International transactions in the 1990s were characterized by an enormous expansion of capital transactions, far beyond current transactions, across developing and industrial economies (IMF, 1999a). For industrial economies, cross-border transactions in portfolio investments such as equity and bonds rose from 70 per cent of GDP to 240 per cent during the period of 1990-6, while the ratio of exports and imports to GDP remained a little less than 50 per cent during the decade before 1996. The same can be said for developing economies, in that the increase in capital transactions tended to exceed the increase in current ones. The annual average increase in exports of those economies was a little less than US$100 billion during the decade before 1997, while net capital inflows amounted to US$150 billion annually during 1991 through 1996.