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Microfinance has been a nightmare for the Global South. Sri Lanka shows that there is an alternative

October 11, 2019
Ahilan Kadirgamar and Niyanthini Kadirgamar write how women’s groups and the co-operative movement are leading the way out of the debt trap promoted by microfinance strategies. Ahilan is a member of the Collective for Economic Democratisation. Niyanthini is a PhD Student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and was previously engaged with people affected by micro-credit in Sri Lanka. The

Are we heading for another debt crisis? If so, what should we be doing?

December 1, 2016
Just when you thought life couldn’t get more retro (Leonard Cohen on the radio, post-Brexit trade negotiations, impending nuclear war), here comes another debt crisis. Probably. Had a good briefing from some key wonks in Development Finance International and the Jubilee Debt Campaign, two small but vital watchdogs that play a vital role in maintaining capacity on important issues when

Are developing countries heading for another debt crisis? And if so, what is anyone doing about it?

February 5, 2015
Skating on thin ice is an occupational hazard in my job, but it was really cracking underfoot at a recent Chatham House Rules roundtable on ‘debt crisis prevention in developing countries’. The only way to survive is to stay quiet, nod and look thoughtful when people refer to completely unintelligible things like ‘the clarification of pari passu, which created difficulties

What to do about Syria? How about declaring its oil and arms contracts illegitimate? Neat idea from CGD

March 20, 2012

Low income countries have a $65bn hangover from the global crisis -will it destroy the MDGs?

August 9, 2010
I wrote this for the Guardian Comment is Free site (went up last Friday), summarizing the findings of a new Oxfam research paper. Take note, anyone involved in next months’ big UN MDG summit. “Sometimes the things we don’t know about what is happening in the world take your breath away. A global economic crisis strikes just a few years before

The UN lays into finance, speculation and the IMF: UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Report 2009

September 17, 2009
Another day, another UN report, this time the Trade and Development Report 2009, from the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), released last week. It’s surprisingly forthright. Set up in 1964, in the table-thumping days of the New International Economic Order, in recent years UNCTAD had become markedly more cautious, not least under its current secretary general, the distinctly un-fiery