Promises and Perils of Sovereign Debt Transparency

52 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2023 Last revised: 30 Apr 2024

See all articles by Stephen Park

Stephen Park

University of Connecticut - School of Business; University of Connecticut - School of Law

Tim Samples

University of Georgia - Terry College of Business

Date Written: April 29, 2024

Abstract

Sovereign debt is astoundingly opaque. While persistent doubts about transparency undermine the legitimacy of sovereign debt, the dangers posed by opaqueness are mounting. Yet, even at a time of pending crisis, information is woefully inadequate. Calls for transparency seek more data and better disclosure around debt obligations and decision-making. In light of what is at stake, the opaqueness of sovereign debt has spurred a range of recent standards-based initiatives to make sovereign debt more transparent. This Article sets out to interrogate the presumptions underlying sovereign debt transparency. While transparency’s promise may be readily apparent in certain contexts, this Article argues that policymakers and practitioners ignore its limitations and shortcomings at their peril. This Article advances and explores three propositions to show how the narrative of sovereign debt transparency is incomplete: (1) that transparency is immensely challenging to implement in the context of sovereign debt, (2) that sovereign prerogatives hinder the implementation of mandatory disclosure, and (3) that the causal link between transparency and debt outcomes is unclear and conditional. The success of reform efforts hinges on addressing these impediments to meaningful transparency.

Keywords: sovereign debt, transparency, disclosure, sovereign debt restructuring, global governance, international financial regulation

Suggested Citation

Park, Stephen and Samples, Tim, Promises and Perils of Sovereign Debt Transparency (April 29, 2024). Yale Journal of International Law, Vol. 49, No. 1, 2024, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4609257

Stephen Park (Contact Author)

University of Connecticut - School of Business ( email )

Storrs, CT 06269
United States

University of Connecticut - School of Law ( email )

65 Elizabeth Street
Hartford, CT 06105
United States

Tim Samples

University of Georgia - Terry College of Business ( email )

A425 Moore-Rooker Hall
Athens, GA GA 30602-6269
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.terry.uga.edu/directory/legal-studies/tim-samples.html

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
74
Abstract Views
413
Rank
592,319
PlumX Metrics