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Makoff to present his book on Argentina’s debt at Muñoz Marín Foundation

The debt restructuring expert will delve into how the country’s financial issues parallel Puerto Rico’s.

The Luis Muñoz Marín Foundation (FLMM, in Spanish) has announced an event aimed at exploring the complexities of restructuring a country’s public debt.  On May 10, Gregory Makoff, a senior fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard Kennedy School, will be visiting Puerto Rico to present his book, “Default: The Landmark Court Battle over Argentina’s $100 Billion Debt Restructuring.” 

The book presentation, organized as part of FLMM’s educational training program, is a free event, open to the general public, and is slated to start at 10 a.m. at the foundation’s premises. 

Makoff’s book delves into Argentina’s 15-year endeavor to recover from economic bankruptcy, involving extensive litigation in U.S. courts and the reconstruction of the legal framework for sovereign debt financing.

“Having Dr. Gregory Makoff and this esteemed panel join us presents an exceptional opportunity for our Foundation,” FLMM Executive Director Javier Alemán said. “Their analysis will help us draw parallels with Puerto Rico’s circumstances, glean lessons from Argentina’s crisis and evaluate the most effective strategies for our country’s future debt restructuring.”

In his book, Makoff takes readers through the negotiation rooms and courtrooms where Argentina’s “financial fate was sealed.” He delves into the South American country’s “arduous battle, grappling with the role played” by the International Monetary Fund in its 2015 debt restructuring and “enduring a bitter decade of litigation with creditors.”

Makoff further explains how the outcomes of sovereign debt are shaped by a complex interplay among financial markets, governments, regulatory bodies, media and courts. His publication sheds light of the institutional, political and legal pressures that arise when a country faces the inability to meet its debt obligations. 

“An unprecedented judicial order by a U.S. court, prohibiting banks from paying creditors who accepted a reduction until Argentina settled in full, underscores the challenges faced in such situations,” Alemán added. 

Makoff is a distinguished expert in sovereign debt management with degrees in physics and political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and has advised various countries including Colombia (mid-1990s), the Philippines and Jamaica (2010 and 2013) on debt management and restructuring. 

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