Nearly half of the Third World debt, or about $400 million, is owed by Latin America. How this has come about and what it means for Latin America's future are the subjects of twelve essays by experts on the Latin American debt problem. Despite their widely varied backgrounds and interests, the contributors aim toward a clearer understanding of the meaning of the debt problem and where it may be headed. A background sketch of the problem is provided, as is an account of attempts to cope with the protracted crisis. Detailed discussions follow of the largest debtors, including Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. The situations of the small Central American and Caribbean states are also treated. Finally, the volume explores the question of whether sovereign lending is really good business for banks or a good solution for these countries.