The Case for a New International Reform Effort
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.
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