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Twenty-five years ago, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) rammed the incorrect medication down the throats of East Asian countries suffering from a lack of foreign currency. Countries such as Indonesia were thrown into a state of near-collapse.
Having learned their bitter lesson the hard way, regional players have pledged “never again” and have amassed vast amounts of foreign currency reserves. President Lyndon Johnson weaponized wheat supplies to a famine-stricken India three decades earlier because New Delhi had the nerve to express opposition to US operations in Vietnam, even though the country was supplicant. “Never again,” Indira Gandhi said emphatically.