Author Archives

Patricia Adams

Patricia Adams is an economist and the Executive Director of Probe International, an independent think-tank and watchdog over the environmental consequences of Canadian government and corporate activities around the world. Her books include In the Name of Progress: The Underside of Foreign Aid, (Doubleday 1985), and Odious Debts: Loose Lending, Corruption and the Third World”s Environmental Legacy (Earthscan 1991), which exposes the jeopardy of years of loose lending for both the Third World’s environment and their economies, and proposes a legal remedy to place responsibility for the Third World’s debt crisis on the parties involved, instead of on First and Third World taxpayers. Pat also edited the English language translation of Yangtze! Yangtze!, the extraordinary critique by Chinese experts of the Three Gorges dam that inspired the democracy movement when it was first published in 1989, led to the postponement of the dam, and was subsequently banned by Chinese authorities. Her books have been translated into Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and Bahasa Indonesia.

Patricia Adams: Speech at G-7 Summit – Public Forum on Odious Debts

(June 18, 1999) It is my very great pleasure to be here with debt campaigners from around the world who want to breathe life into this legal principle known as the doctrine of odious debts. As you know, from the introduction, I discovered the doctrine of odious debts years ago when I was writing my book about the Third World’s debt crisis. I was thrilled. Here was a principle, published in 1927 by Alexander Sack, then and still the world’s preeminent legal scholar on the treatment of public debts when governments and territories transform.

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A troubling deposit at World Bank

(November 29, 1995) For 5O years government guarantees have allowed the World Bank and its sister development banks to amass the world’s riskiest loan portfolios. Three months ago, the weakest of these sisters, the African Development Bank, was downgraded. And now for the first time, the World Bank admits that many of its own loans can’t be paid back.

Misspent billions: Third World aid?

(May 10, 1995) If the tiny country of Laos had the same population density as the city of Manhattan, we would all be there–the globe’s entire 5.7 billion population, in fact, would have more space per person than do Manhattan residents, who pride themselves on living in one of the world’s most sophisticated cities. The space outside Laos–virtually the entire globe–would then be available for farming, mining, and whatever else our Laotian populace required.