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Rethinking odious debt in the age of predatory lending: Old ideas for new problems

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Publication Genève: Université de Genève, Working Papers of the Paul Bairoch Institute of Economic History, no. 1, 2018
Collection Working Papers of the Paul Bairoch Institute of Economic History; 1/2018
Description 14 p.
Abstract This essay suggests that odious debt needs a restatement to stay relevant in the face of important changes affecting state (i.e. “sovereign”) debt. Today, a major issue affecting creditor-debtor relations in the sovereign sector is the predicament of over-lending. Examples abound of reckless creditors pressuring vulnerable states to borrow for projects they do not need and at conditions they do not fully understand. This development, which recalls the aggressive business tactics used by predatory lenders in consumer lending, has become a ubiquitous problem affecting both developing and developed nations. Yet, this problem remains largely unaccounted for in international law and in the odious debt doctrine in particular. The future of odious debt depends upon a collective endeavor to make the legal doctrine more sensitive to issues of predatory lending. This essay offers insights into the benefits that such efforts may yield on states and their creditors.
Keywords International LawOdious debtGreecePredatory lendingColonial history
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PENET, Pierre. Rethinking odious debt in the age of predatory lending: Old ideas for new problems. 2018 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:102988

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Deposited on : 2018-03-15

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