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Centre for Commercial Law Studies

Good Practices in Sovereign Debt Borrowing

Date: 22 February 2021


The pandemic and the resulting collapse in economic activity have significantly increased the risk of debt distress in many countries, especially the poorest ones. A number of initiatives, notably the G20 debt relief for the world’s poorest countries, have been unveiled to avert instances where servicing existing debt would compound and constrain those countries’ response to the crisis.

As the debt position of many countries and its long-term sustainability have been extensively scrutinised – and debt premia have increased as a result – the importance of assessing the real need to incur new debts and to improve transparency in sovereign borrowing has been also recognised. Several recent debt scandals confirm that debts sometimes are wrongly incurred, or the purpose of their use is not the appropriate one.

It is clearly important to deal with debt ex post and ensure that countries can manage distress situations. This has been evident through several restructuring situations. It is, however, equally important to deal with debt ex ante; assessing whether and at which conditions countries should incur in debt obligations. Focusing on debt resolution will only deal with the problems as they occur but it will not attempt to tackle the source.

This webinar was co-hosted by the Institute for Global Law Economics and Finance (IGLEF) and the Global Policy Institute (GPI), both of Queen Mary University of London.

Speakers: Barry Eichengreen - Professor in Economics and Political Science (University of California Berkeley) Anne O. Krueger – Former Chief Economist (World Bank) and Managing Director (IMF) W. Gyude Moore – Senior Policy Officer (Center for Global Development) Rodrigo Olivares-Caminal – Professor in Banking and Finance Law (Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University) Paola Subacchi – Professor in International Economics (Global Policy Institute, Queen Mary University of London) Alonso Soto - Journalist (Bloomberg).

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