With the economic crisis in East Asia and a continuing boom in the US, American triumphialism is in the air. The latter is perhaps not unexpected and probably does no harm. But what is more questionable is the view held in the highest circles in the US Government and international financial organisations in Washington which causally links the so-called Asian model of capitalism to the economic and financial crisis which is currently engulfing the hitherto highly successful economies of East and South East Asia. A central aim of this paper is to systematically assess the validity of this influential and important thesis, i.e., the paper will explore to what extent, if any, the so-called ‘Asian model’ is responsible for the present crisis in countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Korea. This question is also important in part because in economic terms until very recently this model seems to have been exceptionally successful.