M-RCBG Senior Fellow-Led Study Group: Megan Greene with Lee Buchheit

Sovereign Debt Crises: current risks and potential solutions

Wednesday, March 2, 1:30-2:30pm  
Online webinar. Register HERE

This event, co-sponsored with Chatham House, will explore the factors that may prompt an emerging market sovereign debt crisis and the countries most susceptible to them.

With interest rates rising in the developed world, borrowing costs for emerging markets are creeping up as well. The Federal Reserve has taken a hawkish turn, which will cause the US Dollar (USD) to appreciate and make USD-denominated debt servicing and imports more expensive. Capital flows to emerging markets excluding China have effectively come to a sudden stop over the past few months.

There has been significant innovation over the course of the pandemic to help emerging and frontier markets weather the crisis, but that innovation may prove to have fallen short now as accommodation is withdrawn.

This webinar will examine the current potential risk factors for an emerging market sovereign debt crisis, which countries are the most exposed and whether they are idiosyncratic or part of a broader trend. We will also discuss the policy innovations meant to help avoid a sovereign debt crisis, the role of new creditors in debt restructuring, the benefits and pitfalls of the Common Framework and what additional reforms the International Monetary Fund (IMF) should make to ensure debt restructurings are done proactively and with greater transparency.

This webinar will be a conversation between Megan Greene, M-RCBG Senior Fellow and Dame DeAnne Julius Senior Academy Fellow in International Economics at Chatham House and Lee Buchheit, Visiting Professorial Fellow, Centre for Commercial Law Studies, University of London.

Headshot photo of Megan GreeneMegan Greene is a Senior Fellow at HKS M-RCBG, where she is working on a book on the new drivers of income and wealth inequality and how to address them. She also serves as Global Chief Economist at Kroll, a Senior Fellow at Chatham House, a Senior Advisor to the OECD and a regular columnist at the Financial Times. She has previously served as the Global Chief Economist at John Hancock Asset Management, the founder and Chief Economist at Maverick Intelligence, the head of European Research at Roubini Global Economics and the euro crisis expert at the Economist Intelligence Unit. She regularly advises governments and central banks in the US, UK, eurozone, and Japan. Ms Greene holds an MSc from Nuffield College, Oxford University and a BA from Princeton University. 

Lee C. Buchheit retired in 2019 after a 43 year legal career. For much of his career, Mr. Buchheit specialized in the legal aspects of sovereign debt management. He has worked on the sovereign debt restructurings of more than two dozen countries and he led the legal teams advising the Republic of Iraq (2004-08) and the Hellenic Republic (2011-12), the two largest sovereign debt workouts in history. Mr. Buchheit is a prolific author and holds academic appointments at several universities in Europe and the United States. He serves as a consultant to a number of official sector institutions.