The Debt Crisis of the 1980S

The Debt Crisis of the 1980S Law and Political Economy

Hardback (24 Nov 2023)

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Publisher's Synopsis

This book offers a novel account of the significant debt crisis which hit many developing countries during the 1980s. It starts with the flawed cycle of bank lending during the 1970s, and then moves from the opening act, in Mexico in 1982, until a solution was found with the 1989 Brady Initiative.

The Debt Crisis of the 1980s also articulates closely the economic and financial dimensions alongside the political and multilateral ones. The key relation between debtor countries and the IMF is explored in detail, but the book also documents the tense and often coercive interactions with commercial banks as well as on the continuing resistance to the IMF-led strategy among G7 governments. How debt contracts were restructured during all those years helps understanding how the Brady Initiative worked in practice, and how it prepared the ground for the turn to global markets after 1990. This debt crisis was indeed one of the main incubators of globalisation. This underlines further its unique character in the long-run history of sovereign debts, before and after the 1980s.

Remarkably, this book rests on in-depth interviews with the key players. Transcripts are included for the six most important players, including the former heads of the US Federal Reserve and the IMF. Archives from the IMF, the New York Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and commercial banks have also been systematically exploited, often for the first time ever.

This narrative and analytical account of one of the biggest debt crises in history is addressed to students and researchers in economics, international history, political economy and socio-legal studies. It will additionally be of value for professional economists and lawyers working on sovereign debts.

Book information

ISBN: 9781839103629
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
Imprint: Edward Elgar Publishing
Pub date:
DEWEY: 338.542
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: 378
Weight: -1g
Height: 234mm
Width: 156mm