Trying to Defuse a Debt Bomb

Latin America's borrowers, $320 billion in the hole, look for help

"These debts cannot be paid under existing conditions."

With those words, Victor Giménez Landinez, Venezuela's Ambassador to the Organization of American States, summed up the plight of the 26 Latin American and Caribbean nations that met last week in Caracas, Venezuela. Just one year ago, Western bankers and public officials were scrambling frantically to avert a worldwide financial crisis as several Latin American countries tottered on the brink of default. The moneymen have since lent more than $45 billion to Brazil, Mexico and...

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