The accelerating growth in sovereign debt stocks around the globe will profoundly affect the lives of billions of people in this century. Over-borrowing by, and over-lending to, sovereign debtors is not a new phenomenon. The last quarter of the 20th century saw its fair share of sovereign debt problems starting with the Latin American debt crisis that began in 1982. How will the resolution of unsustainable sovereign debts in this century differ from similar exercises in the past?
Lee Buchheit is a senior partner in the Sovereign Practice Group at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, based in New York. He has previously served in the Washington, D.C., London and Hong Kong offices of the Firm. Mr. Buchheit regularly advises sovereign borrowers on their debt management activities. Over the last 35 years, Mr. Buchheit has worked on the debt restructurings of more than 24 countries including Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, Iraq, Greece and Argentina.