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Debt intolerance: Executive summary

Reinhart, Carmen (2004): Debt intolerance: Executive summary.

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Speaking before the IDB Board of Directors, Carmen Reinhart discussed the syndrome of “debt intolerance,” whereby countries with weak institutional structures and problematic political systems borrow in order to avoid difficult fiscal decisions but subsequently find themselves unwilling or unable to repay. Debt intolerance, it should be noted, is by no means a recent phenomenon: the historical record shows repeated defaults by several European countries before 1900 and, in some instances, well into the twentieth century.

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