This book contains 16 essays, most previously published, on Fischer's substantive concerns and judgments during his stint as first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund from 1994 to 2001. Each is accompanied by an introduction that sets the context and updates as necessary. The closely reasoned essays, all but a few of which are accessible to nonspecialists, reflect Fischer's strong academic background, his prior experience at the World Bank, and his thorough knowledge of economic research. They cover topics ranging from the Asian financial crises and the role of the IMF in the world economy to capital-market liberalization, exchange-rate policies, and the costs (and occasional benefits) of inflation. Not surprisingly, Fischer is an enthusiastic supporter of the IMF, not only as a lender in periods of financial stress (its most visible role), but also as a source of technical assistance to member countries and as a forum for intergovernmental collaboration on finance and other matters of tremendous importance to all open economies.
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