IMF Essays from a Time of Crisis
The International Financial System, Stabilization, and Development
528 pp., 6 x 9 in, 41 illus.
- Published: November 21, 2003
- Published: August 12, 2005
Stanley Fischer served as First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund from 1994 to 2001. IMF Essays from a Time of Crisis collects sixteen essays written for the most part during his time at the IMF, each updated with Fischer's later reflections on the issues raised. The IMF drew much criticism for some of its actions during Fischer's tenure, and he vigorously defends the "battlefield medicine" practiced by the IMF during a series of economic crises, which included the problems of economic transition in the former Soviet bloc and the Asian financial crisis. Fischer addresses the subsequent calls for reform of the international financial system and makes the case for the IMF as an international lender of last resort.
The first section of essays, "The Role of the IMF and the Reform of the International Financial System," considers the IMF's role in the international financial system in light of the crises of the 1990s. The second section, "Macroeconomic Policy, Stabilization, and Transition," examines such topics as exchange rate regimes, inflation, and Eastern Europe's relation to the European Union. The final section, "Poverty and Development," reflects Fischer's basic belief that economic policies should explicitly target poverty reduction. These engaging and accessible essays will appeal not only to economics students, economists, and policymakers but also to the general reader interested in the international monetary system.
A deeply thoughtful and engaging collection of essays from a justly celebrated academic economist and policymaker who, for seven years as No. 2 at the International Monetary Fund, flew into the eye of the greatest international financial storms of the modern era.
Kenneth S. Rogoff, Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for International Development, Harvard University
One has trouble thinking of another economist–at least, since Keynes!–who has done as well as Stan Fischer at combining analytical skill, good policy sense, clear expression, selfless dedication toward making the world a better place, and the ability to get everything done, and with imperturbable good humor as well. This book considers the important macroeconomic issues that faced him as No. 2 at the IMF. The aim is to get at the best available answers to these questions, rather than to participate in a trumped-up and simplistic public debate over whether or not the IMF and globalization are truly evil.
Jeffrey Frankel, Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
This new volume by one of the world's leading economists contains both enormous breadth of topical coverage and unparalleled depth of substantive insight. It is nothing short of amazing that Dr. Fischer could write such penetrating, indeed path-breaking, analyses while simultaneously managing much of the world economy from his top post at the IMF. This is surely one of the finest collections of essays ever published.
C. Fred Bergsten, Director, Institute for International Economics
While serving as First Deputy Managing Director of the IMF during some of the busiest years in its history, Stanley Fischer found time to write sixteen superb papers. Those who have read some of them will profit from rereading them, and they should read the rest—as well as the new introductions in which Fischer explains why each paper was written and, in some instances, how his views have changed.
Peter Kenen, Professor of Economics and International Finance, Princeton University
The reader finds a top-notch economist working on the major problems of economic stability and development. The book is the best available guide to the logic and practice that guided the IMF through the turbulent 1990s.
Allan H. Meltzer, The Allan H. Meltzer Professor of Political Economy, Carnegie Mellon University, Visiting Scholar, American Enterprise Institute