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

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Has the Financial World Arrived at a Collective Action Clause Consensus?

With truly astonishing speed (in a little over a month) collective action clauses in US bonds for sovereign issuers have moved from taboo, to a tentative first try (Mexico), to what looked like consensus on the clause (Uruguay), to more change (Brazil). What does this sudden move from a point of unwillingness to try even minimal change to one of everyday experimentation tell us about the dynamics of the underlying system? And where does this leave the policy debate?

Determinants of Sovereign Defaults

Developing-country defaults on their external debt repayments are a function of both their 'willingness to pay' as well as their 'ability to pay'. While the ability to repay can be captured by economic factors like the growth rate of the economy and external shocks, willingness to repay is more difficult to measure. In this paper, it is emphasised that political factors are important determinants of the willingness to repay and should be treated as an explanatory variable explicitly. A multivariate probit model is estimated that tests the hypothesis that the probability of default is inversely related to the level of democracy in the debtor country. It is shown that the evidence doesn't support the hypothesis.

Perfect Market Puzzles

With the problem of sovereign debt everyone seems to assume that someone else, often referred to as 'the market', has figured out the solution. But even in the face of mounting billions in default and growing coordination problems, it looks to us as if nothing of the sort has occurred. The mechanism of the invisible hand is magical indeed - when it operates at all. But its operation is not safe to assume. Not even under the best possible set of conditions.

Determinants of Sovereign Borrowings from IMF

The article delineates the IMF's rationale for its role in the international economy; particularly in helping those countries that are going through balance of payments crises. The authors attempt to decipher whether the actual lending pattern of the IMF conforms to this rationale. This is done in the context of panel data models for several groups of countries. There appears to be some arbitrariness in the lending pattern of the IMF.

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