This introductory chapter begins with a brief discussion of the growth in private capital flows between nations since the 1960s. It suggests that in light of the financial crises taking place in Asia and other countries over the past several years, where the behavior of private capital flows was deemed by most to be an important part of the story of crises, understanding the macroeconomic impact of capital flows and their behavior has become a central concern of policy makers everywhere. This volume addresses issues pertinent to understanding the macroeconomic dimensions of capital flows, the origins of the 1990s-style crises, the linkages between the foreign exchange variables and the financial variables, and the key questions associated with efforts to solve the crises. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
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