The Debt Crisis and the International Financial System

  • Ramesh F. Ramsaran


The Polish debt crisis of 1981 and the Mexican declaration in August of 1982 that it was unable to meet its external debt obligations brought to the fore the contemporary debt crisis. Brazil and a number of other countries soon followed Mexico. This was not the first debt crisis the world has faced, and it is unlikely to be the last. Lessons learnt are quickly forgotten. Similar situations arose in the 1870s, 1920s and 1930s. Even in the 1960s and 1970s a number of countries had difficulties servicing their debt and had to seek relief of one kind or another from creditor nations and institutions. While initially there were fears that the international financial system might collapse, both debtors and creditors have developed a variety of techniques and approaches which have enabled them to live with the crisis. In the middle of the 1990s decade the threat of collapse has receded somewhat, but the debt crisis is far from resolved.


Commercial Bank Debt Crisis External Debt Debt Service Debt Relief 
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Copyright information

© Ramesh F. Ramsaran 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ramesh F. Ramsaran
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of International RelationsUniversity of the West IndiesSt AugustineTrinidad

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