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Only serious reforms can save emerging economies now

A decade ago, it became fashionable to proclaim that emerging market economies had "decoupled" from the global economy and were forging ahead inexorably under their own steam. Then came the great crash of 2008 and another idea took hold: that emerging nations were the locomotives that would haul the rest of the world out of recession.

     Today, that notion looks as fanciful as the earlier one. Instead of advancing boldly toward a bright new tomorrow, emerging countries face economic storm clouds on every front: sharply slowing growth -- and in some cases stagnation -- weak exports, heavy debt, capital flight, depreciating currencies, shrinking foreign exchange reserves and loss of confidence among international investors.

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