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Bargaining and Sustainability: The Argentine Debt Swap of 2005

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  • Dhillon, Amrita
  • García-Fronti, Javier
  • Ghosal, Sayantan
  • Miller, Marcus

Abstract

When Argentine sovereign default in December 2001 led to a collapse of the peso, the burden of dollar debt became demonstrably unsustainable. But it was not clear what restructuring was feasible, nor when. Eventually, in 2005 after a delay of more than three years, a supermajority of creditors accepted a swap implying a recovery rate of around 37 cents in the dollar. In this paper a bargaining approach is used to explain both the settlement and the delay. We conclude that the agreed swap broadly corresponds to a bargaining outcome where the Argentine government had 'first mover' advantage, and that a substantial delay occurred as negotiators seeking a sustainable settlement waited for economic recovery. Factors not explicit in the formal framework are also considered - heterogeneity of creditors, for example, and the role of third parties in promoting 'good faith' bargaining.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5236.

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Date of creation: Sep 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5236

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Keywords: bargaining; debt restructuring; efficiency delay; sustainability;

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  1. Carlo A. Favero & Francesco Giavazzi, 2004. "Inflation Targeting and Debt: Lessons from Brazil," NBER Working Papers 10390, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Guillermo A. Calvo & Alejandro Izquierdo & Ernesto Talvi, 2002. "Sudden Stops, the Real Exchange Rate and Fiscal Sustainability: Argentina's Lessons," IDB Publications 6821, Inter-American Development Bank.
  3. Jeremy A.Rogoff Bulow & Kenneth, 1986. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 43, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  4. Bhattacharya, Sudipto & Detragiache, Enrica, 1994. " The Role of Multilateral Institutions in the Market for Sovereign Debt," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(4), pages 515-29.
  5. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
  6. Mario Damill, 2005. "The Argentinean Debt: History, Default and Restructuring," Economia, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics], vol. 6(3), pages 29-90.
  7. Jeromin Zettelmeyer & Federico Sturzenegger, 2005. "Haircuts," 2005 Meeting Papers 18, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth S., 1989. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," Scholarly Articles 12491028, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Muthoo,Abhinay, 1999. "Bargaining Theory with Applications," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521576475, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Engelen, Christian & Graf Lambsdorff, Johann, 2007. "Fairness in sovereign debt restructuring," Passauer Diskussionspapiere, Volkswirtschaftliche Reihe V-50-07, University of Passau, Faculty of Business and Economics.
  2. Dania Thomas & Javier García-Fronti, 2007. "Good faith in sovereign debt restructuring: the evolution of an open norm in ‘localised’ contexts?," WEF Working Papers 0017, ESRC World Economy and Finance Research Programme, Birkbeck, University of London.

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