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Defending the IMF

Jeffrey Sachs and other economists have severely criticised the IMF for its handling of the Asia crisis. Larry Summers, who is master-minding the US response to the crisis, defends the institution but concedes it needs reform

By Larry Summers   April 1998

It is nine months since the troubles in Asia first hit the headlines with the devaluation of the Thai baht. News from the region is still filling the newspapers; not all of it is good. In some countries the outlines of a solution are visible. But the economies affected have a long way to go before stability and growth are fully restored.

The US’s stake in this is huge. One third of its exports go to Asia-more than to Europe. Companies such as Intel, Boeing and 3M have already felt the impact of the crisis in reduced export orders. Americans…

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