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Overcoming Developing Country Debt Crises$
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Barry Herman, José Antonio Ocampo, and Shari Spiegel

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199578788

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199578788.001.0001

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The Case for a New International Reform Effort

(p.1) 1 Introduction
Overcoming Developing Country Debt Crises

Barry Herman (Contributor Webpage)

José Antonio Ocampo (Contributor Webpage)

Shari Spiegel

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter lays out the premise for the rest of the volume which addresses whether or not a more comprehensive, timely, effective, and fair mechanism ought to be in place to handle whatever sovereign debt crises do arise, not only over the next year or so, but over decades to come. We believe that the international community can design a superior mechanism to handle such crises more efficiently and humanely. Many countries have designed national insolvency regimes for corporations that not only wind up hopelessly bankrupt entities, but also seek to salvage firms that with reduced debts can survive as going concerns. The objective in the latter cases, as with insolvent sub‐sovereign entities or households (which cannot be ‘wound up’), is to give a second chance, a ‘fresh start’, and a ‘clean slate’. The ad hoc, partial, and at best loosely coordinated system for addressing sovereign debt crises does not deliver such outcomes.

Keywords:   international reform effort, debt policy, sovereign bankruptcy regime

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