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Financial Crisis 10 years on – How the response to the last crisis laid the foundations for the next

Bodo Ellmers

13 Sep 2018 10:12:11

This article was initially published in Eurodad member SLUG's newsletterTen years ago, on 15 September 2008, the US investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed. This collapse is largely seen as a key event of the North Atlantic financial crisis, which also had spillover effects on the rest of the world. Around the globe, this decade-long crisis has caused massive unemployment, as well as rising poverty and inequality. It has been used and abused to slash people’s rights – in particular the rights of workers – while the financial sector that caused the crisis has benefited from huge publicly funded bailouts. Ten years after the last crisis began, global debt levels are higher than before, and debt vulnerabilities are increasingly hard to manage. That’s why activists all over the world ...

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Argentina: 20 años después, ¿realmente han cambiado los métodos del FMI?

Bodo Ellmers, Maria Romero, Gino Brunswijck

02 Aug 2018 10:33:27

This is a Spanish version of the article: Argentina: 20 years on, has the IMF really changed its ways? It has been initially published at FARN website.En julio, los argentinos experimentaron un déjà vu con los anuncios del gobierno de despidos masivos y congelamiento de salarios como parte de las medidas de ajuste ligadas a un préstamo del Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI). Miles de funcionarios públicos se ven obligados una vez más a asumir duras medidas de austeridad. De acuerdo con el programa del FMI se introducirán medidas selectivas de asistencia social para compensar la situación. La crisis financiera que azota el país y el retorno al Fondo traen malos recuerdos a muchos argentinos que no olvidan el año 2001, en que las políticas ...

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Argentina: 20 years on, has the IMF really changed its ways?

Bodo Ellmers, Maria Romero, Gino Brunswijck

24 Jul 2018 09:44:46

This article has also been published by Triple Crisis. Argentinians are experiencing deja-vu this month as the government announces massive layoffs and a hiring freeze as part of an adjustment package attached to a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Thousands of public servants are being forced yet again to swallow the bitter pill of austerity, which the IMF programme - published last Friday - aims to patch up through increased targeted social assistance. For many Argentinians the financial crisis gripping the country, and the return to the Fund, brings back bad memories of 2001. Then, IMF-induced policies triggered the worst economic meltdown in Argentinian history. A cocktail of austerity measures contributed to the contraction of economic activity with a loss of 20 % ...

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Eurozone finance ministers agree on last-minute debt reprofiling for Greece

Bodo Ellmers

26 Jun 2018 14:22:20

Eurozone finance ministers convened for a crucial Eurogroup session in Brussels on 21 June and agreed on a last-minute set of new debt reprofiling measures for Greece. The package of maturity extensions, interest deferrals and €15bn in new loans from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) means that the Greek debt stock is likely to rise further in coming years. While Eurogroup members agreed to return profits they make on Greek bond purchases to Greece, this will happen in tranches until 2022 and comes with policy conditionalities attached. Experts doubt that the package can restore debt sustainability to Greece in the long term, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) decided to extract itself. The case proves that an independent debt workout mechanism is urgently needed for the speedy ...
The Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank took place amid warnings of a ‘borrowed boom’ as an uptick in global growth was matched by global debt levels reaching record highs. The World Bank Group shareholders stumped up for an increase in the ...

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Ready for the next storm? Debt (crisis) management discussed at the UNCTAD and Paris Club

Bodo Ellmers

26 Nov 2017 11:41:27

The number of poor countries that are in debt crisis is increasing rapidly, as is the share of public revenue that southern governments need to divert from essential services to pay down debts. The international community is awaiting the storm with remarkable silence: only peacemeal steps have been taken in 2017 on the multilateral level in the areas of effective institutions for debt crisies prevention and resolution. The 2017 UNCTAD Debt Management Conference that took place in Geneva from 16th to 18th October and the Paris Forum the day after provided a glance on what is to come. The 11th UNCTAD Debt Management Conference took place in an environment where the debt crisis is moving southwards again. While the “transatlantic crisis” has dominated academic and political discourses in ...

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DebtCon 2 Conference: Leading debt researchers stress the need for fundamental reforms

Bodo Ellmers

10 Oct 2017 18:35:28

A fine selection of the world’s most important debt experts met in Geneva on 5 and 6 October to discuss key challenges in sovereign debt management, and how to address them. The second DebtCon conference, convened by Georgetown University’s Anna Gelpern, and Ugo Panizza from the Graduate Institute in Geneva, tackled questions such as the need for a multilateral debt restructuring mechanism, dealing with vulture fund litigation, better approaches to assess debt sustainability, and debt and human rights. The question cutting across all these issues: when will that Euro crisis finally be resolved - and in particular when will Greece be released from the debt trap? One thing became clear, policy-makers have accumulated a huge backlog in reforms. There ...

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The unexpected Mozambican debt crisis: illegitimate debt back on the international agenda

Bodo Ellmers

22 Aug 2017 14:26:41

Mozambique’s default on commercial loans worth US$2bn has triggered the latest - and arguably most shocking - African debt crisis in recent times. While nearly all African countries suffer from low commodity prices and rising credit costs, the Mozambican case is unusual in that it reveals how easily the new development finance paradigm, centred on private capital, can go wrong. The successful attraction of commercial loans did not boost Mozambique’s development. They caused a development disaster. The case also underlines that the current global governance regime has no effective mechanism in place to prevent irresponsible lending and borrowing - or to deal with their consequences - and the need to get rid of a pile of illegitimate debts which will continue ...
With its Compact with Africa, the German G20 presidency is actively promoting private loans and investment as solutions to infrastructure deficiencies on the African continent. The Compact aims at using public resources in order to improve the investment ...