Ukraine’s Future: U.S. Rejects Int’l Court Jurisdiction Regarding Argentina’s Debt
Washington has refused to allow the UN International Court of Justice (IJC) to hear Argentina’s claims that US court decisions on the country’s debt have violated Argentina’s sovereignty.
“We do not view the ICJ as an appropriate venue for addressing Argentina’s debt issues, and we continue to urge Argentina to engage with its creditors to resolve remaining issues with bondholders,” the US State Department told Reuters in an email.
The State Department sent an email with the same content to one of Argentina’s leading newspapers, the Clarin.
Argentina complained against Washington’s decisions on its debt to the International Court of Justice in The Hague on Thursday.
But according to existing norms, Buenos Aires needs Washington to voluntarily accept the ICJ’s jurisdiction for the proceedings to begin.
The US withdrew from compulsory jurisdiction back in 1986 after the UN court ruled that America’s covert war against Nicaragua was in violation of international law.
Previously, Argentina announced the restructuring of 93 percent of its 2001 debt, but creditors holding the other seven percent of the bonds demanded full payment and initiated a legal battle.
A New York court ruled that Argentina had to pay $1.33 billion to the hedge funds, blocking the transfer of $590 million that Buenos Aires forwarded in order to cover its restructured debt.
The judge said Argentina had to start talks with the lenders that didn’t approve the debt restructuring and negotiate to postpone the payment with those who did agree.
With lenders unable to receive payment, international regulators and rating agencies announced Argentina’s ‘selective’ default.
Who’s behind the forcing of Argentina into default? Billionaire Paul Singer:
Paul Elliott Singer (born August 22, 1944) is the American founder and CEO of hedge fund Elliott Management Corporation and The Paul E. Singer Foundation.
Singer grew up in a Jewish family, one of three children of a Manhattan pharmacist and a homemaker. He obtained his B.S. in psychology from the University of Rochester and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. In 1974, Singer accepted a job as an attorney in the real estate division of the investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.
Argentina Sues U.S. in World Court to Stop Vulture Fund Billionaire
In breaking news, Argentina has sued the United States in the World Court, alleging a U.S. court violated Argentina’s sovereignty for ruling it must pay so-called bondholders who refuse to sign on to the country’s debt restructuring after its 2001 economic collapse. Argentina defaulted on its debt last week. The U.S. must first agree to follow the court’s ruling or the case will not proceed. But our next guest says today Obama could instantly and easily solve this problem by a simple gesture.
We’re now joined by Greg Palast. Greg is an investigative reporter for the BBC and The Guardian. He’s the author of the New York Times bestsellers Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Armed Madhouse, and Vultures’ Picnic.
Thank you so much for joining us again, Greg.
GREG PALAST, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, BBC AND THE GUARDIAN: Glad to be with you.
NOOR: So, Greg, help us sort through this crazy situation, where you have Argentina wanting to pay off its debt holders that agreed to the debt restructuring, but a New York judge has blocked this from happening, and now Argentina is going to the World Court, saying it’s not going to get pushed around by the U.S. courts and by one particular bondholder by the name of Singer. Tell us a little bit about who he is and how we got into this mess.
PALAST: Okay. For the BBC and Guardian I’ve been hunting this guy, Paul Singer, known as “the Vulture”, all over the planet, up the Congo River, Peru, Argentina, and Detroit, okay?
This guy is called “the Vulture” for a good reason. I didn’t give him the nickname. He’s called that by everyone in the banking community. What he does is he buys–he finds old debts that were considered long settled by nations that were in a civil war, like the Congo or Argentina, or the U.S. auto industry, okay? And what he does is he then–after a deal has been worked out, he waits about ten years, and then he suddenly shows up and says, hey, wait, you owe me! Well, how much? Oh, say, 10,000 percent more than I paid.
In the case of Argentina, he bought a bunch of bonds, about $30 million worth. Argentina, listening to the bad advice from the IMF years ago, went bankrupt 15 years ago. Since then they’ve done well. They had a workout on the agreement. Actually, almost all their bondholders are being paid very nicely. They pay every month. In fact, Argentina just dropped a half a billion dollars into a New York bank and said, pay off the people we owe. But “the Vulture” has swooped down, Paul “the Vulture” singer, and said, remember those $30 million in bonds that I have? Well, I want you to pay me $3 billion. I want to repeat that. He’s got $30 million. He wants $3 billion, 100 times what he paid.