Deuda

Nunca he tenido clara mi relación con el dinero. Tener más o menos de esos papelitos que compran cosas me parece una idea absurda. No quiero caer en el esnobismo ni en la ingenuidad, pero el trabajo físico y/o mental que se necesita para ganar muchos de esos papelitos resulta indecente. Los billetes se pierden y se rompen con una facilidad que da miedo. La diferencia entre un papelito de baja y otro de alta denominación es casi nula en apariencia, salvo por la ilustración y el color (categorías hasta cierto punto infantiles, creo yo), pero de gran importancia cuando se sube uno a un taxi o a un pesero. Peor cuando compras carne o zapatos. Benito Juárez y Cuauhtémoc tienen alcances muy distintos.
No se me malinterprete: hasta el momento no he robado ningún banco en nombre de la anarquía ni creo inteligentes a esas personas que todo tratan de obtener gratis, ya sea por robo o por seducción.
Las cosas cuestan, sí señor, pero no siempre lo que valen.
Es la lógica de la transacción que me vuelve loca. No siempre lo que pagas es tuyo. Las deudas (incluso las de honor o las de conciencia) se heredan y esclavizan, eso lo vivimos todos. Y de pronto, de un plumazo, hasta que a alguien se le hincha, ya eres libre otra vez. Es rarísimo.

Esta noticia es harto representativa de lo absurdo del dinero: (tendrán que disculpar el idioma original, pero debo regresar a trabajar y no tengo tiempo para traducirla) :

The world’s wealthiest nations agreed yesterday to cancel more than $40 billion in debts that some of the world’s poorest nations owe to international lenders — a move inspired by the belief that full debt forgiveness is necessary to give those countries a chance to escape the trap of hunger, disease and economic stagnation.

Under the agreement, 18 countries would receive immediate forgiveness on more than $40 billion that they owe in coming years, a combined savings for those countries estimated at $1.5 billion a year.
Most are in Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Four others — Bolivia, Guyana, Honduras and Nicaragua — are in Latin America. Another nine African nations are likely to qualify soon, once they satisfy IMF and World Bank requirements for improving their governance and economic policies. Another 11 countries could also benefit eventually.

Even after the Americans and British had struck an alliance, they had to overcome objections from other members of the G-8, including Germany, which has long taken a dim view of blanket debt-forgiveness schemes. Other members of the group are Japan, France, Italy, Canada and Russia.

Debt forgiveness plans have been announced before with great fanfare, but they have often fallen far short of the hoped-for results. Some critics contend this is because the countries that benefit are hopelessly corrupt, while others contend that the terms have simply been too stingy.
In the 1980s and early 1990s, rich countries forgave much of the debt owed to them directly by poor countries under successively more generous plans.

Since those deals still left countries in debt to the IMF and World Bank, a new program was launched in 1996 to reduce those obligations and it was expanded in 1999. Yesterday’s plan is aimed at wiping the slate clean, at least for the countries that qualify, once and for all.

By Paul Blustein

Washington Post Staff Writer.

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