Current account and external financing: an introduction
Economic analysts were surprised by the collapse of the Thai baht in July 1997. In the months that followed, most of the so-called East Asian Tigers faced severe balance-of-payments crises, and a year later, in August 1998, the Russian ruble was devalued. As a result of this succession of crises, the economics profession rethought many of its views on macroeconomic management. Lessons were drawn from the experience, and policy blueprints for avoiding future crises were developed. One of the key issues that emerged from the discussion is whether international capital markets are a source of stable and reliable financing, reacting optimally to changing global saving and investment patterns and conditions in emerging market economies, or whether they are a source of instability for these economies.