The Chastening: Inside The Crisis That Rocked The Global Financial System And Humbled The Imf / Edition 1

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Lauded by reviewers and scholars alike, Paul Blustein's The Chastening examines the role of the International Monetary Fund in the series of economic crises that rocked the globe in the last decade. Based on hundreds of interviews with officials at the IMF, the World Bank, the U.S. Treasury, the Federal Reserve, the White House, and many foreign governments, The Chastening offers a behind-the-scenes look at the Fund during an extraordinarily turbulent period in modern economic history and at a time when the IMF has become the object of intense political controversy.

While the IMF and its overseers at the Treasury and the Fed have sought to cultivate an image of economic masterminds coolly dispensing effective economic remedies, the reality is that as markets were sinking and defaults looming, the guardians of global financial stability were often floundering, improvising, and feuding among themselves. The Chastening casts serious doubt on the IMF's ability to combat of investor panics at a time when massive flows of money traverse borders and oceans.

A readable, compelling account of the deeply flawed workings of the international political system, The Chastening is vital reading for students and scholars of international diplomacy, government, and economic and public policy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Wall Street Journal, April 18, 2002
“Gets way behind the headlines to bring us a clear and lively story, crammed with anecdotes and background...a superbly reported and skillfully woven story documenting an incredible number of costly and dangerous IMF mistakes.”

The Economist, May 4, 2002
"Gripping, often frightening...should be read by anyone wanting to understand, from the inside, how the international financial system really works."

Financial Times, December 2, 2001
“Paul Blustein has achieved the improbable: he has written a riveting thriller about the International Monetary Fund.”

New York Times Book Review, February 17, 2002
“…Blustein tells the story [of the Asian financial crisis] with admirable aplomb…[He] demonstrates with an overwhelming wealth of anecdotal detail …The book is thoroughly sensible.”

New York Review of Books
“A fascinating story that is a model of investigative journalism.”

Alan Cowell, New York Times Sunday Business Section, October 14, 2001
“Mr. Blustein follows this crisis from Asia to Latin America with a storyteller’s eye for dialogue and details.”

Foreign Affairs
“Applies the craft of great storytelling to a highly deserving subject that is normally the province of technocrats...skillful investigative journalism.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781586481810
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 5/8/2003
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 815,577
  • Product dimensions: 1.01 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Blustein, a staff writer at the Washington Post, has covered business and economic issues for more than twenty years. He served as a correspondent in Asia for the newspaper from 1990 to 1995. His work has won several prizes, including business journalism's most prestigious, the Gerald Loeb Award.
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Table of Contents

Author's Note and Acknowledgments
1 The Committee to Save the World 1
2 Opening the Spigot 19
3 Winnie the Pooh and the Big Secret 51
4 Malignancy 85
5 Sleepless in Seoul 117
6 The Naysayers 151
7 The Bosun's Mate 175
8 Down the Tubes 207
9 Getting to Nyet 235
10 The Balance of Risks 279
11 Plumbing the Depths 305
12 Stumbling Out 337
13 Cooling Off 371
Notes 393
Index 426
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