Tackling the Next Wave of Sovereign Debt Crises

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DATE: April 10, 2019

DAY: Wednesday

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

LOCATION: IMF HQ1, Meetings Halls A&B (HQ1-3-430 A&B)

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Debt is at record levels in advanced and emerging market economies. 40 percent of low-income countries are wrestling with debt distress or high-risk debt levels. If measures are not put in place to reduce risk, a new and broad-based wave of debt crises could emerge as a major threat for the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In a few countries, a debt crisis has already materialized. Can the current international financial architecture provide prevention and resolution of debt and financial crises? Or does it need to be reformed?  

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Tackling the Next Wave of Sovereign Debt Crises


Moderator: Larry Elliott

Larry Elliot, Economics Editor, The Guardian
Larry Elliot joined the British newspaper the Guardian in 1988 and has been its economics editor since 1994. During his 25 years at the Guardian he has covered all the big developments in the global economy and taken a particular interest in development issues. He for example covered the Jubilee Debt campaign in the late 1990s and the Make Poverty History campaign in the build up to the 2005 Gleneagles summit.

Panelist: David Lipton

David Lipton David Lipton assumed the position of First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund on September 1, 2011. On March 28, 2016, he was reappointed for a second five-year term beginning September 1, 2016. Before coming to the Fund, Mr. Lipton was Special Assistant to the President, and served as Senior Director for International Economic Affairs at the National Economic Council and National Security Council at the White House. Previously, he was a Managing Director at Citi, and also served in the Clinton administration as Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs — and before that as Assistant Secretary. Mr. Lipton earned a Ph.D. and M.A. from Harvard University in 1982 and a B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1975.

Panelist: Fanwell Bokosi

Fanwell Bokosi, Executive Director, African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD)
Fanwel Kenala Bokosi is a PhD holder in Economics and an experienced manager in economic development. He has worked at senior levels in international organisations in various African countries. Currently he is the Executive Director for the African Forum and Network for Debt and Development (AFRODAD) a Pan-African organisation that operates in 23 countries in the continent. He also taught in many economics courses at the University of Kent, London School of Accountancy and Management and in other Universities in Africa. His experience and skills include excellent understanding of economic development; policy and advocacy; financial and accounts management; rights based approach to development and liaison with partners including implementing agencies, donors and government. 

Panelist: Lee Buchheit

Legal Expert
Lee Buchheit, called by the Financial Times the “doyen of sovereign debt restructurings”, has advised countries from Mexico to Greece in virtually all major debt restructurings since the 1980s. He has published more than 40 publications and articles in the field of international finance and has lectured all over the world. Mr. Buchheit was a Senior Partner at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton for over four decades. He currently resides in New York City.

Panelist: Odette Lienau

Odette Lienau, Professor of Law, Cornell University, and Visiting Professor of Law, Yale University
Odette Lienau is Professor of Law at Cornell and Visiting Professor of Law at Yale. She is the author of "Rethinking Sovereign Debt: Politics, Reputation, and Legitimacy in Modern Finance" (2014), winner of an American Society of International Law book award. She has practiced in the Financial Restructuring & Insolvency Department of Shearman & Sterling, LLP, and most recently advised on sovereign debt as an expert for UNCTAD. She received her A.B. and Ph.D. from Harvard and her J.D. from NYU.

Panelist: Romuald Wadagni

Romuald Wadagni, Minister of Finance, Benin

H.E Romuald Wadagni has been the Minister of Economy and Finance of the Republic of Benin since April 2016. An accountant by training, he previously worked as an Associate at Deloitte in France, Managing Director at Deloitte in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Professional Practice Director and audit Director for the group in francophone Africa. He is a specialist of international accounting standards, offerings transactions (IPO, fundraising) and public and private firms’ management and restructuring. Mr. Wadagni has a degree from Harvard Business School (USA) and Ecole Superieure des Affaires de Grenoble (France).