After the Mexican problems of mid-1982, a large number of other developing countries found themselves in deep difficulty with respect to their debt-servicing obligations. Some of these countries were middle-income, Latin American countries with relatively high debt—service ratios; others were low-income African countries where debt—service ratios were low; some were oil importers and some oil exporters, some had a record of rapid growth while others had grown slowly, if at all. The fact that the countries affected seemed to have little in common other than their debt-servicing difficulties led most observers to focus upon the ‘debt problem’ as the phenomenon for analysis, although not all countries experienced debt-servicing difficulties and there had been earlier instances of these problems.
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Anne O. Krueger
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