The International Debt Crisis in Historical Perspective

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9780262050418: The International Debt Crisis in Historical Perspective

This anatomy of financial crises shows that the debt crisis of the 1980s is not unprecedented and was even forecast by many Eichengreen and Lindert, bring together original studies that assess the historical record to see what lessons can be learned for resolving today's crisis. They offer a wide variety of approaches to negotiation over defaulted loans between creditors and debtors. The questions addressed are central to any informed discussion of the current debt crisis. Are periods of enthusiastic international lending commonly followed by default and market collapse? If so, why? What are the warning signs of impending crisis? What kinds of countries and loans are most susceptible to debt servicing difficulties? When default does occur, what are its economic and political consequences? Which approaches to negotiations between defaulting countries and their lenders are most likely to achieve a rapid resolution? Albert Fishlow compares international lending today with lending in the 1890s. Peter Lindert also isolates differences between international lending in the 1980s and lending in earlier times. Eliana Cardoso and Rudiger Dornbusch consider the efficiency of the lending process and the consequences and management of default for a debtor country. Chapters by Berry Eichengreen and Richard Portes, and by Jeffrey Sachs and Erika Jorgensen examine negotiations on international loans defaulted during the period between the two world wars. Vinod Aggarwal interprets the history of Mexico's debt crisis, and Charles Lipson considers the links between international financial relations and national security considerations. Barry Eichengreen is Professor of Economics at the University ofCalifornia, Berkeley. Peter Lindert is Professor of Economics at the University of California, Davis.

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About the Author:

Barry Eichengreen is George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Capital Flows and Crises (MIT Press, 2002) and other books.

Peter H. Lindert is Professor of Economics at the University of California, Davis.

Review:

Eichengreen and Lindert have assembled a fine group of scholars who think clearly and write lucidly. Their book conveys a lesson and a warning. Lenders and borrowers behave predictably in ways that produce periodic debt crises remarkably similar in origin and outcome. New names have been given to old ways of muddling through but not much else was new in the 1980s. Readers of this history are not likely to repeat it. But that will happen later after it has been forgotten.

(Peter B. Kenen, Princeton University)

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Barry J. Eichengreen, Peter H. Lindert (Editor)
Published by Mit Pr (1990)
ISBN 10: 0262050412 ISBN 13: 9780262050418
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Barry J. Eichengreen
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