.

    Plan B simply looks at what is happening and then going with that. If the real crash is yet to come then cash will buy stocks at their real bottom, if gold runs then so too should gold mining stocks. Gas, uranium and food could also be interesting in the longer term.

    Likewise will keep an eye on housing back home and see how low that can get yet.

    Think a solid plan is difficult to formulate as the markets are not acting “normally”. As the governments are all sailing into mega debt to bail out their crooked mates and with a hope of stalling the inevitable until the next election it is hard to know what effect their clumsy interference in the natural order will make. So just try to position for as many eventualities as possible, cash seems a good start.

  7. 7 ThaiCrisis 16 June 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Pricilla : I’m not sure about “hyperinflation”, however inflation is almost a certainty.

    Because it’s the softest path for politicians.

    Politicians are always going through the soft path. Always. Do you believe Obama, Brown, Sarkozy are going to play Churchill and give us (not promise us) blood (cuts of retirement pensions, cuts of civil servants salaries, cuts in budget, cut in medicare etc.) ?

    Of course they won’t. They are even unable to give a large cut to bankers ! 😉

    Those people are vulgar painkiller pills… But with short term effect.

    So, confronted to deficits and huge debts, the “softest path” is… a currency debasement. Slowly but surely.

    Don’t cut the pension of Joe The Plumber, he could get angry ! And an angry voter is not very good for business.

    It’s much better to keep his pension… even to increase it a little bit… meanwhile just reduce the value of the currency in which the pension is paid. Et voila ! The modern alchemy.

    Then of course Joe could protest a little bit (he could say : “I don’t understand, I can’t pay my bills anymore…. compared to the good old times”… But this kind of Joe will be a minority. 😉

    So inflation is good for politicians. It postpones the problems. Which is the ultimate goal of all the politicians and the clowns on this earth.

    Usually, people say “no pain, no gain”… With the clowns it’s rather : “no pain and no gain”. 😉

  8. 8 George P Tuckeer 17 June 2009 at 9:08 am

    With all the loose monetary policies, inflation is inevitable. But along with inflation, we have generally weakened economies and subdued demand, so hyperinflation is unlikely.

    Keeping cash in Australian dollars (or government/state bonds) would be a good idea. Interest rates are higher than elsewhere and with the possible rise in commodity prices (against USD), the AUD will likely retain it’s value better than other currencies.

    Some speculative holding of HKD may be a bet worth taking. The interest income is non-existent, but if there is some re-jigging (or lifting) of the peg, the result would probably be a stronger HKD against the USD.

  9. 9 antipadshist 18 June 2009 at 2:20 am

    BANGKOK, June 16 – Thailand plans to sell 30 billion baht ($880 million) in five-year savings bonds next month with a coupon that is expected to reach 5 percent in the fifth year, a senior finance official said on Tuesday.

    The retail bonds are being offered to Thai citizens to help fund a budget deficit and stimulus programmes to support the economy, which slipped into its first recession in a decade in the first quarter of 2009.

    The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) will meet Bank of Thailand (BoT) officials on Friday and ask that the central bank help curb the value of the baht to ensure the Thai currency is not too strong.

    FTI chairman Santi Vilassakdanont said on Wednesday morning the central bank haf officially invited the FTI to a discussion on monetary policy and economic outlook on June 19.

    Mr Santi said FTI will ask the BoT to help stabilise the baht and keep it in line with other countries in the region. He also plans to ask the central bank to ensure there is sufficient liquidity in the private sector.

    The baht was too strong against competing exporting nations, even though it was now weakening, he said.

    The suitable baht value in the eyes of the private sector was between 37 and 38 baht per US dollar.

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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.

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