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The Debt Burden:
How to create a sustainable debt management framework. (Webinar)

March 29, 2021

The world is currently facing an unprecedented level of sovereign debt and debt is continuing to pile up. The state of sovereign borrowing was critical prior to the pandemic, with several countries already facing limited fiscal space and increasing levels of debt, but the situation has deteriorated, tipping some economies over the edge. In this seminar, the preliminary conclusions of a paper on good practices in sovereign borrowing were presented. The main topics covered were:

  • The status and causes of the debt accumulation problem
  • The importance of debt management as a preventative measure.
  • Initiatives put in place to address the causes and consequences of the debt problem.
  • How the lack of transparency has hindered accurate debt sustainability assessments and investment analyses.
  • Policy lessons critical to successful debt management.

And the presentation of an academic research paper: «The Debt Burden: how to create a better debt management framework”

Legal Aspects of International Borrowing. (Research)

March 22-26, 2021

Forthcoming research from the World Bank, in collaboration with the Sovereign Debt Forum.

Good Practices in Sovereign Debt Borrowing. (Webinar)

February 22, 2021

The pandemic and the resulting collapse in economic activity 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, were 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 were been extensively scrutinized – and debt premia increased as a result – the importance of assessing the real need to incur new debts and to improve transparency in sovereign borrowing also increased. Recent debt scandals confirm that debts were sometimes wrongly incurred, or their purpose is not the appropriate one.


Legal Training Program. (Virtual)

October 19-22, 2020

The legal training program aimed to support the capacity-building for debt managers on sound legal frameworks for a variety of debt obligations. External debt instruments enable countries to access wider sources of funding but requires more comprehensive legal counsel as contracts are more complex. The program included topics such as: drafting and negotiating key provisions in commercial debt instruments, collateralized debt, guarantees and contingent liabilities and debt restructuring. The program was developed by members of the Sovereign Debt Forum to educate representatives from invited countries including Cambodia, Benin, Guinea, and Liberia.

Distributed Interdisciplinary Sovereign Debt Research and Management Conference. (Virtual)

September 7-18, 2020

Recognizing the need for creative, research-based solutions, a group of leading academic and policy institutions from around the world co-hosted the virtual Distributed Interdisciplinary Sovereign Debt Research and Management Conference—D-DebtCon—in nine countries, spanning five continents, from September 7th through September 18th, 2020. Each day between September 7 and September 18, 2020 featured academic and policy panels in South Africa, Italy, Argentina, Switzerland, Singapore, the United States, Barbados, the United Kingdom, and China.

Collective Action Clauses:
Argentina, Ecuador, and their Future. (Webinar)

September 1, 2020

In a major enhancement of the sovereign debt restructuring process, the G20 and International Monetary Fund endorsed collective action clauses developed by the International Capital Market Association in 2014. These included a ‘single limb’ clause which would potentially allow all creditors to be bound into a restructuring in a single vote. However, this clause was not used in the Argentinian and Ecuadorian restructurings.

Sovereign Debt Restructuring:
From the Brady Plan to Ecuador. (Webinar)

July 30, 2020

Virtual conversation with renowned debt restructuring expert Lee Buchheit and former chief economist for Latin American and the Caribbean of the World Bank Augusto de la Torre on the evolution of sovereign debt restructurings, with a focus on Ecuador.

How to Manage the Coming Sovereign Debt Crisis?. (Webinar)

June 10, 2020

In 10 June 2020, Sovereign Debt experts and policy officials from the IMF and the World Bank consider the rising tide of debt distress, further aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and review historical precedents, legal and policy options for managing the crisis in low- and middle-income economies.

Should Private Sector Debt Relief be Part of the Exit Strategy?. (Webinar)

May 19, 2020

In this «Rebuilding Macroeconomics» webinar on May 19, Rosa Lastra and Rodrigo Olivares-Caminal along with Alexander Douglas, Katharina Pistor and Franklin Allen look ahead to when the economy stabilizes, and firms and households have higher debt burdens.

Born Out of Necessity:
A debt standstill for COVID-19. (Webinar)

May 7, 2020

In this webinar co-hosted by the London School of Economics (LSE) and the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) on May 7, Lee Buchheit, Mitu Gulati, and Ugo Panizza, along with Patrick Bolton, Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, and Beatrice Weder di Mauro explain why low- and middle-income countries are particularly vulnerable, discuss what is at stake for the world economy, and present a mechanism to implement a debt standstill which would free significant resources to cover some of the more immediate costs of the COVID-19 crisis.

Development & Debt In Lower-Income Economies. (Webinar)

February 10, 2020

Anna Gelpern (Georgetown Law) moderated a conversation with Kristalina Georgieva (IMF Managing Director) and David Malpass (World Bank President) on the debt situation in lower-income economies.


Sovereign Debt Forum Launch.

November 13, 2019

Queen Mary University of London has collaborated with Georgetown’s International Economic Law and Duke Law School to launch the Sovereign Debt Forum at the at the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC on 21 October 2019. The forum aims to assist low and middle-income countries with urgent sovereign debt policy problems.

Global Waves of Debt:
Causes and Consequences (Book Launch)

December 19, 2019

Featuring conversation with David Malpass (Former World Bank President) and Kenneth Rogoff (Harvard University) as well as a panel discussion including Anna Gelpern (Georgetown Law).