Saturday, 14 May 2011

ETERNAL DEBT

Today more than ever, foreign debt has become one of the most serious, but the main obstacle to the development of many countries, most particularly those considered poor or "third world. " The few resources generated must necessarily be used mostly to repay loans.

To have a clear idea of what external debt is, we can say that external debt is all the borrowed money in the capital markets and in general, the collective debt owed by a nation to foreign creditors like World Bank or International Monetary Fund. The problem here is that almost never governments inform citizens how these loans will be paid.

In 1996, both the World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF), acknowledged the seriousness of the crisis and decided to reduce the debt of Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) to a sustainable level. Forty one countries were chosen for this purpose, of which only five received the good news, while other countries were forced to accept conditions rather limited, not taking into account the terrible impact that these debts were in the population year after year.



At the end of the 90's, Latin American countries owed the United States more than $2 billion which is nearly double a decade ago. Most States owed to the other party to commercial banks and multilateral financial institutions. Approximately 48% of the annual payments made Latin American countries apply only to interest on the debt. From the financial point of view, the huge debt is a serious risk to the international community about investing in a specific country. This resulted in the 80's interest rates to poor countries were four times higher than for rich countries, primarily due to its lower credit rating and the depreciation of its currency.

Illiteracy, high infant mortality rates, malnutrition were the most visible damage occurred in the poorest countries in the last 2 decades.

In 1973 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) quadrupled oil prices and invested most of their petrodollars into various commercial banks in the First World. Those banks needed to invest their new funds and what they did was making loans to developing countries, regardless of the fate of these loans. Since 1976, Latin American countries entered into an aggressive foreign borrowing. It is traditionally known that all this debt was due to the irresponsibility of certain governments whose primary objective was to finance his demagoguery. But no, the responsibility is shared.

The international organizations also failed to provide in a hurry and desperate way, loans to authoritarian governments that greatly enriched themselves, leaving the citizens in a total helplessness. As a result of the irresponsibility of both, debtors and creditors, most of the borrowed money had been wasted on programs that did not benefit at all to the most needy and just creating private projects without clear rules that only benefited certain corporations and certain public officials arms procurement, as well as unnecessary projects were overstated, thereby generating a wave of corruption.


Sacrificing development

Most indebted countries suffer incredible pressure to obtain foreign currencies to pay its foreign debt and buy vital imported products. International Financial Institutions, taking advantage of this situation, consistently offer financial assistance to the most indebted countries and they use their great influence because they themselves want to develop the economic policies of these countries.

Thousands of workers suffer daily. Those laid off are our daily bread as result ofbudget adjustments. Investments barely reach, generating little employment growth. To this we must add the cuts in social spending such as health or education, the collapse of many domestic industries cannot find a way to compete with foreign multinationals. Maximizing the benefit of the haves, and excluding the poor, all we are creating is that poverty continues to grow at alarming levels, the quality of life deteriorates and the income earned by citizens in the poorest countries continues to decline.

As Albert Einstein said, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Many underdeveloped countries have developed a dangerous and extreme dependence on developed countries, thinking that with this they will have access to numerous opportunities, but the reality is that in most cases, these opportunities do not come and increasingly fall into more misery cause these countries are exploited over and over. Then, why not to change this obsolete strategy?




The International financial system of private investment, excludes many countries and millions of people. The argument, other software, is that these countries do not enjoy the right conditions demanded by investors. But it goes much further; the gap between rich and poor continues to grow, making more and many people lack access to basic services. That's why this should be the main solidarity and brotherhood among peoples, and that after all, many of these have been affected severely. Only the external debt of African countries in 2009 was around $300 billion. Most of those countries agreed in 2005 that the payment of their external debt was not one of their priorities, instead of making the payments, they would use the money to reaching towards the The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Once again, the media play an important role: promoting awareness campaigns and true citizen empowerment, coupled with intelligent political pressure, would be a useful tool for the aspirations of many American and African countries that are most affected by debt external. But not everything is bad, and not all act the same way.

We want to emphasize the gesture that some industrialized countries have had in writing off the external debt of some countries. For example, the Belgian Government wrote off some debt that Ecuador had with them. Of the amount remitted, Belgium asked Ecuador that destines the 58% to development projects that promote the diversification of farm work, and create around eighty community boxes to provide small loans to farmers. Other countries to highlight are Spain and Norway. Spain wrote off the debt of the Republic of Congo which was about 224 million Euros, while Norway wrote off a debt equivalent to $80 million in five countries: Ecuador, Peru, Egypt, Jamaica and Sierra Leone.

The external debt is one of the saddest figures for the poorest nations that can do little or nothing to escape from their subordinate status. If we want to break the mold and prevent external debt that remains an eternal debt in many cases; we need to do a total reengineering in the financial system, in the guidelines of the various governments, but above all in ourselves, being more sensitive with the most needy, more participatory in deciding the future of our countries, and very specially, being smart when selecting our leaders.

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