IMF Admits Mistakes In Handling Of Asian Crisis

Bangkok, Nov 13: | Updated: Nov 14 2003, 05:30am hrs
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) admitted on Thursday it made mistakes in its controversial handling of the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis which put affected countries under stringent programs.

Charles Adams, assistant director of the IMF office for Asia and the Pacific, said the Fund was still nutting out where it went wrong when it stepped in with major lending programs for Thailand, South Korea and Indonesia.

I think we have acknowledged that we at the Fund did make mistakes during the Asian crisis. Not everyone agrees on exactly what the mistakes are, Mr Adams told a seminar which is part of a regional outreach project.

Some say we lent too much, some say we lent too little. Some say we imposed too tight conditions, some say the conditions werent tight enough, he said.

But I think a sort of consensus is emerging... In the context of our lending, that conditions we imposed on lending were not necessary and may not have been helpful.

As a result the body was trying to streamline future conditions, with the Fund now having to justify why conditions are imposed, while on the financing side IMF was in sort of a middle ground.

Many of us at the Fund would actually like the Fund to be able to lend more but some of our shareholders are concerned about moral hazard... So we strike a balance, he said.