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Finance and Development: June 1998

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F&D logo    JUNE 1998
Volume 35, Number 2
The Asian Crisis

The Asian Crisis and the Changing Role of the IMF
Stanley Fischer
Since it began operations in 1946, the IMF has steadily evolved in response to changes in the world economy. What steps is it taking to meet the new challenges posed by the Asian crisis?

What Lessons Does the Mexican Crisis Hold for Recovery in Asia?
Guillermo Ortiz Martinez
The Mexican and the Asian crises have striking similarities. A comparison of the two provides lessons about how emerging economies can safeguard themselves against sudden capital outflows.

Asia's Crisis: A Market Perspective
John Lipsky
Recent events in Asia have posed a particular challenge for international capital markets. How can net private capital flows best be restored?

The Challenge of Managing Global Capital Flows
Manuel Guiti�n
The financial crisis that erupted in Asia in 1997 vividly demonstrated the risks associated with free capital flows. But capital mobility is a goal worth pursuing, given the potential benefits. With the right policies, countries can manage the risks while increasing their access to global financial markets.

The Asian Crisis: Causes and Cures
IMF Staff
The financial crisis that struck many Asian countries in late 1997 did so with an unexpected severity. What went wrong? How can the effects of the crisis be mitigated? And what steps can be taken to prevent such crises from recurring in the future?

Building on East Asia's Infrastructure Foundations
Ashoka Mody and Michael Walton
The halfway measures taken toward privatizing East Asia's infrastructure have resulted in weak corporate governance, vulnerability to crises, and inefficiency. Faced with slowing growth, the region needs to shift its focus to increasing competition and adopting needed regulation.

Aging in the Asian Tiger Economies
Peter S. Heller
What challenges will the aging of populations in Asia's tiger economies pose for their social insurance and educational systems? What effects will this have on their budgets, and on their saving rates and total savings, as well as on those of the global economy?

Other Topics

The Supply Side of Global Bribery
Frank Vogl
Discussions of how to combat corruption have focused more sharply on the recipients of bribes than on those who pay them. A more balanced approach, which is emerging, promises to make anticorruption efforts more effective.

Uncertainty Deters Private Investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
Oussama Kanaan
The accords signed by Israel and the PLO in 1993 and 1994 heralded greater prosperity for Palestinians. But an adverse external trade environment has discouraged private investment, and economic conditions have deteriorated.

Monetary Operations in the European Economic and Monetary Union
Charles A. Enoch, Paul L. Hilbers, and Arto Kovanen
The European Monetary Institute and Europe's national central banks have made good progress in preparing a "menu" of efficient, market-based monetary instruments from which the European Central Bank, to be established by July 1, 1998, will choose. The next step will be to address the remaining issues and test the selected options.

Civil Service Reform in Africa: Mixed Results After 10 Years
Ian Lienert
Although many African countries have taken important steps toward restructuring their civil services by downsizing them, less progress has been made in revamping pay and promotion policies. Cost-cutting measures need to be accompanied by bold reforms to improve quality.

The International Use of Currencies: The U.S. Dollar and the Euro
George S. Tavlas
Why does the international monetary system seem to need only one or, at most, a few national currencies to carry out international transactions? This article offers an explanation, discusses recent trends in the international use of the dollar, and assesses the possible impact of the euro in world financial markets.


Letter from the Editor

Letters to the Editor


The World Bank: Its First Half Century by Devesh Kapur, John P. Lewis, and Richard Webb
reviewed by James M. Boughton

Titans or Behemoths? The Multilateral Development Banks, Volume 5 by Roy Culpeper
reviewed by Robert Picciotto

Central Banking in Theory and Practice by Alan S. Blinder
reviewed by Manuel Guiti�n

The United Nations and the Third World: Shifting Paradigms by Bimal Chakraborty
reviewed by Sanjeev Gupta

A Concise History of European Monetary Integration: From EPU to EMU by Horst Ungerer
reviewed by Charles Enoch