Eileen Appelbaum on the Argentine Technical Default
|By Eileen Appelbaum
There is no way to construe as fair the United States court ruling that Argentina cannot pay 93 percent of its creditors, unless it first pays a small group of hedge funds. It's not fair to the 93 percent of bondholders who negotiated a restructuring of Argentina’s debt in 2005 and 2010 with reduced payments. What gives Judge Thomas Griesa the right to take them hostage in order to force payment to the "vulture funds" that still demand full payment?
It's not fair to the government of Argentina, which cannot pay the vulture funds without facing demands from other creditors to be paid in full, a move which would open the country up to many billions of dollars of claims that it cannot possibly pay. Although the news media reports that Argentina has defaulted to the restructured bondholders, this is not clear. The government did make the latest $539 million payment to these bondholders, but Judge Griesa is not allowing the New York bank that received this money to pay the bondholders. Griesa is defaulting, not Argentina. This is unprecedented and wrong.
Read rest here. For all the entries in the NYTimes debate go here, including the entry by Alan Cibils.