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by Arielle Retrosi
Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 at 7:50 AM
Argentina officially requested that the US Supreme Court hear an appeal in a debt case that will impact people living in extreme poverty around the world. The case dates back to Argentina's 2001 default, after which 92% of all Argentine bond holders restructured their defaulted debt. Predatory hedge fund, NML Capital leads a small group of holdouts who won judgments for payment in lower US Courts. NML Capital never invested in Argentina and bought the debt cheaply after Argentina's default. Because sovereign lending is contracted in the United States, the precedent the case sets impacts some of the poorest economies around the globe and allows these hedge funds to target assets that benefit poor people. The International Monetary Fund, the Paris Club, legitimate investors, the US and most governments oppose this predatory behavior because it cancels the benefits of debt relief, makes sovereign debt restructuring more difficult and limits credit to poor countries.
"This particular legal case will have some of the most significant impacts on global poverty in our lifetimes," shared Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network, a religious antipoverty organization. "It's encouraging that there is a global chorus that decries this harmful predatory behavior."
The religious community and antipoverty advocates continue to monitor the case because it impacts those living in extreme poverty. In late April, the US Supreme Court is hearing a separate but related case between Argentina and the same holdouts led by NML Capital. The Supreme Court will determine when and where certain Argentine assets can be targeted for payment collection. The United States government has filed in support of Argentina for the April hearing.
Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations, 400 faith communities and 50 Jubilee global partners. Jubilee's mission is to build an economy that serves, protects and promotes participation of the most vulnerable. Jubilee USA has won critical global financial reforms and more than $130 billion in debt relief to benefit the world's poorest people.
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