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Courts and sovereign eurobonds: Credibility of the judicial enforcement of repayment

  • Hallak, Issam
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    While focusing on the protection of distressed sovereigns, the current debate intended to reform the International Financial Architecture has hardly addressed the protection of creditors rights that varies among laws. I suspect however that this constitutes an essential determinant of the success of suggested solutions, especially under the contractual approach. Based on a sample of bonds issued by developing countries states in the period, January 1987 to December 1997, I find that, for given contract characteristics (e.g. listing markets and currency), the governing law is selected according to its ability to enforce repayment. However, although the New York law seems looser and incur larger enforcement costs than the England&Wales law, the former permits equivalent yearly credit amounts. I interpret this as a consequence of the existence of a larger set of valuable assets (e.g. trade) in the US that constitute implicit securities. My findings yield important implications for the reforms. In particular, provided that there exists a seemingly equivalent enforcement credibility between England and New York laws, the prompt implementation of the contractual approach solution should constitute a valuable first step toward efficient sovereign debt markets.

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    File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/25399/1/378778161.PDF
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    Paper provided by Center for Financial Studies (CFS) in its series CFS Working Paper Series with number 2003/34.

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    Date of creation: 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfswop:200334
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    1. Bulow, J. & Rogoff, K., 1988. "Sovereign Debt: Is To Forgive To Forget?," Papers 411, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
    2. Barry Eichengreen & Ashoka Mody, 2000. "Would Collective Action Clauses Raise Borrowing Costs?," NBER Working Papers 7458, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Smith, Clifford Jr. & Warner, Jerold B., 1979. "On financial contracting : An analysis of bond covenants," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 117-161, June.
    4. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "Corporate Ownership Around the World," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1840, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    5. Franks, Julian R. & Torous, Walter N., 1994. "A comparison of financial recontracting in distressed exchanges and chapter 11 reorganizations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 349-370, June.
    6. Manove, Michael & Padilla, A Jorge & Pagano, Marco, 2001. "Collateral versus Project Screening: A Model of Lazy Banks," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(4), pages 726-44, Winter.
    7. Michelle White, 2002. "Sovereigns in Distress: Do They Need Bankruptcy?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(1), pages 287-320.
    8. Daniela Fabbri & Mario Padula, 2001. "Judicial Costs and Household Debt," CSEF Working Papers 65, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    9. Colin Mayer & Oren Sussman, 2001. "The Assessment: Finance, Law, and Growth," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(4), pages 457-466.
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