Sargent-Wallace Meets Krugman-Flood-Garber, or: Why Sovereign Debt Swaps Don't Avert Macroeconomic Crises
AbstractThis paper argues that the frequent failure of the debt swaps is not an accident. Instead, it follows from fundamental forces driven by the market's assessment of the scarcity of fiscal revenue relative to the demand for fiscal outlays. It follows from the observation that arbitrage forces systematically impact prices in asset markets. Ignoring these price adjustments would lead to too optimistic an assessment of the gains from swaps or buybacks. A by-product of our paper is to highlight the perils of financial engineering that ignores the intertemporal constraints imposed by fiscal fundamentals. As a country approaches the range of partial default (either on domestic or external debt), swaps may not provide the expected breathing room and could even bring the crisis forward. Our methodology combines three independent themes: exchange rate crises as the manifestation of excessive monetary injections [Krugman-Flood-Garber], the fiscal theory of inflation [Sargent-Wallace (1981)], and sovereign debt. The integrated framework derives devaluation and external debt repudiation as part of a public-finance optimizing problem. We shows that under conditions similar to those which prevailed in Russia and Argentina prior to their meltdown, swaps are not just neutral, but could actually make the situation worse and even trigger a speculative attack. An unsettlingly clear implication of the model is that there may be very few options left once public debt reaches levels regarded as unsustainable in relation to fiscal fundamentals. Dollarization only makes matters worse, and pushes the debt write-down option to the fore.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9190.
Date of creation: Sep 2002
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Joshua Aizenman & Kenneth M. Kletzer & Brian Pinto, 2005. "Sargent-Wallace meets Krugman-Flood-Garber, or: why sovereign debt swaps do not avert macroeconomic crises," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(503), pages 343-367, 04.
- F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
- F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2002-09-21 (All new papers)
- NEP-IFN-2002-09-21 (International Finance)
- NEP-RMG-2002-09-21 (Risk Management)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Homi Kharas & Brian Pinto & Sergei Ulatov, 2001. "An Analysis of Russia's 1998 Meltdown: Fundamentals and Market Signals," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 1-68.
- Maurice Obstfeld, 1997.
"Models of Currency Crises with Self-Fulfilling Features,"
NBER Working Papers
5285, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Obstfeld, Maurice, 1996. "Models of currency crises with self-fulfilling features," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 1037-1047, April.
- Obstfeld, Maurice, 1996. "Models of Currency Crises with Self-fulfilling Features," CEPR Discussion Papers 1315, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Kenneth M. Kletzer & Brian D. Wright, 2000.
"Sovereign Debt as Intertemporal Barter,"
- Kletzer, Kenneth M. & Wright, Brian D., 1998. "Sovereign Debt as Intertemporal Barter," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt4qg3c42v, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Kenneth M. Kletzer and Brian D. Wright., 1998. "Sovereign Debt as Intertemporal Barter," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C98-100, University of California at Berkeley.
- Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Balance-of-Payments Crises," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 11(3), pages 311-25, August.
- Flood, Robert P. & Garber, Peter M., 1984. "Collapsing exchange-rate regimes : Some linear examples," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 1-13, August.
- Kenneth Kang & Hong Liang & Henry Ma & Anthony J. Richards & Ajai Chopra & Meral Karasulu, 2001. "From Crisis to Recovery in Korea: Strategy, Achievements, and Lessons," IMF Working Papers 01/154, International Monetary Fund.
- Jeremy Bulow & Kenneth Rogoff, 1988. "The Buyback Boondoggle," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(2), pages 675-704.
- Aizenman, Joshua, 2005.
"Financial Liberalizations in Latin-America in the 1990s: A Reassessment,"
Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series
qt8g77c9dh, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
- Joshua Aizenman, 2005. "Financial Liberalisations in Latin America in the 1990s: A Reassessment," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(7), pages 959-983, 07.
- Aizenman, Joshua, 2005. "Financial Liberalizations in Latin-America in the 1990s: A Reassessment," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6cb8b11h, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
- Joshua Aizenman, 2005. "Financial Liberalization in Latin-America in the 1990s: A Reassessment," NBER Working Papers 11145, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Aizenman, Joshua, 2005. "Financial Liberalizations in Latin-America in the 1990s: A Reassessment," Santa Cruz Center for International Economics, Working Paper Series qt6cb8b11h, Center for International Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
- Garima Vasishtha, 2007.
"Domestic versus External Borrowing and Fiscal Policy in Emerging Markets,"
07-33, Bank of Canada.
- Garima Vasishtha, 2010. "Domestic versus External Borrowing and Fiscal Policy in Emerging Markets," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(5), pages 1058-1074, November.
- Westermann, Frank & Steinkamp, Sven, 2013. "On Creditor Seniority and Sovereign Bond Prices in Europe," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79848, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
- Joshua Aizenman & Brian Pinto, 2004. "Managing Volatility and Crises: A Practitioner's Guide Overview," NBER Working Papers 10602, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Togo, Eriko, 2007. "Coordinating public debt management with fiscal and monetary policies : an analytical framework," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4369, The World Bank.
- Andrew Swiston, 2011. "Official Dollarization as a Monetary Regime: Its Effects on El Salvador," IMF Working Papers 11/129, International Monetary Fund.
- Gill, Indermit & Pinto, Brian, 2005. "Public debt in developing countries : has the market-based model worked?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3674, The World Bank.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.