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Plan for Emerging Markets Pits Wall Street Versus Washington

April 29, 2020

When Bill Rhodes says the debt crisis that’s erupted across the world’s emerging markets is the worst he’s ever seen, it must be bad.

Rhodes, 84, knows a thing or two about the topic. The former Citigroup Inc. executive is a veteran of the 1980s Brady Plan that re-set the clock for Latin America’s struggling economies by creating a new debt structure for developing nations that’s largely in place to this day.

“It’s going to be difficult,” Rhodes said in a Thursday interview. “You need to have some sort of coordination between the private and the public sectors.” Three decades after U.S. Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady stepped in to rescue emerging markets, the global pandemic is again challenging the world for a solution -- and this time, a raft of private bondholders must also be on board. More than 90 nations have already asked the International Monetary Fund for help amid the pandemic.

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