When this project began in 1977, the consequences for Latin America offoreign
bank lending-accompanied by international economic advisers, institutions,
and models-loomed as a topic of rising importance. Today, the resulting debt
crisis permeates hemispheric concerns. Many of the issues and debates evoke
parallels with the previous boom and bust that occurred from World War I
through the Great Depression.
The phenomenon of "money doctoring" has a long pedigree. Time and
again, external economic consultants and supervisers have played a crucial role
in Latin America's financial development. They have been particularly signifi-
cant in the accumulation, management, and impact of foreign loans. Yesterday
as today, money doctors have helped local political forces reform and restruc-
ture their economies to respond to foreign investments. As intermediaries, these
advisers and monitors have also enhanced access and security for those foreign
investors. A rare opportunity to explore the origins, patterns, and dynamics of
those inter-American fmancial relations was presented by the missions of Edwin
Walter Kemmerer to the Andean countries. The so-called "Money Doctor"
supplied many of the services that were assigned to international agencies after
World War II.
Following his footsteps took as long as the original missions. Although
scant secondary studies existed, the primary materials turned out to be volu-
minous. The extensive paper trail stretched from Princeton through Wash-
ington, D.C., to the five Andean nations. In many cases, especially in Ecuador
and Bolivia, very few scholarly analyses of the 1920S and 1930S were available.
The historical context of the period had to be pieced together before the role of
external forces could be assessed. Consequently, I learned a great deal not only
about U.S. technocrats abroad but also about the Andean republics, as I hope
my readers will.