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Victory Against Vulture Funds!

July 23rd, 2012

Jubilee USA Stopped Vulture Funds in New York State; Courts Stopped Them in the UK

In June, Jubilee USA – of which OMI JPIC is a member – launched a campaign to stop vulture fund legislation from passing in the New York State Legislature.  Vulture funds were attempting to get Bills through that would have promoted and protected vulture funds in New York State courts, making it easier for vultures to litigate against poor countries.

Jubilee mobilized more than 4,000 New York Jubilee members to take action, calling and writing their Assembly Members and Senators to stand with the poor and not with the hedge funds.

The Wall Street Journal’s Jacob Gersham wrote how important this work was: “The path became trickier for Elliott on Friday, when an alliance of religious groups that supports debt relief for developing nations, Jubilee USA Network, entered the fray by issuing a mass alert about the bill. It said the proposed law could be wielded in poorer regions and “litigate poor countries into submission.” Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal. 

UK Courts Rule Against Vulture Funds, Support DR Congo

In a surprise decision in the Jersey Isles, the UK’s Privy Council overturned a prior ruling, siding with the Democratic Republic of Congo against vulture fund FG Hemisphere. FG Hemisphere was seeking $100 million from the DRC for a debt the vulture fund bought for just $3 million. While having initially lost the case, the DRC has won on final appeal. While the UK passed a law in 2010 limiting the amount a vulture fund could claim from impoverished countries, it did not apply to crown protectorates, like Jersey, where vultures funds could still pursue cases. This decision was pleasantly unexpected and a cause for celebration.

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