The floor of the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange in Buenos Aires, Argentina, September 2018
Marcos Brindicci / REUTERS

Emerging markets had a bumpy 2018. Over the summer, Argentina and Turkey saw their currencies fall sharply as their economies ran into trouble. Argentina had to turn to the International Monetary Fund for a $57 billion loan. Commentators sharpened their pencils, ready to draw parallels with the wave of financial crises that swept over emerging markets in the late 1990s.

Yet most emerging-market economies came through the summer’s turbulence more or less unscathed. That is largely thanks to big improvements in economic and financial management since the last major wave of crises in the 1990s. Most countries that succumbed to crises

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