Financial crises are a clear and present danger to the international monetary system. They have impoverished millions of people over the past decade in emerging markets across the world. And they have called into question the very process of financial liberalisation and globalisation. Moreover, crises show no signs of abating moving into the twenty-first century - indeed, quite the contrary.
International public policy is struggling to keep pace with these developments. This is not through a lack of effort, for this has been considerable. It reflects the fact that there is no intellectual consensus on how best to avert crises, much less resolve them. Policymakers and academics stand at a crossroads - with international capital flows speeding past on either side of them.
It was against this backdrop that the Bank of England decided to host a conference in July 2002 on "The Role of the Official and Private Sectors in Resolving International Financial Crises". This involved experts from around the world, drawn from the official sector, the private sector, emerging markets debtor countries and academe. This volume draws together in one place the main contributions from that conference.
In addition to chapter authors, many others have helped along the road. Raxita Dodia and Neil Lane at the Bank of England have done sterling work in helping pull the manuscripts together; and David Clementi and Alastair Clark helped support the project throughout. Robert Langham and Terry Clague at Routledge and Carl Gillingham at Wearset have also proved invaluable at various stages of the project. To all of those who contributed to this volume, a great many thanks.