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Economy

Learning the lessons of the Asian financial crisis

The 1997 meltdown pushed companies down the reform path, but more must be done

Sirivat Voravetvuthikun, once a wealthy stock investor, turned to peddling sandwiches on the streets of Bangkok after a condo deal went bust in 1997. (Photo by Marimi Kishimoto)

BANGKOK/JAKARTA/MANILA In June 1997, Sirivat Voravetvuthikun found himself selling sandwiches on the streets of Bangkok. The former high-flying stock investor had lost everything when his project to build luxury condos went belly-up.

At a loss for how to support his family, Sirivat's wife suggested he sell sandwiches. It was a total change in lifestyle, but he survived the tidal wave of the Asian financial crisis. Sirivat is now president of TGIF Corporation, a small company that makes beverages, snacks -- and sandwiches.

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