Planning for Disaster: China’s Three Gorges Dam

(September 19, 1993) ON THE NIGHT OF AUGUST 27, 1993, a dam burst high in a remote western province of China, sending torrents of water crashing down on nearby villages, killing more than 200 people, and rendering thousands more homeless. Though no official reason has been given for this latest human-made disaster in a country plagued by them, one government spokesperson admitted that a destructive earthquake which hit the region of the Gouhou dam in 1990 "may have had some effect" in causing the dam to collapse under this year’s flood waters.

Dictatorship, democracies and the debt crisis

(June 1, 1993) The fall of the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq has called on lenders to account for their funding decisions as never before. Only two decades ago, the prevailing wisdom held that loans to governments were the least likely to go sour because government guarantees eliminated commercial risk. Dictators, in other words, posed no more or less risk than anyone else.