38 episodes

Clauses and Controversies: A Podcast about International Finance, Contract Clauses and the Controversies Surrounding These Clauses

Clauses & Controversies Mitu Gulati & Mark Weidemaier

    • Education
    • 4.8 • 23 Ratings

Clauses and Controversies: A Podcast about International Finance, Contract Clauses and the Controversies Surrounding These Clauses

    Ep 38 ft. Matthias Goldmann

    Ep 38 ft. Matthias Goldmann

    Can Courts Help Right Historical Wrongs?

    In the early 1900s, the first genocide of the 20th century occurred in what was then the colony of German Southwest Africa (now Namibia). Perpetrated by the German government, decades of widespread seizure of property and imposition of forced labor were followed by the mass killing of tens of thousands of the Ovaherero and Nama peoples. In recent years, there has been talk of reparations, but these talks have not resulted in payment. So descendants of the genocide victims filed a lawsuit in federal court in New York, which ultimately failed. Matthias Goldmann has written insightfully about that lawsuit—and about many, many other things as well. He joins us to discuss, in the first half of the episode, Germany’s colonial past in Africa and efforts to use the courts to redress historical wrongs. In the second half, we get to ask Matthias about modern sovereign debt problems, especially Mozambique’s challenge to the enforceability of loans associated with the tuna bond scandal.

    Producer: Leanna Doty

    • 52 min
    Ep 37 ft. Anna Gelpern & Christoph Trebesch

    Ep 37 ft. Anna Gelpern & Christoph Trebesch

    How China Lends

    Anna Gelpern and Christoph Trebesch--along with co-authors Sebastian Horn, Scott Morris, and Brad Parks--have produced a truly unprecedented study of a long-secret topic: the legal terms of the contracts governing loans by Chinese state-owned entities to borrower governments around the world. How China Lends (link below) documents a variety of innovative and unexpected contracting practices that straddle the border between "official" and "private" lending (and maybe reveal the uselessness of trying to maintain that distinction?). Anna and Christoph join us to talk about their findings, which not only shed light on the practices of Chinese lenders but offer a new model for the study of contracts generally.

    The paper is available here: https://www.aiddata.org/publications/how-china-lends

    Producer: Leanna Doty

    • 55 min
    Ep 36 ft. Anne-Laure Delatte

    Ep 36 ft. Anne-Laure Delatte

    Why Is No One Worried About the Gargantuan Euro Area Sovereign Debt?

    Our guest is the brilliant French economist, Anne-Laure Delatte, who is worried about the ever increasing size of European sovereign debt and the return (did it ever go away?) of the bank-sovereign doom loop. We ask Anne-Laure about the increasingly important role the ECB seems to be playing in determining European policy (again, she is worried) and whether there is a general assumption that the ECB will now and forever more serve as a backstop to the unlimited borrowing of individual Euro area nations. Finally, to get her even more worried, we ask Anne-Laure about the implications of Marine Le Pen taking the reins of power in France (we vividly remember her plan to solve the French debt problem by unilaterally converting the Euro denominated debt into Francs).

    Producer: Leanna Doty

    • 49 min
    Ep 35 ft. Ben Heller

    Ep 35 ft. Ben Heller

    Bendy Bonds Are Better (Say it Five Times Fast)

    Our guest this week is Ben Heller, one of the most insightful observers of the sovereign debt markets, and someone we often turn to for a sense of the investor’s perspective on the markets. Recently, Ben and a colleague published a proposal for so-called Bendy Bonds – state-contingent debt instruments that automatically give countries a short breathing spell in times of crisis. State-contingent debt is a favorite of many economists, but proposals for new instruments—like GDP-linked bonds—have generally gone nowhere. But there has been a great deal of interest in Bendy Bonds. We talk with Ben about the idea behind Bendy Bonds and about recent events in the markets such as the claim by some that the Pac Man and Redesignation strategies proposed by Argentina in its recent restructuring were innocent attempts to correct for flaws in the latest version of the ICMA CACs. Ben, who was on the key drafting committees for the ICMA CACs, gives us some rare and invaluable legislative history.

    https://www.hbk.com/uploads/documents/Bendy-Bonds.pdf

    Producer: Leanna Doty

    • 51 min
    Ep 34 Ft. Lee Buchheit

    Ep 34 Ft. Lee Buchheit

    Recent Sovereign Debt Drama. Plus: Zambia’s Weird Bond Contracts

    Are EU member states jointly and severally liable for EU bond debt? (No, of course not. Well, kind of…) Other than being fun at parties, what makes a “social” bond social? And has the G-20’s Common Framework removed the need to worry about a wave of defaults and restructurings in the wake of the pandemic? Our guest this week is the eminent Lee Buchheit, who kindly fields these and other off-the-wall questions from us in the first half of the show. In the second half, we talk about Zambia and what a debt restructuring in that country might look like. Actually, we talk about weird clauses in the Zambian eurobonds that might be relevant in a restructuring. Can it really be the case that Zambia can unilaterally modify its way out of debt?

    Producer: Leanna Doty

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Ep 33 ft. Matt Wirz

    Ep 33 ft. Matt Wirz

    Green Bonds for Everyone!

    Matt Wirz (Wall Street Journal) helped uncover the Hunger Bond scandal in the Venezuelan debt. Conversations with Matt about why investors are willing to buy debt issued by odious regimes led to conversations about ESG, green bonds, sin stocks, and the new popularity of "green" sovereign debt. Recent sovereign debt related proposals include conducting debt for climate swaps to help countries deal with their gargantuan Covid debts. We talk with Matt about the so-called "greenium" (do investors really pay for green bonds?) and about whether all this ESG talk should be taken seriously. Call us skeptical. That said, there is a lot of talk. And where there is talk . . .

    Producer: Leanna Doty

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
23 Ratings

23 Ratings

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