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Jubilee USA: Keeping our Promises to Finance Development December 20th, 2019
Author: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director, Jubilee USA Network (OMI JPIC Partner)
According to UNCTAD, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could be achieved with a 5-7 trillion US dollar investment. If we fund the SDGs, the Business and Sustainable Development Commission notes that 12 trillion US dollars of new market opportunities and 380 million new jobs could be created. Yet we know that the developing world is losing a trillion dollars a year, and according to the IMF’s latest report – 15 trillion US dollars is held in tax havens and financial secrecy havens.
UNCTAD notes that debt sustainability in developing countries is “deteriorating fast”, and the IMF states that as of last August, 47 per cent of low-income countries were in debt crisis or facing high debt distress. Human beings are suffering. In too many poor countries, high debts mean people don’t eat, people don’t see doctors and communities are unprepared to deal with the havoc caused by tsunamis, hurricanes, earth quakes and other extreme weather events. Read the full article on Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung’s website.
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung ((FES) is a non-profit German foundation
International Monetary Fund Releases Plans to Stop Predatory Hedge Funds October 6th, 2014
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released new proposals for preventing predatory hedge funds and hold-out investors from blocking debt restructurings. The paper proposes a series of reforms to debt contracts, including strengthened collective action clauses and a modification of the pari passu clause that hold-out hedge funds used to sue Argentina.
“In the wake of debt restructurings in Argentina and Greece, the IMF is incredibly concerned about vulture funds,” stated Eric LeCompte, the Executive Director of the religious anti-poverty coalition, Jubilee USA Network. “The IMF is advocating a market approach, but we also need a statutory approach. We need to change both the contracts and the laws.”
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Victory at the UN! September 9th, 2014
Despite a disappointing no vote from the United States, the UN General Assembly earlier today voted 124 – 11 to begin negotiations for an international bankruptcy process to end global inequality. The process can potentially stop vulture funds from preying on vulnerable countries and create a global economy that serves all of us.
Unfortunately, the United States government was one of only 11 countries to vote against this treaty process. While the US government is against predatory behavior, they are against this approach. We have much work left to do because today’s UN vote will not outlaw global predatory activity in the United States, one of the most important financial jurisdictions.
Read Jubilee USA’s press release and analysis of the vote here.
Yesterday, we asked you to contact United States UN Ambassador Power and urge her to support the resolution, and we thank everyone who spoke out on this issue. Thousands of faxes, calls and emails were sent to Ambassador Power in response to this request from Jubilee USA and Network members. Churches, synagogues, the AFL-CIO and dozens of Catholic religious orders joined you and amplified our message.
We will continue to update our network on this important issue. For information and analysis on the international debt, please visit Jubilee USA
Please Support UN Resolution for an International Bankruptcy Process September 5th, 2014We would like to share this prayer and action request from our colleagues at Jubilee USA. JPIC Director, Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI co-signed the recent Jubilee letter on this issue to Ambassador Power:
On Tuesday, the United Nations General Assembly could vote on a resolution to not only stop vulture funds, but to actually prevent the world’s poorest economies from defaulting. A majority of countries support it – thanks to the work we have done together, the world is largely united against predatory behavior.
Yesterday, Jubilee’s executive board officers sent a letter to the United States UN Ambassador Samantha Power urging her to support this resolution.
Please pray for Ambassador Power as she weighs her vote, and we hope your entire faith community will pray for the UN process this weekend. We would be honored if you would share your prayers with us by replying to this email.
This resolution is an opportunity to win a financial reform Jubilee USA has championed since our inception: an international bankruptcy process for countries. As the Argentina case highlights so clearly, we need a bankruptcy system to stop predators and end the specter of default. Winning this resolution moves us closer to building an economy that serves, protects and promotes participation of the most vulnerable.
Thank you for your prayers and support.
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.
Today, the IMF’s Executive Board of Directors is scheduled to review a $16.8 billion loan for Ukraine, which was endorsed by IMF staff last week. The IMF-Ukraine deal will impact the future of both Ukraine and the IMF.
The IMF deal comes with several conditions, including a move to a flexible exchange rate. Ukraine, with IMF assistance, made this change in February 2014. This has led to a 29 percent drop in the value of the Ukrainian hryvnia – making it even more difficult for Ukraine to pay its debt. Unfortunately, the IMF deal does not include any debt relief or “haircuts” – requiring creditors to accept a loss. Instead, the debt burden will carried by Ukraine’s citizens, almost a third of whom already live in poverty, according to an April 2014 UN Report.
“IMF-Ukraine negotiations have neglected the consequences for the citizens of Ukraine, and in this vein have disregarded how loan conditions will impact political and social stability in Ukraine” said Jo Marie Griesgraber, the Executive Director at New Rules for Global Finance, a DC-based NGO that pushes for responsibility in global financial institutions. “This is short-sighted and we strongly urge the IMF Executive Board to take this into consideration.”
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