Last month, Jubilee USA and the Argentine Embassy co-sponsored an event on Argentina’s economic recovery and sovereign debt. Jubilee’s Executive Director, Eric LeCompte, was on the distinguished panel with Hernán Lorenzino, Argentine Minister of Economy and Public Finance, His Excellency Jorge Argüello, the Ambassador of the Argentine Republic to the United States and Dr. Mark Weisbrot, the Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). Eric made a compelling presentation that highlighted Vulture Funds as a pervasive and astoundingly immoral problem in international debt issues, one that can be stopped through effective legislation and adherence to the principles of responsible lending and borrowing. Furthermore, he identified the need to establish an international debt workout mechanism, which would provide for an orderly, and most importantly, equitable way to deal with sovereign debt default and could be a vital tool to help prevent vultures from preying on poor country debt.
The event also announced the publication of Argentina’s 2001 Default: Myths and Realities by the Embassy. The book includes an overview of Argentina’s default and efforts to stabilize debt obligations in spite of attacks by Vulture Funds. It offers lessons learned from Argentina’s default in context of the Greek debt crisis, and includes information on the legal repercussions of Argentina’s default in the U.S. and other investment-related dispute settlement forums.
Panelists’ discussion focused on the ability of nations to recover from a debt crisis without the application of harsh austerity measures, emphasizing that adverse outcomes of austerity are often ignored. The group stressed the importance of inclusive growth based on opportunity and employment driven by a solid domestic market. Furthermore, the panelists underlined reducing the debt burden as an essential element of Argentina’s economic plan, accenting the importance of Jubilee’s mission of debt relief.
Full footage of this event can be found here.
Jubilee USA Network recently struck down Vulture Fund legislation in New York by organizing thousands of New York Jubilee constituents. The Vulture Fund sponsored legislation was deliberately targeting Argentina, a nation that vultures are finding it hard to collect from. Argentina has taken a hardline stance to not engage with these greedy vultures, but to honor legitimate debts. Vulture Funds, which often use New York state courts to litigate their prey into submission, sponsored legislation that would have promoted Vulture Funds in the court system and made it easier to pursue post-decision collection. While Vulture Funds were attempting to push this legislation through in the final moments of the legislative session, Jubilee was able to mobilize thousands of supporters in New York to call and write their Assembly Members and State Senators to voice opposition to the legislation, which died in committee, never even seeing the floor for a vote. Read our press release.