Recent Articles

Debt Justice

The IMF Confirms ‘Trickle-Down’ Economics Is, Indeed, a Joke

JARED KELLER (JUN 18, 2015) “Trickle-down” economics began as a joke. Seriously. If there’s one person most often associated with the origins of trickle-down economics, it’s President Ronald Reagan. Few people know, however, that the phrase was actually coined by American humorist Will Rogers, who mocked President Herbert Hoover’s Depression-era recovery efforts, saying, “money was all appropriated for the top in the hopes it would trickle down to the needy.” Rogers’ joke became economic dogma within two generations, thanks in large ... Read More »

Rethinking the principle of “states must repay sovereign debt”

(By Odette Lienau) Is it true that states must always repay their sovereign debt – even after a major regime change – to maintain their future creditworthiness?  This conventional wisdom on sovereign debt is overly simplistic and in some cases entirely wrong. The assumptions of political neutrality, creditor uniformity, and historical constancy, upon which this common narrative rests, do not stand up to closer inspection. This suggests that more flexibility exists in terms of our understanding of government debt and how the market ... Read More »

For the Greek Peoples’ Right To Audit Public Debt

APPEAL TO SUPPORT THE RESISTING GREEK PEOPLE and its TRUTH COMMISSION ON PUBLIC DEBT FOR THE PEOPLES’ RIGHT TO AUDIT PUBLIC DEBT    To the people of Europe and the whole world! To all the men and women who reject the politics of austerity and are not willing to pay a public debt which is strangling us and which was agreed to behind our backs and against our interests. We signatories to this appeal stand by the Greek people who, ... Read More »

Search for truth about the Greek debt

by Eric Toussaint (6 April 2015): For the first time in Europe a committee for an audit of the debt (with citizens’ participation) was set up under the auspices of a parliament. On Saturday 4 April the president of the Hellenic parliament Zoe Konstantopoulou opened the first official session creating a debt audit committee , also called committee for the truth about the debt. Zoe Konstantopoulou read the decree establishing the said committee consisting of Greek and foreign members and defined ... Read More »

Policy statement: Govt. admits violating Debt Limitation Act

By  Shahbaz Rana (February 3, 2015) The country’s stock of external debt and liabilities is increasing at a rapid pace compared to foreign exchange earnings, which could undermine its debt repayment capacity, reveals the Debt Policy Statement, confirming that the government could not bring the public debt within statutory limits. The government on Monday laid the Debt Policy Statement before the National Assembly, admitting that it violated the Fiscal Responsibility and Debt Limitation (FRDL) Act of 2005. The statement was ... Read More »

A debt to history?

(By GillianTett)  To some, Germany faces a moral duty to help Greece, given the aid that it has previously enjoyed. As the crucial election looms in Greece later this month, newspapers have been full of pictures of demonstrations (or riots) in Athens. But there is another image hovering in my mind: an elegant dining hall on the shores of Lake Lucerne in Switzerland. Last summer I found myself in that spot for a conference, having dinner with a collection of central ... Read More »

Issues in the management of Pakistan Debt

(By Hafiz Pasha) Pakistan’s debt stands at Rs 18,241 billion as of end- June 2014. This includes Rs 16,321 billion of government (public) debt, equivalent to 89% of total debt. The rest, Rs 1,920 billion, is owed by public sector enterprises, banks and companies, mostly with external creditors. Public debt has mushroomed rapidly since 2006-07. It was Rs 4,896 billion in June 2006-07, and has risen annually by 19%. At this rate, it is effectively doubling every four years. Today, ... Read More »

Argentina: A victim of unfair debt deal

The Paris Club group of rich countries has announced, Thursday, it has reached an agreement for Argentina to begin repaying up to $9.7 billion, double the size of the original debt. Argentina had to stop making debt payments in late-2001 as a result of an economic crisis brought about by following IMF economic policy conditions. Argentina subsequently reached an agreement with most of its private lenders to pay 33 cents in every dollar owed. However, the Paris Club group of ... Read More »

$200bn of Pakistan in Swiss banks

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar staggered the National Assembly on Friday when he revealed that at least $200 billion of `Pakistani money` was stashed away in Swiss banks. In a written reply, Dar told the house that the government was engaging with Swiss authorities to get to the money, hidden away by various Pakistani nationals. In a detailed response to a question raised by Dr Arif Alvi of the Pakistan Tehreeki-Insaf (PTI), the minister quoted statements by a Swiss banker and ... Read More »

Conditionally yours: The IMF bitter pills

( Loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) largely come with policy change conditions attached – conditions that the IMF has played a significant role in developing. Criticisms of the excessive burden and politically sensitive nature of these conditions led to significant reviews at the IMF and the introduction of some conditionality-free facilities, although these are limited in scope. The IMF claims to have limited its conditions to critical reforms agreed by recipient governments. However, the worrying findings of this ... Read More »