J. Soedradjad Djiwandono

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Joseph Soedradjad Djiwandono (born 7 August 1938 in Yogyakarta) was the Governor of Bank Indonesia, the nation's central bank, from 1993 until his sudden dismissal in 1998.

Djiwandono received his bachelor's degree in economics from the Gadjah Mada University in 1963 and went on to receive a Ph.D. from Boston University in 1980.[1] Prior to accepting the position as Governor of Bank Indonesia in 1993, Djiwandono had expressed his concerns on the high number of bad debts in the banking sector to President Suharto.[2]

The Asian Financial Crisis began to affect Indonesia by mid-1997. On 14 August, Bank Indonesia followed Thailand and Malaysia and moved to float the Indonesian rupiah.[3] Under Djiwandono, the bank's "market-oriented response" to the crisis was praised by investors. However, it was also criticized for allowing Indonesia's banking system to grow too fast with 239 banks in establishment by September 1997.[4] Of these banks, 16 were liquidated in November. Djiwandono later defended the decision not to close more banks citing concerns that "had more banks been liquidated, a total collapse [of the banking sector] may have resulted".[5]

He was dismissed from office by Suharto's 11 February 1998 presidential decree but was not officially informed of the decision until six days later.[6] Although no reason was given, economists believed Djiwandono's opposition to a new fixed exchange rate system for the rupiah contributed to the decision for his dismissal.[7] The decision drew criticism from the International Monetary Fund and United States President Bill Clinton and placed a US$43 billion aid package at risk of being reversed.[8] He was succeeded by Syahril Sabirin in a transfer ceremony on 19 February.[9]

On 7 May 2002, Djiwandono was named a suspect in the investigation of former Bank Indonesia governors. He was charged with abuse of authority by extending Rp19 trillion (US$2.1 billion) in loans to failing banks between 1996 and 1998.[10] Several years earlier, Djiwandono had defended the central bank's policies from allegations by three former finance ministers that it misunderstood the government's policies and improperly used the liquidity assistance program during the financial crisis.[11] He remained free while various investigations of the approach of former Bank Indonesia governors was undertaken.[12]

Djiwandono continues to contribute to public policy debate, especially in Indonesia, by writing articles including op-ed pieces about current economic issues, particularly about matters involving monetary policy.[13]


  1. ^ Djiwandono 2005, p. 7
  2. ^ Djiwandono 2005, p. 6
  3. ^ "Indonesia Floats the Rupiah, And It Drops More Than 6%". The New York Times. 15 August 1997. p. D6. Retrieved 25 September 2009. 
  4. ^ Friedman, Alan (22 September 1997). "Q&A/ J. Soedradjat Djiwandono: A Banker Draws Lessons From Turmoil in Asia". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 September 2009. [dead link]
  5. ^ Djiwandono 2005, p. 130
  6. ^ Djiwandono 2005, p. 20
  7. ^ Mackenzie, Ian (18 February 1998). "Suharto sacks central bank chief over policy". The Indian Express. Retrieved 25 September 2009. 
  8. ^ "World Watch". Time 151 (9). 2 March 1998. Retrieved 25 September 2009. 
  9. ^ Djiwandono 2005, p. 1
  10. ^ Simanjuntak, Tertiani; Sri Saraswati, Muninggar (31 May 2002). "Soedradjat named suspect in BI loan abuse". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 25 September 2009. 
  11. ^ "Ex-finance ministers blame central bank for loan scam". The Jakarta Post. 10 February 2000. Retrieved 25 September 2009. 
  12. ^ Wardany, Irawaty (10 February 2009). "Court extends prison term for ex-BI chief". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 25 September 2009. 
  13. ^ J. Soedradjat Djiwandono,'Quantitative easing and Asia: concerns over new monetary easings', The Jakarta Post, 12 October 2012.


  • Djiwandono, J. Soedradjad (2005). Bank Indonesia and the Crisis: An Insider's View. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. ISBN 978-981-230-308-0.