Sovereign debt: Fork in the road

Sovereign debt: Fork in the road

When Mexican finance minister Pedro Aspe met Nicholas Brady in 1988 to discuss Mexico’s problems during the Latin America debt crisis, what he sought was a smaller debt burden for his country. While Brady sympathized, the former US Treasury Secretary said his government’s role was simply to help facilitate the process: it wasn’t a bank; and since Mexico had borrowed money from private lenders, it needed to strike a deal to roll over its debt through more financing. “There are a lot of lessons we learned, some of them the hard way by not being careful with our debt,” says Aspe, now co-chairman of Evercore Partners, an independent investment advisory firm. Aspe’s single most important le

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