What To Do About Asia

The global economy may take a major hit unless the U.S., Japan, and Europe coordinate a coherent response

It was the budget speech heard around the world. In early January, Indonesian President Suharto outlined ambitious spending plans that defied moves demanded by the International Monetary Fund in return for a $43 billion bailout loan. To panicked financial markets, it seemed Suharto and other Asian leaders were losing the will to tackle their countries' urgent problems. Frantic calls from Bill Clinton, Helmut Kohl, and Ryutaro Hashimoto ensued. Then came a diplomatic SWAT team from Washington, followed by the head of the IMF to talk sense into an aging dictator.

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