Asia Crisis Veteran Says This Emerging Market Selloff Is Different

Paul Gruenwald was working on the International Monetary Fund’s Argentina team just after Christmas in 1997 when he was told to get on a plane and head to Seoul. He arrived in South Korea to find a country in shock as the Asia financial crisis raged.

That was then. These days Asia is the biggest contributor of global economic growth and Gruenwald is chief economist for S&P Global Ratings, based in Singapore. While South Korea has its challenges, it remains mostly insulated by a global technology boom.

Because Gruenwald had a front row seat for the Asia crisis, Bloomberg News asked for his analysis of the current selloff in emerging markets, which has rattled Argentina and Turkey and prompted other leading economists such as Carmen Reinhart to forecast a rocky period ahead.

The following are edited excerpts of an exchange conducted by email:

Is the selloff a brewing crisis or a correction?

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