Learning from recent debt deals – proposing useful innovations. This is the title of an online panel organised by the International Economics Association (IEA) on Tuesday 31 October 2023 from 15:00 pm on Zoom.

The sovereign debt distress landscape is evolving both through “practice”, the actual resolutions of individual cases, and through architectural changes. Only a few debt-restructuring deals have been completed in recent months (Chad, Suriname), while several are making partial progress (Zambia, Ghana, Sri Lanka), and a few remain stuck (Lebanon). Yet, several innovations are starting to appear. The recent Zambia bilateral debt deal has attempted to deal with China’s objections over burden sharing by MDBs. As in the case of Chad, it has also introduced a contingent repayment schedule that rises if rapid progress is achieved in regaining creditworthiness. In Ghana and Sri Lanka, domestic debt has been brought into the debt restructuring perimeter, but not in Zambia.

What do we learn from those innovations? Are they likely to influence future deals? Do current negotiations suggest that other innovations are needed? The organizers’ central interest is to explore how debt deals can manage to help debtor countries not only stabilize their economy, but also to secure a path to recovery and sustainable growth, in the context of programs supported by the IMF and other MDBs. From this perspective, to what extent do recent innovations help? Which ones should stick, and which ones should we be more careful about? Which other innovations should we seek?

Among others, these questions will be addressed by speakers Vera Songwe (Liquidity and Sustainability Facility, Brookings Institute); Ugo Panizza (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva); Chandru Chandrasekhar (UMass Amherst, and Jawaharlal Nehru University) and Ishac Diwan (Finance for Development Lab); and invited speakers Hanan Morsy (United Nations Economic Commission for Africa) and Martin Guzman (Columbia Business School, former Minister of Economy of Argentina). Chair: Dani Rodrik, Professor at Harvard University, President of the International Economics Association.

For more information on the event and other IEA conferences on the subject, please visit https://iea-world.org/dealing-with-debt-working-group/.

Participating at the event is free of charge but registration is required. To register, please follow this link.