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PacNet #15 – Asian Crisis Is Cultural As Well As Economic

‘He came clean,” was “disarmingly frank,” “told it like it is.” Admirable qualities to Americans, but uncomfortable ones in much of Asia where indirectness is an art, public embarrassments are to be avoided, and dirty laundry isn’t aired in public. Yet in efforts to restore economic confidence and jump-start recovery in the wake of the Asian financial crisis, the International Monetary Fund insists on “transparency” – complete information available on all financial dealings. Not only are Western experts demanding this, but Asians, too, who know how hard it will be.