Monday, April 14, 2003

Hey, it worked for WorldCom

An immediate problem arising from the end of Saddam Hussein's regime is the issue of Iraq's foreign debt, currently estimated to be at least $60 billion, and in reality much more than that. Treasury Secretary John Snow is trying to gague support from key Iraqi creditors—such as, ahem, France—for forgiving at least some of the debt. However this issue is resolved, it will ultimately involve some political wrangling at the United Nations, not to mention intervention from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, all organizations that contributed to the international debt problem in the first place.

This may sound simplistic, but I have an idea. Let's just put Iraq before a U.S. Bankruptcy Court (perhaps the one in Delaware, which arguably has a better track record in reorganizing indebted corporations than any international institution.) After all, if we can bring Iraqi war criminals before U.S.-appointed military tribunals, there's no reason we can't use U.S. institutions to settle the debts of a deposed dictatorial regime.

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