No Precedent, No Plan: Inside Russia's 1998 Default

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MIT Press, 2010 - Business & Economics - 331 pages
"In 1998, President Boris Yeltsin's government defaulted on its domestic debt and Russia experienced a financial meltdown that brought it to the brink of disaster. In No Precedent, No plan, Martin Gilman offers an insider's view of Russia's financial crisis. As the International Monetary Fund's senior person in Moscow, Gilman was in the eye of the storm. Russia's policy response to the economic collapse stemming from the disintegration of the Soviet Union was chaotic. Fiscal deficits loomed in anticipation of future budget revenue that never seemed to materialize---despite repeated promises to the IMF. The rapid buildup of sovereign debt would have challenged even a competent government. In the new Russia, with its barely functioning government and no consensus on the path toward democratic and economic transformation, domestic politics trumped economic common sense." "Gilman argues that the debt default, although avoidable, actually spurred Russia to integrate its economy with the rest of the world. In analyzing the ordeal of the 1998 crisis, Gilman suggests that the IMF helped Russia avoid an even greater catastrophe. He details the IMF's involvement and underscores the unique challenge that Russia presented to the IMF. There really was no precedent, even if economist Joseph Stiglitz and others argued otherwise. In recounting Russia's emergence from the IMF's tutelage, Gilman explains how the shell-shocked Russian public turned to Vladimir Putin in search of stability after the trauma of 1998. And although Russia's own prospects are favorable, Gilman expresses concern that the 1998 Russian default could serve as an unfortunate precedent for sovereign defaults in the future with the IMF once again playing a similar role." "No Precedent, No Plan offers a definitive account---the first from an insider's perspective---of Russia's painful transition to a market economy."--BOOK JACKET.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 Russia and the IMF
15
2 Growing IMF Involvement
39
3 Russia Seems to Be Turning a Corner
63
4 Hope Disappointed
101
5 How a Possible Crisis Becomes Probable
137
6 How a Probable Crisis Then Becomes Unavoidable
173
7 The Surprising Postcrisis Recovery
207
9 The Legacy of the Crisis
255
10 History Is Not Doomed to Repeat Itself
277
Appendix I
293
Appendix II
299
Appendix III
305
Notes
309
References
315
Index
321

8 The Friendly Divorce
237

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About the author (2010)

Martin Gilman, with the International Monetary Fund from 1981 to 2005, was the IMF's senior representative in Moscow during Russia's period of default and rebuilding. Currently Professor of Economics at Russia's Higher School of Economics, he lives in Moscow with his wife, the distinguished Russian journalist Tatiana Malkina, and their two children.

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