Debt Relief: Voice of Dissent

William Easterly, senior advisor in the Development Research Group at the World Bank, speaks out against debt relief, starting out his piece in ‘Foreign Policy’ with ‘Sorry Bono, but debt relief is not new.’

He argues: Debt relief has become the feel-good economic policy of the new millennium, trumpeted by Irish rock star Bono, Pope John Paul II, and virtually everyone in between. But despite its overwhelming popularity among policymakers and the public, debt relief is a bad deal for the world’s poor. By transferring scarce resources to corrupt governments with proven track records of misusing aid, debt forgiveness might only aggravate poverty among the world’s most vulnerable populations.