By Damien Millet, Eric Toussaint
The massive international debt of constructing nations has develop into a mechanism of domination and technique of recolonization that stops any significant and sustainable human improvement. The rules pursued by way of the indebted nations' governments have frequently been made up our minds through their collectors instead of by means of the experts of the international locations involved. As for the initiative to lighten the debt burden, introduced with a lot fanfare by way of the G7, the IMF and the realm financial institution stressed from the biggest ever petition in human historical past, it has made transparent its limits. In 50 questions and solutions, this booklet explains in an easy yet detailed demeanour how and why the debt deadlock has been arrived at. Illustrated with figures, maps and tables, it info the jobs of a number of the actors concerned, the mesh during which indebted nations are stuck, and a number of the possible choices to destiny indebtedness.
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Extra resources for Who Owes Who?: 50 Questions about World Debt (Global issues series)
Unlike any democratic institution, the IMF has been endowed with a mode of operation similar to that of a corporation. Any country which joins the IMF has to pay an entry fee which is a pro rata share. Thus the country becomes a shareholder in the IMF since it contributes to its capital. This share is calculated according to the economic and geopolitical importance of the country concerned. Twenty-ﬁve per cent must be paid in SDR or one of the component strong currencies (or in gold, until 1978), and the remaining 75 per cent in the country’s local currency.
It is this mechanism, subtle and perverse as it is, that needs to be understood. 18 t wo The origins of the developing countries’ (DCs’) debt Q5 What were the main factors leading to the indebtedness of the DCs? After the Second World War, the United States drew up the Marshall Plan (see Glossary) for the reconstruction of Europe. It massively invested in the European economy to help it get off the ground, and the European countries fast became privileged trading partners. More and more dollars were in circulation round the world.
The real needs of the population of the DC take second place. Infrastructures imposed by the multinationals of the North, tied aid, arms purchases for massive repression, embezzlement and corruption – this is what the borrowed money has been used for, for decades. Today, populations are being milked dry to repay a debt which never even proﬁted them. Which bankers batted an eyelid when they saw that a loan destined for a Mexican or Philippine state company was in fact paid straight into the account in Boston or Geneva of a high-ranking state ofﬁcial?