Alexander Hamilton's market-based debt reduction plan
In 1790, Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, initiated a program to refund the U.S. debt. Debt that had sold at 75% discount two years earlier would be refunded at par into new funded debt of the new federal government. All foreign indebtedness would be repaid. I present evidence that Hamilton's actual refunding policy did not differ in nature from that envisioned under the recent Brady plan. I will show that the bond package for which the old debt exchanged had a market value well below par. Thus, a large part of the face value of the debt was effectively written off. I compare the Hamilton restructuring package to the recent Mexican restructuring package to find points of similarity to the Brady plan.
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Volume (Year): 35 (1991)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
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References listed on IDEAS
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- Jeremy Bulow & Kenneth Rogoff, 1991.
"Sovereign Debt Repurchases: No Cure for Overhang,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1219-1235.
- Michael D. Bordo & Eugene N. White, 1990. "British and French Finance During the Napoleonic Wars," NBER Working Papers 3517, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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