It is now more than twenty years since one of the most decisive and important turning points in Indonesian economic and political history. The year 1998 was one of exceptional turbulence, hardship and uncertainty. The seemingly impregnable Soeharto presidency came to a sudden end on 21 May. The economy and the currency were in free-fall, while an acrimonious relationship had suddenly emerged with international financial institutions. There were nasty episodes of conflict, mostly with serious ethnic undertones. Almost a million of the country's citizens were internally displaced. There were various "Yugoslav" scenarios of territorial disintegration. Most important of all, there was no institutional roadmap to guide the country through the vacuum that Soeharto's hasty exit had created.