This paper analyzes sovereign debt in an economy in which the availability of short-term trade credit reduces international trade transaction costs. The model highlights the distinction between gross and net international reserve positions. Borrowed reserves provide net wealth and liquidity services during a negotiation, as long as they are not fully attachable by creditors. Moreover, reserves strengthen the bargaining position of a country by shielding it from a cut-off from short-term trade credits thereby diminishing its degree of impatience to conclude a negotiation. We show that competitive banks do lend for the accumulation of borrowed reserves, which provide partial insurance
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