I was in school during the Russian default and was not paying much attention. From what I have read from the web, there was no foreign country invading Russia, taking Russian land, looting Russian gold or national treasure or agricultural produce. It seems to me the Russians did a brave thing and it helped destroyed LTCM. In retrospect, there wasn't much damage to their economic image or reputation either, and Russia is a vibrant, growing economy today. So, when a country is in huge debt, maybe it should just say: "Fcuk the creditors who try to enslave us. You want a piece of me? You have to get through my army, navy, and my air force, AND MY NUKES first !!"