Enter The Brady Plan

Washington unveils a new program to ease Third World debt

As a longtime and close adviser to President George Bush, Secretary of State James Baker is one of the most powerful men in Washington. But his tenure as Ronald Reagan's Treasury Secretary has left a sorry legacy: the failure of the so-called Baker plan, the 1985 policy designed to ease the debt burden of Third World nations. The 15 largest borrowers, most of them in Latin America, have seen their debt climb to more than $500 billion, from $350 billion in 1981. The debt load has left local economies a shambles and fragile democracies threatened. After 300 people died in Venezuela...

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