A topical insider view of causes and consequences of financial crises since the Mexican collapse of 1995. The book includes a detailed exploration of recent and ongoing firestorms, including the near meltdown of the global financial system and the euro crisis and suggests ways to save the international financial and monetary system.
Onno de Beaufort Wijnholds
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I like this book. It is comprehensive but succinct, factual but never dry, analytical but not clinical. The coverage is both broad and deep. It discusses the key financial crises since WWII, from the end of the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates to the global firestorm (correctly identified as beginning in August 2007) and the crises in Europe and efforts to deal with it. It devotes separate chapters to the major emerging market economy crises in Mexico, Asia, Korea, Russia, Brazil, Argentina and Turkey, of which the author clearly has first hand experience on the IMF Executive Board. Despite this affiliation, he does not shy away from criticising the IMF when it lost its way or made the wrong call. To wrap up he offers suggestions for improving the functioning of the international financial and monetary system, including a greater role for the SDR, which may not meet with the widest approval but deserve serious consideration nonetheless...
This book provides a detailed first-hand account of major economic and political events that shaped the world since 1995, seen through the eyes of a former Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It contains interesting details on matters which would otherwise not see the light of day or only after another 10 years or so (when the history of the IMF is written officially and Board deliberations become public). It is an interesting read for anyone interested in great economic debates of our modern times and the ensuing controversies. It is written in plain language, so it is accessible for a broad readership.
The book not only offers a recount of the events as they unfolded, but also an assessment of what is currently going wrong and proposes some solutions (including the creation of a mechanism to diversify currencies, calling for early help from the IMF (instead of waiting until too much damage is done, as is sadly the case in reality), calling for...
This book fills a gap in the literature on international financial crisis management. It has been written by an IMF insider which apparently is the first time this has happened, making the book an authentic account of financial crises since Mexico got into trouble in 1995. The author affects a writing style that resembles that encountered in The Economist which makes his book more accessible than most other efforts in this field. It strength lies particularly in its focus on decision making in the IMF and the role of its major shareholders. Fighting Financial Fires provides a good example of how to incorporate political economy in a financial subject.
Dr. Wijnholds' chapter on the ongoing European crisis makes interesting reading but will need updating when the Greek marathon comes to a finish. This is of course the risk an author takes when writing about current events. The final chapter (11!) titled Saving the System attempts to look further ahead and...
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