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IMF Struggles to Shake Off Stigma 20 Years After Asia Crisis

  • Doctrine of austerity and painful reforms left deep scars
  • Critics say the IMF responded differently to Europe’s crisis

It’s a photo that still haunts the International Monetary Fund.

In 1998, as a financial crisis raged across Asia, then IMF Managing Director Michel Camdessus was snapped as he stood with arms folded watching Indonesian President Suharto sign an unpopular bailout agreement that demanded steep spending cuts and painful reforms.