Indebtedness among developing countries generates fierce emotions. Anger, anxiety, fear, resentment, jealousy, disdain, and discontent are strong feelings often associated with debtors or creditors or with both at once. This chapter proposes two ways of standing back a little from the immediate situation to deal with it as rationally and prudently as possible. One is to consider the way in which the treatment of debts has evolved in most of the advanced market economies, how it has been managed politically as well as how it has contributed to economic development. The second is to put international debt into a longer historical perspective than just the past ten years or so, and to consider what conclusions may be drawn from past behavior of debtors and creditors. The credit structure's response to the undeniable rise in liability to default caused by the increased number and volatility of political and economic variables may be criticized as inadequate. But it has not been negligible.