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Did South-East Asia Learn the Right Lessons from the 1997-98 Financial Crisis?

As the world struggles to cope with the ongoing macro-financial crisis from 2008, this lecture reflects on the contemporary implications of drawing policy lessons from the 1997-98 East Asian regional financial crisis.

After considering the origins of the earlier regional crisis, different perspectives on the crisis and subsequent policy reforms are reviewed.

While the IMF and its policy conditionalities and advice were subsequently viewed critically and the impetus for regional monetary co-operation began in the first few years after the 1997-98 crisis, this soon gave way to further financial liberalization at both the national and international levels.

Thus, with some notable exceptions, South-East Asia rejoined the trend towards greater international financial integration and the shared prosperity it seemed to offer, but is therefore also vulnerable to its unraveling with the global macro-financial crisis which has picked up steam in the second half of 2008.