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Sovereign Debt Distress, Restructurings and Market Access: The Cases of Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus

Gerri C. LeBow Hall
3220 Market Street
Rm. 220 "DiPiero Grand Meeting Room"
Philadelphia, PA 19104
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Join LeBow College of Business and the Global Interdependence Center for a conference on emerging global issues.

During the Euro debt crisis in 2010-2016, Ireland, Portugal, and Cyprus, along with Greece, were not able to cover all their financing needs in financial markets through medium- and long-term bond financing, or at a sustainable cost, for varying time periods. However, economic adjustment programs, which included measures to strengthen their banking sectors, and the creation of a Euro area crisis-resolution framework (EFSF and ESM) helped these countries regain investor confidence and full market access. The conference will address the main causes and policy responses of Ireland, Portugal, and Cyprus to their individual debt distress situations, discuss various market, legal, and policy perspectives on each of these distress and restructuring cases, and give lessons for successfully overcoming debt distresses and regaining access to capital markets.

Speakers Include:

  • Tamon Asonuma, Economist, IMF
  • Lee Buchheit, Senior Partner in the Sovereign Practice Group, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
  • Elena Duggar, Chair Macroeconomic Board, Moody’s Investor Services
  • Aitor Erce, Principal Economist, ESM
  • Richard Francis, Director, Fitch Ratings
  • Hans Humes, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Greylock Capital
  • Thordur Jonasson, Deputy Division Chief, IMF
  • Steven Kargman, President, Kargman Associates
  • Rafael M. Molina, Managing Partner, Newstate Partners
  • Kristian Orsini, Counselor, Economic and Financial Affairs, EU Delegation to USA
  • Michael G. Papaioannou, Expert Advisor, International Monetary Fund
  • Konstantinos Polykarpou, Consul, Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus
  • George Tsetsekos, Ph.D., Dean Emeritus and the Francis Professor of Finance at LeBow’s College of Business at Drexel University


8:30 a.m. | Registration and Coffee/Light Refreshments

9:00 a.m. | Opening Remarks – Challenges and Responses to Sovereign Debt Distress and Restructurings

9:05 - 9:35 a.m. | Keynote Address

9:35 - 10:40 a.m. | Session 1: The Euro Debt Crisis: The Successful Experiences of Ireland, Portugal, and Cyprus
• Origins of the European Sovereign Debt Crisis (ESDC) and its impact on the Eurozone
• Macroeconomic settings and specific challenges for Ireland, Portugal, and Cyprus
• Policy reactions, adjustment programs, and political perceptions in the three countries
• Role of EU/ECB and IMF in the three countries
• Economic outcomes, Market re-access, return to normalcy
• Global perspectives and implications

10:40 - 11:45 a.m. | Session 2: Market, Legal and International Policy Perspectives on Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus Sovereign Debt Distress and Restructurings
• Creditor perspectives, loss of market access, and preconditions for re-accessing
• Legal challenges in sovereign debt distress and restructurings — focusing on the cases of Ireland, Portugal, and Cyprus, what sovereigns and creditors should be aware of?
• The international financial institutions perspective – could changes in their policies contribute to a more efficient resolution of sovereign debt distress and restructuring cases? What is missing?
• Credit Rating Agency perspectives

11:45 - 11:55 a.m. | Break

11:55 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. | Session 3: Lessons Learned and Prospects – The Academic View
• Prevention versus resolution - can sovereigns, creditors and IFIs do more to prevent debt distress situations and restructurings? If yes, what? Or, are sovereign debt distresses and restructurings inevitable?
• What are the lessons from the Irish, Portuguese and Cypriot experiences for policy adjustments and market interactions of countries that enter market distress or undergo restructuring?
• Are the prospects for sovereign debt restructurings of advanced economies better than for EMs and low-income countries?
• Do implications of restructurings improve over time?

1:00 p.m. | Concluding Remarks


Who should attend?


  • Faculty
  • Staff
  • Students
  • Alumni
  • Business Community
  • Government
  • Non-profit