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IMF working paper: The Dynamics of Sovereign Debt Crises and Bailouts

Motivated by the recent European debt crisis, this paper investigates the scope for a bailout guarantee in a sovereign debt crisis. Defaults may arise from negative income shocks, government impatience or a “sunspot”-coordinated buyers strike. We introduce a bailout agency, and characterize the minimal actuarially fair intervention that guarantees the no-buyers-strike fundamental equilibrium, relying on…

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Haircuts: Estimating Investor Losses in Sovereign Debt Restructurings, 1998–2005

This paper estimates bond-by-bond “haircuts”—realized investor losses—in recent debt restructurings in Russia, Ukraine, Pakistan, Ecuador, Argentina, and Uruguay. We consider both external and domestic retructurings. Haircuts are computed as the percentage difference between the present values of old and new instruments, discounted at the yield prevailing immediately after the exchange. We find average haircuts ranging…

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The Problem that Wasn’t: Coordination Failures in Sovereign Debt Restructurings

Contrary to widespread expectation, debt renegotiations in the era of bond finance have generally been quick and involved little litigation. We present a model that rationalizes the initial fears and offers interpretations for why they did not materialize. When the exchange offer is sufficiently attractive vis-à-vis holding out, full participation can be an equilibrium. Legal…

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