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The Debt Crisis and the World Economy

Report by a Commonwealth Group of Experts

image of The Debt Crisis and the World Economy
‘The message is clear. The present situation is not sustainable. The world’s financial safety is balanced on a knife-edge... There is no room for complacency. We sense rather that a recognition of the gravity of the issues and of the dangers posed by the debt crisis in an interdependent world is growing. Full expression is not always given to this recognition, perhaps because of fear seeming to aggravate matters. But the situation has now been reached where collective determination to take action is imperative. The knowledge that such determination has been mustered will itself be a factor for greater sustainability.’ – From the Report.



‘The capacity of developing countries to comply with demands by the IMF and banks for austerity measures has political limits. In the final analysis, these limits are represented by unrest and the threat of revolution. Before that point is reached, debtor countries will obviously refuse to meet the terms and conditions of contraction demanded of them; there is growing evidence that that point is fast approaching.’ – From the Foreword by Commonwealth Secretary-General Shridath Ramphal.

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Introduction

Commonwealth Heads of Government, when they met in New Delhi in November 1983, surveyed the world economic situation and expressed concern over the serious crisis confronting developing countries because of the debt problem. They therefore asked the Secretariat, with the aid of a group of experts, to examine the developing country debt problem in all its aspects and to report to the Toronto meeting of Commonwealth Finance Ministers.

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