Money: The Financial Olympics

Tokyo's imaginative headline writers called it Okane no Saiten—the Festival of Money. Some Japanese authorities considered it more important than the Olympics in adding luster to Japan's image, and Prime Minister Ikeda came to speak to the opening session. When the International Monetary Fund met last week in Tokyo, the gathering in the elegant Hotel Okura was the greatest in the city's history, a financial Olympiad for 2,000 mental gymnasts from 102 nations.

Eager to impress, the Japanese plied the bankers with No plays, Koto recitals, Bunraku puppet shows, trips to the...

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