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First as tragedy, now as farce: lessons from 12 August 1982

Mark Perera

12 Aug 2017 08:47:36

As the saying goes, history repeats itself because no one was listening the first time. This month marks the 35th anniversary of an event that sparked a debt crisis across the developing world. It was a crisis triggered by low interest rates in the Global North, a reckless boom in lending and borrowing to Southern countries over-reliant on commodity exports, and a fall in the price of those same commodities. Sound familiar? The parallels with today’s developing world debt crisis are stark, and looking back at how the 1980s crisis arose and how it was dealt with, there are worrying signs that very little has been learned despite repeated calls by Eurodad and other civil society organisations for a comprehensive, UN-backed debt workout mechanism. A crisis begins On 12 August 1982, Mexican ...

On debt and taxation, rich and poor countries are worlds apart

Tove Ryding

01 Aug 2016 12:49:10

This article was first published by the Guardian Following the promises of 2015, when governments adopted the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and a new agreement to combat climate change, many had hoped this year would herald an ambitious political atmosphere, with grand self-congratulatory speeches turned into concrete change. It was clearly with this in mind that the UN’s Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) chose “From decisions to actions” as the slogan for its global conference, which took place in Kenya last week. All governments ought to be able to embrace the focus of Unctad – namely to help developing countries mobilise financing for development, and improve global economic governance. Unctad’s roles include helping poorer countries to benefit from trade, stabilise ...
331 CSOs, including Eurodad, have sent a letter to decision-makers ahead the fourteenth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), taking place in Nairobi next week. The letter urges UNCTAD member states to preserve ...
This article is also available in French and Spanish.The prevention of debt crises and the way these crises are managed have a tendency to fail due to the lack of adequate institutions. While Europe is still struggling to solve the old debt crises, ...

Message from Rome: Time for a new Jubilee

Bodo Ellmers

04 Jun 2014 18:07:45

Representatives of the Global Jubilee Debt Relief Coalition visited the Vatican in Rome last month to discuss what to do about the global debt crisis. High and surging debt levels are causing economic and developmental problems once again. This time it’s a problem affecting every region of the world. The ethical dynamite of the ‘who owes whom and what and why’ is dividing humanity into creditors and debtors. A new Jubilee is long overdue. Breaking the chains of debt The Bible’s Old Testament describes a practice from the ancient world that could well be the world’s first insolvency regime. Every seven years, slaves and prisoners were to be freed, and debts were to be forgiven. This seventh year is called the Jubilee. Photo: The Jubilee delegation with Cardinal TurksonThe ...

IMF Annual Meetings: A public sector shutdown meets its master

Bodo Ellmers

03 Oct 2013 12:44:28

IMF Annual Meetings: A public sector shutdown meets its master By Bodo Ellmers When the delegations arrive in Washington next week for the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, they will face a situation that the citizens of IMF programme countries know all too well: The public sector has shut down due to a debt crisis and the policy response that followed. Let’s see if this helps to make the governors of the international financial architecture’s most powerful institution learn some lessons and make the right decisions. Welcome to the IMF’s first Annual Austerity Meeting The good news for the IMF: Absenteeism from the Annual Meetings will be much lower than usual as sight-seeing options in Washington are currently limited. ...
The G20 leaders' summit, concluded on 6 September, saw economic policy pushed to the sidelines by division over Syria, concealing the fact that many pressing issues, including dealing with sovereign debt crises ...

Troika loans to Greece: a gift for creditors, not for people

Konstantinos Todoulos

26 Jun 2013 09:11:37

A new briefing by Attac Austria analyses who is benefiting from the crisis loans to Greece. At least 77% of the €206.9 billion loans by the Troika of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), European Union and European Central Bank (ECB) were used to bail out creditors and recapitalise banks. At the same time, the Greek economy collapsed and poverty is rising dramatically because the government lacks the financial resources to stimulate growth and fulfil its human rights obligations. The analysis confirms that Troika involvement in Greece is not benefiting the people but the creditors, repeating a history of debt crisis management we have seen in many developing countries in the past.   Crisis lending to Greece: who profited? The Troika’s crisis loans, of which €206.9 billion ...