Poland's mountain of debt: will It dwindle?

by Keith Crane

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This paper analyzes Polish prospects for solving its hard currency debt problems in the 1980s. It develops a series of scenarios and then projects hard currency balance of payments and output for each scenario, in an effort to determine the policy options open to Poland, the Soviet Union, and the West. Finally, it compares the projections in order to judge the impact of alternative policies on Polish creditworthiness and output levels. The scenarios considered are: (1) a continuation of current Soviet and Polish policy through 1989, (2) successful economic reform, (3) elimination of the Soviet trade deficit, (4) reconciliation between Poland and the West, (5) moratorium on servicing guaranteed debt, and (6) default on all hard currency debt.

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