Asia Program

Fourteen Lessons from the Asian Economic Crisis

Sep 22, 1999

Recalling that President Wilson offered the nation a Fourteen Point peace program as the United States waged war in Europe in 1918, Alan Larson, the State Department's point man for economic affairs, recently offered a Wilson Center audience fourteen lessons stemming from the protracted economic crisis that has enveloped much of Asia over the past two years. Text of Larson's speech in full

Economic crisis and its accompanying political and social turmoil have dominated Asia since 1997. Longstanding assumptions about the path to sustained economic growth have been rudely pushed aside by economic forces seemingly impervious to human control. Those who once spoke confidently of the Asian miracle now question whether the region is prepared to meet the challenges of the integrated global economy.

Against this background, Larson urged us not to ignore the lessons to be learned from the economic upheavals of the past two years. But he went on to caution those in attendance not to make the opposite mistake of focusing so intently on the current crisis as to ignore changes in the global economy that guarantee that the next crisis will almost surely take a form markedly different from the present problems.

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