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By Andrew Haldane

Monetary crises have dogged the overseas financial process over contemporary years. they've got impoverished hundreds of thousands of individuals around the globe, particularly inside of constructing nations. they usually have referred to as into query the very strategy of globalization. but there is still no highbrow consensus on how most sensible to sidestep such crises, less get to the bottom of them. Policymakers stand at a cross-roads. This quantity summarises and evaluates those matters, drawing on contributions via trendy overseas specialists within the box.

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And, of course, political-economy factors are likely to be at least as important as economic motives when devising an international bankruptcy court. For example, who would serve as judge (and jury and executioner)? The IMF, a debtor-club, is generally felt to be poorly placed to serve that role. But if not the IMF, then who? The governance of a supranational body would need careful consideration given its potential distributional impact on debtors and creditors. That is an important task for future research.

In practice, enforcement of decisions over sovereigns is always likely to be far more problematic than in a corporate context. Nevertheless, there may be ways an international court could boost the value of the (pecuniary or reputational) collateral backing international lending, thereby supporting capital flows. For example, Eaton proposes that sovereigns could be asked to place some of the proceeds of any loan in an escrow account, which could be remitted back to creditors in the event of default.

Each of these proposals met with widespread criticism, however, in particular from the private sector (see, for example, IIF 2002). These criticisms are manifold. But, at root, the private sector fear that the balance of bargaining power between a sovereign debtor and its creditors is already skewed heavily in the direction of the debtor. Sovereigns are, after all, sovereign. So any further tilting of the scales, which further diluted creditor rights, would risk a collapse of private capital flows to EMEs (Shleifer 2003).

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