Sovereign Debt Repurchases: No Cure for Overhang
We show, in a reasonably general model, that if a highly indebted country has good investment projects available to it, then it will not benefit from using any of its resources to buy back debt at market prices. Debt buybacks and debt-equity swaps only make sense for the country if these programs are heavily subsidized by creditors. This result holds for all buyback programs large and small, so long as they involve voluntary creditor participation and are not part of a larger deal including offsetting concessions from lenders. Our analysis therefore casts doubt on the popular argument that unilateral debt repurchases benefit HICs by relieving "debt overhang".
|Date of creation:||Feb 1989|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 106, pp. 1219-1235 (November 1991).|
|Note:||ME ITI IFM|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
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- Froot, Kenneth A, 1989.
"Buybacks, Exit Bonds, and the Optimality of Debt and Liquidity Relief,"
International Economic Review,
Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(1), pages 49-70, February.
- Kenneth A. Froot, 1988. "Buybacks, Exit Bonds, and the Optimality of Debt and Liquidity Relief," NBER Working Papers 2675, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jeremy Bulow & Kenneth Rogoff, 1988. "The Buyback Boondoggle," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(2), pages 675-704.
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