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Managing and Understanding Sovereign Debt Risks and Restructuring

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  • General description

    The goal of this course is to enable an understanding of the risks in sovereign debt; and particularly those risks relating to sovereign default and restructuring.

    The course is structured around the life cycle of a default; with an emphasis on trying to understand the different stages of a crisis and making predictions regarding how the crisis will play out. Participants will get an basic exposure to both the economic and legal considerations involved in the operation of any sovereign debt crisis.

    The course, in addition to exposing participants to the dynamics of a sovereign crisis, will use a case study of either a recent or ongoing crisis to illustrate how restructuring plans get designed.

  • Topics covered

    • Sovereign default and restructuring risk;
    • How do sovereign borrowers get into trouble?
    • The warning signs of sovereign distress.
    • Initial maneuvers to escape and evade the crisis.
    • The options when the initial maneuvers don’t work — bailout or restructure
    • The evolution of sovereign debt restructuring techniques — 1982 to 2017
    • The role of the official sector
    • Contractual provisions that facilitate, or that retard, sovereign debt workouts
    • Sovereign debt restructuring after Greece and Argentina

  • How the course will work

    On Day 1, instructors will adopt the conventional discussion/lecture format with background readings and case studies.
    On Day 2, using what discussed the previous game plus the background experiences of the various students and instructors, instructors will run a simulation of a sovereign restructuring (sometimes referred to as a “war game” scenario).

    Total course length: between 12 and 15 hours.

    A certificate of attendance will be provided to all participants after the course.

  • Meet the instructors

    Lee Buchheit is Senior Partner at the law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton in New York, the leading sovereign debt restructuring firm in the world.

    Mitu Gulati is Professor of Law at Duke University.

    Jeromin Zettelmeyer is the former Director General of Economic Affairs of Germany, currently Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute of International Economics.

    Either together or separately, Buchheit, Gulati and Zettelmeyer have been involved in either the design of or research on every major sovereign debt restructuring over the past two decades.
    All three have worked extensively on the recent European sovereign debt crisis, and specifically on the Greek debt crisis. In addition, among the countries and regions whose debt crises they have worked on, either in research or practitioner capacity, are Iraq, Ireland, Cyprus, Argentina, Uruguay, Belize, Mexico, Iceland, Ecuador, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, Philippines, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

  • Prerequisites

    Degree in social sciences.

  • Fees

    1750€ – Public Authorities (e.g. National Competent Authorities, Central Banks) and European Institutions*

    2250€ – Private Sector

    1000€ – Research assistants or Associate Professors

    850€ – Students (with certificate of studies)

    The course fee covers coffee and lunch breaks. Travel and hotel costs are not included.

    * In case of registration of 3 participants from the same public body, the course fee is waived for one of them. To benefit from the deal:

    • the names of the 3 participants have to be communicated to fbf@eui.eu before registering
    • the names of other registered people from the same institution cannot be communicated. It is upon your responsibility to get in touch with your HR division
    • a single debit note will be issued for the 3 participants followed by one payment


    • In case a course is cancelled, registered participants will receive the full refund.
    • In case a course is moved to another date, registered participants may request a voucher to attend another FBF course.
    • Registered participants who cancel their participation will receive a voucher to attend another FBF course.

    For more details, please contact fbf@eui.eu
  • Practical information


    Recommended hotels:
    Hotel Villa La Stella (20 min walking distance from EUI )
    Hotel Cellai
    Hotel Palazzo Ricasoli
    Hotel de la Pace
    Hotel Athenaeum


    On arrival, participants will be provided with temporary wi-fi access for the whole duration of the course.

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    For general queries: fbf@eui.eu

  • Course material

    Registered participants can access the course material using the password provided by the FBF secretariat.