Debt Bondage Or Self-Reliance
A Popular Perspective on the Global Debt Crisis

Publisher:  GATT-Fly, Toronto, Canada
Year Published:  1985  
Pages:  86pp   ISBN:  0-9692334-0-X
Library of Congress Number:  HC3891.5.D43 1985   Dewey:  336.3'435
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX3205

Describes the effects of international debt on workers, the unemployed, and peasants who neither asked for or benefit from such debt. It describes the growing number of people's movements in Canada and developing nations who are struggling against austerity measures.

Abstract:  "Debt bondage" is a term which describes very aptly the situation of millions of the world's workers, peasants and unemployed. They did not seek their country's international debt, nor have they benefitted from it. Yet they are forced to bear the burden of austerity measures imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and private banks to pay for that debt.

Self-reliance is the demand of a growing number of people's movements in Third World countries and in Canada who are struggling against IMF's "cures" of the debt crisis. Self-reliance means putting the basic needs of people ahead of multinational profits.

DEBT BONDAGE OR SELF-RELIANCE examines the global debt crisis from the perspective of the people who are most severly affected by the crisis. It highlights the alternative programs of popular organizations in the Third World and in Canada who are struggling for their emancipation from debt bondage. Examples of the problem are given from Brazil, Mexico, the Philippines, Peru, Bolivia and Canada. The appendix lists proposals for reforming world finance.

The informatin available on other GATT-Fly publications. GATT-Fly is a project of Canadian churches that is mandated to do research, education and action in solidarity with people's organizations in Canada and the Third World.


Table of Contents
1. Introduction
i) International Debt Bondage
ii) Popular Resistance
iii) Perspective of This Study
Notes to Chapter 1
2. Origins of the Debt Crisis
i) The 19th Century: British Rule and the Gold Standard
ii) The Great Depression: Keynes Questions Free Trade and Capital Flows
iii) The Bretton Woods System
iv) Nixon Changes the Rules
v) The Eurocurrency Market and Private Bank Lending
vi) Where Did All the Money Go?
vii) Monetarism and the Great Recession
viii) The Rich Abandon Shop
Notes to Chapter 2
3. The Logic of the IMF
i) Private Banks and the IMF - the Peruvian Experience
ii) The Ideology of the IMF
iii) The U.S. Veto and Political Dominance
iv) The IMF Fails Its Own Test
v) The IMF Action in Brazil
Notes to Chapter 3
4. The Banks' Agenda
i) Loans Recycled, Not Repaid
ii) The Mexican Crisis of 1982
iii) A Special Deal for Mexico
iv) A New Game Begins
v) The Mexican Showcase
vi) Latin American Governments Get Tougher
vii) Bankers in Philadelphia, Government Heads in London
viii) Canada's Bankers Endorse the Strategy
Notes to Chapter 4
5. Debtor Governments Respond
i) Cartagena
ii) The Addis Ababa Declaration
iii) What Debtor Governments Want
iv) Futile Negotiations
Notes to Chapter 5
6. Canada's Indebtedness
i) The National Debt
ii) Causes of Growing Government Deficits
iii) High Interest Rates
iv) Financing Government Deficits
v) Canada's International Indebtedness
vi) Capital Flight and Growing Foreign Ownership
vii) Luring Foreign Investment
viii) High Unemployment Keeps Wages "Competitive"
ix) Cutting the Social Wage
x) Special Enterprise Zones
xi) Canada's Borrowing Abroad
xii) The Costs of Indebtedness
xiii) Farmers Driven Off the Land
xiv) Two Million Unemployed
xv) The IMF Approves
Notes to Chapter 6
7. Popular Responses to the Debt Crisis
i) Dominican Republic
ii) Philippines
iii) Brazil
iv) Peru
v) Bolivia
vi) Canada
Notes to Chapter 7
8. Towards Self-Reliance
i) Keeping the Elites in Power, Sustaining Dependence
ii) Self-Reliant Alternatives
iii) Disarming the IMF
iv) Orderly Write-Offs…Or Financial Collapse?
v) Political Action
vi) Putting Canada on the Road to Self-Reliance
vii) Solidarity with Popular Movements Throughout the World
Notes to Chapter 8
Appendix: Proposals for Reforming World Finance
i) Free Enterprise Solutions
ii) Write-Downs and Bail Outs
iii) Exchanging Loans for Bonds
iv) Exchanging Loans for Equity
v) Capping Interest Rates
vi) U.S. Task Force on International Private Enterprise
vii) Rockefeller Commission
viii) Banks Prefer Muddling through
ix) Debt Repudiation
x) Kissinger's Plan for Defusing the Weapon of Default
xi) Brandt Commission
xii) The Arusha Initiative
xiii) A New International Monetary System?
xiv) Fidel Castro
Notes to Appendix

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