The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper tells the story of the Asian financial crisis by addressing four questions: What were the causes of the crisis, how did the crisis unfold, what were the policy responses, and what have been the outcomes? The paper takes the view that none of these questions can be understood without appreciating the fundamental vulnerabilities that left authorities without effective tools to counter sudden capital outflows. The pattern of output decline suggests that these vulnerabilities, particularly weaknesses in domestic financial systems, played a larger role than tight monetary policy in determining outcomes.