Greece May Join Exclusive Club over IMF Payments

If cash-poor Greece fails to make any of its $1.7 billion in loan repayments to the International Monetary Fund this month, starting with $334 million due Friday, the country will be enshrined in history with a group of current and former deadbeats that includes Cuba, Zimbabwe, and Sudan.

What sets Greece apart from many other cases is that it wasn’t done in by war, revolution, or violence—but rather by its own debt and spending, compounded by a financial crisis and austerity measures imposed by the IMF and other creditors. (IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde was meeting in Berlin Monday night with creditors, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and ECB President Mario Draghi, to discuss reaching an accord over the Greek crisis, according to three people familiar with the gathering.)

Here are some of the highlights—er, lowlights—of nations that have missed IMF debt payments in the lender’s seven decades of existence, as recounted in large part in the 2001 book Silent Revolution by IMF historian James Boughton.


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