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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Following the 1997–98 financial turmoil, a number of crisis countries in Asia moved toward floating exchange rate systems, and one (Malaysia) moved to a fixed rate. These changes reinforced the bipolar view of exchange rate regimes and the “hollow middle” hypothesis—a vanishing middle ground between floating and a “hard” peg. But some academics have dissented, arguing that these postcrisis countries have pursued exchange rate policies similar to their precrisis ones and that the middle may not have vanished. In a recent IMF study, Postcrisis Exchange Rate Policy in Five Asian Countries: Filling in the “Hollow Middle”? authors Leonardo Hernández and Peter Montiel identify and evaluate postcrisis exchange rate policies (up to the end of 2000) in the five countries most severely affected by the Asian financial crisis—Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand. What exchange rate policies did these countries pursue after the crisis? Did they revert to precrisis exchange rate practices? Why did they make the choices they did, and how should these policies be evaluated?

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

In the past, few economists looked closely at the links between financial markets and poverty. But that relationship is now increasingly important in the policy prescriptions of the IMF and other financial institutions. The IMF Survey met with Vassili Prokopenko, an Economist in the IMF’s Monetary and Exchange Affairs Department, and Paul Holden, Director of the Enterprise Research Institute in Washington, to discuss their Working Paper, Financial Development and Poverty Alleviation.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

The SDR interest rate and the rate of remuneration are equal to a weighted average of interest rates on specified short-term domestic obligations in the money markets of the five countries whose currencies constitute the SDR valuation basket. The rate of remuneration is the rate of return on members’ remunerated reserve tranche positions. The rate of charge, a proportion of the SDR interest rate, is the cost of using the IMF’s financial resources. All three rates are computed each Friday for the following week. The basic rates of remuneration and charge are further adjusted to reflect burden-sharing arrangements. For the latest rates, call (202) 623-7171 or check the IMF website (www.imf.org/cgi-shl/bur.pl?2002).