About this Issue
Bankers, economists and political leaders are worried about the stability of the international financial system. Reports in trade journals, financial periodicals and banking newsletters are growing increasingly pessimistic about the ability of the giant international banks-Citibank, Chase Manhattan, Bank of America and a handful of others-to continue their dominant role in the world economy.
This month, Multinational Monitor explores the current state of world financial markets. The issues here are complex, the numbers often astronomical. Indeed, many observers disagree over the most accurate measure of Third World indebtedness and commercial bank exposure in developing countries. By and large, the articles in this issue rely on data supplied by the banks themselves, as well as multilateral agencies such as the World Bank.
Our examination of international lending begins with an overview `piece, setting out the range of issues now being discussed in Congress, behind the closed doors of the Federal Reserve, and in the offices of Third World leaders. Y he overview presents bankers' assessments of the current situation, as well as the opinions of a number of critics of commercial lending.
In the rest of the section, we have assembled the views of a collection of specialists on international finance and development. U.S. Congressman Jim Leach has been at the vanguard of government efforts to regulate international lending, while Cheryl Payer's work has initiated a heated debate over the role of the International Monetary Fund in the Third World.
In our interviews, we solicited the thoughts of two leading banking experts with similar backgrounds but sharply distinct opinions. Irving Friedman and Michael Hudson are recognized internationally as insightful, provocative and, above all, controversial observers of and participants in the world of development finance.
We believe the publication of this thematic issue marks a new phase of. the magazine's growth. We urge our readers to offer their criticisms on the issue as well as suggestions for the subjects of future thematic approaches.
Troubled Waters: Multinational Banking and the Third World
Commercial Banks and the IMF: An Uneasy Alliance
Regulate the Euromarket
Iran's Natural Gas Connection
China Sets Its Course
Future Bright for Lending
Breaking Third World Dependence