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In Southeast Asia, Monetary Policy Now Comes Via Social Media Livestream
ECONOMY Beyond

In Southeast Asia, Monetary Policy Now Comes Via Social Media Livestream

As the economic landscape gets more rocky, Southeast Asia’s central bankers are turning to Facebook and YouTube for help in getting their messages across.

The Bank of Thailand was the latest to adopt a live video-streaming of its policy announcement in August, three months after the Philippine central bank did the same. 

Bank Indonesia, which has more Twitter followers than the Federal Reserve, recently stepped up broadcasts of its policy decisions to every month.

Image: Bloomberg
Image: Bloomberg

“Communications are intensified because Governor Perry believes transparency and communication are an integral part of a central bank’s way to strengthen policy credibility,” said Agusman, a spokesman for the central bank who goes by one name.

“The main audience target of live-streaming are market players, banks, academics, economists, who directly need complete information from the central bank,” he said.

“But in practice, live-streaming is also watched by students, young people and netizens who generally want to learn.”

Central bankers are using social media to keep markets calm and to help explain their decision-making more directly to households that are feeling the pinch from currency turmoil and rising prices.

Bank Indonesia youtube channel. Image: Youtube
Bank Indonesia youtube channel. Image: Youtube

Of the five main central banks in the region -- Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines and Malaysia -- only the Bank of Thailand hasn’t tightened policy yet this year.

“The messaging definitely has been more clear, stronger, and they’re following through,” said Priyanka Kishore, head of India and Southeast Asia economics at Oxford Economics Ltd. in Singapore.

“Part of it is education,” for public consumption, while for the market, it’s about “giving out a feeler, and influencing a decision from analysts.”

Malaysia and Singapore have traditionally only published statements for their policy decisions, but the rest of the five Southeast Asian central banks have moved to video-streaming.

Source : Bloomberg

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