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The Corporation of Foreign Bondholders


  • Paolo Mauro
  • Yishay Yafeh


This paper analyzes the Corporation of Foreign Bondholders (CFB), an association of British investors holding bonds issued by foreign governments. The CFB played a key role during the heyday of international bond finance, 1870-1913, and in the aftermath of the defaults of the 1930s. It fostered coordination among creditors, especially in cases of default, arranging successfully for many important debt restructurings, though failing persistently in a few cases. While a revamped creditor association might once again help facilitate creditor coordination, the relative appeal of defection over coordination is greater today than it was in the past. The CFB may have had an easier time than any comparable body would have today.

Suggested Citation

  • Paolo Mauro & Yishay Yafeh, 2003. "The Corporation of Foreign Bondholders," IMF Working Papers 03/107, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:03/107

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fishlow, Albert, 1985. "Lessons from the past: capital markets during the 19th century and the interwar period," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(03), pages 383-439, June.
    2. Paolo Mauro & Nathan Sussman & Yishay Yafeh, 2002. "Emerging Market Spreads: Then versus Now," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 695-733.
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    Cited by:

    1. Amrita Dhillon & Javier García-Fronti & Sayantan Ghosal & Marcus Miller, 2006. "Debt Restructuring and Economic Recovery: Analysing the Argentine Swap," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(4), pages 377-398, April.
    2. Ghosal, Sayantan & Thampanishvong, Kannika, 2013. "Does strengthening Collective Action Clauses (CACs) help?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 68-78.
    3. repec:bdi:opques:qef_143_01 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Marco Committeri & Francesco Spadafora, 2013. "You Never Give Me Your Money? Sovereign Debt Crises, Collective Action Problems, and IMF Lending," IMF Working Papers 13/20, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Rui Pedro Esteves, 2007. "Quis custodiet quem? Sovereign Debt and Bondholders` Protection Before 1914," Economics Series Working Papers 323, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    6. Kris James Mitchener & Marc D. Weidenmier, 2007. "The Baring Crisis and the Great Latin American Meltdown of the 1890s," NBER Working Papers 13403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Alquist, Ron & Chabot, Benjamin, 2011. "Did gold-standard adherence reduce sovereign capital costs?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 262-272.
    8. Kris James Mitchener & Marc D. Weidenmier, 2005. "Supersanctions and Sovereign Debt Repayment," NBER Working Papers 11472, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Serbini, Bénédicte, 2012. "L’adoption des clauses d’actions collectives dans les obligations souveraines européennes," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 88(4), pages 479-497, Décembre.


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