While taking a significant toll on public revenues, repayment of public debt has, since 2004, ceased to be a major concern for most middle-revenue countries and for raw material exporting countries in general. In fact the majority of governments of these countries are having no trouble finding loans at historically low interest rates. However, the debt crisis that hit the advanced industrial countries in 2007 could radically change the conditions of indebtedness in developing countries in the near future. Are we approaching the onset of another debt crisis in developing countries? The question requires thought, because if such is the case, we need to be prepared and take appropriate measures to limit the damage.
The historical facts
The last two centuries in the history of capitalism saw several international crises (three in the 19th century and two in the 20th), which directly shaped the fate of emerging countries. The origin of these crises and the moment at which they peaked are closely related to the pace of the world economy, and particularly, to that of the advanced industrial countries. Each debt crisis was preceded by an abnormal boom in the countries of the centre, with an excess of capital being partly recycled into the economies of the periphery. The crisis was generally triggered by a recession or crash affecting some of the main industrialised economies.