INDONESIA: Desperate but Not Serious

In cities throughout Indonesia, housewives defied a police ban on demonstrations to march on government offices; in Djakarta, students and trade-union deputations presented petitions of protest. Reason: within seven days, the price of rice had doubled and the cost of cooking fuel had shot up 61% as Indonesia's rupiah plunged unchecked. In less than two months the rupiah (officially 45 to the dollar) had fallen from 150 to a record low of 500. Adding twirls to the inflationary spiral were the 2,500,000 Overseas Chinese who have been banned since Jan. 1 from doing business in rural areas. Packing...

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