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BOOKS in brief

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Published Date:
January 1992
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Michael Bruno, Stanley Fisher, Elhanan Helpman, and Nissan Liviatan with Leora (Rubin) Meridor (editors)

Lessons of Economic Stabilization and its Aftermath

The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 1991, vii + 423 pp., $30.

In the next decade, as the East European countries and developing nations attempt to reform and modernize their economies, they will focus on stabilization and reconstruction. The studies in this volume are instructive, since they distill the stabilization experiences of eight countries: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Israel, Mexico, Turkey, and Yugoslavia. Throughout the 1980s, most of these countries suffered from high levels of inflation, largely due to external shocks and mounting debt. Their strategies to control inflation and to achieve economic stabilization have met with different levels of success. This volume reviews the reasons why.

Robert F. Emery

The Money Markets of Developing East Asia

Praeger, New York, NY, USA, 1991, xvii + 340 pp., $65.

With the focus very much these days on emerging capital markets in various parts of the world, this book should prove a valuable resource to international finance executives, economists, and policymakers alike. The author, an East Asian specialist at the Federal Reserve Board, takes a look at the money markets (primarily domestic) of Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Taiwan Republic of China—the major players (outside Japan) in the region. After an introductory overview, he analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of each individual market, and identifies the main participants, the nature of the instruments used, the size of the market, and any official influences. The book closes with some cross-country comparisons. The final chapter indicates what lessons can be derived and basic ingredients for developing a viable and growing money market.

Dharam Ghai (editor)

The IMF and the South

The Social Impact of Crisis and Adjustment

Zed Books, London, England, [Atlantic Higlands, NJ, USA], 1991, xi + 273 pp.,£32.95/$55 (£11.95/$19.95 paper).

This collection of “alternative” views of the economic problems of developing countries and the economic adjustment process lays greater stress on external factors than domestic ones as a cause of the economic plight of the “South.” It contains case studies from Africa and Latin America. Even when the authors recognize domestic problems, such as centralized planning, nondemocratic economic and political systems, and misallocation of resources, these are either ignored or given lesser weight than external conditions, such as industrial country policies, in analyzing the causes of economic difficulties. The polemics interfere with the analysis, making this book less valuable than it might otherwise have been as a study of the relationship between multilateral financial institutions and developing economies.

Michael Bruno, Stanley Fisher, Elhanan Helpman, and Nissan Liviatan with Leora (Rubin) Meridor (editors)

Robert F. Emery

Dharam Ghai (editor)

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