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The Emerging Of A Multilateral Forum For Debt Restructuring: The Paris Club

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  • Enrique Cosio-Pascal
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    Abstract

    This paper describes the evolution of intergovernmental relationships on debt rescheduling. It starts describing some experiences that aroused in the 18th Century and which negotiations were carried out, in many occasions, with the help of gunboat diplomacy. The settlement of liabilities that were created at the aftermath of the two 20th Century World Wars, which were – at least for some countries –- not exactly debt but war reparations, gave some insights in how to deal with these problems allowing the debtor country to find its own path to get out of the debt overhang. The settlement of these foreign liabilities may give some guidelines for dealing with debt restructuring in more general cases The creation of the Paris Club – which is a very civilized way to settle debt defaults compared to gunboat diplomacy – is analyzed and described here: first its emergency as an ad hoc transitory institution and later its evolution toward its definitive establishment in the international financial system landscape. It is also suggested that for a combination of events, which included the launch in Evian of the G-8’s so-called Evian Approach for the Paris Club, as well as the lack of support of some major industrialized countries to the implementation of a Sovereign Debt Restructuring Mechanism (SDRM), the Paris Club has become the only feasible international intergovernmental debt restructuring mechanism in spite of numerous shortcomings embodied in it. On this basis, some improvements of the actual mechanism are proposed, without precluding the possibility of the implementation of a more equilibrated SDRM in the future.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in its series UNCTAD Discussion Papers with number 192.

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    Date of creation: 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:unc:dispap:192

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    Cited by:
    1. Cassimon, Danny & Prowse, Martin & Essers, Dennis, 2011. "Financing the Clean Development Mechanism through debt-for-efficiency swaps? Case study evidence from a Uruguayan wind farm project," IOB Working Papers 2011.06, Universiteit Antwerpen, Institute of Development Policy and Management (IOB).

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