Jubilee USA

For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Hannah Shultz, Communications Director
hannah@jubileeusa.org / (o) (202) 783-3566 x101 (m) (319) 541-7357

Argentina Responds to Supreme Court with Debt Swap Plan

WASHINGTON - In reaction to an adverse Supreme Court ruling against Argentina, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner announced that Argentina would offer new bonds to its creditors governed under Argentine law. The proposed debt swap would involve the 92% of the country's creditors that agreed to restructure in the wake of the country's 2001 default. While the debt swap proposes an alternative for the South American country to avoid paying hold-outs, it fails to reverse the global implications on debt markets, debt restructuring and financial stability.

"Argentina may have a way to avoid paying the hedge funds but it won't change how the court precedent equips predatory funds with a powerful ruling to force the poorest countries into submission," stated Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious anti-poverty organization Jubilee USA. "The impact of this ruling stretches far beyond Argentina."

The hold-out creditors include hedge funds popularly referred to as "vulture funds" because they buy debt cheaply when a country is in financial distress. Then the predatory funds sue them for full payment when the country experiences recovery or has attained new assets earmarked for social investment. The International Monetary Fund, World Bank, United Nations and US government have all expressed concern about the impact of a ruling in favor of these funds. They have noted that the precedent set by this case could make it more difficult for developing countries to receive debt relief and lead to greater financial instability. Jubilee USA made these arguments in a brief on behalf of Argentina before the high court, representing nearly 80 faith communities and national religious and development organizations.

"Essentially, the ruling legitimizes this extreme behavior and makes it more profitable across the globe," said LeCompte. "Poor people and legitimate investors still lose the most with this ruling."

Read a history and timeline of the case.

Read Jubilee's USA's filing urging the Supreme Court to take case.

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Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations and 650 faith communities working with 50 Jubilee global partners. Jubilee USA builds an economy that serves, protects and promotes the participation of the most vulnerable. Jubilee USA wins critical global financial reforms and won more than $130 billion in debt relief to benefit the world's poorest people. www.jubileeusa.org

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