This paper asks how recent developments in research on banking and sovereign lending can help inform the debate on choosing a new international financial architecture. A broad range of plans is considered, including a global lender of last resort facility, an international bankruptcy court, an international debt insurance corporation, and unilateral controls on capital flows.
We develop an open-economy of intertemporal trade under asymmetric information. Capital market imperfections are endogenous and depend on a county's stage of economic development. Relative to the perfect-information benchmark, North-South capital flows are dampened (and possibly reversed) and world interest rates are lower. Whereas riskless rates are equalized across borders, the domestic loan rate is higher in poorer countries. The model can be applied to a number of policy issues including the debt-overhang problem, the indexation of foreign public debts, and the effect of income on distribution growth.
We present a dynamic model of international lending in which borrowers cannot commit to future repayments and in which debtors can sometimes successfully negotiate partial defaulters or "rescheduling agreements." All parties in a debt rescheduling negotiation realize that today's rescheduling agreement may itself have to be renegotiated in the future. Our bargaining-theoretic approach allows us to handle the effects of uncertainty on sovereign debt contracts in a much more satisfactory way than in earlier analyses. The framework is readily extended to analyze the conflicting interests of different lenders and of banks and creditor country taxpayers.
A dynamic bargaining-theoretic framework is used to analyze multilateral negotiations for rescheduling sovereign debt. The analysis illustrates how various factors, such as the debtor's gains from trade and the level of the world interest rates, affect the relative bargaining power of various parties to a rescheduling agreement. If creditor-country taxpayers have a vested interest in maintaining normal levels of trade with debtor countries, then they can sometimes be bargained into making sidepayments. The benefits from unanticipated creditor-country sidepayments accrue to both lenders and borrowers. But the benefits from perfectly anticipated sidepayments accrue entirely to borrowers.