IMF TO THE RESCUE

AS EAST ASIA SINKS FURTHER INTO ECONOMIC QUICKSAND, THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND IS SWOOPING IN WITH MONEY AND ADVICE. BUT IS THE IMF, WHOSE BIGGEST DONOR IS THE U.S., THE PERFECT ACTION HERO, OR W

Over the centuries, Korea has seen its share of expeditionary forces. They used to come in on sailing vessels and troopships. In the past two weeks they arrived by commercial airliners--a bunch of innocuous number crunchers from the International Monetary Fund. This particular force had been invited in by the South Koreans, though not without a good deal of misgiving. Just a few weeks before they arrived, Seoul had been calling the idea of an IMF rescue unthinkable. Now the unthinkable is fully under way, and the fund's inspectors have become supervisors of the world's 11th largest economy.

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