Open Newswire

Argentina Braces For Default
3 days 9 hours ago
Communications

Argentina is likely to default barring a last-minute breakthrough in negotiations with hold-outs or a court order. Argentina's grace period to pay bonds restructured after its 2001 default expires July 30th. United States District Judge Thomas Griesa ruled Argentina cannot pay the 92% of restructured bond holders unless Argentina also pays hold-out predatory hedge funds in full.

"Argentina is hours from default," said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious financial reform organization, Jubilee USA Network. "At this point, a deal seems unlikely. Argentina may decide that the cost of default is less than the cost of compliance."

P&L Printing Takes Principled Stand--All Businesses Should Do The Same
1 week 1 day ago
tina braxton

Dear [Name Withheld],

Thank you for contacting us regarding printing union contract books for the correctional employees of the GEO Detention Facility in Aurora, Colorado owned by the GEO Group, Inc.

Unfortunately, we will have to decline printing this job. As a print shop that stands for workers rights, we cannot in good conscience print a job that would be paid for by the suffering and imprisonment of other workers, especially imprisonment that is based solely off of the sk...in color and country of birth of those workers.

P&L Printing has always taken a strong position on the issues of border enforcement and migration, and we have always stood with migrants and their families and supporters. We cannot print a job for the GEO Group, Inc. or any of its affiliates, even a union of correctional employees, if it means in any way aiding in the process of migrant detention and dehumanization for profit. We feel that printing any job for the GEO Group, Inc. would violate everything that we believe as people fighting for a socially just and equitable society.

We thank you for the consideration, but will not be able to take on this job.

Respectfully,

Dave Strano
on behalf of the collective of worker-owners of
P&L Printing
Denver, CO

Argentina Debt Payments Blocked by US Court
5 weeks 14 hours ago
Communications

The Argentine government announced Thursday that it transferred funds to the Bank of New York Mellon to pay the 92% of bond holders who restructured after Argentina's 2001 default. Reuters reports that Judge Thomas Griesa blocked the restructured debt payments until a settlement is reached on $1.65 billion that Griesa ordered be paid to hold-out creditors.

"We are in the middle of a ping pong match between Argentina and the hold-outs," stated Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious debt relief group, Jubilee USA Network. "Unfortunately, as this battle continues in the courts, Argentina faces another default."

According to Griesa's ruling, Argentina must pay all creditors on June 30th, including hold-outs who won a court ruling to be paid in full. Because of a built-in 30-day grace period, Argentina now faces a July 30th deadline to resolve its dispute with the hold-outs or face a technical default. Griesa, concerned that Argentina is circumventing his orders, demanded all parties appear in courtFriday morning.

If Argentina pays hold-out creditors the approximately $1.65 billion Judge Griesa has ordered it to pay, it would face claims from other hold-outs that would approach $15 billion, half of Argentina's reserves. If Argentina pays the hold-outs, it could also face lawsuits from the 92% of creditors who did not hold out seeking to be paid in full as well. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) noted this week that those claims would exceed $120 billion.

"Argentina's in a tough place but will likely find a way through this situation," said LeCompte, who serves on expert groups for UNCTAD. "I'm really worried about how this court precedent is promoting predatory behavior and will hurt debt restructurings for poor countries."

IMF Paper: Corporate Tax Avoidance Hurts Global Economy and Poor Countries
5 weeks 2 days ago
Communications

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released a staff paper noting that corporate tax avoidance negatively impacts all economies, but hurts developing countries the most. The IMF's release comes as the G20, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and United Nations bodies seek vehicles to diminish corporate tax avoidance.

"The developing world loses more in corporate tax avoidance than it receives in aid from developed countries," stated Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious anti-poverty group, Jubilee USA Network. "The paper shows that when multinational corporations shift their profits to another country to pay less taxes, we see higher levels of global inequality."

IMF Releases Paper on Ending Predatory Behavior: Paper Propels IMF Board Financial Stability Decisions
6 weeks 9 hours ago
Communications

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) officially released a major paper focused on increasing stability in the financial system and preventing predatory hold-out behavior in debt restructuring. Last Monday's ruling by the Supreme Court in NML Capital vs. Argentina has legitimized predatory behavior that the IMF, US Government and legitimate investors seek to stop. The IMF paper was the second paper that reviewed potential aspects of an international bankruptcy process for the IMF Executive Board.

"It's clear that the IMF is looking for innovative ways to thwart the predatory behavior that was just legitimized by the Supreme Court," stated Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious financial reform coalition known as Jubilee USA Network. "You can see in the paper that long before the Supreme Court ruling, the activity of these hedge funds has been on the IMF's radar."

The IMF paper notes the problems with current approaches to deter predatory behavior and promises a stand-alone paper in the near future on restricting the practice. Primarily, the paper focuses on creating more predictability in the financial system and preventing the "contagion" that spurs regional and global financial crises. IMF staff are attempting to build consensus on a set of financial issues in a series of papers and board discussions. A third paper on creating greater predictability in the global financial system is expected from the IMF by year's end

"Greater predictability in the markets protects the vulnerable and ensures that the financial system serves all of us," noted LeCompte. "It's unclear how far the IMF can go. It's imperative that global decision makers take seriously the threat of another financial crisis. It's not a matter of if a financial crisis will strike again, it's a matter of how soon it will strike."

Read the IMF's paper:

IMF Releases Paper on Ending Predatory Behavior: Paper Propels IMF Board Financial Stability Decisions
6 weeks 9 hours ago
Communications

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) officially released a major paper focused on increasing stability in the financial system and preventing predatory hold-out behavior in debt restructuring. Last Monday's ruling by the Supreme Court in NML Capital vs. Argentina has legitimized predatory behavior that the IMF, US Government and legitimate investors seek to stop. The IMF paper was the second paper that reviewed potential aspects of an international bankruptcy process for the IMF Executive Board.

"It's clear that the IMF is looking for innovative ways to thwart the predatory behavior that was just legitimized by the Supreme Court," stated Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious financial reform coalition known as Jubilee USA Network. "You can see in the paper that long before the Supreme Court ruling, the activity of these hedge funds has been on the IMF's radar."

The IMF paper notes the problems with current approaches to deter predatory behavior and promises a stand-alone paper in the near future on restricting the practice. Primarily, the paper focuses on creating more predictability in the financial system and preventing the "contagion" that spurs regional and global financial crises. IMF staff are attempting to build consensus on a set of financial issues in a series of papers and board discussions. A third paper on creating greater predictability in the global financial system is expected from the IMF by year's end

"Greater predictability in the markets protects the vulnerable and ensures that the financial system serves all of us," noted LeCompte. "It's unclear how far the IMF can go. It's imperative that global decision makers take seriously the threat of another financial crisis. It's not a matter of if a financial crisis will strike again, it's a matter of how soon it will strike."

Read the IMF's paper:

Argentina Responds to Supreme Court with Debt Swap Plan: Global Consequences of Court Ruling Remain Intact
6 weeks 2 days ago
Communications

 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."

Argentina Battles in Two World Cups
7 weeks 8 hours ago
Communications

While Argentina prepares to face Bosnia Sunday in the first round of the World Cup, the South American soccer power faces a second major contest in a very different venue. The United States Supreme Court will announce in June if it will hear Argentina vs NML Capital that impacts the operation of the global financial system. The Financial Times has called the case the "Debt Trial of the Century."

"If Argentina loses at the Supreme Court, not even the great Lionel Messi will be able to reverse the damage," said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA, a religious anti-poverty organization. "The stakes are high in this World Cup of debt and Argentina fans are watching the US Supreme Court as much as they are watching Brazil."

The case dates back to Argentina's 2001 default. While nearly 93% of the country's creditors agreed to a deal with Argentina to restructure its debts, a small group of hold-outs refused the deal and sued. This group included hedge funds that specialize in purchasing the distressed debt of impoverished countries and then suing to claim assets freed up to support poor populations through debt relief. Because these funds purchase debt for pennies on the dollar and then litigate to collect when a country is making a recovery or has assets from debt relief earmarked for the poor, these hedge funds are popularly referred to as "vulture funds."

"Argentina has a much bigger problem than anything it will face in Group F," added LeCompte, who works on four United Nations expert panels on debt and human rights. "These predatory hedge funds threaten to throw Argentina into default."

IMF Reviews International Financial Crises Solutions
7 weeks 9 hours ago
Communications

Behind closed doors, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board Members are reacting to solutions prepared by IMF staff aimed at preventing global and regional financial crises. Part of the focus stems from G20 concern over extreme predatory behavior on global finance and the precedent set in the related pending Supreme Court case of Argentina vs NML Capital.

Supreme Court Justices Consider Hearing Argentina Hedge Fund Debt Case
7 weeks 1 day ago
Communications

US Supreme Court justices will decide next steps in the Argentina vs NML Capital debt case today. The case dates back to 2001 when Argentina defaulted on its debts and a group of predatory hedge funds purchased some debt for pennies on the dollar. The hedge fund NML Capital leads a group of hold-out creditors in suing the country for more than $1 billion. The case will set a precedent that will impact the functioning of the global financial system. Supreme Court justices will decide to formally hear the case or ask the US Justice Department to issue an opinion.

"It's most likely that the justices will ask the opinion of the US Solicitor General," noted Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA and a member of United Nations expert groups focusing on this case. "Asking the opinion of the US government is good news for Argentina as the Justice Department has continually stood on the side of Argentina in this case."

If the Supreme Court asks the opinion of the US government we may not know until the end of the year if the case will be heard. In a related "discovery" case before the Supreme Court, the US government has sided with Argentina. In lower courts the US government has consistently argued that the hold-out creditors should take the same deal that nearly 93 percent of bondholders agreed to. The US Treasury and the White House continue to express support for Argentina because of the case's impacts on US bipartisan debt relief policy, global debt restructuring and poor country access to credit. In March, France, Brazil and Mexico all filed amicus curiae briefs on behalf of Argentina before the Supreme Court. Jubilee USA also filed to the Supreme Court on behalf of 79 religious and development institutions urging the high court to take the case because of the impacts on world-wide extreme poverty.

G7 Focuses on Ukraine and Global Financial Stability
8 weeks 2 days ago
Communications

The G7 is meeting in Brussels for its annual summit. Initially Russia planned to host the conference, but G7 leaders excluded Russia's participation over the crisis in Ukraine. In addition to the situation in the Ukraine, the agenda will feature conversations on debt restructuring, development and global financial stability.

Argentina Files Final Response Urging Supreme Court to Accept Predatory Hedge Fund Debt Case
9 weeks 3 days ago
Communications

Argentina filed its final Supreme Court response to hedge fund NML Capital urging the high court to take the case that the Financial Times calls "the debt trial of the century." Jubilee USA filed an Amicus Curiae brief in March noting that the precedent in the case will impact debt restructurings, poor country access to credit and debt relief programs designed to help people living in extreme poverty. The US government and the International Monetary Fund support Argentina. On June 12th, the Supreme Court is scheduled to discuss whether or not it will hear the case.

"We've finally reached the end game in the Argentina NML debt case," said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious antipoverty group, Jubilee USA Network. We pray the Supreme Court will take the case as it will impact people living in extreme poverty around the globe."

Last week LeCompte met Pope Francis and presented the Holy Father Jubilee USA's Supreme Court filing in support of Argentina.

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. www.jubileeusa.org

Pfizer Pulls Back AstraZeneca Offer
9 weeks 3 days ago
Communications
Pfizer announced it will not buy British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. The board of AstraZeneca rejected Pfizer's 119 billion dollar offer that would have allowed Pfizer to become the world's largest pharmaceutical firm and evade billions in taxes. The corporate tax avoidance scheme is known as "inversion," when a company moves its headquarters to a country with lower corporate tax rates. Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA, a religious anti-poverty organization, releases the following statement: "It's good news that Pfizer is backing away from the AstraZeneca deal that was designed to evade billions in taxes. "When big corporations use schemes like tax inversion to base themselves in places with lower tax rates, they profit without contributing to the very infrastructure that makes them profitable. "Corporate tax avoidance forces poor and wealthy countries to go into debt to build the infrastructure the corporations rely on. "Deals like the Pfizer proposal have many victims. The poor are always hurt the most when countries have high debts burden and not enough revenue to provide for basic needs. "Globally, corporate tax avoidance is a theft from the poor." 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. www.jubileeusa.org
Global Jubilee Movement Meets Pope Francis
10 weeks 1 day ago
Communications

Pope Francis welcomed members of the global Jubilee movement to the Vatican on Wednesday as they were received for high level meetings with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Cardinal Peter Turkson, head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. The Catholic Church, various Christian Churches, Jewish groups and trade unions founded the global Jubilee campaign that successfully cancelled more than 130 billion dollars in sovereign debt and has won tax policies to benefit people living in the poorest countries of the world.

"The Catholic Church was a founder of the global Jubilee movement and is a vital partner in joint efforts to build an economy that serves and protects the poor," noted Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the interfaith antipoverty organization known as Jubilee USA Network. "During our meetings we discussed how debt burdens, corporate tax avoidance and destructive trade polices trap hundreds of millions of people in extreme poverty."

In the tower of the Papal Palace, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin formally received Jubilee USA and global Jubilee counterparts from Africa, the Caribbean and Europe. They discussed a range of common interests from curbing corporate tax avoidance to making big banks and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) more transparent. The groups highlighted the critical interfaith efforts to establish an international bankruptcy process for countries and the formation of the Caribbean Debt Network to combat a new wave of IMF austerity measures on the small islands.

"Cardinal Parolin is a very holy person. Not only did he affirm our efforts, but more importantly he noted the great importance of Jubilee's interfaith efforts that bring Muslims, Jews and Christians together to end extreme poverty," shared LeCompte.

Caribbean Religious Leaders Demand Debt Forgiveness
13 weeks 1 day ago
Communications

Religious leaders and trade union representatives from across the Caribbean gathered on the "Spice Isle" over the past week to formally launch the Caribbean Debt Network to influence debt restructurings and austerity policies taking place across the Caribbean. Six out of the twenty most heavily indebted countries in the world are in the Caribbean. Various Catholic Dioceses and the Caribbean Council of Churches attended the launch from St. Vincent, Barbados, Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Grenada.

"Caribbean countries struggle with high debt burdens and high poverty levels," noted Reverend Sean Doggett, a Catholic priest and spokesperson for the Diocese of Grenada. "Our regional network knows if we want to end poverty, we need to end unsustainable debts."

The Caribbean islands are dotted with makeshift shacks, where depending on the island, 20 percent to 40 percent of the population lives in poverty. Various islands see unemployment rates soar as high as 30 percent to 50 percent. Like dominoes, island after island is going through International Monetary Fund (IMF) debt restructurings that demand austerity policies that hurt millions of people living in extreme poverty throughout the region.

"Our churches are on the front lines of fighting poverty in the Caribbean. We see how the debt crisis is hurting the poorest people on the islands," shared the new Chair of the Caribbean Debt Network, Reverend Osbert James, who is a Presbyterian minister and head of the Grenada Council of Churches.