January 11, 2022, Paper: "The Latin American debt crisis consumed the 1980s and was not restricted to Latin America. Starting from the August 1982 Mexican weekend, the crisis had three phases: Concerted Lending (1982-5), Baker Plan (1985-9) and Brady Plan (1989 to mid 1990s). This article describes the evolution of the debt strategy and the road to embracing debt write-downs at the end of the decade. In the absence of an external coordinating mechanism, four groups of parties had to reach agreement on any change in the strategy: the borrowing countries, their commercial bank lenders, the home-country authorities of those lenders, and the International Monetary Fund as the principal international institution. Each group could effectively veto any change in the strategy. This need for consensus is lesson number one from the 1980s for today. Lesson number two is that political economy aspects dictated that the strategy be implemented on a case-by-case basis. The article concludes with an application of these lessons to a similar, but even more global, potential debt crisis in the wake of the COVID pandemic."
M-RCBG Senior Fellow - Edwin Ted Truman