Gregory Makoff on "Default: The Landmark Court Battle Over Argentina’s $100 Billion Debt Restructuring"

MoAF/Fordham Financial Issues Forum (VIRTUAL EVENT)

Gregory Makoff on \

Tuesday, March 12, 2024 | 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

Unlike individuals or corporations that become insolvent, nations do not have access to bankruptcy protection from their creditors. When a country defaults on its debt, the international financial system is ill equipped to manage the crisis. Decisions by key individuals―from national leaders to those at the International Monetary Fund, from holdout creditors to judges―determine the fate of an entire national economy. A prime example is Argentina's 2001 default on $100 billion in bonds, which stands out for its messy outcomes and outsized impact on sovereign debt markets, sovereign debt law and IMF policy.

Default is the riveting story of Argentina's sovereign debt drama, which reveals the obscure inner workings of sovereign debt restructuring. This detailed case study describes the intense fight over the role of the IMF in Argentina's 2005 debt restructuring and the ensuing bitter decade of litigation with holdout creditors, demonstrating that outcomes for sovereign debt are determined by a complex interplay between financial markets, governments, the IMF, the press and the courts. This cautionary tale lays bare the institutional, political and legal pressures that come into play when a country cannot repay its debts. It offers a deeper understanding of how global financial capitalism functions for those who work in or study debt markets, international finance, international relations and international law.

About the Speaker
Gregory Makoff has been writing about sovereign debt for the past decade and is the author of Default: The Landmark Court Battle over Argentina’s $100 Billion Debt Restructuring. For 21 years through mid-2014, Gregory worked as an investment banker and debt transaction specialist, advising companies, financial institutions and countries, including Jamaica, Colombia, the Philippines and Turkey, regarding their debt management operations. From January 2015, he has published papers as a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), and, in 2015 and 2016, he worked at the US Treasury on the team that supported the enactment of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), the law that has been facilitating the reform of Puerto Rico’s public sector and the restructuring of its debt. Gregory holds a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Chicago (1993) and a BSc in physics and political science from MIT (1986) and is a member of the CFA Institute.

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