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Hope Springs EternalFrench Bondholders and the Repudiation of Russian Sovereign Debt$
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Kim Oosterlinck

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300190915

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300190915.001.0001

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Sovereign Debt

Sovereign Debt

Default and Repudiation

(p.34) One Sovereign Debt
Hope Springs Eternal

Kim Oosterlinck

, Anthony Bulger
Yale University Press

The first chapter details the nature of sovereign debts. The sovereign nature of the issuer has an enormous impact in terms of risk. At the very least, one may argue that sovereign bonds have a split personality in terms of risk. Indeed, debt issued by a government can be considered as either the safest financial asset or one of the riskiest. This chapter details the incentives governments have to repay their debts. It further shows the difference between default and repudiation. When states default they declare themselves unable to repay their debts. In the case of repudiation the legality of the debts is questioned. The difference is especially relevant in the Russian case as the Soviets decided to repudiate the Tsarist debts to mark a clear break with the previous regime. The chapter ends by detailing how the nature of lenders may affect negotiations and reimbursement.

Keywords:   Sovereign Debts, Default, Repudiation, Trade sanctions, Military intervention, Reputation

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