"The lesson to be drawn from the history of sovereign lending is not that governments always pay but that sooner or later their creditors will settle for less than 100 cents on the dollar." How this result has now come about after banks lent heavily without remembering the experience of the 1930s is well described in this lively book. A close observer of bank behavior from the time she studied the recycling of petrodollars for a Senate committee in the 1970s, Lissakers of Columbia University buttresses her analysis (which some bankers will reject) with a rich mosaic of facts and quotations that makes the story sprightly as well as clear.
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