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Overcoming Developing Country Debt Crises

Barry Herman (editor), José Antonio Ocampo (editor), Shari Spiegel (editor)

Developing country debt crises have been a recurrent phenomenon over the past two centuries. In recent times sovereign debt insolvency crises in developing and emerging economies peaked in the 1980s and, again, from the middle 1990s to the start of the new millennium. Despite the fact that several developing countries now have stronger economic fundamentals than they did in the 1990s, sovereign debt crises will reoccur again.

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Hardcover
ISBN-10: 0199578788
ISBN-13: 9780199578788
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The reasons for this are numerous, but the central one is that economic fluctuations are inherent features of financial markets, the boom and bust nature of which intensify under liberalized financial environments that developing countries have increasingly adopted since the 1970s. Indeed, today we are in the midst of an almost unprecedented global "bust." The timing of the book is important. The conventional wisdom is that the international economic and financial system is broken. Policymakers in both the poorest and the richest countries are likely to seriously consider how to restructure the international trade and financial system, including how to resolve sovereign debt crises in a more effective and fair manner.

This book calls for the international reform of sovereign debt workouts which derives from both economic theory and real-world experiences. Country case studies underline the point that we need to do better. This book recognizes that the politics of the international treatment of sovereign debt have not supported systemic reform efforts thus far; however, failure in the past does not preclude success in the future in an evolving international political environment, and the book thus puts forth alternative reform ideas for consideration.

About the Editors

Barry Herman
Visiting Senior Fellow, Graduate Program
International Affairs
The New School

Barry Herman is Visiting Senior Fellow at the Graduate Program in International Affairs of The New School in New York. In addition, he is Co-chair of the Task Force on Debt Restructuring and Sovereign Bankruptcy at the initiative for Policy Dialogue.  He completed almost thirty years in the United Nations Secretariat in 2005, the last two years of which were as Senior Adviser in the Financing for Development Office in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).

José Antonio Ocampo
Co-President
Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD)

Jose Antonio Ocampo is Co-President of IPD, Professor of Professional Practice in the School of International and Public Affairs, and Fellow of the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University. Prior to his appointment at Columbia, Professor Ocampo served as the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, and head of UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), as Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and has held a number of high-level posts in the Government of Colombia, including Minister of Finance and Public Credit, Director of the National Planning Department, and Minister of Agriculture . Professor Ocampo is author or editor of over 30 books and has published over 200 scholarly articles on macroeconomic theory and policy, international financial issues, economic development, international trade, and Colombian and Latin American economic history.

Shari Spiegel
Senior Economic Affairs Officer
UN DESA

Shari Spiegel joined UN DESA as a Senior Economic Affairs Officer in May 2010. She is co-author and co-editor of several of books and articles on capital and financial markets, debt and macroeconomics. She served as Executive Director of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD). She has extensive experience at the private sector, most recently as a Principal at New Holland Capital and as head of fixed-income emerging markets at Lazard Asset Management. She also served as an advisor to the Hungarian Central Bank in the early 1990s.

Publication Information

Type Books
Program Debt Restructuring and Sovereign Bankruptcy
Download 167kb pdf
Posted 04/01/10
Publisher Oxford University Press
Year 2010
# Pages 424pp