|Michel Camdessus at the IMF
James M. Boughton
It may be some years until a definitive assessment of Michel Camdessus's
unprecedented 13 years as Managing Director can be made. In this article, the IMF's
Historian provides a preliminary evaluation.
America and the Caribbean: Reform and Recovery
The Long Road to
Claudio M. Loser and Martine Guerguil
Most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean weathered the economic
crises of the late 1990s better than expected, thanks to the policy reforms of the past
two decades. Further reform is urgently needed, however, to put the region on a faster
growth path and reduce its vulnerability to external shocks.
Structural Reforms of the 1990s
Argentina experienced serious economic and financial difficulties in the
1980s. Hyperinflation in 1989-90 finally elicited the necessary political consensus for
reform. Despite areas of concern, structural reforms implemented in the 1990s have set
Argentina on the path to sustained growth.
Policy During the Transition to a Floating Exchange Rate: Brazil's Recent Experience
The financial crisis that erupted in Asia in 1997 quickly spread to other
developing regions, as international investors panicked and pulled their capital out. In
this article, the governor of Brazil's central bank outlines the steps Brazil took to
avert financial disaster when inflows of private foreign capital suddenly dried up.
Chile in the
1990s: Embracing Development Opportunities
A review of Chile's recent economic performance shows that, overall, the
1990s were a period of vigorous and unprecedented expansion, with average annual GDP
growth of 6.5 percent. While 1999 was a time of economic adjustment after the fallout of
the Asian crisis, Chile is now ready to resume healthy growth in 2000 and beyond.
Recent Developments, Structural Reforms, and Future Challenges
José Angel Gurría
In recent years, the Mexican government has implemented a series of
economic reforms to strengthen the country's fundamentals and increase its ability to cope
with external shocks. Because of the progress that has been made, the government is
confident that Mexico will be able to leave recent crises behind and start the new
millennium with a stable and growing economy.
Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, like other emerging markets,
have experienced banking system difficulties that have hampered growth and generated
fiscal costs as high as 10 to 20 percent of GDP and even more. Many countries have
improved their banking systems, but further reform is needed.
Nora Lustig and Omar Arias
Although Latin America and the Caribbean reduced the incidence of poverty
during the 1990s, population increases and the greater income inequalities that had
developed during the 1980s stymied the region's efforts to reduce the number of poor
people. How can its policymakers fight poverty most effectively and better protect the
poor during economic crises?
America: Adjustment and Reforms in the 1990s
Leonardo Cardemil, Juan Carlos Di Tata, and Florencia Frantischek
Following a weak performance in the 1980s, the Central American economies
experienced a turnaround in the 1990s as they adopted improved policies within a more
stable political environment. Now, how can they best maintain macroeconomic stability,
continue structural reforms, and strengthen social policies to maximize rates of economic
growth and reduce the incidence of poverty?
Andrew Berg and Eduardo Borensztein
Full dollarization of the economy is widely discussed as a way of enabling
developing countries to overcome monetary and exchange rate instability. What are the
costs and benefits of dollarizing, and which developing countries are most likely to
Is the U.S.
Current Account Deficit Sustainable?
Catherine L. Mann
The U.S. current account deficit, driven by the United States' widening
trade deficit, is the largest it has ever been, both as a share of the U.S. economy and in
dollar terms. How much longer can the United States continue to spend more than it earns
and support the resumption of global growth?
The Rise and
Fall of Albania's Pyramid Schemes
During 1996-97, Albania was convulsed by the dramatic rise and collapse of
several huge financial pyramid schemes. This article discusses the crisis and the steps
other countries can take to prevent similar disasters.
Orderly and Effective Insolvency Procedures
Insolvency laws are still viewed by many merely as mechanisms for cleaning
up economic trash. However, they play a far more important role. If effectively designed
and implemented, they can boost confidence in an economy, thereby fostering growth and
helping to prevent or resolve financial and economic crises.