Eastern promise



Over the past decade, as eastern European countries have struggled to throw off their Soviet past and embrace membership of the European Union, many have experienced a steady rise in foreign debt (see figure 1). In good economic times, servicing these loans was not a problem. Investors seemed to have an infinite amount of cash that they were willing to pour into eastern European markets, in anticipation of much better returns than they could experience elsewhere.

But as Klaus Junker, CEO of Alli