The world’s attention turned to the practices of vulture funds after the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed a lower court opinion in the NML Capital vs Argentina case, which forbids the country from making payments on its restructured debt.
Argentina has now taken the U.S. to The Hague for blocking the country’s 2005 settlement with the bulk of its creditors. The issue underscores the need for an international mechanism for nations to go bankrupt.
Argentina’s supposed “default”, an unprecedented case in the history of world capitalism, sets a legal, political and financial precedent that indicates the need for concrete measures regarding the fine line between legal, ethical business activities and criminal usury.
Argentina finds itself in a strange position since the U.S. Supreme Court rejected its appeal Monday to take a case in which a small group of creditors is suing this country for full repayment: it is on the brink of default even though it is one of the countries in the world that has done the most to dig itself out of debt.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to reject an appeal by the Argentine government will embolden aggressive “holdout” creditors, anti-poverty groups say, and make it far more difficult to arrive at debt-relief agreements for poor countries.
Aggressive creditors and investors are seriously undermining the ability of poor countries to deal sustainably with debt issues, academics and anti-poverty campaigners told a briefing at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
As a sign of Argentina’s willingness to repay its bondholders, President Cristina Fernández introduced a bill for a new swap of the foreign debt held by “holdout” creditors who refused earlier restructurings after the country’s late 2001 default.
The fate of countries with major debt problems is at stake in federal courts in New York, which are to decide in April whether or not they accept Argentina’s proposal to the bondholders who rejected two restructurings of sovereign debt.