Meltzer speaks

Speaking from the CSFB Asian Investment Conference this week, Allan Meltzer ? the Carnegie Mellon Professor and head of the US Congress-appointed Meltzer Commission ? shares his views on the IMF, Larry Summers and Japan.

Q In your debate on Tuesday with Larry Summers, you said the IMF was a slush fund for US foreign policy objectives.  Do you think that if Thailand had been strategically important to the US, the IMF would have stepped in to bail out Thailand in 1997 And that there might then have been no Asian crisis

A Thats right, there might not have been an Asian crisis. We dont know what would have happened. But it is a reasonable bet that if Thailand had a stronger relationship with the US, it would have had assistance faster. It really spread to Korea, and the banking system in Korea...

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