THE Government is always looking out for potential bubbles, especially in property, said Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.

'We periodically act pre-emptively to let some air out of property bubbles before they burst with a bang,' he told alumni at his alma mater Williams College in Massachusetts on Thursday.

And what has proven effective in cooling the property markets are direct and targeted measures, he added.

These include reducing the maximum loan for buying a second residential property and imposing stamp duty on owners who sell their properties within three years of buying them.

But, he added: 'Broad monetary policy actions may not be best suited since they can be blunt, and if applied too aggressively, can have unintended negative effects on the entire economy.'

Mr Goh made these points in a speech at a panel discussion, during which Williams College graduates from several countries discussed the lessons the United States can draw from developing countries in the recent global financial crisis.

'Govt watches for bubbles'