Financial Crises and What to Do About Them: And What to Do About Them

Paperback | August 1, 2002

byBarry Eichengreen

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In this accessible book, a leading expert provides a critical assessment of the official sector's efforts to more effectively manage financial crises in emerging markets. Professor Eichengreen reviews international initiatives on both the crisis prevention and crisis resolution fronts. Whilecrises will always be with us, he concludes that good progress has been made in limiting their spread and strengthening the international financial system. Ironically, however, official-sector initiatives in this area may in fact have made life more difficult for the poorest countries. Initiativesto limit the incidence of crises and threats to the stability of the international financial system should therefore be linked to an increase in development assistance designed to offset the extra burdens on the poorest countries. The other place where official efforts have fallen short is in creating new ways of resolving crises. The author argues that the old way-official sector financing through the International Monetary Fund-is part of the problem, not part of the solution. The Fund's financial operations allow investorsto escape without significant losses, which in turn encourages them to lend without regard to the risks, weakening market discipline. Moreover, bailouts are inequitable. Because investors are allowed to exit and the IMF ultimately gets paid back, the residents of the crisis country end up footingthe bill. This is one reason why IMF programs have come to be regarded with such animus in the developing world.Imagining that the solution is for the official community to simply show the resolve to resist bailouts is too easy. That the International Monetary Fund has repeatedly come under pressure to extend financial assistance reflects more than a lack of political will; it reflects the inadequacy of thealternatives. At the same time, seeking to create radical new alternatives like an international bankruptcy court is too hard. It would do more to increase the efficiency of resource allocation and the stability of financial markets, the author concludes, to concentrate on more modest changes,namely the introduction of restructuring-friendly provisions into loan agreements, enhancing the capacity of creditors and debtors to resolve debt problems on their own.

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In this accessible book, a leading expert provides a critical assessment of the official sector's efforts to more effectively manage financial crises in emerging markets. Professor Eichengreen reviews international initiatives on both the crisis prevention and crisis resolution fronts. Whilecrises will always be with us, he concludes t...

Barry Eichengreen is the George C. Pardee and the Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 1987. He is also Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and Research Fellow of the Centre fo...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.46 inPublished:August 1, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199257442

ISBN - 13:9780199257447

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Crisis Prevention3. Crisis Management4. Lessons of Recent Experience5. The Way ForwardAppendix: A Chronology of Official Initiatives

Editorial Reviews

`It is superb monetary history ... The great strength of Eichengreen's historical analysis is his enormously wide knowledge of, and sympathy for, economic and political conditions in all the major countries concerned ... a marvelous book. It is, in addition, beautifully written, and fullyaccessible to general readers (no mathematics, and lots of contemporary cartoons). A real pleasure to read, the work of a master economic historian.'International Journal of Finance and Economics, 07/03/1996