Category: Odious Debts

MDB “knowledge” banks

Former IMF chief economist Kenneth Rogoff says “far too little attention has been devoted to understanding why multilateral development lending has so often failed”. In his experience, MDBs are most valuable as “knowledge” banks — sharing soft development infrastructure such as experience and best practices rather than financial muscle. The latter, he says, has led to their “greatest failures”.

Answerable to no one

Just as China took a moment to enjoy Washington and Tokyo’s discomfort over Europe’s biggest economies declaring in favour of a new Chinese-led Asian investment bank, Washington and Tokyo took a moment to caution joiners to beware of governance standards. We say: beware of multilateral development banks in general.

Ukraine’s odious debts

Ukraine’s national news agency, Ukrinform, asked Probe International’s Patricia Adams to weigh in on Ukraine’s multibillion-dollar debt to Russia and whether Ukraine could challenge the enforceability of the US$3 billion Eurobond using an odious debts argument.

Dam fools

(April 11, 2014) A report representing the most comprehensive economic analysis of large dams ever undertaken has dealt a stunning blow to the behemoths of hydropower. But will its findings be enough to curb a new wave in mega-dam construction? Unlikely, says Probe International.

Ukraine’s Odious Debts

(April 9, 2014) U.S. economist and columnist Irwin Stelzer draws on the doctrine of odious debts for his most recent opinion piece to suggest Ukrainian citizens repudiate public debt incurred by former regimes that instead of benefiting the people went to fund the “fancies” of the country’s “now-deposed gang of public- and private-sector cronies”.