Brady Bonds .December 30, 2020
Brady bonds are dollar-denominated bonds, issued mostly by Latin American countries in the late 1980s. The bonds were named after U.S. Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady, who proposed a novel debt-reduction agreement for developing countries.
Stakeholders involved in Brady Bond debt restructuring and transactions. Dollar values on outstanding loans and bonds are illustrative; bonds were rarely issued for less than US$125 million, and lenders frequently accepted either 30–50% losses on face value or reduced interest rates fixed at below-market values. According to EMTA, a financial industry trade association, most lenders that accepted Brady bonds for outstanding loans were smaller US commercial banks or non-US financial institutions, rather than “major money center banks.
Brady bonds were created in March 1989 to convert bank loans, mostly in Latin America, into a variety or “menu” of new bonds after many countries defaulted on their debt in the 1980s. At the time, the market for emerging markets’ sovereign debt was small and illiquid, and the standardization of emerging-market debt facilitated risk-spreading and trading. In exchange for commercial bank loans, the countries issued new bonds for the principal sum and, in some cases, unpaid interest. Because they were tradable and came with some guarantees, they were sometimes more valuable to the creditors than the original bonds.