All Those Years Ago, or, how it feels to be a superpower

I was reading Paul Blustein's The Chastening, his book on the Asian financial crisis published in 2001, and came across the following passage:

"How does it feel to be a superpower?" Timothy Geithner, the U.S. Treasury's assistant secretary for international affairs, whispered jokingly to Eisuke Sakakibara, the Japanese vice minister of finance…Japan [with the bailout of Thailand] now was eager to show that it could take care of its Asian neighbors the same way Washington had helped its most important neighbor in Latin America [Mexico]…The lighthearted comment by Geithner masked an underlying tension between the United States and Japan that would intensify in the coming weeks as the crisis unfolded.  Washington wasn't adding a penny to the Thai package…in part because they feared the IMF's central role in crisis-fighting might be undermined.


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