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The Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF) holds more than $40 billion that is at the disposal of the US secretary of the Treasury for use in foreign exchange intervention and international financial support operations. Its use in the Mexican rescue package of 1995 brought the ESF into the public spotlight for the first time in recent years, and it has been deployed in several Asian crisis countries as well. Its availability for such packages and its total control by the Treasury secretary have therefore become very controversial. Randall Henning's study maintains that the Fund is an important element of US foreign policy and economic policy and that it should remain under the exclusive control of the Treasury, but that Congress should exercise effective steady oversight. Henning also covers the legislative history of the ESF and outlines the principles by which the Fund should be administered.
About the Author:
C. Randall Henning, Visiting Fellow, is Associate Professor at the School of International Service, American University. He is coauthor of Global Economic Leadership and the Group of Seven (1996) with C. Fred Bergsten, coeditor of Reviving the European Union (1994), coauthor of Dollar Politics: Exchange Rate Policymaking in the United States (1989) and Can Nations Agree? Issues in International Economic Cooperation (1989), and author of Cooperating with Europe's Monetary Union (1997), Currencies and Politics in the United States, Germany, and Japan (1994) and Macroeconomic Diplomacy in the 1980s: Domestic Politics and International Conflict Among the United States, Japan, and Europe (1987).
Overview and Rationales
(I) Capsule History
(II) Financial Performance and Profile
(III) Position in U.S. Government
(IV) Mexican Peso Crisis of 1995 and Aftermath
(V) Global Financial Crisis
(VI) Conclusions and Recommendations