But it is not enough to passively let several governments and big companies define and create the new world economic order (NEWO). Every few years, such groupings will formulate a relief package and keep rebranding NEWOs, albeit in upgrade versions. The irony is that the previous NEWOs did not work too. Why?

There are two important factors. One is the persistent human weakness of greed, lack of self control and discipline in money stewardship. This will never be removed, only curbed. The second factor is the absence of bold and passionate individuals, who dare to step forward and keep contributing to such NEWOs.

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How can Asians best handle these cycles of boom and bust? In the immediate short term, IMF crisis borrowing measures do help but these cannot be depended on in the long term. Asia’s public administrators and business leaders can continuously develop new thinking tools, such as the new public management model; install new compliance borrowing safeguards; retrain its workforce; and appoint leaders who believe in and practise renewed leadership and stewardship.

In the long term and before the next mega wave of crisis hits, Asian governments and businesses should invite and support pioneering individuals (including social entrepreneurs) even more actively to expand the Asian-style of the public-private partnership (PPP) procurement model to evolve into four Ps (public-private-people partnership) to better meet marketplace and social needs.

After all, founders of nations, governments and businesses started with people to serve the people.

Lawrence Yeo is CEO of AsiaBIZ Strategy, a Singapore-based consultancy that provides Asia market research and investment/trade promotion services.

E-mail: Lawrence@asiabizstrategy.com