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U.S. President Donald Trump grabs the most headlines, but the cult of the strongman leader is most developed in Asia.All of Asia's strongmen share a key characteristic: They secure public support by preying on economic ignorance. In particular, they trade on the popular belief that leaders who concentrate political power are freer to guide economic growth. The truth is that Asia's strongmen are presiding over increasingly vulnerable states and even more fragile economies.Most of the Asian leaders long feted by financial markets, it turns out, are really bad economic managers, and investors are beginning to recoil from them.What explains weak economic performances by Asia's strongmen? Maybe untrammeled political power enables large-scale economic mistakes. Whatever the reason for Asia's profusion of strongmen, people and markets have gotten it wrong for too long.
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