Too Little, Too Late

The Quest to Resolve Sovereign Debt Crises

Edited by Martin Guzman, José Antonio Ocampo, and Joseph E. Stiglitz

Columbia University Press

Too Little, Too Late

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Pub Date: May 2016

ISBN: 9780231179263

312 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $70.00£58.95

Pub Date: May 2016

ISBN: 9780231542029

312 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $69.99£58.95

Too Little, Too Late

The Quest to Resolve Sovereign Debt Crises

Edited by Martin Guzman, José Antonio Ocampo, and Joseph E. Stiglitz

Columbia University Press

The current approach to resolving sovereign debt crises does not work: sovereign debt restructurings come too late and address too little. Though unresolved debt crises impose enormous costs on societies, many recent restructurings have not been deep enough to provide the conditions for economic recovery (as illustrated by the Greek debt restructuring of 2012). And if the debtor decides not to accept the terms demanded by the creditors, finalizing a restructuring can be slowed by legal challenges (as illustrated by the recent case of Argentina, deemed as "the trial of the century").

A fresh start for distressed debtors is a basic principle of a well-functioning market economy, yet there is no international bankruptcy framework for sovereign debts. While this problem is not new, the United Nations and the global community are now willing to do something about it. Providing guidance for those who intend to take up reform, this book assesses the relative merits of various debt-restructuring proposals, especially in relation to the main deficiencies of the current nonsystem. With contributions by leading academics and practitioners, Too Little, Too Late reflects the overwhelming consensus among specialists on the need to find workable solutions.
The international debt regime desperately needs fixing. The debate over how to fix it, for its part, desperately needs systematic analysis, which is precisely what we get from this important volume. Critics of the current regime may not agree with everything proposed here, but they cannot afford to ignore it. Barry Eichengreen, George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Political Science, University of California, Berkeley
In a world awash with debt, effective procedures for restructuring excessive debt burdens are essential but sorely lacking when it comes to sovereign borrowers. Better arrangements which can benefit both debtors and creditors need to reflect economic, legal, and political considerations. Too Little, Too Late pulls together powerful insights from each of these disciplines, and makes a major contribution to a crucially important policy debate. Adair Turner, author of Between Debt and the Devil: Money, Credit, and Fixing Global Finance
Addressing the longstanding question of whether it is possible to improve the methods and legal/institutional framework for sovereign debt restructuring, this book answers in the affirmative and provides a number of concrete proposals for how this might be accomplished. With strong analytical chapters from preeminent scholars and practitioners, this book will appeal to academic and policy audiences alike. Jeremiah Pam, Columbia University
Well timed.... An excellent resource on a topic likely to become important in the near future. Financial Analyst Journal
Acknowledgments
Introduction, by Martin Guzman, José Antonio Ocampo, and Joseph E. Stiglitz
Part I: General Issues of Sovereign Debt Restructuring
1. Creating a Framework for Sovereign Debt Restructuring that Works, by Martin Guzman, José Antonio Ocampo, and Joseph E. Stiglitz
2. Sovereign Debt of Developing Countries: Overview of Trends and Policy Perspectives, by Marilou Uy and Shichao Zhou
3. Private Creditor Power and the Politics of Sovereign Debt Governance, by Skylar Brooks and Domenico Lombardi
Part II: Two Case Studies: Argentina and Greece
4. From the Pari Passu Discussion to the Illegality of Making Payments, by Sergio Chodos
5. Greek Debt Denial: A Modest Debt Restructuring Proposal and Why It Was Ignored, by Yanis Varoufakis
Part III: Improvements to the Contractual Approach
6. Count the Limbs: Designing Robust Aggregation Clauses in Sovereign Bonds, by Anna Gelpern, Ben Heller, and Brad Setser
7. Contractual and Voluntary Approaches to Sovereign Debt Restructuring: There Is Still More to Do, by Richard Gitlin and Brett House
8. Sovereign Debt Restructuring: A Coasean Perspective, by James A. Haley
9. Creditor Committees in Sovereign Debt Restructurings: Understanding the Benefits and Addressing Concerns, by Timothy B. DeSieno
Part IV: Proposals for a Multinational Framework for Sovereign Debt Restructuring: Principles, Elements, and Institutionalization
10. A Brief History of Sovereign Debt Resolution and a Proposal for a Multilateral Instrument, by José Antonio Ocampo
11. Toward a Multilateral Framework for Recovery from Sovereign Insolvency, by Barry Herman
12. Making a Legal Framework for Sovereign DebtRestructuring Operational, by Jürgen Kaiser
13. Perspectives on a Sovereign Debt Restructuring Framework: Less Is More, by Richard A. Conn Jr.
14. Toward a Framework for Sovereign Debt Restructuring: What Can Public International Law Contribute?, by Robert Howse
15. Debts, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law: Advocating a Fair and Efficient Sovereign Insolvency Model, by Kunibert Raffer
Contributors
Index

Read "Greek Debt Denial," the chapter by Yanis Varoufakis:

About the Author

Martin Guzman is a postdoctoral research fellow at Columbia University and an associate professor at the University of Buenos Aires. He is a cochair of the Columbia IPD Taskforce on Debt Restructuring and Sovereign Bankruptcy and a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation.

José Antonio Ocampo is a professor at Columbia University and chair of the United Nations Economic and Social Council's Committee for Development Policy. With Codrina Rada and Lance Taylor, he is the author of Growth and Policy in Developing Countries: A Structuralist Approach (Columbia, 2009), and with José Antonio Alonso, Development Cooperation in Times of Crisis (Columbia, 2012).

Joseph E. Stiglitz is University Professor at Columbia University. A recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001), he is also the Chief Economist of the Roosevelt Institute and the cochair of the High-Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress at the OECD. His books include Creating a Learning Society: A New Approach to Growth, Development, and Social Progress (2014) and Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy: An Agenda for Growth and Shared Prosperity (2015).