How to Restructure Euro Area Sovereign Debt in the Era of COVID-19

44 Pages Posted: 25 Nov 2019 Last revised: 30 Apr 2020

See all articles by Theresa Arnold

Theresa Arnold

McGuireWoods LLP

Mitu Gulati

University of Virginia School of Law

Ugo Panizza

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) - Department of Economics; CEPR

Date Written: April 28, 2020

Abstract

Countries with large debts stocks are vulnerable to the vagaries of the markets. Confidence crises can arise out of nowhere, constricting access to the markets. Hence, the question arises as to whether these countries should put in place mechanisms that will help them better prepare for the possibility of crisis. In effect, the choice is whether to buy insurance. The cost of buying such insurance is that the possibility that markets will see the sovereign’s proactive steps to protect against a crisis not as an indication of prudent governance but rather as an indicator that a crisis is imminent. In this article, we use the case of a Euro area country (Italy) with a large debt stock and that has been hit particularly hard by Covid-19 to set forth its options, as of 2020, to anticipate a possible future debt restructuring. It can: do nothing, do a little; or do something substantial.

Keywords: sovereign debt, Italy, Euro area, restructuring, local law advantage

JEL Classification: F34, F54, G15, K22

Suggested Citation

Arnold, Theresa and Gulati, Mitu and Panizza, Ugo, How to Restructure Euro Area Sovereign Debt in the Era of COVID-19 (April 28, 2020). Capital Markets Law Journal (2020), Duke Law School Public Law & Legal Theory Series No. 2019-81, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3485099 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3485099

Theresa Arnold

McGuireWoods LLP

434 Fayetteville Street
Suite 2600
Raleigh, NC 27601
United States

Mitu Gulati

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

Ugo Panizza (Contact Author)

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) - Department of Economics ( email )

Geneva Avenue de la Paix 11A
Geneva, 1202
Switzerland

CEPR ( email )

London
United Kingdom

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