Prior to the onset of the economic crisis in East Asia in 1997, there were few doubts about the power of globalization to bring rapid economic benefits to countries with open trade and investment systems. The crisis in East Asia has changed all this. In some ways it can be thought of as the crisis caused by globalization-specifically, by the ease and speed at which money can be transacted. Other negative images of globalization have emerged recently, and in some quarters globalization is being damned as loudly as it was once being praised. The truth probably lies between these two extremes. Globalization may bring greater efficiency in resource allocation. However, it can also change the distributive patterns of society, so that the welfare losses of some exceed the welfare gains of others. Other detrimental effects include environmental damage or degradation.