Who Owes Who?: 50 Questions about World Debt

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Zed Books, 2004 - Business & Economics - 185 pages
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The huge foreign debt of developing countries has become a mechanism of domination and means of recolonization that prevents any meaningful and sustainable human development. The policies pursued by the indebted countries' governments have usually been decided by their creditors rather than by the authorities of the countries concerned. As for the initiative to lighten the debt burden, launched with much fanfare by the G7, the IMF and the World Bank under pressure from the largest ever petition in human history, it has made clear its limits. In 50 questions and answers, this book explains in a simple but precise manner how and why the debt impasse has been arrived at. Illustrated with figures, maps and tables, it details the roles of the various actors involved, the mesh in which indebted countries are caught, and the various alternatives to future indebtedness.
 

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Contents

The Third World in the context of globalization
1
Q3 What are the different kinds of debt? 112
12
The origins of the developing countries DCs debt
19
The debt crisis
27
Qio How have the creditors responded to the debt crisis? 1
34
Q15 What are the shortterm or shock measures imposed
54
Q17 What is the role of the Paris Club? 1
66
Anatomy of the developing countries debt
74
Q31 Why do the governments of the South continue to repay
114
Q34 What are the political arguments in favour of cancelling
120
Q35 What are the economic arguments in favour of cancelling
122
Q38 What are the religious arguments in favour of cancelling
130
Q12 What does the IMF do?
138
Q13 How does the World Bank operate?
146
Q45 If and when the debt is cancelled how can a new round
154
The international campaign for debt cancellation
164

Q22 Do the DCs repay their debts? 182
82
Ongoing moves to reduce the debt burden
88
Q26 What are the results of the HIPC initiative? 1
94
Q28 What is the New Partnership for African Development
102
Debt cancellation and suspensions of payment
108
Glossary 1171
171
Bibliography 1182
182
Q14 What is the logic behind the IMFs and the World Banks
188
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About the author (2004)

Damien Millet is a mathematics teacher, secretary general of The Committee for the Cancellation of Third World Debt (CADTM), a member of ATTAC, and contributor to the journal Alternative (Niger).

Eric Toussaint is a historian and political scientist, president of CADTM, member of the International Council of the World Social Forum, and of the scientific committee of ATTAC in France.

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