Monday, December 25, 2006


Because everyone likes a bit of econ-related reading on Christmas, you can go read this about the new reality of Latin American borrowing.

When countries default on debt, one expects "the market" to punish them - that is, require much higher rates for any future lending - the same way you're not going to get a good mortgage rate if your credit rating sucks. But the international financial gods didn't really leave it there, but put a system in place to try to make it so that defaulting countries wouldn't just be punished by "the market" but would actually experience a kind of superpunishment, which they describe as "a powerful creditors' cartel headed by the IMF" which "had a credible threat of punishing a defaulting country by depriving it of credit from most sources." This is changing, and that's good.