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We Had a Chance

We Had a Chance
Thirteen Years at the Helm of the IMF

First Edition

September 2017 | 328 pages | SAGE India

As Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund from January 1987 to February 2000, Michel Camdessus spent thirteen turbulent years among the powerful of this world, when history completely changed. Constantly running around the globe, he fought global financial imbalances, tried to reconcile financial orthodoxy with solidarity, supported the transition of the former USSR, canceled the debts of the poorest countries and tackled the crises which threatened the stability of the global economy.

The pages that he is proposing here are not his memoirs in the traditional sense. This is a compelling narrative without cliché about his meetings, at the heart of crises, with the leaders who were running the world. From Boris Yeltsin to Bill Clinton, from Margaret Thatcher to Mobutu, from Suharto to Pope John Paul II, as well as Jacques Chirac, François Mitterrand and many others, he returns to the toughness of these head-to-heads.

These encounters are all portraits of a challenging truth. Along the way, he outlines with clarity the role, function, influence, and sometimes powerlessness of an indispensable institution.

Thursday, 18 December, 1986 – An Unlikely Election
The Last Devaluation of the Franc
I: Fall of the Wall – Transition in the East
9 November, 1989 – The Berliners Destroy the Wall
An Empire Collapses
USSR: The Union Disintegrates
Boris Yeltsin’s Russia
Ukraine, Independent at Last?
Thirteen Fragments of Empire Let Loose
II: Third World Debt and Development at a Standstill
Winter 1987 – Reconnaissance
What Can Be Done for the Poorest Nations?
From Crisis to Crisis, Reforms in Africa
Mandela and De Klerk – Two Men, One Pardon
Franc Zone: Devaluating for Renewal
From Summit to Summit, From Cooperation to Partnership
The Debt
Latin America on the Move
Towards the Complex Orient
III: Some Mid-way Thoughts
Broadening the Way We Look at the Problems of Poverty
Reopening Systemic Reforms
IV: The First Crises of the 21st Century
Mexico, 20 December, 1994 – First Day of a New Century
Asia: From an Awakening to Turmoil
Asia on the Edge of the Storm
1996–2000 – The 21st Century Was Underway in Moscow
V: Defining a New Structure for the System
Learning from the Crisis
Going Further
Passing on a Mission
Multilateralism, the Warmth of Humankind, and Fellowship

“An unparalleled testimony,”

Kofi Annan

Michel Camdessus

Born in 1933 in Bayonne, and a former student of the École nationale d'administration, Michel Camdessus was Director of the Treasury, then governor of the Banque de France. In recent years, he has chaired various working groups in France and abroad, including the Semaine sociales de France from 2001 to 2007. More About Author

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