Explains the logic of the book, how it is thematic, rather than
chronological, and attempts to explore the concept and practice of thrift
via influential characters and specific eras in which it has proved a
particularly potent concept. Sets up the difference between the early
meaning of thrift as thriving, and its later meaning of frugality. Briefly
explores the implications of this shift from ethical concerns about the
human condition, to more pragmatic concerns about human habits.
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book presents the case studies of the individual countries: Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea and the People's Republic of China (PRC). It examines the factors behind the financial crisis and highlights the underlying similarities and the fundamental differences between the individual cases. The book provides a review of the competing perspectives on the new international financial architecture. It explains a number of fundamental issues and its implications for the emerging market economies. The book also presents a more nuanced picture of the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) policies and its socioeconomic impact. It assesses the IMF's efforts to reduce moral hazard. The book also examines the reasons behind Asia's remarkable economic recovery and the challenges that lie ahead.