DeMott focuses on how one might think about the phenomenon of odious debt from the standpoint of common-law agency. Though this analogy has its flaws, some useful insights can be gathered by examining the similarities and differences between the two doctrines, especially when contemplating the theory of liability in the sovereign context. To illustrate the complexity of comparing odious debt to agency law, she develops a series of comparisons between the consequences of borrowing by a sovereign and that by a private corporation afflicted with inept or corrupt management.

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