November 15, 2001 This article summarizes the proceedings of an international research conference hosted by the Bank of Canada in November 2000. The conference marked the fiftieth anniversary of Canada's adoption of a flexible exchange rate, and its title recognizes the seminal contribution of Professor Milton Friedman's article "The Case for Flexible Exchange Rates." His keynote address to the conference is also summarized in the article. The conference papers re-examine many of the arguments raised by Friedman using recent developments in economic theory and econometric techniques. They investigate the experience of a wide range of industrialized and emerging-market economies. The main findings are that a strong case can be made for flexible exchange rates in economies that are large commodity exporters and that have credible low-inflation monetary policies and relatively well-developed financial systems.
May 17, 2001 This article examines the efforts of the major advanced countries to strengthen the international financial system in order to avoid financial crises such as those that occurred in emerging-market economies in the 1990s. These efforts have focused on crisis prevention and crisis management. The prevention of such crises has necessitated the formation of new international groups that include emerging markets in their membership. Measures have also been taken to reduce the vulnerability of countries to such crises. These measures have centered on the need for appropriate macroeconomic policies, including the need for sustainable exchange rate regimes, sound domestic financial systems, and prudent risk management. In the area of crisis management, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been given access to additional resources for lending to countries that experience financial crises. The IMF has also established new lending facilities for use in such circumstances. It has also been agreed that the private sector will need to play a greater role in the management of such crises in the future.