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Supreme Court Refuses Argentina Hedge Fund Debt Case June 16th, 2014
Lower Court Ruling Stands and Validates Hedge Fund Predatory Behavior
Washington DC – The US Supreme Court denied hearing Argentina’s appeal today and a lower court ruling stands that validates predatory behavior targeted towards countries in financial distress. The high court also denied a related appeal on behalf of the more than 92% of bond holders who had accepted Argentina’s restructuring deal after the default.
Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious anti-poverty organization Jubilee USA, releases the following statement:
“I am blown away by the decision. For heavily indebted countries trying to support extremely poor people, this is a devastating blow. These hedge funds are equipped with an instrument that forces struggling economies into submission.
“For 15 years, Republicans and Democrats have agreed that the world’s poorest countries need to have their debt burdens reduced. Today, that bipartisan policy is threatened by the court’s decision.
“The religious community is saddened that these extreme actors will now broaden their efforts to collect assets that belong to the poor.
“One loser today is New York State. Given today’s ruling, countries wishing to borrow money are going to find other places to sign their contracts. That’s why legitimate Wall Street investors have joined the IMF, World Bank, United Nations and the United States Government in opposing this behavior.
“Given the ruling, we need to see what legislative remedies we can implement to stop these hedge funds.”
Read Jubilee’s USA’s filing urging the Supreme Court to take case.
Jubilee USA Network, a religious anti-poverty coalition, along with 78 other religious and development groups filed with the US Supreme Court in the case between Argentina and NML Capital. The Amicus Curiae brief takes the side of Argentina because the precedent of the case impacts predatory behavior on vulnerable populations. The friend-of-the-court brief argues that the case will have a detrimental impact on the poor, undo bipartisan United States debt policy and cause global financial instability. Filers joining Jubilee USA include: American Jewish World Service, Church World Service, Action Aid USA, numerous synagogues and churches across the US and a large number of Catholic religious orders of nuns and priests, including the Missionary Oblates. Read the full list of the 79 groups and Jubilee USA’s Amicus Curiae.
“At the end of the day, this case is about a precedent that could expose developing economies to extreme predatory behavior,” noted Kent Spriggs the attorney representing the 79 groups “The Supreme Court’s decision will affirm or harm current bipartisan US debt policy.”
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Predatory Hedge Funds and Argentina Face Supreme Court Showdown December 17th, 2013
Majority Debt Holders Seek to End Standoff between Argentina and Holdouts
Argentina is expected to appeal to the US Supreme Court by mid-February in response to a US 2nd Circuit Court ruling ordering the country to pay $1.33 billion to predatory hedge funds. The precedent the case sets will hurt poor countries in financial distress and could allow a small group of hedge funds to target assets that benefit vulnerable populations. At the same time, debt holders who restructured their debt with Argentina have hired lawyers to help negotiate the dispute between holdout hedge funds and Argentina. Nearly 93% of debt holders restructured their debt with Argentina after the 2001 default. The majority of bondholders are concerned that their settlements could be disrupted if hedge funds win the final ruling.
“We agree with the concerns of the restructured bondholders,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network, a faith-based antipoverty organization. “We join the IMF, World Bank and White House in denouncing this extreme hedge fund behavior that takes advantage of the world’s poorest people.”
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Hedge Funds Win/Global Poor Lose August 23rd, 2013Argentine Bonds Surge. Ruling Delayed as U.S. Supreme Court Considers Taking Appeal
WASHINGTON, DC – In the landmark case of NML Capital, LTD v. The Republic of Argentina, the New York based U.S. Circuit Court upheld a previous ruling ordering Argentina to pay $1.33 billion to hold out hedge funds. Argentine bonds soared and antipoverty advocates held their breath as the 2nd Circuit Court delayed the ruling until the U.S. Supreme Court decides if they will take appeals on the case.
“Our eyes are on the U.S. Supreme Court. We pray the court will not forget the world’s poor as they consider taking the case,” asserted Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious antipoverty campaign known as Jubilee USA.
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Obama Administration Says No to Vulture Funds July 7th, 2013
Last week, Jubilee’s Executive Committee wrote President Obama to thank him and his Administration for their efforts to stop vulture funds that profit from exploiting poor people. The Reverend Séamus Finn, OMI, a Jubilee USA Board Executive Officer, signed on to the letter, representing the Oblates. The Justice Department filed an Amicus or friend-of-the-court brief in the current legal proceedings of hedge fund NML Capital versus Argentina. The outcome of this vulture fund case will have far reaching impacts on global poverty.
Read the letter to President Obama and join Jubilee USA in thanking the President: sign the thank-you petition to President Obama. Judges in the US 2nd Circuit Court will soon announce a ruling. Days ago, Argentina filed a preemptive appeal to the US Supreme Court to reverse the ruling to pay the vulture funds.
Jubilee USA’s views on this case have been covered extensively in the mainstream media. To fully understand the case and its repercussions on global poverty, read the story that featured Jubilee USA in the Los Angeles Times. Recently in The Financial Times, Jubilee USA called these rich hedge funds what they are, “morally bankrupt.”
We hope you will join us in thanking President Obama for standing up to vulture funds. Please visit the Jubilee USA website for more information on this important issue. Read the letter (download PDF)…
Argentina Takes on Vulture Funds in “Debt Trial of the Century” April 23rd, 2013
For years, “vulture funds” have preyed on struggling nations by purchasing their debt for a pittance. Could an upcoming U.S. court decision put an end to the extortion of poor countries?
Last October, soldiers from the West African nation of Ghana boarded an Argentine naval ship called the Libertad. They overtook the crew and brought the ship to port in the town of Tema. This was not an act of piracy, at least not in the sense we normally understand it. The detaining of the Libertad took place after hedge fund NML Capital convinced a Ghanaian court that the ship, which was sailing in Ghanaian jurisdiction, should be held ransom for a debt the hedge funds claimed Argentina owed them.
The saga began in 2001, when Argentina was thrown into economic crisis and defaulted on its loans. Hedge funds swooped in and bought Argentine debt for almost nothing and circled until the country was in recovery to collect the debt in full.