Staff Working Paper No. 829
By David Beers and Patrisha de Leon-Manlagnit
Until recently, few efforts have been made to systematically measure and aggregate the nominal value of the different types of sovereign government debt in default. To help fill this gap, the Bank of Canada (BoC) developed a comprehensive database of sovereign defaults that is posted on its website and updated in partnership with the Bank of England (BoE). Our database draws on previously published datasets compiled by various public and private sector sources. It combines elements of these, together with new information, to develop comprehensive estimates of stocks of government obligations in default. These include bonds and other marketable securities, bank loans and official loans, valued in US dollars, for the years 1960 to 2018 on both a country-by-country and a global basis. This update of the BoC-BoE database, and future updates, will be useful to researchers analyzing the economic and financial effects of individual sovereign defaults and, importantly, the impact on global financial stability of episodes involving multiple sovereign defaults.