In the eighty years since Alexander Sack coined the phrase "odious debt," academics and activists have periodically rediscovered Sack's idea, often arguing for its application or extension-to this point, in vain. Here, Tarullo reveals the degree to which current interest in the problem of odious debt is intertwined with other problems that strike more critically at the well-being of developing-and emerging-market countries. He reasons that the necessarily complex effort needed to institutionalize a doctrine of odious debt is a potentially effective organizing principle for generating the political will to address these other persistent, debilitating problems.

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