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International economic strife echoes Sri Lankan unrest: ‘This is not a moment for complacency’

Atlantic Council GeoEconomics Director Josh Lipsky weighs in on Sri Lankan economic strife as a microcosm of global unrest. Segment originally aired July 13, 2022.

Video Transcript

JOSH LIPSKY: The images are absolutely extraordinary. And you can't help look at them and think, is this unique to Sri Lanka? And I think the answer is no. If you look at the factors driving this-- pandemic shut down tourism affects a lot of countries. Bad fiscal management and corruption, that's repeated unfortunately, in many countries. High debt burdens and overextended loans to China and many other creditors. We know that's a story across the world.

There's a lot of issues here if you think of the trend lines that are going to be repeated other places-- El Salvador, Ghana, Tunisia, Egypt, even Pakistan, as a range of different kinds of VMs in different parts of the world that are potentially at risk of default here. And that doesn't mean it will happen.

But we have an extraordinary amount of money of distressed assets trading higher amount than we've had in years. This is not a moment for complacency. They need more firepower. And in the background of all of this is Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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