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The bail-in problem: systematic goals, ad hoc means

  • Eichengreen, Barry
  • Ruhl, Christof

In this paper we analyze the recent efforts of the international financial institutions to limit the moral hazard created by their assistance to crisis countries. We question the wisdom of the case-by-case approach taken in Pakistan, Ecuador, Romania and Ukraine. We show that because default and restructuring are so painful and costly, it is simply not time consistent for the IFIs to plan to stand aside if the markets refuse to roll over maturing claims, restructure problem debts, or provide new money. Because these realities create an incentive to disburse even if investors fail to comply, the IFIs are then placed in the position of having to back down on their previous conditionality, which undermines their credibility. And since investors are aware of these facts, their behavior is unlikely to be modified by the IFIs' less-than-credible statements of intent. Hence, this approach to bailing in the private sector' will not work. Fortunately, there is an alternative: introducing collective-action clauses into loan agreements. This, and not ad hoc efforts to bail in the private sector, is a forward-looking solution to the moral hazard problem.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economic Systems.

Volume (Year): 25 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 3-32

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecosys:v:25:y:2001:i:1:p:3-32
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  1. Miller, Marcus & Zhang, Lei, 2000. "Sovereign Liquidity Crises: The Strategic Case for a Payments Standstill," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(460), pages 335-62, January.
  2. Hart, Oliver, 1995. "Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288817, March.
  3. Willem H. Buiter & Anne Sibert, 1999. "UDROP: a small contribution to the international financial architecture," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20224, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Buiter, Willem H & Sibert, Anne C, 1999. "UDROP: A Contribution to the New International Financial Architecture," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(2), pages 227-47, July.
  5. Eichengreen, Barry & Mody, Ashoka, 1999. "Would Collective Action Clauses Raise Borrowing Costs?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2343, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Benjamin M. Friedman, 2000. "Debt Restructuring," NBER Working Papers 7722, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. William R. Cline, 1995. "International Debt Reexamined," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 46, May.
  8. Buiter, Willem H. & Sibert, Anne, 1999. "UDROP: A Small Contribution to the New International Financial Architecture," CEPR Discussion Papers 2138, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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