Thailand Swears Central Bank Autonomy as Baht Extends Slump

Thailand’s acting prime minister, who earlier this week called for measures to halt the baht’s slide, said the government won’t meddle with the central bank and how it handles the currency, Bloomberg News reported. Prawit Wongsuwan, who is leading the government after a court last month suspended Prayuth Chan-Ocha, said on Thursday he directed Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith to “only talk” to the Bank of Thailand about the baht’s recent slump. That’s a walk back from remarks on Tuesday when he said he wants the baht back at 35 to a dollar. Arkhom, a technocrat-turned minister, said he asked central bank officials to closely monitor the currency and step in to curb any extreme volatility. The finance chief, who has acknowledged that the central bank was in charge of the currency, didn’t issue any special directives at a meeting with BOT officials on Thursday, he told reporters. The monetary authority will need to balance the nation’s economic recovery, inflation and capital flows in its policy decision next week, he said. Read more.