How could Greece and Argentina – the new ‘debt colonies’ – be set free? by Ha-Joon Chang

If nations were able to go bankrupt like companies it would benefit everyone, especially society’s poorest

Protesters wear chains in a protest against Greece’s austerity measures. The burden of debt falls mostly on the weaker members of society. Photograph: Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images

Colonialism is back. Well, at least according to leading politicians of the two most famous debtor nations. Commenting on the EU’s inability to deliver its end of the bargain despite the savage spending cuts Greece had delivered, Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the opposition Syriza party, said last week that his country was becoming a « debt colony ». A couple of days later, Hernán Lorenzino, Argentina’s economy minister, used the term « judicial colonialism » to denounce the US court ruling*  that his country has to pay in full a group of « vulture funds » that had held out from the debt restructuring that followed the country’s 2002 default.  Lire la suite