October 1, 2004


Ending the Cycle of Debt: The G-8 should endorse the plan of the United States and
Great Britain to cancel the debts of the world's 30 poorest countries. (NY Times, 10/01/04)

There's that danged non-coalition--America and Britain--doing the right thing again while Europe drags its feet.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 1, 2004 1:18 PM

If we cancel the debt, aren't we inviting them to merely run up more debt they can't pay, forcing us to cancel it again, ad infinitum ad nauseam?

Wouldn't we be better off just re-colonizing those pathetic places? Putting them under the Dutch East India Company or something?

Posted by: Bart at October 1, 2004 3:05 PM


If someone wants to lend them money knowing it won't be paid back it';s hard to stop them. But they shouldn't pay this back.

Posted by: oj at October 1, 2004 5:44 PM

So the depositers get screwed?

Posted by: Bart at October 1, 2004 9:59 PM

The depositors should take this up with Sandy Weill and his compadres, and with the IMF & the World Bank. But somehow they never do. In this area, the anti-globalization crowd has a better understanding of things than the wonks in D.C.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 1, 2004 10:46 PM


Trying to make money off impoverished nations? They deserve to be.

Posted by: oj at October 1, 2004 10:58 PM

Two concerns:

1. If we're going to do this, let's please defund the IMF and the World Bank first.

2. What do we tell the folks in the world's 31st-poorest country who miss the cutoff and don't get any relief?

Posted by: Kirk Parker at October 2, 2004 4:09 AM


So how precisely do you propose to sponsor development in LDCs with no infrastructure? Just cut the Head Cannibal a check with no strings attached and rely on his inner Hamilton to make sure that it's used correctly?

Posted by: Bart at October 2, 2004 7:09 AM



Posted by: oj at October 2, 2004 7:50 AM

Give the money to NGOs to go in and dig some wells, pass out handtools, etc.

African agriculture is, in many places, exactly as it was 14,000 years ago. Giving them a handplow and some nearby water would triple production.


Make it incremental, so that the most-poor nation gets total debt relief, and the 30th poorest gets 5% debt relief.

Or, all 30 poorest nations get total debt relief, and the 31st poorest gets to be an American protectorate.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 4, 2004 7:26 AM