Today Tanzania, tomorrow . . . ?

Story here.

Mr Brown said he intended to service the interest payments and capital repayments of 10% of all the debt owed to the World Bank by the 70 poorest nations, reflecting Britain's 10% shareholding in the bank.

The move will cost Britain anything between $1.2bn and $2bn (£635m and £1.06bn) between now and 2015. In the case of Tanzania his initiative will relieve the Tanzanians from paying $75m of the $750m debt payments due to fall to the World Bank over the next 10 years.

Addendum: And the good news keeps rolling on in.
  • Current Mood: quite proud, actually.
Depending on how cynical one is, one could proclaim that the often corrupt regimes governing these indebted nations will now have an extra few million to spend on their lavish lifestyles. It will be interesting to see how much of this money ends up benefitting the victims. Personally I'd have given the money to aid agencies rather than the governments. Having said that, yes it's great that Britain is contributing in a big way to help, and this makes me feel somewhat justified in not donating directly to the tin rattlers; a quick calculation reveals that Gordon Brown has just given £133 on my behalf.
an extra few million to spend on their lavish lifestyles.

There would indeed be little point in this, and hopefully the conditions mentioned will be enforced thoroughly.

Yeah, I didn't really believe the 'spending time with our solo projects but we'll be back' bollocks.
Yesterday they were having a break, today they've split up . . . what could tomorrow bring? They've been implicated in funding Scratcher's mates and are being questioned by the South African police?
Tomorrow we will be told that they were never together in the first place, but merely three actors involved in a record industry con. On Sunday it is revealed that this is in fact the case for all pop music since 1990.
Busted aren't that bad, you know. As boy bands go, at least. They have fuzzy guitars, short poppy songs with riffs, and lyrics like "I messed my pants/As we flew over France". Curiously, there are no performance credits on their album, but I guess they probably play their own instruments: it's not that hard.

I'd rather hear them than say, Westlife, any day.

(Disclaimer: I only bought the album for my son; this is called, "doin' it for the kids", I believe.)
I'd rather hear them than say, Westlife, any day.

That depends whether they were playing music, or talking. I'm not so keen on their talking.


There's an Onion headline somewhere in the archives along the lines of: "Catwoman 'Not as Bad as we thought it would be'", the cynicism of which I also apply regularly and liberally to Boy Bands
$75m of the $750m debt payments
leaving them a $675m debt. Hmmm...

Would it be better to bail seven countries out completely, or "alleviate" one tenth of the problems of all seventy of them (which will probably still leave them with crippling debts).

since the world total debt is $80 billion, Britain holds an $8 billion share. With 10% of that, Tanzania could be bailed out entirely.

What the resulting economic effects would be, either in Tanzania, neighbouring countries, or the other poor countries in the world, I don't know: I'm not an economist.
Hard to say categorically, but I'd guess that diminishing returns would set in here, and much more good would be done by halving the debt of two countries than by baling one out entirely and leaving the other one unhelped.
Mr Brown said he intended to service the interest payments

Well, this is good news. Although, I had a brief but disturbing vision of Gordon Brown servicing a huge heap of cash in the farming/vetenarian sense of the word service. He seemed to be enjoying it.
Right. All I need now is a wire brush the right shape to scrub out the inside of my head.
You're not helping. Go on like this and I may have to use power tools.
It's been a while since I was positively impressed by the government doing something morally right.


Here's hoping the idea spreads.
That's great, but my cynical side wonders if Brown is starting to mount an overt campaign for leadership.
Although it does reflect an ongoing effort by both Blair and Bush, the timing most likely reflects the fact that it's not long until May. I suspect the two of them are engaging in a bit of blatant electioneering in having it announced at this point, mainly aimed at people who aren't happy about the war.