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UDROP: A Small Contribution to the International Financial Architecture


  • W.H. Buiter
  • A Sibert


The purpose of the UDROP proposal is to prevent debt rollover crises for foreign-currency-enominated debt instruments. For such liabilities, there is no international analogue to the domestic lender of last resort or to domestic deposit insurance. UDROP stands for Universal Debt Rollover Option with a Penalty. Our proposal is that all foreign currency liabilities should have a rollover option attached to them. The 'pure' version of the option would entitle the borrower to extend or roll over his performing debt at maturity for a specified period. The pricing of the option would be left to the contracting parties. A number of variants on the basic version are also considered. These make the individual borrower's ability to exercise his option contingent on the prior declaration of a state of 'disorderly markets', by the national central bank, the International Monetary Fund or an indicator of 'disorderly markets'. All versions of the scheme have the property that no commitment of public money is required, either by national governments or by international agencies such as the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank. The UDROP proposal is rule based and general: it is mandatory for all foreign-currency debt and automatic. That is, it is exercised at the discretion of the borrower. This stands in sharp contrast to the current practice of discretionary and politicised refinancing arrangements cobbled together in an ad-hoc manner on a case-by-case basis by the International Monetary Fund. UDROP is market-oriented: the terms and conditions on any foreign-currency loan and associated rollover option would be negotiated by the lenders and borrowers.

Suggested Citation

  • W.H. Buiter & A Sibert, 1999. "UDROP: A Small Contribution to the International Financial Architecture," CEP Discussion Papers dp0425, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0425

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Glick, Reuven & Rose, Andrew K., 1999. "Contagion and trade: Why are currency crises regional?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 603-617, August.
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    5. Cole, Harold L. & Kehoe, Timothy J., 1996. "A self-fulfilling model of Mexico's 1994-1995 debt crisis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-4), pages 309-330, November.
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    7. Harold L. Cole & Timothy J. Kehoe, 1996. "A self-fulfilling model of Mexico's 1994-95 debt crisis," Staff Report 210, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ricardo Hausmann & Eduardo Fernández-Arias, 2000. "¿Qué hay de malo con los mercados financieros internacionales?," Research Department Publications 4226, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    2. Luisa Lambertini, 2001. "Volatility and Sovereign Default," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 577, Boston College Department of Economics.
    3. Olivier Jeanne, 2009. "Debt Maturity and the International Financial Architecture," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 2135-2148, December.
    4. Yilmaz AKYÜZ & Andrew CORNFORD, 1999. "Capital Flows To Developing Countries And The Reform Of The International Financial System," UNCTAD Discussion Papers 143, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
    5. Patrick Bolton, 2003. "Toward a Statutory Approach to Sovereign Debt Restructuring; Lessons From Corporate Bankruptcy Practice Around the World," IMF Working Papers 03/13, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Gai, Prasanna & Shin, Hyun Song, 2004. "Debt maturity structure with pre-emptive creditors," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 195-200, November.
    7. Eduardo Fernández-Arias & Ricardo Hausmann, 2000. "What's Wrong with International Financial Markets?," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1329, Inter-American Development Bank.
    8. Eichengreen, Barry & Ruhl, Christof, 2001. "The bail-in problem: systematic goals, ad hoc means," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 3-32, March.
    9. Charles Goodhart, 1999. "Myths About the Lender of Last Resort," FMG Special Papers sp120, Financial Markets Group.
    10. Boyer, Robert, 1999. "Two challenges for the twenty-first century: achieving financial discipline and putting the internationalization process in order," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), December.
    11. Williamson, John, 2003. "Proposals for curbing the boom-bust cycle in the supply of capital to emerging markets," Copublicaciones, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 1791, September.
    12. Kenneth Kletzer, 2003. "Sovereign Bond Restructuring; Collective Action Clauses and official Crisis Intervention," IMF Working Papers 03/134, International Monetary Fund.
    13. Benjamin Martin & Adrian Penalver, 2003. "The effect of payments standstills on yields and the maturity structure of international debt," Bank of England working papers 184, Bank of England.
    14. Barry Eichengreen & Ricardo Hausmann, 1999. "Exchange rates and financial fragility," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 329-368.
    15. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Nouriel Roubini, 2001. "The Role of Industrial Country Policies in Emerging Market Crises," NBER Working Papers 8634, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    JEL classification:

    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance


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