ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Did Argentina 'Default'?

A US court ruling has warped the otherwise precise meanings of three key words - "republic", "sovereign", and "default" - leading to absurdities like a New York district court holding the Republic of Argentina in "contempt of court"! The entire understanding of sovereign debt and its restructuring is being read through private "contract law" that cannot address the complex questions that are inherently public in nature, à la questions around restructuring Argentina's debt. It appeared that a misreading of key words could benefi t some vulture funds, but so far no one has seen as much as a penny! Maybe they never will.

The Setting

As lawyers know all too well, semantics does matter, and Argentina’s case is no exception. Accordingly, terms such as “republic”, “sovereign”, and “default” take centre stage.

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