International Finance and Developing Countries in a Year of Crisis

1997 Discussions at the United Nations

Ariel Buira, et al.
Release Date: May 1, 1998

As the international financial crisis unfolded in Asia in 1997, the United Nations General Assembly hosted a series of lectures and discussions with prominent authorities on international finance and developing countries. At the end of its session, the Assembly agreed to start preparing for a high-level UN meeting on finance for development to take place by 2001. This book is the result of efforts by the United Nations University, which helped to arrange the expert presentations in New York, to make the relevant materials readily available to a larger audience.

The book opens with a background chapter on financial flows, financial crises, and financial policy needs at the national and global levels by its editors, Barry Herman and Krishnan Sharma. The views of the International Monetary Fund on the lessons to be drawn from the Asian currency crisis are presented by its Managing Director, Michel Camdessus, while two former Executive Directors of IMF, Ariel Buira and Arjun Sengupta, review policy issues in capital flows to developing countries. Linda Lim of the University of Michigan School of Business looks at conditions for effective capital market liberalization in developing countries, particularly in Southeast Asia; Ambassador Oscar R. De Rojas, Venezuela’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN and chairman of the Economic and Finance committee of the General Assembly, assesses the recent discussions at the UN of international financial issues; and Gerald K. Helleiner of the University of Tokyo, who also coordinates research for the Intergovernmental Group of Twenty-four on International Monetary Affairs at IMF, examines how to strengthen global economic governance through an official conference of finance and development. The book includes the texts of several UN resolutions on finance and a chronology of the 1997 crisis.