IFI governance

Background

After SCOTUS: Next steps in sovereign debt restructuring

9 October 2014

In the wake of the US Supreme Court’s decisions in Argentina v. NML and Argentina’s subsequent default, sovereign debt has emerged as a critical issue for global policymakers. This session brings together a wide range of viewpoints to review practical proposals to remedy the challenges created by the SCOTUS decisions and to make future sovereign debt workouts more effective, efficient and equitable.

Welcoming Remarks:

Brett House, Senior Fellow, Jeanne Sauvé Foundation

Chair/Moderator: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director, Jubilee USA Network

Panelists:

  • Sean Hagan, General Counsel & Director, International Monetary Fund
  • Benu Schneider, Senior Economic Affairs Officer, UN-DESA
  • William Ledward, Senior VP & Portfolio Manager, Franklin Templeton
  • Martin Brooke, Division Head, Bank of England
  • Jeremy Pam, Visiting Scholar, Columbia University

Sean Hagan

  • IMF motivation to restart conversations is recent experience, and need to develop a framework to reduce costs to all actors involved in debt restructuring
  • Restructuring often triggered by a decision by the Fund about whether to provide support in absence of restructuring and given loss of market access
  • Objective when providing support despite lost access is to restore market confidence, amongst others, however a time can come where the question becomes whether a country can continue to service debts without restructuring
  • If IMF provides support that only increases debt burden and delays the inevitable, then it is not achieving its objective and role, and restructuring needs to occur
  • A question we face about our lending framework is whether it is appropriately aligned to make such judgments
  • Secondly, how can we enhance a legal framework to drive restructuring processes
  • This has occurred due to both Greece and legal developments regarding Argentina
  • The decision of the US courts raises systemic issues
  • The provision of a viable strategy to holdouts will increase their number, and for creditors who are willing to participate face the risk of their stream of payments being interrupted
  • This approach we now have set out is market based, and we worked closely with international capital markets association
  • The paper identifies the important limitation to the approach of the outstanding stock of international bonds of about $ 900bn, and 40% of those governed by NY law matures in over 10 years
  • Range of steps discussed in the paper to address this, including liability management

Martin Brooke

  • As in Greece, if the judgment of sustainability is not vindicated, then the composition of creditors can change, such that private creditors are able to exit and more debt is held by official creditors, with equity and moral hazard implications, and a greater eventual cost of any restructuring
  • Our paper at the BoE suggests adding an additional clause that if a particular event was triggered than the contractual terms of the debt changes, e.g. a trigger such as IMF or other bilateral official support, which would then automatically extend maturity of all outstanding debt, we suggested about 3 years given it’s the typical length of an IMF programme
  • A proposal such as this would automatically reduce the needed amount of official support while keeping private creditors involved, and avoid the problem of often treating official creditors as quasi-preferential
  • Since our proposal the Fund has proposed revision of its exceptional access policy, though in their proposals the contractual aspect of our proposal would not be contract-based
  • Ours is therefore distinct to the Fund as it would be more frequent, as it is non-discretionary, it would be priced in from the outset, and would provide better market discipline
  • Currently we don’t see this being broadly adopted until the Fund’s approach is tested and perhaps would subsequently provide an opportunity for our admittedly more aggressive approach.

Benu Schneider

  • Current proposals engage with different parts of the problem
  • The 50th anniversary of the G77, held in Bolivia this year, included a paragraph on the role of vulture funds, calling for measures to ensure a state could function despite the role of such predatory agents
  • Many G77 states, not just Argentina, have suffered from the role of holdout creditors
  • Recent database of litigation regarding sovereign debt reveals that recent years, of bonds issued in US and UK, demonstrate a general trend to increasing role of holdouts
  • Litigation has driven very large externalities with severe costs, such as loss of market access, and hence the interest of the G77
  • The UN GA resolution brought criticism that related to process, and about pre-judging outcomes. Notably from the outset there was an intention to take the resolution to a vote
  • After adoption, some countries made statements – the BRICS strongly supported Argentina and the resolution
  • This is the first time that Russia and Turkey voted with the G77
  • The other major difference was in the EU, where only 6 states voted against, and 22 abstained that – in the corridors – was claimed to be to avoid a rift, deriving from votes for or against – in addition they claimed insufficient time to consult capitals and regional institutions
  • Hence the resolution was adopted with 124 for, 11 against and 41 abstentions
  • Later this year there will begin a process to develop proposals about what will be done, via a modalities resolution

William Ledward

  • Sovereign creditors are in too weak a position, and another big problem in the market is the continued flow of official sector lending towards sovereign borrowers at sub market rates
  • Another quite significant event recently was the ability of Ecuador to borrow $2 billion from the market, having in 2008 to not bother to pay its debt, and elected to default on 2 of its outstanding bonds while continuing to service two others
  • After doing so, it bought back its defaulted bonds at very low prices, then subsequently in 2009 – despite considering the bonds illegitimate – it offered a buyback at 35 cents in the dollar, for which over 90% accepted the offer
  • Some did not accept, and worth about $100 million, remains outstanding.
  • Despite this outstanding defaulted debt it was still able to borrow this summer at a reasonable rate
  • As yet, no bondholder has taken Ecuador to court. Had they done so they could have stopped Ecuador borrowing again
  • Enforcing judgments is very very difficult

Jeremy Pam

  • The previous proposals are certainly compatible and able to co-exist happily but I wish to argue against that position
  • Four considerations are necessary to be considered to address these longstanding and fundamental issues
  • First consideration: politics cannot be removed from sovereign debt restructuring, it cannot be reduced to an objective economic, financial or legal mechanism despite the attraction of doing so
  • Secondly, specific new legal mechanisms such as those proposed can help, but feasibility is a relevant consideration – this is not an academic exercise, despite the enthusiasm some in academia are attracted to ambitious multilateral treaties or forums which are unrealistic.
  • New legal mechanisms can also hurt – our system may not be pretty and may be growing uglier, but it has in most cases most of the time worked
  • Thirdly – A risk of new legal mechanisms is adding new complexity which can make it harder for market participants to predict the outcome, and increases the chance of confusion
    One explanation of the Argentina case is that US judges are confused about a single, obscure clause – so is it a good idea to multiply them?
  • Fourth – any individual new mechanism may be insufficient, though the different possibilities are not necessarily exclusive though adding the whole laundry list as I said in my first point is likely to lead to an incoherent outcome
  • Regarding the previous proposals, improved contractual clauses is a positive way to go – Aggregation remains a good idea, especially broader though excess complexity would be a problem
  • Statutory approaches – though SDRM is off the table there are many alternatives. I have two reservations, firstly the question of feasibility. Though 11 states voted against the resolution, just as in 2002 with SDRM they were very significant
    Secondly the complexity of any new treaty for a new international body may not be a good thing, to set in motion the creation of a giant debt resolution bar as exists around the WTO settlement mechanism
  • Non-treaty international fora, for example as suggested by Brett House, which could be a useful contribution but by definition and design its insufficient and intended to complement existing contractual and institutional mechanisms
  • Non international statutory approaches – e.g. national approaches – the Fund staff paper discusses this idea briefly, and I think the principal advantage of it is that if narrowly drafted, it might be more feasible than an international statutory approach providing some targeted protection for successful sovereign debt negotiations, e.g. those agreed by a super-majority of creditors and implicitly or explicitly by the Fund, assuming a program
    In effect this would be empowering the collective action clauses, for which there is a precedent in some international and national legislative actions related to Iraq’s restructuring in the last decade.
  • Therefore the problem is not so simple as to be framed as market vs statute.

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26 April 2010 | Minutes

A sustainable World Bank energy strategy: perspectives from various stakeholders

Civil society event at the World Bank spring meetings 2010, 23 April

IFI governance

Background

26 April 2010 | Minutes

Evaluation as a critical tool for accountability

Civil society event at the World Bank spring meetings 2010, 23 April

IFI governance

Background

23 April 2010 | Minutes

An IMF for the 21st century - the low-income country perspective

Civil society event at the World Bank spring meetings 2010, 22 April

Environment

Background

23 April 2010 | Minutes

Financing the response to climate change: special drawing rights (SDRs) for climate finance

Civil society event at the World Bank spring meetings 2010, 22 April

Infrastructure

Background

23 April 2010 | Minutes

Governance challenges in financing green and sustainable energy policies

Freidrich-Ebert-Stiftung event at the World Bank spring meetings 2010, 22 April

Infrastructure

Background

23 April 2010 | Minutes

Roundtable on post-crisis economic recovery

World Bank event at the World Bank spring meetings 2010, 22 April

Environment

Background

23 April 2010 | Minutes

World Bank, climate change and climate finance

Civil society event at the World Bank spring meetings 2010, 22 April

IFI governance

Background

9 October 2009 | Minutes

The IMF and protectionist trade policies: What does the record of the past 15 years tell us?

Seminar on the IEo evluation of IMF trade policy advice in Istanbul, 2 October 2009.

IFI governance

Background

8 October 2009 | Minutes

Financial sector policies in the crisis

Programme of Seminars session in Istanbul on 3 October 2009 with Zeti Aziz, Andrew Crockett, Christine Cummings, Sayed Sadeeq, and John Laker.

Environment

Background

8 October 2009 | Minutes

CSO Townhall meeting

Notes from the CSO townhall meeting with Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Robert Zoellick

IFI governance

Background

8 October 2009 | Minutes

IMF governance - CSO meeting with the IMF managing director

Minutes of a meeting between civil society organisations, IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn and IMF deputy managing director John Lipsky

Environment

Background

6 October 2009 | Minutes

Consultation meeting on World Bank environmental strategy

Summary of the first consultation on their new environment strategy, which they will develop next year.

IFI governance

Background

5 October 2009 | Minutes

The impact of financial regulation on developing countries

The impact of financial regulation on developing countries, World Bank Programme of Seminars, with Mingkang Liu, Joseph Stiglitz, and Alvir Hoffman.

Conditionality

Background

5 October 2009 | Minutes

The IMF: Change we can believe in?

The IMF: Change we can believe in? Notes of a civil society meeting in Istanbul. Speakers include Joseph Stiglitz, Andrew Kumbatira, Caroline Atkinson, and Bhumika Muchhala.

IFI governance

Background

5 October 2009 | Minutes

Future of the Global Financial System

Notes of part of a panel debate chaired by Martin Wolf of the Financial Times, Istanbul, 4 October 2009.

Finance

Background

4 October 2009 | Minutes

Report launch: Post-crisis growth in developing countries

Growth commission event in Istanbul.

IFI governance

Background

4 October 2009 | Minutes

The UN conference and the G20 summit

Minutes from The UN conference and the G20 summit, civil society policy forum discussion on 3 October 2009. Istanbul, Turkey

IFI governance

Background

4 October 2009 | Minutes

Critical debate on the World Bank and IMF

Summary of a presentation made by Professor Anwar Shaikh, the New School for Social Research, on "Monetary Policy and the Global Crisis"

IFI governance

Background

4 October 2009 | Minutes

Global economic governance roundtable

Summary of a discussion with German government representatives, Jomo KS of the UN and civil society organisations.

Environment

Background

27 April 2009 | Minutes

The World Bank's programs on forests and climate change

A civil society event organised by World Resources Institute (WRI) at the World Bank spring meetings 2009

IFI governance

Background

27 April 2009 | Minutes

Compliance Advisory Ombudsman review of standards for Bank’s private sector lending

Notes of a session with the CAO at the World Bank spring meetings, Washington, DC, April 22, 2009.

IFI governance

Background

25 April 2009 | Minutes

IMF crisis response- discussion

Notes of a meeting between the IMF and civil society organisations

Environment

Background

13 April 2008 | Minutes

Dialogue with NGOs and Lars Thunell, Executive Vice President and CEO, IFC

Dialogue with NGOs and Lars Thunell, Executive Vice President and CEO, IFC

Environment

Background

11 April 2008 | Minutes

Macroeconomic and fiscal implications of climate change and the policies to address it

A briefing by IMF economists at the spring meetings 2008.

IFI governance

Background

11 April 2008 | Minutes

Briefing on the World Bank's Six Strategic Themes

Minutes of a briefing by World Bank staff on the WBG's six strategic themese

Conditionality

Background

11 April 2008 | Minutes

IMF consultation in advance of the PSI review

Notes of a consultation between IMF staff and NGOs in advance of the PSI review

Social services

Background

10 April 2008 | Minutes

Structural conditionalities in the IMF: A discussion between the IMF, IEO, and CSOs

An upcoming civil society report demonstrates that IMF structural conditionality did not decline in the five years after the approval of the Fund's conditionality guidelines in September 2002, which were based on the principles of ownership and criticality in its application of structural conditionality, as well as to streamlining the number of conditions. Going on seven years, it seems that these guidelines have been more honoured in principle than in practice. A recent Independent Evaluation O

Finance

Background

26 October 2007 | Minutes

Macroeconomic aspects of aid scaling up and the role of the Fund

Highlights of a 21 October discussion on the macroeconomics of aid scaling up at the World Bank-IMF annual meetings 2007.

Conditionality

Background

26 October 2007 | Minutes

Wage bill ceilings, fiscal and monetary policies and absorbing aid inflows - updates and next steps

Highlights of a 20 October discussion on the the IMF's fiscal and monetary policy advice and conditionality for low-income countries at the World Bank-IMF annual meetings 2007.

IFI governance

Background

26 October 2007 | Minutes

Rethinking the governance of the IMF

Highlights of a 19 October discussion on the reform of IMF governance at the World Bank-IMF annual meetings 2007.

IFI governance

Background

26 October 2007 | Minutes

The role of low-income countries in IFI governance

Highlights of a 19 October discussion on the role of low-income countries in IMF governance at the World Bank-IMF annual meetings 2007.

Conditionality

Background

26 October 2007 | Minutes

The IMF's Policy Support Instrument: more flexibility or continued belt tightening

Highlights of a 21 October discussion on the IMF's Policy Support Instrument (PSI) at the World Bank-IMF annual meetings 2007.

Environment

Background

23 October 2007 | Minutes

Townhall meeting and reception with World Bank and IMF presidents and civil society representatives

Highlights of an 18 October 'town hall' meeting between WB-IMF heads and CSOs.

Environment

Background

23 October 2007 | Minutes

The agenda of the Development Committee and the provision of Global Public Goods

Highlights of a 20 October meeting hosted by the FES Foundation on global public goods, at the World Bank-IMF annual meetings 2007.

Infrastructure

Background

23 October 2007 | Minutes

Climate change and clean energy challenges and opportunities in addressing Africa's growing energy n

Highlights of a meeting at the World Bank-IMF annual meetings 2007.

Infrastructure

Background

23 October 2007 | Minutes

Low carbon, high hopes: making climate action work for development

Highlights of a 19 October meeting at the World Bank-IMF annual meetings 2007.

Environment

Background

5 October 2007 | Minutes

Highlights of BWI-UK network meeting with Douglas Alexander

Highlights of a 4 October meeting between NGOs in the BWI-UK network and secretary of state for international development, Douglas Alexander, addressing IFI strategic reviews, aid effectiveness, clean energy/climate change and a number of other issues.

Conditionality

Background

27 April 2007 | Minutes

IMF macroeconomic policies and the impacts on education budgets and teacher wages

IMF civil society dialogue, spring meetings 2007 (14 April 2007)

Conditionality

Background

27 April 2007 | Minutes

IEO Evaluation of the IMF and Aid to Sub-Saharan Africa

Civil society dialogue, spring meetings 2007 (12 April 2007) on the IEO Evaluation of the IMF and Aid to Sub-Saharan Africa

IFI governance

Background

27 April 2007 | Minutes

European CSO meeting with European IMF EDs

Incomplete minutes of European CSO meeting with European IMF EDs, 13 April 2007

Conditionality

Background

20 April 2007 | Minutes

Fiscal space and fiscal priorities: Infrastructure, trade and poverty

This panel discussion addressed the pros and cons of fiscal space for infrastructure when infrastructure is trade-related, what they mean for current proposals by the World Bank and IMF on fiscal space, and the importance of an assessment that looks jointly at the trade and financial aspects on the grounds of poverty reduction, development and environment goals.

Conditionality

Background

19 April 2007 | Minutes

Sub-Saharan Africa: Outlook and Challenges

Sub-Saharan Africa: Outlook and Challenges; IMF-civil society dialogue, 13 April 2007

IFI governance

Background

26 October 2006 | Minutes

Highlights of Hilary Benn meeting with UK NGOs

Highlights of semi-annual meeting between UK Secretary of State for International Development and UK NGOs. Topics covered include CSO access to annual meetings, conditionality, anti-corruption, odious debt, clean energy, education in LICUS, bank internal governance, IFC safeguards

IFI governance

Background

26 September 2006 | Minutes

Highlights of Tom Scholar meeting with UK NGOs

Highlights of quarterly meeting between UK executive director to the World Bank and IMF and UK NGOs. Topics covered include CSO access to annual meetings, IMF strategic review, conditionality, anti-corruption and education.

IFI governance

Background

28 June 2006 | Minutes

Highlights of Tom Scholar meeting with UK NGOs, Monday 26 June 2006

Highlights of Tom Scholar meeting with UK NGOs, Monday 26 June 2006

IFI governance

Background

9 May 2006 | Minutes

Policy issues in scaling up of aid flows

Highlights of a spring meetings dialogue hosted by the IMF on scaling-up aid, where senior Fund staff Peter Heller walked out.

Social services

Background

28 April 2006 | Minutes

Evaluating the impact of the PRGF: The cases of Ethiopia, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia

Highlights of a civil society dialogue on the IMF Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility, at the World Bank spring meetings in Washington, 20 April 2006.

Infrastructure

Background

27 April 2006 | Minutes

World Bank dialogue on the clean energy investment framework

Highlights of a World Bank-organised dialogue on its new clean energy investment framework at the spring meetings in Washington, 24 April 2006.

IFI governance

Background

25 April 2006 | Minutes

Briefing on the implementation of new IFC performance standards

Briefing on the implementation of new IFC performance standards at the World Bank-IMF spring meetings in Washington, 20 April 2006.

Conditionality

Background

25 April 2006 | Minutes

Dialogue on national development strategies and the Millennium Development Goals

Dialogue on national development strategies and the Millennium Development Goals at the World Bank-IMF spring meetings in Washington, 20 April 2006.

Finance

Background

25 April 2006 | Minutes

Dialogue on Fund role in middle-income countries

Dialogue on Fund role in middle-income countries at the World Bank-IMF spring meetings in Washington, Thursday 20 April.

IFI governance

Background

6 October 2004 | Minutes

Grants or Loans? The Full Debate

The session considered the arguments surrounding the provision of grants or loans by IDA. It considered the recent call by President Bush for the World Bank and other development banks to provide more of their funds to the poorest countries as grants, in recognition of the pivotal role that grants play in providing prudent financing for pressing development needs.

IFI governance

Background

4 October 2004 | Minutes

CSO meeting with European Executive Directors

Note from meeting in Washington between European IFI network and European EDs as part of the civil society programme of the World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings 04.

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Analysis

Civil society still waiting for ‘IMF Spring’ to blossom

Civil society was out in full force during annual meetings challenging the IMF’s claims that it is reducing economic and gender inequality.

7 December 2017

IFI governance

Analysis

Annual Meetings wrap-up: Kim turns to bankrupt ideas, while IMF tries to undo inequality it doesn't admit it helped cause

BWP's analysis of this year's IMF and World Bank annual meetings; hopeful growth forecasts tampered by medium-term concerns, with US anti-multilateralism finally hitting Bank and Fund.

18 October 2017

IFI governance

Analysis

Development Committee communiqué analysis: Embracing the cascade in response to turbulent times

BWP analysis of the Development Committee Communiqué issued on 14 October, as part of this year's World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings.

18 October 2017

IFI governance

Analysis

IMFC communiqué analysis: Carpe diem, or else…

Analysis of the IMFC communiqué, issued on 14 October, from the 2017 World Bank-IMF annual meetings, Washington DC.

18 October 2017

IFI governance

Analysis

G24 communiqué analysis: “managing the impact of developments in the global economy”

BWP analysis of the G24 communiqué, issued on 12 October, from the 2017 World Bank-IMF annual meetings, Washington DC.

17 October 2017

IFI governance

Background

Great expectations: Is the IMF turning words into action on inequality?

Notes from the 2017 World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings session on the IMF's approach to inequality, 13 October.

13 October 2017 | Minutes

IFI governance

Background

Diagnosing governance challenges in the extractive sector: The Resource Governance Index and beyond

Notes from the 2017 World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings Civil Society Policy Forum session on the challenges of effective governance of the oil, gas and mining sectors in resource-rich countries.

12 October 2017 | Minutes

IFI governance

Background

Civil Society Townhall 2017

Notes and video from the 2017 World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings session of the Civil Society Town Hall, 11 October.

11 October 2017 | Minutes

IFI governance

Background

The challenges of financing infrastructure in developing countries through PPPs: A focus on contracts and laws

Notes from the 2017 World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings session on financing infrastruure in Latin America through PPPs. This session aims to discuss the main challenges pose by the widespread promotion of PPPs and its impacts in particular Latin American cases.

11 October 2017 | Minutes

IFI governance

Background

Funding energy access for the poor: Can the Bank meet the Challenge?

Notes from the 2017 World Bank and IMF Annual Meeting Civil Society Policy Forum session on energy access, 11 October.

11 October 2017 | Minutes