Now that the end is in sight for Argentina's agonizing debt
crisis, it is time the world financial system think more
seriously about two important issues related to the country's
slide into bankruptcy. When countries go bust, they do so on a
grand scale. Yet the international financial community has
evaded the difficult and sometimes tedious question of what to
do when a government goes over the edge. The traditional
response is to stand back and hope creditors and borrowers sort
There is no well-oiled machine to process sovereign debt
crises because they are infrequent compared to commercial
failures and because the politics of enforcing decisions on
debtors and creditors are so intractable. Still, global
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