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Web-only Exclusives
November 30, 2000

From Our Correspondent: Hirohito and the War
A conversation with biographer Herbert Bix

From Our Correspondent: A Rough Road Ahead
Bad news for the Philippines - and some others

From Our Correspondent: Making Enemies
Indonesia needs friends. So why is it picking fights?

Asiaweek Time Asia Now Asiaweek story

DOCTOR KNOWS BEST?

Here's what the experts say about the IMF


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IMF-enforced austerity and high interest rates are making the Crisis worse

"The measures are intended to restore confidence. Instead, they kill the economies and undermine confidence" - Jeffrey Sachs, Harvard University


The IMF is ignoring the social costs

"An approach which ignores these considerations [about the poor] is unlikely to gain wide support from the community and this will delay recovery" - Daim Zainuddin, Special Minister, Malaysia


IMF bailouts encourage bankers to over-lend recklessly

"The IMF [by bailing out Mexico in 1995] contributed to some extent to causing the next crisis" - Juergen Stark, State Secretary for Finance, Germany


The IMF is overstepping its bounds

"It should not impose other economic changes that are not necessary to deal with the balance-of-payments problem and are the proper responsibility of the country's own political system" - Martin Feldstein, Harvard University


The IMF serves rich nations and banks

"It is not interested in rehabilitating a country but ensuring that [the country] pays up its loans" - Ramon Navaratnam, Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute


High interest rates are unavoidable

"To reverse [currency depreciation], countries have to make it more attractive to hold domestic currency, and that means temporarily raising interest rates, even if this [hurts] weak banks and corporations" - Michel Camdessus, IMF Managing Director


The IMF is not responsible for poverty

"Deplorable as these [social] developments can be, our programs aren't at the origin of the problems. Sometimes a medi-cine causes more pain" - Camdessus


IMF rescues do not create moral hazards

"No country would deliberately court such a crisis; the economic, financial, social and political pain is simply too great" - Stanley Fischer, IMF First Deputy Managing Director


Structural reforms are necessary

"Structural reforms lie at the heart of each program because the problems they deal with lie at the heart of the economic crisis" - Fischer


The IMF programs are the best medicine available for what ails Asia

"The IMF represents the wisdom of the financial community. There may be something better, but we don't know what it is" - Saito Kunio, director, IMF office for Asia and the Pacific


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