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The Tides of Capital second edition - £10

The second edition, released late September 2017, features a revised introduction from Julia Leung

Written while Leung was a senior adviser to OMFIF, The Tides of Capital details how Asia surmounted two spells of financial crisis – in 1997-98 and 2008-09 – with economic and financial measures that are increasingly setting standards in the US and Europe. Hong Kong-born Leung has been a public servant in the financial sphere for two decades. She was executive director (external) of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and worked on crisis prevention with international financial organisations and central banks.

Her book is the first account by a senior Asian policy-maker of sometimes acrimonious financial manoeuvrings between the west and Asia. The 1997-98 unrest led to bitter policy exchanges between Asian countries and the west as the world’s de facto monetary rulers in Washington imposed draconian austerity programmes on Thailand, Indonesia, Korea and Malaysia that many Asians resented as damaging. 

Siam News, 26 January 2015 

Wall Street Journal, 27 January 2015

South China Morning Post, 10 February 2015

China Report, February 2015

South China Morning Post, 3 March 2015



Speech by Fabrizio Saccomanni at the Bank for International Settlements, 6 February 

‘Julia Leung has been at the ringside for many years, observing and analysing financial developments. She has now written a book which connects all the dots and provides a map of the new financial reality. The mistakes committed by the Asian countries in 1997 and by the core countries in the years before and since the 2008 crisis are laid out in detail.’
– Prof. Lord Meghnad Desai, Emeritus Professor of Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science; author, Rediscovery of India

‘Julia Leung, long-time Hong Kong public servant and close observer of financial markets, goes beyond normal public service rectitude by pulling no punches in describing the shortcomings in US and European economic policy that resulted in the global financial crisis. She presents Asia’s more eclectic and pragmatic approach as the way forward.’
– Prof. Barry Eichengreen, George C. Pardee & Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Political Science, University of California, Berkeley

‘Many books have been written about the global financial crisis; unfortunately, the world appears to be still learning the right lessons from the crisis and building good foundations for sustainable growth. Even in this crowded field, Julia Leung’s book is a most welcome contribution. As we seek to build a global financial system for the future, her recommendations on the pragmatic use of a diverse set of policies by Asian governments are worth serious study.’
– Dr Victor Fung, Chairman, Fung Global Institute

‘Julia Leung provides a sensible and level-headed guide for how the world may draw appropriate lessons after the global financial crisis.’
– Prof. Harold James, Professor of History and International Affairs, Princeton University

‘As a senior leader at the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Julia Leung played a key role in managing the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s and limiting damage to the economy. Her Asian perspective on the issue is stimulating. Her book examines the factors behind recurring financial crises and proposes a framework for better international co-operation to counter the danger of fresh upsets.’
– Gao Jian, former Vice Governor, China Development Bank

‘This book provides a novel and refreshing perspective on the economic and financial crisis that originated in the US. This was transmitted around the world and to Asia through the collapse of the international banking system, following the Lehman bankruptcy. The book is remarkably well informed and dispassionate and draws important lessons for future management of financial crises in Asia. The most important of these is that Asia cannot rely on the US and international institutions it created and still dominates, most notably, the IMF.’
– Prof. Dale Jorgenson, Samuel W. Morris Professor of Economics, Harvard University

‘We are living through one of the greatest power shifts, from west to east. Few understand how shrewdly the Asians have managed their affairs. Julia Leung’s book throws new light on Asian perspectives. It is a must read for those who want to understand our times.’
– Prof. Kishore Mahbubani, Dean, Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore; author, The Great Convergence: Asia, the West and the Logic of One World

‘Julia Leung’s book comes out at a most appropriate moment. The world economy is still struggling to cope with the consequences of the financial crisis. The Asian perspective that is the book’s leitmotif provides an alternative analytical formulation of how monetary and financial authorities should respond to crisis. The key argument, based on Asian economies, is that financial bubbles have to be confronted at an early stage before they generate widespread disruption to credit flows to the real economy.’
– Fabrizio Saccomanni, former Italian Finance Minister and Director-General, Banca d’Italia

‘There is a dearth of analyses of Asian and global financial markets by Asian policy-makers, who are generally very low-key and diplomatic in their critique of the current situation. Julia Leung fills this gap through an incisive, up-to-date and important analysis of how rising capital flows once again threaten Asian and global stability. Investors and policy-makers interested in Asia must read this book for its first-hand insights and balanced judgements.’
– Andrew Sheng, Chief Adviser, China Banking Regulatory Commission; former Chairman, Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission

‘Julia Leung has written a wonderful, highly readable, short book on international capital flows, on mistakes made and lessons learned in Asia on the management of the capital account, in and out of crisis mode. The Asian perspectives that she presents are crucial inputs to the creation of a stable international financial and monetary system, for many reasons, not the least of which is that Asia will dominate the global economy in the not too distant future.’
– Prof. Michael Spence, recipient, 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences; New York University

‘This well-informed book is at its best on the bold solutions and non-doctrinaire approach to macroprudential regulation and market interventions shown by some Asian governments in the Asian crisis in 1997-98. On the other hand, Julia Leung may be a bit too negative on the role of the international advice to Asia; the IMF did rely too much on fiscal consolidation, but quickly changed gear, and tight monetary policy was necessary to contain overly strong depreciation and its contractionary effects. Most Asian countries had individually learnt useful lessons, well applied after 2008: keep larger reserves and allow exchange rates to move. But the book might have commented more on whether they learnt enough collectively; mutual surveillance and minimal policy coordination still seem in short supply.’
– Prof. Niels Thygesen, Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Copenhagen

‘A western narrative has suggested that Asian countries were primarily responsible for their crisis of the late 1990s and that their “excess savings” caused the global crisis that began in 2007. As Julia Leung convincingly argues, these views are not just wrong but counterproductive. The blame game impedes international co-operation at a time when we desperately need more of it. In documenting in an even-handed way recent market failures, as well as widespread policy failures, Leung points the way to a more stable economic future, both domestically and internationally.’
– William White, Chairman, Economic and Development Review Committee, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development