Err, no

The fact is that in 2015, Greece became the first nation ever to default on an IMF loan. And Mr Varoufakis was its finance minister at the time.

First advanced nation perhaps, first nation not being entirely crippled by war, civil or otherwise maybe, but not the first.

6 thoughts on “Err, no”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    Advanced nation? Someone on the internet pointed out that Greece has been in default to its international creditors for roughly half the time it has existed as an independent country.

    We go back to Classical Greece we find that political change usually involved allowing everyone to default on their debts. In fact Rome stepped in and established order in Greece precisely to stop this.

    Some political cultures are so ingrained they may as well be genetic. People don’t change.

  2. The IMF doesn’t actually make loans. Technically it’s a swap whereby the bankrupt state exchanges it’s crappy currency for something harder, with an agreement to repurchase at a later date. And the IMF doesn’t call a default when a country goes into arrears. Countries that have been in arrears include Cuba, Egypt, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Guyana, Chad, Vietnam, Sierra Leone (twice), Sudan, Liberia, Tanzania, the Gambia, Peru, Jamaica, Zambia, Somalia, Panama, DR Congo (twice), Haiti (twice), Honduras, Iraq, Dominican Republic, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Yugoslavia, Central African Republic, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and Greece.

    So Varoufakis is up there with Castro, Pol Pot and Mugabe.

  3. @dearime: Same as above. We give them some of our/crappy currency/gilts and they would have given us $/DM/SDRs to be repaid at a future date. OK it’s a loan in all but name if you think the soft currency is worthless, but it isn’t documented as such and there is no default – and falling into arrears on IMF payments does not generally trigger an event of default under other borrowings

  4. To be honest it was just a slip. The piece links to an earlier article that makes it clear it first developed country.

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