(May 22, 1997) Nelson Mandela used a world economic forum in Harare this week to argue that South Africa’s major problem is servicing the massive debts run up by apartheid governments.
(March 14, 1997) Should the people who were victims of the oppressive machinery of apartheid now be forced to repay those financiers who were immoral enough to finance the machinery?
(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.
(October 3, 1994) The World Bank, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, has long enjoyed a sound financial reputation. But its AAA credit rating is not justified. Because of the perverse incentives under which the World Bank operates, the quality of its loan portfolio has diminished significantly, and because the bank is backed by rich-country governments, its irresponsible lending exposes Western taxpayers to a possible World Bank bailout on a scale comparable to the U.S. savings-and-loan bailout. That would leave taxpayers in the industrialized countries on the hook for $100 billion; U.S. citizens would be liable for nearly $30 billion.