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Additional resources for Fighting Financial Fires: An IMF Insider Account
Indd 20 7/15/2011 7:18:42 PM Tequila and Tesobonos 21 action and putting in place a large support package plus adequate conditionality. After some difficulties, the Mexican authorities cooperated well with the Fund and stuck to its policy conditions. In the parlance of the day, Mexican ownership of its program with the IMF was high. These factors combined to bring about a relatively swift resolution of the crisis. Its aftermath was characterized by rapid economic recovery, sustainable monetary and fiscal policies, a floating exchange rate, and a much stronger banking system.
The IMF gets involved On October 31, 1997 the IMF negotiators reached an agreement with their Indonesian counterparts on a comprehensive economic program and a large financial support package. The IMF was to put up $10 billion and the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank pledged $8 billion between them, an unusually large amount for balance of payments support by development banks. In addition, a number of Indonesia’s allies, which included Japan, the United States, Australia, Malaysia, and Singapore, were to provide up to $18 billion in case the money from the multilateral institutions proved to be insufficient.
Not all lessons were heeded. The lesson on moral hazard was the least respected, particularly the role of the private sector, which hardly changed its international lending and investment behavior. Other lessons were better taken to heart, but as new crises emerged these were quickly abandoned. Established attitudes and practices are usually not changed easily, whether due to political reasons, recognition lags, or inertia. But, as one crisis followed another after 1995, new practices did emerge and a number of improvements were made in what became known as the international financial architecture.