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This year’s Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank took place against the backdrop of continued sluggish growth in developed and developing countries alike. The impact of the commodity price crash weighs heavily on many developing countries and has ...

Eurogroup outcome on Greek debt crisis is a missed opportunity

Wednesday May 25 2016 This morning’s (May 25) decision by the Eurogroup to postpone any major debt relief measures until 2018 – and refuse to include any actual debt cancellation measures in the agreed package - is a missed opportunity. Bodo Ellmers, Debt Justice Coordinator at the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad), said: "Today, the Eurogroup has both delayed an actual solution to the crisis and condemned the Greek people to more years of misery because of the harsh austerity ...

Campaigners call for cancellation of Greek debt ahead of landmark Eurogroup meeting

Monday May 23 Debt justice campaigners across Europe are calling on the Eurogroup to cancel Greece’s unmanageable debt and prevent more human suffering. Almost 20 organisations have written to President Jeroen Dijsselbloem and his fellow ministers ahead of a key meeting on Tuesday May 24 , where they will decide how to tackle the crisis as the next debt repayment deadline approaches. The letter responds to proposals laid out in a Eurogroup meeting earlier this month, and warns that their list ...
In late April, the ‘battle of the century’ between the government of Argentina and a group of vulture funds reached an inglorious end. The government of Argentina finally surrendered and paid the vulture funds in full, at a price tag of more than ...

Stop feeding the vulture funds: Argentina’s agreement to hand over $4.65bn proves the world needs a new, fairer insolvency regime

March 1 2016 Argentina’s ‘agreement’ to award vulture funds US$4.6bn (€4.26bn) demonstrates why nations need a new global system to resolve debt issues and avoid being held to ransom. While 93% of Argentina’s creditors agreed to reduced repayments in order to restore the country’s solvency after the debt crisis of 2001, a group of ‘vulture funds’ bought up some of the debt at a cheap price, and sued for full repayment. This week they won, following years of litigation. The vulture ...

Reform of the IMF lending framework: The IMF bails out from bailouts

Bodo Ellmers

02 Feb 2016 10:40:28

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a new reform of its exceptional access framework. The key step made on 29 January 2016 is to remove the systemic exemption clause. This is the clause that has made IMF participation in the mega bailout of private creditors in Greece possible. It created the situation that Greece is now indebted mainly to official creditors, while banks and other creditors have recovered most of their money. However, the reform is no guarantee that publicly funded bailouts will no longer happen. It just transfers the task from the IMF to other official creditors, in Europe to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). The huge Troika-funded bailout of Greece’s private creditors caused a lot of outrage: European citizens complained that they were being held ...

The UN's work towards faster and better resolution of debt crises: a tale of legal frameworks and basic principles for debt restructurings

Bodo Ellmers

09 Dec 2015 16:16:56

This article was originally published on Eurodad member SLUG's website.  To date, there are no international institutions that are in a position to resolve debt crises in a fair, orderly and sustainable manner. This is a problem that has been identified at numerous UN Summits and high-level meetings, but has never really been resolved by the international community. Expectations were therefore high when, in late 2014, the UN General Assembly finally adopted a landmark resolution and set up a committee to develop a multilateral legal framework for sovereign debt restructurings, essentially the long-awaited insolvency regime for countries in debt crisis. An overdue reform process A key reason why debt crises are so frequent, have such a devastating impact for the economy and the people ...
Next week’s annual gathering of the World Bank and IMF is going to be different for two reasons. Firstly, Finance Ministers from around the world will leave Washington DC and visit Lima, Peru – the first time the Meetings have been staged in a Latin ...

New food for the vultures? Lack of state insolvency regime undermines Ukraine debt deal

Bodo Ellmers

27 Aug 2015 17:30:55

Ukraine has reached a debt restructuring agreement with a creditor committee representing 50% of outstanding government bonds. Substantial debt reduction is essential to bring Ukraine’s debt down to sustainable levels. But the agreed deal falls short of what is needed. And the participation of the other 50% of bondholders is not secured, and cannot be secured in absence of a multilateral debt restructuring framework that can make binding and enforceable decisions. The Western powers’ reluctance to help build such a framework might have fed their ally to the vulture funds and their aggressive litigation strategies. The Ukraine debt deal According to information obtained by the Financial Times, Ukraine has reached a deal with a creditor committee led by the investment fund Franklin Templeton. ...

UN Committee passes first ever set of UN debt restructuring principles

Bodo Ellmers

12 Aug 2015 11:16:40

This article is also available in French and Spanish. Just ten days after the UN’s International Conference on Financing for Development, and just in time for the endorsement of the new sustainable development agenda, a UN Committee has agreed on a set of principles to guide further sovereign debt restructuring processes. The new UN principles were inspired by the devastating bank bailouts in Greece, and by the vulture fund lawsuits that Argentina faced at US courts. They build on preparatory work done by an expert group convened by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and, subject to approval by the UN General Assembly (UN GA) in early September, will be the first step towards a new multilateral debt restructuring framework that aims to prevent future debt crises, or at least ...