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Sovereign debt in the light of eternity

From Greece to the United States, across Europe and in South America – sovereign debt and the shadow of sovereign debt crisis have loomed over states across the world in recent decades. Why is sovereign debt such a pressing problem for modern democracies? And what are the alternatives? In this video Lee Buchheit discusses the emergence of sovereign debt as a global economic reality. He critiques the relatively recent reliance of governments on sovereign debt as a way to manage budget deficits. Buchheit highlights in particular the problems inherent in expecting judges to solve sovereign debt issues through restructuring. As he explores the legal, financial and political dimensions of sovereign debt management, Buchheit draws a provocative conclusion about the long-term implications of sovereign debt, arguing that “what we have done is to effectively preclude the succeeding generations from their own capacity to borrow”.

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Buchheit speaks at the launch of Sovereign Debt Management, edited by Rosa M. Lastra and Lee C. Buchheit.

Lee C. Buchheit is a partner based in the New York office of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. Dr Rosa María Lastra, who introduces Buchheit’s lecture, is Professor in International Financial and Monetary Law at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS), Queen Mary, University of London.

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