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Release: Immediate

UI law students produce "electronic handbook" on international finance

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa law students are hoping that a new "electronic handbook" that they have developed will help explain the complex, yet important, world of international finance and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to people without advanced degrees or years of study.

The students, who have spent the past academic year in an in-depth seminar on international finance, will unveil their "e-book," entitled "Global Money, the Good Life and You," during a presentation from 9 a.m. to noon Friday, April 17 in the Levitt Auditorium of the Boyd Law Building.

The presentation is free and open to the public.

The address for the "e-book" will be:

The "e-book" is the result of a collaboration among students who took a year-long seminar under the direction of Enrique R. Carrasco, professor of law and an expert on international finance.

The electronic handbook is a collection of materials produced by the students and organized through the computer network of the World Wide Web.

The e-book is divided into three main sections: part one provides an introduction to issues of international development; part two focuses on development in the 1990s; and part three covers how the IMF and the World Bank affect the global economy with a special emphasis on the Asian currency crisis which began last fall.

Instead of footnotes, users follow links to explanations of terms and concepts used in the student papers. The links also provide references to resources, including other websites, where readers can get more information about particular topics.

Roman Terrill, a third-year law student who worked on the project, says the goal of the project is to provide people with an introduction to the workings of international finance and the IMF.

"The IMF has become very prominent since the beginning of the Asian financial crisis," Terrill says. "People in the United States may not feel the impact directly, but the IMF is having a profound influence on Korean labor law, the price of food in Indonesia and tax laws in Russia. It has a very direct impact on people in the developing world."

Carrasco says the materials are written without academic jargon so that lay people can get a better insight into broad issues of international finance that will become more important as global markets become more dependent on each other.

"People will not learn how to make money-making investments by visiting our website," Carrasco says. "But they will learn a great deal about the mysterious world of international finance and how the IMF and World Bank function. This type of education is critical as we move into the 21st century."

The e-book also is interactive, allowing people affected by globalization of international finance to tell the students how their lives have been changed. The submissions will be used to supplement the research material.

For more information contact Enrique R. Carrasco, professor of law, University of Iowa, at (319) 335-5059; or through the website: Or contact Kristen Berg by email at