Washington, DC -The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released new proposals for preventing predatory hedge funds and hold-out investors from blocking debt restructurings. The paper proposes a series of reforms to debt contracts, including strengthened collective action clauses and a modification of the pari passu clause that hold-out hedge funds used to sue Argentina.
“In the wake of debt restructurings in Argentina and Greece, the IMF is incredibly concerned about vulture funds,” stated Eric LeCompte, the Executive Director of the religious anti-poverty coalition, Jubilee USA Network. “The IMF is advocating a market approach, but we also need a statutory approach. We need to change both the contracts and the laws.”
The reforms would not apply to existing sovereign bonds. The IMF proposal states that there may be a need for action on those bonds as well if the precedent set in Argentina vs. NML begins to impact other countries. The paper comes on the heels of a similar August proposal by the International Capital Market Association to deter disruptive predatory and hold-out behavior. The primary difference between the two proposals is that the IMF paper does not promote establishing creditor committees to reach agreements in the event of disputes.
“It’s important that the IMF acknowledges a market approach might not be enough. This suggested approach would need to be comprehensive and won’t have an impact for decades,” said LeCompte, who serves on United Nations expert groups that seek to tackle these problems.
Read the IMF paper, “Strengthening the Contractual Framework to Address Collective Action Problems in Sovereign Debt Restructuring,” here.
Read about the ICMA “Standard Collective Action and Pari Passu Clauses for the Terms and Conditions of Sovereign Notes” proposal.
Read about the recent IMF Debt Reprofiling proposal.
Read a timeline and history of the Argentina case here.