What has caused the current crisis?

Commentary by Rolf Englund: Bullshit! Does he not miss the essential point? That the overlending was made in the false belief that the so-called fixed exchange rates, that Thailand, South Korea et al have had, and Brazil still has, should prevail.

When the fixed exchange rate collapses the loans made to build office buildings and other assets becomes higher in the local currency. The borrower faces ruin. The lender will lose money. If IMF et consortes "bails out Brazil" who will be rescued in the first place - the reckless lender.

Robert Rubin - - formerly at Goldman Sachs

More bullshit from Mr Clintons speach:

A half century ago, a visionary generation of leaders gathered at Bretton Woods to build a new economy to serve the citizens of every nation. In one of his last messages to Congress, President Franklin Roosevelt said that the creation of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and I quote, "spell the difference between a world caught again in the maelstrom of panic and economic warfare or a world in which nations strive for a better life through mutual trust, cooperation and assistance."

The Bretton Woods generation built a platform for prosperity that has lasted down to the present day. Economic freedom and political liberty have spread across the globe. Since 1945, global trade has grown fifteenfold. Since 1970 alone, infant mortality in the poorest countries is down by 40 percent. Access to safe drinking water has tripled. Life expectancy has increased dramatically. Even now, despite the difficulties of recent days, per capita incomes in Korea and Thailand are 60 percent higher than they were a decade ago. A truly global market economy has lifted the lives of billions of people.

But as we are all acutely aware, today the world faces perhaps its most serious financial crisis in half a century. The gains of global economic exchange have been real and dramatic. But when tides of capital first flood emerging markets then suddenly withdraw, when bank failures and bankruptcies grip entire economies, when millions in Asia who have worked their way into the middle class suddenly are plunged into poverty, when nations half a world apart face the same crisis at the same time, it is time for decisive action.

I am confident that if we act together, we can end the present crisis. We must take urgent steps to help those who have been hurt by it, to limit the reach of it, and to restore growth and confidence to the world economy. But even when the current crisis subsides, that will not be enough. The global economy simply cannot live with the kinds of vast and systemic disruptions that have occurred over the past year.

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