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Michael N Collyer Global Financial Crisis, are three words almost guaranteed to strike fear into any businessman. Since 2007 the Global economy has suffered its worst setback since the 1930s and some argue that this financial period should be classified as the “Great Recession.” ( The 1930s was referred to as the “Great Depression”) No country was immune to the effects of the recession though some have faired better than others. Every business in the world will have been affected most detrimentally but a few positively. However, what is very obvious is that business is slowing down; cash flow is becoming difficult, credit is tightening and as a result payment terms are being extended and debts are mounting all over the world. For a company or individual to owe money to another is normal and has been a part of life and business since time begun. The way that money was recovered has varied from country to country dependant on the culture, laws and traditions, all of which are understood by the people of that country. People from another country may do things completely differently but it matters not what they do as each community is separate unto itself. However, in a global economy there is naturally global trade and global business, it follows therefore that there are global debts and the difficulty of recovering debts on a global scale can not be over estimated. As a result of the global financial crisis there is now a massive increase in global debts bigger than ever experienced in history. Attitude to debt has changed over the years from days of old in the middle ages when people were thrown into jail for debt until they paid, to modern attitudes in some countries that have decreed that debtors need to be protected from creditors. In many countries now debt does not carry the stigma that it did before. Attitude to debt therefore depends on the culture, law, traditions, and attitude all of which will be different in each country. Just as different countries dress differently and speak differently so their laws are different and their attitudes are different and it is this difference in approach to debts and debtors that presents the greatest problem to collecting international debt.

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