NBER Reporter: Spring 2001


The sixth in a series of country-specific meetings of the NBER Project on Economic and Financial Crises in Emerging Market Countries, directed by NBER President Martin Feldstein and Research Associate Jeffrey A. Frankel, both of Harvard University, took place in Cambridge on February 16. This gathering focused on Malaysia and was organized by Frankel, Dani Rodrik, NBER and Kennedy School of Goverment, and Wing Thye Woo, University of California, Davis. Like earlier NBER meetings on Mexico, Thailand, Brazil, Korea, and Indonesia, this occasion brought together academics, individuals representing the country, international bankers, and government officials in the hopes of developing an in-depth understanding of Malaysia's economic situation.

The day-long meeting was divided into four sessions. In Session 1, a panel consisting of Jomo Kwame Sundaram, University of Malaya, Dwight Perkins, Harvard University, Homi Kharas, the World Bank, and Woo discussed the exchange rate situation in Malaysia prior to mid-1997.

In Session 2, the experts discussed the currency contagion that occurred between July 1997 and August 1998. The panelists were Lin See Yan, LIN Associates, formerly of the Reserve Bank of Malaysia; Anoop Singh, International Monetary Fund; Edwin Truman, Institute for International Economics and formerly of the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve System; and Takatoshi Ito, an NBER Research Associate on leave at the Ministry of Finance of Japan.

In Session 3, panelists Nor Mohd Yakop, the Malaysian Prime Minister's Department, Rodrik, Caroline Atkinson, Council on Foreign Relations and formerly of the U.S. Treasury, and Yung Chul Park, Korea University, considered the consequences of imposition of controls on capital outflows in September 1998.

In the fourth session, Yusuke Horiguchi, International Monetary Fund, Zainal Aznam, Institute of Strategic and International Studies, David Malpass, Bear Sterns Co., and Peter Garber, DeutscheBank Morgan Grenfell, discussed the aftermath of controls in 1999-2000 and the current outlook.

A summary of the other meetings appears on the NBER's web site here. A summary of this meeting will also be provided at that site.

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