ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Textile Policy Blues

former chairman of the Swiss Central Bank and the Bank for International Settlements, Fritz Leutwiler, has agreed to negotiate a rescheduling of South Africa's debt to various banks. Leutwiler is currently the chairman of the Swiss MNC, Brown Boveri, a firm not unknown to India. To the question why it was necessary to have such negotiations and that too so high powered, the answer is provided in a report on the subject in the Wall Street Journal: "The reason an honest broker is needed whereas none was needed for talks between Brazil and Mexico and their creditor banks, is that no bank wanted to be seen as supporting the South African government's apartheid policies." While it is a fact that the South African apartheid policies are the focus of serious political debate in the US and the rest of the Western world, there seems to be a concerted attempt at playing down the economic factors, namely, the debt problem currently faced by South Africa, That South Africa has been in a deep depression for years on end, that it has been running payments deficits for several years and that it has relied heavily on short-term borrowing are not matters that can easily be glossed over.

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