Historical Perspectives

Boer Bonds and the Doctrine of War Debts

03/26/20

Concentrating on just about anything during these days of the coronavirus, let alone academic writing, has been a trifle difficult these.  A splendid new paper on Boer Bonds by Kim Oosterlinck and Marie Van Gansbeke (here) did, however, get me focused (for a bit).  And that’s in part because their paper has potentially turned upside down what I thought was an established part of customary international law.  That is, the law of

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Federal Reserve Emergency Lending as a Coronavirus Response

03/01/20

Senator Elizabeth Warren has put out a plan for mitigating the economic fallout from the coronavirus.

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The Emperor's Old Bonds

02/25/20

Inspired by Tracy Alloway's recent piece on antique Chinese bonds (here), a group of my students has gone deep down the rabbit hole of the question of how one might recover on them (or, from the Chinese government’s perspective, how one would block recovery).  If I’m reading Michael, Charlie and Andres correctly, they think that the probability of recovery via litigation is near zero on almost all of the antique Chinese bond

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216 Jamaica Avenue and the Prospect of Breathing Life Into Antique Chinese Bonds

02/09/20

One of the more fun discussions we have had in my international debt class this term has been the question of whether a clever plaintiff's lawyer might be able to breathe life into defaulted Chinese bonds from the period 1911-1948. (Our thanks to Tracy Alloway's delightful piece in Bloomberg on this matter (here)).

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Daniel Schwarcz on the Evolution of Insurance Contracts

02/07/20

I shudder even as I write these words, but I’m increasingly fascinated by insurance contracts.  If you are interested in the processes by which standard form contracts evolve – which I am -- then you can’t help but be sucked into this world. Coming from the world of sovereign bonds, the insurance world strikes as bizarre.

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Buybacks as a Sovereign Debt Restructuring Strategy: Why the Disfavor?

01/19/20

The ideas in this post are drawn from work with Stephen Choi.  Errors are mine.

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"Middle Class Faux"?

01/09/20

I did some digging into Joe Biden's previously unexplored roll call vote on floor amendments to BAPCPA. They were ugly then and have not improved with age. My full take is in The American Prospect

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Hinrichsen on Iraq’s Debt Restructuring

12/21/19

Iraq’s debt restructuring a decade and a half ago was one of the few things that went right with the US incursion into that country in 2003.  Thanks to a combination of an expensive war with Iran, mismanagement and corruption on the part of Saddam and his henchmen, and the debilitating effect of international sanctions on the economy, Iraq in 2003 found itself with one of the largest sovereign defaulted debt stocks in history.  Worse, thanks to the sanctions regime, much of the unpaid debt had, by the time of Saddam’s removal, matured into judgement

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Elizabeth Warren's Work in the CMC Heartland Case

12/09/19

Elizabeth Warren’s bankruptcy work continues to be in the news, now with a Washington Post article on her work in the CMC Heartland case. Unfortunately, the Washington Post completely misses the point about why Elizabeth decided to work on this case.

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How to Deal with a $3 Trillion Bully

10/25/19

I don't like bullies.  And I just ran into a $3 trillion one.  JPMorgan Chase Bank, armed with six partners at two AmLaw 100 firms (Wilmer Hale and McGuire Woods) took the truly unusual step of filing an objection to an amicus curiae brief I filed in a 9th Circuit case called McShannock v. JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. in support of neither partyChase objects because the brief is late (which it is) and supposedly irrelevant to the disposition of the case.

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