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Proposed New York Law Could Reshape Debt Negotiations Around the World

Workers building a school in the Iraqi city of Nasiriyah, as part of an oil-for-infrastructure deal with China. Image: Asaad Niazi / AFP

A bill currently under consideration in New York State could reshape sovereign debt renegotiations around the world by making private creditors accept the same losses as the U.S. government would as a sovereign creditor instead of holding out for a full payback.

The bill comes as countries like Zambia and Sri Lanka face their loan renegotiations being dragged out for years as U.S.-based private lenders stonewall to obtain better deals. 52% of the world’s privately-held sovereign debt falls under New York state legal jurisdiction, so the global impact could be significant.

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