A Little Unexpected Optimism

Bankers see progress on defusing the Third World's debt bomb

Central bankers and finance ministers, who are not exactly a frivolous group even at the best of times, have been particularly solemn over the past two years as they struggled with the Third World's staggering debt problems. But the financiers arriving in Washington for this week's joint annual meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund were in an upbeat mood. Gone was the near panic that swept the same meeting in 1982 after Mexico declared that it could not make its...

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