The Formation of Sovereign Debt. Diagnosis and Remedy

101 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2014 Last revised: 15 Sep 2015

See all articles by Bernard Schmitt

Bernard Schmitt

Research Laboratory of Monetary Economics (RME Lab), CSB (Deceased)

Date Written: October 23, 2014


Although the sovereign debt crisis is worldwide considered as a main disorder affecting indebted countries’ economic recovery, its analysis is still incomplete and has so far failed to provide a satisfactory explanation of its origin and of the way it can be successfully addressed. The aim of this paper is to propose a new analysis of this phenomenon, based on monetary macroeconomics and capable of grasping the nature of a pathology that is a major cause of the present economic crisis. In particular, the paper shows that countries’ external debts are twice as high as they should be because of a pathological mechanism, which doubles the debt incurred by any country that is forced to finance through a foreign loan its overall net foreign purchases or (commercial and financial) imports. Part I is entirely devoted to the analysis of this duplication and to its statistical confirmation, while Part II presents principles and steps for a reform that could be implemented by any one country and that, by preventing the double charge of its external debt, would allow its government to obtain a substantial gain to be invested in the reduction of unemployment.

Keywords: Sovereign debt crisis, external debt, balance of payments deficit, system of international payments, reform of the system of external payments, duplication, unemployment, banks

JEL Classification: F32, F33, F34, E24, E58, G21

Suggested Citation

Schmitt, Bernard, The Formation of Sovereign Debt. Diagnosis and Remedy (October 23, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Bernard Schmitt (Contact Author)

Research Laboratory of Monetary Economics (RME Lab), CSB (Deceased)


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