(February 28, 2010) Ecuador’s strategic default on some of its external debt last year has drawn much commentary and generated passionate reactions. Some commentators who advocate creating a mechanism for addressing odious or illegitimate debt encouraged Ecuador to repudiate its obligations and have generally applauded its decision to do so. For those who are sympathetic to efforts to create such a mechanism, however, this enthusiasm may be misplaced.
Applied Legal History: Demystifying the Doctrine of Odious Debts
(March 1, 2009) “Odious debts” have been the subject of debate in academic, activist, and policy circles in recent years. The term refers to the debts of a nation that a despotic leader incurs against the interests of the populace. When the despot is overthrown, the new government—understandably—does not wish to repay creditors who helped prop up the despot…
New Estimates of Capital Flight from Sub-Saharan African Countries: Linkages with External Borrowing and Policy Options
(April 1, 2008) Over the past decades, African countries have been forced by external debt burdens to undertake painful economic adjustments while devoting scarce foreign exchange to debt-service payments. On the other hand, African countries have experienced massive outflows of private capital towards Western financial centers. Indeed, these private assets surpass the continent’s foreign liabilities, ironically making sub-Saharan Africa a “net creditor” to the rest of the world.
Why Aren’t We Developing Faster?
(March 4, 2008) According to Paul Wolfowitz, former President of the World Bank: World Bank’s beneficiary countries that do not have access to capital markets mostly “remain poor because their political system is unstable, private property rights are very limited, the judicial system is weak or subservient, or the Government is corrupt” and assistance to such countries “at best provides relief [and] at worst supports corruption or programs that waste scarce local and external resources”.
Scholars chart new legal course
(January 16, 2008) The principles of the odious debt doctrine exploded into the modern debt debate following the U.S. led invasion of Iraq, capturing the attention of legal scholars and exciting new thought on the history, the foundation, and the future application of the doctrine.
Sovereign debt and social rights – legal reflections on a difficult relationship
(January 1, 2008) The relationship between the sovereign debt of developing countries and the protection of social rights in those countries has received a lot of attention from an economic, political and moral perspective, but relatively little has been written about the legal side of this relationship.
Equitable subordination, fraudulent transfer, and sovereign debt
(November 27, 2007) There is a growing body of scholarship that attempts to identify workable mechanisms to enable sovereigns to repudiate ‘odious’ sovereign debt – obligations incurred by sovereign regimes that provide no corresponding benefit to the sovereign debtor itself.
Contractualism and the moral evaluation of international economic institutions: the case of odious debt
(April 6, 2007) Contractualism as T. M. Scanlon has conceptualized it has become one of
the more influential moral theories of the past decade. Though
contractualism connects to the social contract tradition, it has not
yet been developed into a full-fledged political philosophy.
Public power and private purpose: odious debt and the political economy of hegemony
(April 3, 2007) This Article examines the process by which overlapping interests between private bankers and government translates into influence and power mediated through the use of bank loans as instruments of foreign policy.
Odious debt, odious credit, economic development, and democratization
(April 1, 2007) The problem of odious debt typically arises when a despotic regime has incurred substantial sovereign debt and is then succeeded by a less-despotic, possibly democratic, regime that seeks to repudiate that debt. There is no agreed-upon method for dealing with attempts to repudiate odious debt
Contract, priority, and odious debt
(March 16, 2007) This Article proposes that sovereign nations and their creditors adopt a contractual approach to the seemingly intractable problem of odious debt. Odious debt is generally defined as an obligation incurred by a despotic or illegitimate leader that provides no value to the population of the sovereign.
Partially odious debts? A framework for an optimal liability regime
(March 15, 2007) This article argues that the cost of odious debt ought to be borne by the party who is best positioned to prevent the accumulation of such debt.
A Law-and-Economics Analysis of Odious Debts
(February 7, 2007) Much of the debate surrounding odious debts begs the question of whether the ‘odiousness’ of a debt can serve as a qualification for the rule of state succession. The legal and economics rationales of the rule date back to the classical writings on the subject and can be derived from state practice.
Odious debt wears two faces: Systemic illegitimacy, problems and opportunities in traditional odious debt conceptions in globali
(January 17, 2007) This paper examines the way that the traditional notion of odious debt as a method of repudiating sovereign debt may undergo a conceptual revolution, as it changes focus from the illegitimacy of governments obtaining loans, to the illegitimacy of the systems through which such loans are made and enforced generally.
The Due Diligence Model: A New Approach to the Problem of Odious Debts
(January 3, 2007) Odious debts are debts incurred by a government without either popular
consent or a legitimate public purpose. There is a debate within
academic circles as to whether the successor government to a regime
that incurred odious debts has the right to repudiate repayment. In the
real world, however, repudiation is not currently an option granted
legitimacy by either global capital markets or the legal systems of