The ‘Robin Hood of sovereign debt’

June 21, 2012

New York Magazine profiles Lee Bucheit, the go-to lawyer for countries that need to restructure their debts.

Each country, he saw, reacted differently to the specter of default. During the Asian financial crisis in the late nineties, South Koreans were so humiliated by the prospect of restructuring that they donated gold—jewelry, heirlooms, even wedding rings—to banks. “Then you have the other extreme,” Buchheit says, “which are some of the Latin American countries, that I think regard it as a great gain: You restructure every few years, and the gringos will lend you more money.”

His clients are grateful, too. "Governments love him for his ability to magically erase their debts: After he helped negotiate a financial dispute involving Iceland, one newspaper named him Man of the Year," the profile states.

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