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Not Just Numbers

Examining the Legitimacy of Foreign Debts

Martin Junge and Peter N. Prove, Editors

The issue of external debt and its consequences for the population of indebted countries has been a concern of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) for more than three decades. Recently the discussion has focused increasingly on the concept of the legitimacy or illegitimacy of external debt. But what is meant by “illegitimate debt,” and how can this concept be translated into political action?

An example: A branch of a European automobile manufacturer in Argentina, holding a balance of USD 94 million in its accounts, requested a USD 4 million line of credit from a bank in England. The credit was given, on the condition that the company keep a balance of at least USD 4.5 million with the lending bank. Four years after the credit was taken, the company declared its inability to repay the loan. Thus, the guarantee of the Argentinean state came into affect and the private debt was transferred to the public sector. This is a case of illegitimate debt.

This book gives an overview of the current involvement of churches and NGOs, and of their attempts to bring the concept of illegitimacy into the political debate on debt relief and responsible lending. Theological and ethical perspectives are presented, as well as a conceptual discussion regarding the concept of debt illegitimacy. Regional perspectives from authors around the globe present a diversified picture regarding the understanding of illegitimate debt and at the same time constitute a valuable resource for further discussions on the subject.

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Not Just NumbersNot Just Numbers

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ISBN: 1932688374
112 Pages
Size: 6 x 9
Binding: Perfectbound
Quantity in Basket: None
$15.00

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