The New Guano: Legal Enforcement in Modern Sovereign Debt Markets

In Adjudication Without Frontiers: The Global Turn In Private International Law (H. Muir Watt, Et Al. Eds.), Forthcoming

UNC Legal Studies Research Paper

7 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2018

See all articles by Mark C. Weidemaier

Mark C. Weidemaier

University of North Carolina School of Law

Date Written: April 14, 2018

Abstract

This essay examines the significance of the decades-long litigation against Argentina following that country’s default and subsequent restructuring of its public debt. Although litigation spanned nearly two decades, most accounts focus on the so-called pari passu injunction: the extraordinary remedy that ultimately induced Argentina to pay. Yet the litigation is more important for what it reveals about the evolving structure of sovereign debt markets. Effective legal enforcement does not require new law—or, anyway, not much new law. It requires specialized litigants, ready access to capital, and the ability to further mitigate the risk of investing in litigation through portfolio diversification. Such actors and mechanisms are routinely present in other forms of civil litigation, but have until recently played a limited role in sovereign debt markets. The lasting significance of the NML litigation is that it marks their arrival in force.

Keywords: sovereign debt, sovereign immunity, NML v. Argentina, pari passu

JEL Classification: F34, H63

Suggested Citation

Weidemaier, Mark C., The New Guano: Legal Enforcement in Modern Sovereign Debt Markets (April 14, 2018). In Adjudication Without Frontiers: The Global Turn In Private International Law (H. Muir Watt, Et Al. Eds.), Forthcoming; UNC Legal Studies Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3245254 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3245254

Mark C. Weidemaier (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina School of Law ( email )

Van Hecke-Wettach Hall, 160 Ridge Road
CB #3380
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380
United States
919.843.4373 (Phone)

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