Front Matter

Front Matter

International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
January 1988
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    © 1989 International Monetary Fund

    International Standard Serial Numbers: ISBN 1-55775-115-3

    ISSN 0258-7440

    Price: US$15.00

    Address orders to:

    External Relations Department

    Attention: Publication Services

    International Monetary Fund

    Washington, D.C. 20431


    Tel: (202)-623-7430 Cable: Interfund


    The following symbols have been used throughout this paper:

    • … to indicate that data are not available;

    • — to indicate that the figure is zero or less than half the final digit shown, or that the item does not exist;

    • - between years or months (e.g., 1984–85 or January–June) to indicate the years or months covered, including the beginning and ending years or months;

    • / between years (e.g., 1985/86) to indicate a crop or fiscal (financial) year.

    • “Billion” means a thousand million.

    • Minor discrepancies between constituent figures and totals are due to rounding.


    This study was prepared under the direction of Mark Allen, Chief of the International Capital Markets Division of the Exchange and Trade Relations Department of the International Monetary Fund, with Donald Mathieson, Chief of the Financial Studies Division of the Research Department. The co-authors, staff members from both divisions, are listed on the title page.

    Background for the study was provided in part by informal discussions with commercial and investments banks, securities houses, stock and futures exchanges, regulatory and monetary authorities, and the staffs of the Bank for International Settlements, the Commission of the European Communities, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the Institute of International Finance, and the Japan Center for International Finance. The discussions took place in Amsterdam, Basle, Berlin, Bern, Brussels, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, New York, Ottawa, Paris, Tokyo, Toronto, Washington, and Zurich at various times between May and October 1988.

    In addition to the authors, other Fund staff members taking part in some of the discussions included Russell Kincaid (of the Exchange and Trade Relations Department), Humberto Arbulu-Neira (of the Fund’s office in Europe), Daniel Citrin and Steven Fries (of the Western Hemisphere Department), and Jorge Marquez-Ruarte (of the Asian Department). C. Maxwell Watson, John Clark, and Poul Thomsen made contributions to the study at various stages, and the work of Joris Buyse is also acknowledged. Staff of the Bureau of Statistics, particularly Richard Stillson and Richard Hides, developed and compiled the data based on the Fund’s international banking statistics. Research assistance was provided by Can Demir and Rosa Vera-Bunge. Louis Pauly prepared the text for publication. Jean Boyd patiently typed and retyped the text and tables. Juanita Roushdy, of the External Relations Department, gave the manuscript a final edit and efficiently coordinated the production.

    The study benefited from comments by staff in other departments of the Fund and by members of the Executive Board. Opinions expressed, however, are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of other staff members or of Executive Directors. Similar studies on international capital markets have been prepared in recent years, and the previous study was published in January 1988 in the World Economic and Financial Surveys series. The present study was completed in January 1989 and reflects developments to that time. While the study was in the final stages of production, the international approach to the debt situation of developing countries was changing rapidly. The evolution of that approach, its impact on the debtors, and the reactions of financial markets will be covered in the next study.

    It should be noted that the term “country” used in this study does not in all cases refer to a territorial entity that is a state as understood by international law and practice. The term also covers some territorial entities that are not states but for which statistical data are maintained and provided internationally on a separate and independent basis.

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