In the late 1980s, the U.S. had been running huge deficits amounting to trillions of dollars. When the Cold War was coming to an end, there was increasing debate about the Marshall Plan in Eastern Europe at the same time that a ‘dark cloud’ of economic issues was hovering over the region. It became clear by 1992 that there would be no Marshall Plan in Eastern Europe, and while Western governments were applying disorganized solutions, the EastWest Institute was filling high-level gaps and figuring out the most efficient ways to see returns on investments.
One of these solutions was to open an EWI Banking and Financial Assistance Centre in Budapest—which brought bankers from the East and West together to find meaningful solutions and reform financial infrastructure in Eastern Europe. In support, EWI’s Warsaw Centre worked to identify the program’s strengths and weaknesses in order to influence policy and improve Western aid.
EWI together with Harvard Business School later created a case study of successes and failures of the project, which are commonly used by regional policy makers in Eastern Europe.
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