Benn Steil

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Shrinking Reserves

by
January 5, 2009

The experience of the 1997-98 East Asian crisis encouraged many developing countries to accumulate vast sums of foreign exchange reserves in order to self-insure against future crises. As our chart indicates, as of the end of November, emerging market countries were burning through these reserves. This crisis will put to test previous thoughts about necessary reserve levels and the efficacy of self-insurance.

Economist: Shrinking Cushion
Economist: Russia’s Economy-The Flight from the Rouble
Jung-a: S. Korea Reserves Fall as Won Weakens
Subramanian: Self-insurance-The Debate India Must Have
Mallaby: Supersize the IMF

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