G20 Focuses on Debt, Taxes, Corruption, Syria and IMF Quotas
The G20 meeting concludes today in St. Petersburg, Russia and delegates released their leaders' declaration.
Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network, releases the following statement:
"In spite of what's been portrayed as a meeting divided by Syria issues, the G20 has really come together on corruption. It's clear that the G20 is interested in focusing on these issues for the long haul.
"On debt, we were excited to learn of the G20's internal conversations on an international bankruptcy process. We need such a process to ensure stability in the global economy. While G20 leaders recognized the importance of addressing debt sustainability, they're still relying on financial institutions to work with the developing world in ways that hinder growth.
"It's exciting to see the G20 continue the conversation on curbing global tax avoidance. As a global community, this continued focus is imperative to protect the most vulnerable. While some proposals are still falling short, there's progress on information sharing to stop tax avoidance.
"We agree with the G20 assessment that the 2010 IMF Quota and Governance Reform is urgently needed. The U.S. Congress needs to follow the lead of the White House and just get this done. This is the most immediate path for increasing the participation of the IMF's poorest member countries.
"It's encouraging the G20 wants to ensure higher levels of protection for consumers."
The long litigation odyssey between the government of Argentina and holdout creditors continues. Debt justice campaigners in Argentina and the USA are enraged about a new ruling by the New York appeals court in favour of the vulture funds NML Capital Ltd and Aurelius Capital, which sued for full payment of US$1.3 billion of holdout debt. The New York court upheld the previous ruling that Argentina must repay the vulture funds every time it repays the creditors that participated in the debt swap of 2005. Enforcement is still on hold until the US Supreme Court has made a decision to take the case. If it is upheld in this last instance, Argentina would face the choice between paying vulture funds that speculated on the country’s bankruptcy after the financial crisis of 2002, which is forbidden by Argentine law, or defaulting on the restructured debt too.
President Barack Obama is soon expected to announce his nominee to take over the role of Chair of the Federal Reserve Board system (Fed). The Fed’s current chairman, Mr Ben Bernanke, started in his position in 2006, and next year his second term will expire.
What views the person that will head the Fed –basically the US Central Bank — has on matters of financial regulation and monetary policy is bound to have a lasting impact on human rights, not just in the US but far beyond its borders.