Odious Debt

13 January 2006 | Glossary

An “odious debt” is incurred and used for ends which, to the knowledge of the creditors, are contrary to the interests of the nation. The term was coined by Alexander Nahum Sack in 1927 in the wake of the Spanish American war, and is used to describe debts incurred by contemporary despotic regimes which ought to be legally unenforceable unless as personal debts of the regime.