By Robert Willmann
Sri Lanka has become a laboratory of what happens when a country is loaded with debt, and starts running short of fuel and food. Demonstrations have been ongoing for a few months, and since the economic situation did not improve, the protests increased in size and activity. Finally, on Saturday, 9 July 2022, protesters drove the president out of his house and took a tour of it themselves–
Price inflation has been rising fast: 54.6 percent over the last 12 months while food prices are up 80.1 percent–
As if on cue, in comes the International Monetary Fund, also known as the International Monkey Business Fund (IMF), rubbing its hands together with glee. An IMF staff was in Sri Lanka from 20-30 June 2022, and its press release contained the usual gobbledegook and euphemisms, but did make one thing clear: “Because public debt is assessed as unsustainable, Executive Board approval would require adequate financing assurances from Sri Lanka’s creditors that debt sustainability will be restored”–
According to the IMF’s country report, number 22/91, released in March 2022, the public debt of Sri Lanka at the end of 2019 totalled $77,343,000,000 US dollars (14,048,000,000,000 Rupees), and at the end of 2020 it was $88,364,000,000 US dollars (16,472,000,000,000 Rupees). Sri Lanka is bankrupt.
According to the U.S. Treasury Department, the total outstanding public debt of the United States as of 7 July 2022 is $30,506,236,341,875.02. That is in dollars, not rupees.
Politicians and bureaucrats in the U.S. and in the awful European Union have been making domestically destructive edicts for the last two years. They should take note of Sri Lanka. People will tolerate being jerked around by political entities to a surprising degree. But when they have difficulty being able to eat and move around, things change.