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Time For A Renewed Anti-Debt Movement
by Eric Toussaint , Beverly Keene , Lidy B. Nacpil , Dorothy Guerrero
1 June 2020

The coronavirus and global lockdowns mark 2020 as the year in which we re-confront these same issues, only this time with even greater life-or-death urgency, as leaders in one country after another, responding primarily to their own immediate fears, have introduced hitherto unthinkable emergency measures. The economic and social consequences of those measures came as secondary afterthoughts. Yet, it is those postscripts that now threaten to be worse than the disease they are supposed to cure – particularly in the euphemistically labelled developing or less-developed world.

Unlike the re-emergence of essentially the same issues as 20 years ago, the IMF of today claims to be different. However, is it really any different? The IMF’s latest Fiscal Monitor still calls for the same post-coronavirus “fiscal consolidation”.

To respond effectively, and especially to debate whether and how IMF re-empowerment through Special Drawing Right (SDR) issuance can accompany anti-debt campaigning, we need to come together from all over the world – including progressives from the Global North – to harness our collective knowledge and experiences - to answer additional questions such as: Against the scale of the economic crisis and unfolding global depression, do we need a more flexible attitude to our governments borrowing money from the IMF and World Bank – and should we be pushing the IMF to issue SDRs as some progressives have been arguing? Is the BRICS’ New Development Bank an alternative meriting pushing for a bigger role? Is sovereign debt default a feasible strategy for indebted nations? What are the precedents and possibilities?

Conversation moderated by Brian Ashley from the AIDC .


Eric Toussaint

is a historian and political scientist who completed his Ph.D. at the universities of Paris VIII and Liège, is the spokesperson of the CADTM International, and sits on the Scientific Council of ATTAC France.
He is the author of Debt System (Haymarket books, Chicago, 2019), Bankocracy (2015); The Life and Crimes of an Exemplary Man (2014); Glance in the Rear View Mirror. Neoliberal Ideology From its Origins to the Present, Haymarket books, Chicago, 2012 (see here), etc.
See his bibliography: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89ric_Toussaint
He co-authored World debt figures 2015 with Pierre Gottiniaux, Daniel Munevar and Antonio Sanabria (2015); and with Damien Millet Debt, the IMF, and the World Bank: Sixty Questions, Sixty Answers, Monthly Review Books, New York, 2010. He was the scientific coordinator of the Greek Truth Commission on Public Debt from April 2015 to November 2015.

Beverly Keene
Lidy B. Nacpil

is an activist working on economic, environmental, social and gender justice issues in national, regional and global campaigns.

She is the Co-ordinator of Jubilee South – Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JSAPMDD), Co-coordinator of the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice (DCJ), and member of the global Coordinating Committee of the Global Alliance on Tax Justice (GATJ).

She also serves as the Convenor of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice and Vice President of the Freedom From Debt Coalition.

Dorothy Guerrero