On January 1, 2013, it became mandatory that every new sovereign bond issued by a member of the European Monetary Union include a new contract clause called a Collective Action Clause or CAC. This, we believe, constituted the biggest one-time change to the terms of sovereign debt contracts in history, impacting a market of many trillions of euros. And it was not just that the change was big in terms of the size of the market it impacted; it was big in terms of its impact on the documentation of each individual Euro area sovereign bond contract. To illustrate, prior to January 1, 2013, all of the terms of a local-law Irish sovereign bond fitted on about a page and a half; the full document was about three pages long. After January 1, 2013, the document was twenty pages long; almost all of that space taken by the new CAC term. In terms of words on the page, it was a big change. But did it do anything meaningful? And, more importantly, did it do what it was intended to do?
Elena Carletti et al., Evaluating the 2013 Euro CAC Experiment, in The New Financial Architecture of the Eurozone 123-136 (Franklin Allen et al eds., 2015)
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Public debts, Debt relief, Eurozone