November 17, 2004

Marshall Plan

In the context of Debt Relief in history it occured to me the other day that one of the greatest examples of historical debt relief was the Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan. The US set up these two systems in order to pull Western Europe and Greece and Turkey out of debt following World War II in hopes of saving them from the Communist vacuum. The US gave aid and then sold American goods in return so not only were the war torn countries getting relief but the American economy was also benefiting. A plan like this I don't think would work so well today with the state most third world economies are in but following WWII the Marshall Plan was an ingenious way for the US to appear as the watchful big brother whilst making a profit off their charges.

October 27, 2004

Media Diary Week 5: Debt Relief in the Past

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This article came from the Journal of Modern African Studies published in 1979. Robert L. Curry Jrs. article, "Africa's External Debt Situation" assesses how most African countries were doing in repaying their foriegn debts and what was being done to help them. Curry concludes that there are some African countries such as Rwanda who were in such a place that debt repayment would be impossible without restructuring their debts while some countries, like Ghana, appear to be in fairly good shape. The approach taken by most of the world in the late '70s was about the same as is being taken today. This being, "We'll get together and chat about those poor blokes down in Africa and say we'll help them out but we're not actually going to do anything about it." However, unlike today the solutions discussed in the '70s largely centered around reorganization of debts as opposed to the present trend of full repayment of debts by rich countries. It should be noted that the reorganization of debts implemented at this time probably played a leading role in the insane increase in debts of African countries leading to the disaster that is the economy of most African countries in present day. Most of the debts at this time were owed to financial institutions, largely American, as well as the IMF and WB of course, who had loaned money for various improvement projects that were not turning quite the profit expected. At this time, full repayment of these debts was not considered. Hopefully, the discourse taking place now will lead to full repayment and break the debt cycle most Third World countries are in, as opposed to making it worse which is what, I would think, the policies of the '70s did.

October 23, 2004

Vote for Cocky!

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So this has nothing to do with the rest of my blog project on Third World Debt but if you come from the University of South Carolina it ranks right up there in importance. If you're not American and don't understand the importance of university athletics, particularly football in the Southeastern United States there's no way you'll understand how much we stake our lives on the reputation of our university's mascot. At the University of South Carolina, my home uni, we are the fighting Gamecocks and our mascot is aptly named "Cocky". He is the reigning champion of the Capital One Mascot Bowl and it's crucial that we retain this title! Presently our dear Cocky is losing to a dog from James Madison University, not acceptable! This is why I'm pleading all of you Warwick folks to go to and vote for Cocky in the 2004 Mascot Challenge. I realize how completely ridiculous this sounds but it's crucial we all exercise our civic duty in this election year and Vote for Cocky! =) Thanks!

October 19, 2004

How to go about Debt Relief?

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Also referencing: These two articles from the AP wire and the Washington Post show the issues that have been raised by the US and Britain concerning how the world should go about debt relief. The Bush plan involves the issue of grants as opposed to loans from the World Bank while Brown's plan calls on the rich countries to come together and chip in for 100% relief of the poor countries debts. The AP article is more supportive of the Bush plan than the Post article but the AP article was also written before the conference to discuss this issue was held while the Post article was more a synopsis of the conference. The Post article was more critical of the Bush plan because the Bush plan would rely largely on grants from the World Bank that would not be repayed and could weaken the Bank. Brown's plan would not pull so much from the World Bank as from the the strong economies of rich countries. Both articles agree that, in order for the poor countries to climb out of the debt cycle anything less than 100% relief would not be enough.

October 14, 2004

Jubilee Research

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One of my fellow classmates pointed me toward this organization regarding third world debt relief so I'd just like to say a quick thanks! Anyway, I haven't had a whole lot of time to poke around and figure out what it's all about but it seems like an awesome organization and a great resource for this project. I'll post more when I have time to read up more on it!

October 07, 2004

Britain takes steps toward third world debt relief

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The chancellor and the Prime Minister have made bold statements challenging the rest of the world to make a stand for Africa. Britain's recent declaration to pay off 10% of third world debt was an important step for the world. Hopefully it will cause other rich countries to step up and acknowledge that most third world countries can't go at it alone. They have far too much ground to make up. For rich countries like the US to stand by and not at least match Britain's promise would be a scandal.

October 05, 2004

Blog Craziness

Look at my technological prowess! I have a blog! Don't expect too much though, I literally don't know how to program a VCR

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  • So glad someone is talking about this. Hearing people talk about the obscene concept of "African deb… by Annie Get Your Gang on this entry
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