Government Borrowing and Restructuring

Law 504



Writing Experience (WE)



This is a seminar in international debt finance, with a particular focus on how sovereign nations borrow and restructure their debt. Governments have borrowed tens of trillions of dollars from domestic and foreign creditors. Many governments are over-indebted, and default on sovereign debt has been a recurring phenomenon for hundreds of years. Yet sovereigns cannot file for bankruptcy. This means that restructuring their debts requires legal ingenuity; so does enforcing their debts, as sovereigns are immune from many traditional methods of legal enforcement.

This seminar exposes students to both theory and practice in the sovereign debt markets. There is no exam. Students will be graded on short writing assignments and in-class presentations that engage with current problems in the sovereign debt markets. For example, students may be asked to advise a client how to enforce a defaulted sovereign debt obligation, to design a restructuring program for a financially-distressed government (such as Venezuela, for spring 2018), and to present their restructuring proposal to a panel of experts in the field. 

None. Although experience or interest in bankruptcy, corporate and securities law, or international law may be relevant.

M. Weidemaier

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