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Indonesian Economy

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Cracks are beginning to appear in U.S. Administration and corporate supportof the Indonesian military dictator Suharto. Calls for his ouster arerising. American officials including Defense Secretary William Cohen andDeputy Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers are converging on the South EastAsian country to meet with Suharto and to re-assess support for thislong-time U.S. ally. Suddenly the New York Times and the Washington Postare calling for him to step down. The causes for all the alarm are notstreet demonstrations or the anguished cries of imprisoned politicaldissidents, but rather the country’s faltering economy. A multi-billiondollar bailout last year by the International Monetary Fund is not workingand Suharto’s family-controlled billions of dollars worth of investmentsare now being closely examined.


  • Jeffrey Winters, Associate Professor of Political Economy at NorthwesternUniversity, and specialist in South-East Asia and Indonesia. ProfessorWinters can be reached by e-mail at

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