Life and Debt

This documentary looks at the sovereign debt crisis in Jamaica during the 1980's (one of many third world countries to run into trouble as easy foreign loans lead to wasteful spending and poor economic policy). Specifically the documentary takes a critique on the involvement of the international financial institutions; the IMF and the World Bank in working to resolve the island nation's debt crisis and efforts to put the country back on a sustainable footing. In fact the IMF and World Bank involvement attracted a lot of criticism and controversy because their rescue loans required conditionality - that the country would implement economic reforms such as trade liberalisation, privatizations, and regulation. But these structural adjustments are hard for the masses to understand and to accept and politically troublesome, so often these programs don't end up getting fully implemented. In this day and age with the European situation, it makes sense to study previous sovereign debt crises; it helps gain perspective, learn lessons from the past, and perhaps improve the way we are dealing with today's crises, and even ideas for preventing future economic disasters.

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