Sign the global statement of support for Argentina as it takes on vulture funds in the United States.
Argentina under attack
The ten-year battle between the government of Argentina and US speculators has come to a head in a New York court, in a case the Financial Times has called ‘the sovereign debt trial of the century’.
Argentina’s economy is being held to ransom by a small handful of very wealthy speculators – so-called ‘vulture funds’. They bought up billions of dollars worth of Argentina’s debt in the early 2000s when Argentina’s economy was on its knees and its people were suffering horrendous poverty – and defaulting on its debts was the only option.
The vulture funds speculated on Argentina’s crisis, buying debt in the hope that the country would go bankrupt, and refusing to join the vast majority of Argentina’s ‘creditors’ in negotiating a reduction in the value of their debt (even though they only paid a fraction of the value of it in the first place). For more than a decade they have hounded Argentina for repayments – late last year going so far as to unilaterally seize its naval vessel, The Libertad, which spent three months detained in a port in Ghana. More >>
Judgement Day in New York
Last November a New York court ruled that Argentina was obliged to pay $1.3 billion to vulture fund NML Capital – a subsidiary of hedge fund Elliot Associates which is owned by billionaire Paul Singer – and others. It stated that if Argentina fails to pay this then it would have been judged to have defaulted once more on its debts. On 23 August 2013, the New York Second Circuit court rejected Argentina’s appeal against the verdict. Although the court has given Argentina temporary permission to pay its regular lenders but not the vultures, the verdict paves the way for Argentina to be forced into a new default – possibly as early as September.
We believe that there is no ethical justification for Argentina making this payment. These ‘vulture funds’ never lent money to Argentina. The debt that NML gambled on was bought cheaply, representing the extreme risk they were taking. They took that risk in the hope Argentina would pay them off rather than fight – and they lost.
Many of the debts Argentina owed had been continuously recycled since the time of the brutal military junta which ruled the country from 1976 to 1983. These debts have been effectively declared ‘odious’ by Federal Judge Jorge Ballester in 2000. Forty years ago, financial speculators profited from death and repression at the hands of Argentina’s dictatorship. Today NML and Elliot Associates seek to profit from the economic misery of Argentina’s people.
Sign the statement
Add your name to the global statement of support now. We will deliver a copy to Argentina’s Ambassador. (Feel free to change the ‘country’ if you’re not in the UK)