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Sovereign finances survived the global recession, just barely in some cases, but now Puerto Rico and Venezuela are insolvent. While the reasons for their plight may differ, there are lessons common to all defaults that investors and citizens should heed.

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  1. The Long and Winding Road to a Haircut
    People queue to withdraw money from an ATM in Caracas Federico Parra/Getty Images

    The Long and Winding Road to a Haircut

    Nov 30, 2017 Carmen M. Reinhart predicts that key similarities between Puerto Rico and Venezuela will emerge as their debt sagas play out.

  2. Restructuring Debt in the Dark
    Venezuela Federico Parra/Stringer

    Restructuring Debt in the Dark

    Oct 6, 2016 Ricardo Hausmann & Mark Walker examine the perils holdout creditors now pose for countries, like Venezuela, facing sovereign default.

  3. A Step Forward for Sovereign Debt
    Coins of various currency.

    A Step Forward for Sovereign Debt

    Nov 9, 2015 Joseph E. Stiglitz & Martín Guzmán believe that restructuring should be subject to nine principles adopted in September by the UN.

  4. Puerto Rico in Crisis
    Puerto Rico flag Arnold Drapkin/ZumaPress

    Puerto Rico in Crisis

    Sep 2, 2015 Anne O. Krueger says that the US and the island's government both bear responsibility for the deepening crisis.

  1. patten149_OZAN KOSEAFP via Getty Images_uyghurprotest Ozan Kose/AFP via Getty Images

    The Necessity of Morality in Foreign Policy

    Chris Patten shows why “realism” requires heeding the lessons of history and defending democratic values.
  2. velasco133_sUSAN WALSHPOOLAFP via Getty Images_bidenvonderleyen Susan Walsh/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

    A Subsidy War Without Winners

    Andrés Velasco calls on policymakers to avoid petty conflicts and work together to encourage green investments.
  3. taniguchi1_Tomohiro OhsumiGetty Images_abemilitary Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

    Japan’s New Security Posture Is Abe’s Legacy

    Taniguchi Tomohiko explains how the government’s ambitious defense agenda expands on the late prime minister’s ideas.
  4. mazzucato50_Andrea BonettiGreek Prime Minister's Office via Getty Images_popefrancis Andrea Bonetti/Greek Prime Minister's Office via Getty Images

    For the Common Good

    Mariana Mazzucato outlines a new governance model for ensuring a fairer distribution of agency, risk, and reward.
  5. lopes12_PIUS UTOMI EKPEIAFP via Getty Images_fossil fuel worker PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images

    Helping Middle-Income Energy Exporters Kick the Fossil-Fuel Habit

    Carlos Lopes explains what it will take for resource-rich economies to diversify and develop new revenue sources.
  6. op_boccaletti3_Michele LapiniGetty Images_italyflood

    The New European Frontier

    Giulio Boccaletti

    Given this summer's climate-driven disasters, one might think that the European political system would be devising comprehensive adaptation plans. But, despite some steps in the right direction, Europeans are only just waking up to the constitutional implications of a changing physical environment.

    thinks a changing climate will force the European Union finally to embrace its political nature.
  7. james200_Sean GladwellGetty Images_worldconnection Sean Gladwell/Getty Images

    The Poverty of Anti-Capitalism

    Harold James considers recent arguments against markets, globalization, and growth, finding them to be deeply flawed.
  8. stiglitz314_ Drew AngererGetty Images_jeromepowell Drew Angerer/Getty Images

    How Not to Fight Inflation

    Joseph E. Stiglitz

    A careful look at US economic conditions supports the view that inflation was driven mainly by supply-side disruptions and shifts in the pattern of demand. Given this, further interest-rate hikes will have little to no effect – and will cause far-reaching problems of their own.

    sees little upside and much downside to further monetary-policy tightening by the US Federal Reserve.
  9. slaughter95_Ritesh ShuklaGetty Images_modi Ritesh Shukla/Getty Images

    Who Is Part of the Free World?

    Anne-Marie Slaughter urges US President Joe Biden to abandon a phrase that is better left in the twentieth century.

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