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Section D: Debt



Identify 3 reasons why you might need to borrow money.

To buy assets e.g. cars, houses etc.
To buy capital
To pay for losses made
To pay for medical expenses
To pay off debt at a lower interest rate
To start a business
To raise standard of living
To feed some of poorer population

Explain what a loan is and how it works.

A loan = act of giving money, property or other material goods to another party in
exchange for future repayment of the principal amount along with interest or other
finance charges.
A loan may be for a specific, one-time amount or can be available as open-ended
credit up to a specified ceiling amount.


Investigate rates on interest on loans in Hong Kong and another country e.g.
use www.tradingeconomics.com.


Explain how changes in interest rates affect loan repayments and further

Changes in interest rates can increase the amount paid back to the lender because
they have arranged the interest rate so it is advantageous to them.


Explain how changes in exchange rates may affect loan repayments.

Exchange rates can affect loan repayments

Yes, currency exchange rates do affect the value of the loan repayments. Loans
provided by you are ultimately provided to entrepreneurs in local
currencies. Equally, repayments to you are translated back into GB pounds using
the prevailing exchange rate. Exchange rates fluctuate over time so the monthly
instalment you receive in GB Pounds will differ slightly to that forecast on the
repayment schedule that is attached to each entrepreneur. Therefore, you will see
fluctuations in repayment values; these will sometimes be less than the forecast
repayment. If there is any exchange rate gain then this will be retained by CARE to
help with our operational costs.
You, the lender, bear the exchange rate risk due to fluctuations in exchange rates.

Case Study Jamaica

Jamaica a middle-income developing country of 2.8 million people has one of the worst
debt burdens in the world, with a gross public debt of 123% of GDP.

Not surprisingly, a country that is paying so much interest on its debt does not have much
room in its budget for other things. For the 2009/2010 fiscal year, Jamaica's interest
payments on the public debt were 45% of its government spending. This crowding out of
public investment and social spending has hurt Jamaica's progress towards the Millennium
development goals.
Jamaica's coverage rates for detection and treatment of tuberculosis declined from 79% in
1997 to 43% in 2006, the worst decline of 77 countries for which data was available. The net
enrollment ratio in primary school declined from 97% in 1991 to 87% in 2006/2007.
Jamaica's long term development failure is striking, and has a lot to do with its debt burden.
For the 20 years from 1988-2008, real income per person grew by just 14%, which is
incredibly dismal. The the country was hit by the U.S. and global recession at the end of
2008, losing export revenue, remittances, and other sources of aggregate demand.


Jamaica became independent from Britain in 1962, but it was only in the 1970s that the
government of Michael Manley initiated policies to reduce dependency on foreign capital,
improve living standards and fight inequality. He supported health and education,
nationalised industries, increased taxation on foreign investment and encouraged
agricultural self-sufficiency.
Jamaica has repaid more money ($19.8bn) than it has been lent ($18.5bn), yet the
government still "owes" $7.8bn, as a result of huge interest payments. Government foreign
debt payments ($1.2bn) are double the amount spent on education and health combined



Using the information contained in the case study identify the disadvantages
of being in debt.
2. Find an image or several images that represent:
Positive outcomes of debt
Negative outcomes of debt

Research Task
The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
In pairs, research the roles of the World Bank and the IMF in promoting
economic development. What are the terms and conditions of the loans that

they make to countries? How does the World Bank differ from the IMF? Be
prepared to present your findings to the class.

Exam Practice
Make sure that you are able to
discuss whether the benefits of
international debt outweigh the
costs of international debt.
International Debt