(May 8, 2003) Under Saddam Hussein’s rule, Iraq amassed an estimated $100bn in debt, or over three times its gross domestic product. In all likelihood postwar Iraq will refuse to repay the debt in full. The country can make a strong case that Mr Hussein borrowed without the consent of the Iraqi people and then spent much of the money to finance violence and repression. Hence, Iraq might argue, the debt is illegitimate.
(May 7, 2003) Iyad Allawi, leader of the Iraqi National Accord, said some debt that Iraq owed Russia was for illegal deals and would not be recognized by the new authorities.
(May 7, 2003) On the prospects for repayment of Iraq’s $8 billion debt to Russia, Barzani said this would be "difficult to carry out as the Russia-Iraq contacts signed at the time of the Saddam regime were contrary to the interests of the Iraqi people."
(May 6, 2003) Iraq owes nearly $400 billion in obligations dating back to the first Gulf War. A new Iraqi government will have to decide what to do about Saddam’s debt while it tries to rebuild.
(May 6, 2003) Iraq’s US$350 — 500 billion debt burden can be an enormous problem – or opportunity. Reducing and managing it will not be easy, but it can be done, given a long view and reasonable goodwill.
(May 5, 2003) If the condition for honoring Saddam’s debts is that "the action taken by the Hussein regime that gave rise to the sanctions, contract or loan was taken with the consent of and for the benefit of the Iraqi people," as Kemp suggests, why stop there?
(May 5, 2003) The swift demise of Saddam Hussein’s government was cause for jubilation at financial institutions that hold Iraqi debt. After trading at less than 10 cents on the dollar before the war, it soared to 25 cents as the outcome became assured.
(May 4, 2003) Iraq cannot be expected to start repaying its massive debts this year or next, and may need to be treated like other post-conflict countries which have received major debt write-offs says John Taylor,Treasury Undersecretary for International Affairs.
(May 2, 2003) Indeed, the doctrine of "odious debt," which dates back to the aftermath of the Spanish-American War of 1898, could be applied in the case of Iraq.
(May 1, 2003) If those who lend money to dictators or authoritarian leaders were threatened systematically by debt repudiation, the project of worldwide democratisation and pacification would be much quicker.
(April 30, 2003) Does the next Iraqi government really have an obligation to negotiate its way out of this mess? Perhaps not, according to a doctrine known as "odious debt."
(April 29, 2003) The idea to declare the hundreds of billions of dollars owed to foreign creditors as "odious debt" is being promoted by some conservatives in the Bush administration.
(April 29, 2003) Russia’s finance minister said that Moscow may be willing to consider a restructuring of Iraqi debts contracted by Saddam Hussein’s regime but stressed that the government opposed a complete write-off.
(April 29, 2003) If a country’s debt burden is exceptionally high, it is possible to declare what Americans call Chapter XI bankruptcy. Another is the old concept of odious debt that says that states should not be bound to repay odious debts run up by repressive regimes.
(April 28, 2003) The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) suggested Monday that the most likely result of negotiations on Iraq’s massive foreign debts will be a substantial write-off.