February 03, 2019

When restructuring Venezuela’s debt, start with identifying all odious credits.

Colby Smith writes “analysts reckon Venezuela has some $140bn debt outstanding with over $65bn owed to bondholders and another roughly $40bn due to China and Russia.” “Venezuela’s welter of debt will mean a messy restructuring” February 2.

The key word here is “reckon”… because the indebtedness of Venezuela has clearly not followed a transparent process. Frequently there are references to odious debts, but very rarely or never to the fact that these most often arise from odious credits that should never have been awarded. That “odiousness” extends from a shameful lack of due diligence to outright participation in corrupt acts.

All citizens in the world would greatly benefit from having a clear definition of what should be considered odious credits, and of its consequences. Without it, any Sovereign Debt Restructuring Mechanism (SDRM) similar to the one proposed 2002 at the IMF by Anne O. Kruger, would be found wanting.

PS. Because Robin Wigglesworth has touched on this theme I am copying him.