Thai politics

Thailand’s new finance minister

Today’s WSJ profiles Thailand’s new finance minister, Thirachai Phuvanatnaranubala.

Thailand’s new astrology-buff finance minister will likely need more than the stars to guide him as he attempts to steer the nation’s economy through the threat of a fresh global slowdown and high expectations for a wave of new populist policies at home.

Thirachai Phuvanatnaranubala, 59 years old, who was sworn in Wednesday, has a difficult balancing act to perform, analysts say. Mr. Thirachai wrote on his Facebook page the same day that he plans to keep a firm grip on government spending. But that may prove complicated as the new prime minister attempts to deliver on her free-spending campaign pledges. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra—the sister of ousted leader Thaksin Shinawatra—plucked Mr. Thirachai from his job as secretary-general of Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission.

Reuters also has a story. And the Bangkok Post has a piece, as well.

(All emphasis mine.)

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