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International Trade Law

Sovereign debt

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Full-Text Articles in International Economics

Domestic Bonds, Credit Derivatives, And The Next Transformation Of Sovereign Debt, Anna Gelpern Jan 2008

Domestic Bonds, Credit Derivatives, And The Next Transformation Of Sovereign Debt, Anna Gelpern

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Not long ago, financial markets in most poor and middle-income countries were shallow to nonexistent, and closed to foreigners. Governments often had to rely on risky borrowing abroad; the private sector had even fewer options. But between 1995 and 2005, domestic debt in the emerging markets grew from $1 trillion to $4 trillion. In Mexico, domestic debt went from just over 20% of the total government debt stock in 1995 to nearly 80% in 2007. Foreign and local investors are buying. Over the same period, derivative contracts to transfer emerging market credit risk surpassed the market capitalization of the benchmark ...


Odious, Not Debt, Anna Gelpern Jan 2007

Odious, Not Debt, Anna Gelpern

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This article argues that the doctrine of Odious Debt, which has enjoyed a revival since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, frames the problem of odious debt in a way that excludes most of the problematic obligations incurred by twentieth-century despots. Advocacy and academic literature traditionally describe the odious debt problem as one of government contracts with private creditors. Most theories of sovereign debt key off the same relationship. But in the latest crop of cases, including Iraq, Liberia, and Nigeria, private creditors represent a small fraction of the old regime's debts. Most of the creditors are ...


Building A Better Seating Chart For Sovereign Restructurings, Anna Gelpern Jan 2004

Building A Better Seating Chart For Sovereign Restructurings, Anna Gelpern

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Every sovereign debt restructuring in recent memory has wrestled with the problem of inter-creditor equity. Governments have discriminated among creditors in ways that were hard to predict and often were not revealed until after a debt default. In contrast, debts of firms, individuals and even localities are ranked in order of priority established by contract and statute. This ranking is known at borrowing, generally corresponds to the order of repayment in bankruptcy liquidation, and helps define the creditors' relative bargaining power in reorganization. Without a bankruptcy backstop, most debts of national governments are legally equal. Yet in practice, sovereign immunity ...