Category: Odious Debts

What was going on in Haiti prior to the earthquake?

(January 17, 2010) Between 45,000-50,000 may have died in the impoverished country of Haiti according to the American Red Cross as a result of the earthquake that shook Port-Au-Prince and surrounding areas on January 12, 2010. A hospital collapses, the President’s palace is left in ruins, and many homes in shambles. Haitians bloodied from the devistation have walked away with tears in their eyes while others lay on the ground struggling to live or dead. This is what we see on the surface, but what is really going on behind the scenes of this catastrophe? What events were ongoing in Haiti prior to the earthquake?

Kenyan author demands forensic audits of country’s debts, speaks out about country’s odious debts

(January 6, 2010) Kenyan taxpayers should not have to repay the odious debts incurred by post-independence governments that borrowed money in their name but used the funds to terrorize citizens or were involved with corruption-tainted deals such as Anglo Leasing, writes prominent author Okiya Omtatah Okoiti in a recent op-ed. Using limited funds collected through taxation to repay odious debts incurred by the colonial, Kenyatta, Moi and Kibaki administrations, he writes, must come to an end.

Cancellation of odious debts an issue in upcoming Philippine presidential race

(January 5, 2010) Research organization Ibon Foundation is urging candidates in the upcoming presidential election to make public their stand on the repeal of automatic debt servicing; cancellation of odious debt; increased allocation and spending for health, education, and housing; and reversing trade liberalization, improving collection efficiency, and addressing bureaucratic corruption and wastage to raise badly needed revenues instead of imposing new taxes such as the tax on text messaging.

A closer look at the odious debts doctrine

(November 11, 2009) The Akiton Finanzplatz Schweiz, an independent network that monitors the Swiss financial system, has today released a book detailing both doctrine of odious debts and ways countries and organizations can challenge illegitimate debts. The book, “How to Challenge Illegitimate Debt. Theory and Legal Case Studies,” will be available November 11 at 1 pm Geneva time for a free download.

How to Challenge Illegitimate Debt: Theory and Legal Case Studies

(November 11, 2009) Despite multilateral initiatives such as the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI), in 2007 the world’s developing countries still spent a combined total of approximately USD 1.5 billion every day on external debt servicing. Amongst their number are the poorest countries in the world; these low income countries spent around USD 34 million every day on external debt servicing.1 In the current global financial crisis, many of the countries which have benefited from debt relief in recent years now face substantial risk of new debt distress.

Needed: Economists, not accountants, to manage the Philippine economy

(October 21, 2009) A recent article in the Filipino broadsheet Business Mirror by Walden Bello – a Member of the House of Representatives – suggests that one way to spur the country’s economy would be to renegotiate some of its debts with creditors. Mr. Bello says the mood for refusing to pay back odious debts or for declaring moratoria on debt repayments has never been higher. Because of this sentiment, the government should look for ways to either suspend debts payments, or seek ways to eliminate this debt, as some of it was taken under suspicious circumstances.

Why all the “Howling” about Sudan’s debt?

(October 16, 2009) Mr. Badawi in his recent post “Indebted to the Save Darfur Coalition?” plays loose with the numbers and the definition of Sudan’s “odious” debt. In addition, he mischaracterizes the objectives of the Save Darfur Coalition’s position related to how the international community should deal with Sudan’s debt crisis and ignores the coalition’s support thus far of the Obama Administration’s engagement strategy with Khartoum.

Dambisa Moyo on the CBC

(October 15, 2009) Dambisa Moyo, author of Dead Aid, talks to the CBC about finding new and more innovative ways to help residents in the developing world. Moyo argues that the aid model of institutions such as the World Bank have helped to stifle economic growth in the developing world.

Breaking the myth of aid. Dambisa Moyo’s remedies

(September 30, 2009) Aid, argues Dambisa Moyo, does not eradicate some of Africa’s first rank scourges such as civil wars and corruption. Quite the reverse: development aid encourages corruption and allows some regimes to stay in place artificially. Because of the significant amounts that aid invests, it triggers envy and can stir up ethnic tensions, which sometimes lead to civil wars.

Interview with Dambisa Moyo

(July 20, 2009) Dambisa Moyo, economist and author of Dead Aid, discussing problems of foreign aid to the developing world. Moyo believes that pouring more aid into the coffers of African governments will do nothing to promote healthy economic growth. Instead, she calls for an opening of global trade, lower tariffs and a functioning tax system.