Open Newswire

IMF Releases Paper on Ending Predatory Behavior: Paper Propels IMF Board Financial Stability Decisions
18 weeks 6 days 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
18 weeks 6 days 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
19 weeks 1 day 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
19 weeks 6 days 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
19 weeks 6 days 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
20 weeks 22 hours 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
21 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
22 weeks 2 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
22 weeks 2 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
23 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
26 weeks 19 hours 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.

Decolonizing Wild Roots Feral Futures
27 weeks 1 day ago
Dirty Hands
http://unsettlingamerica.wordpress.com/

Wild Roots Feral Futures takes place on occupied/stolen indigenous territory, primarily of the Nuutsiu (occasionally spelled Nuciu or Nuchu, aka "Ute") people. In recognition of this truth and as a first step in addressing it, we seek to establish proactive working relationships with those whose stolen land we gather upon, and return the space we temporarily liberate to the centering and amplification of indigenous voices and struggles. Our understanding is that any community of resistance that doesn't center the voices of indigenous people and put their leadership in the forefront is a movement that is part of the problem.

HOWEVER, *how* to return such space and amplify such voices without engaging in tokenizing behavior remains problematic, as does (neo)colonial dynamics of further extracting yet more use value from indigenous communities by expecting and requesting their participation in such processes. 

Wild Roots Feral Futures 2014
27 weeks 1 day ago
Dirty Hands
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/wild-roots-feral-


"The whole earth is in jail and we're plotting this incredible jailbreak."

6th Annual Direct Action, Eco-Defense, & Rewilding Encampment in the Wild Rockies of Southwest Colorado, June 14-22, 2014

(exact location to be determined)

Update: Fundraiser live!

Greetings from the occupied Nuchu (Ute) territories of Turtle Island, colonially known as the "American Southwest"!

We are very happy to announce that, for the 6th year running, the Wild Roots Feral Futures (WRFF) eco-defense, direct action, and rewilding encampment will take place in the forests of Southwest Colorado this coming June 14-22, 2014. WRFF is an informal, completely free and non-commercial, and loosely organized camp-out operating on (less than a) shoe-string budget, formed entirely off of donated, scavenged, or liberated supplies and sustained through 100% volunteer effort. Though we foster a collective communality and pool resources, we also encourage general self-sufficiency, which lightens the burden on communal supplies, and which we find to be the very source and foundation of true mutual sharing and abundance.

Supreme Court Hears Argentina Predatory Hedge Fund Discovery Case High Court Decision to Hear Broader Landmark Debt Case Pending
27 weeks 6 days ago
advocacy

On Monday, the Supreme Court hears arguments between Argentina and holdouts who refused two debt restructuring deals after Argentina defaulted on its debts in 2001. The Supreme Court Justices will determine if predatory hedge fund, NML Capital can obtain information from US Banks that reveal Argentina's holdings in order to target those assets for debt payments. The Obama Administration is siding with Argentina in the case. In the summer, the Supreme Court will also decide if it will hear a much broader case between Argentina and the hedge funds that impacts extreme poverty, official US debt policy and country debt restructuring.
 "The Supreme Court hearing this initial case offers some indication that they are interested in hearing the broader case," said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious antipoverty coalition, Jubilee USA Network. "The court’s decision on the broader case will impact financial stability and people living in extreme poverty."
In late March, Jubilee USA Network and 79 religious and development groups filed an Amicus ("friend-of-the-court") brief with the Supreme Court urging them to take the broader case with global implications. In addition to Jubilee USA's filing, economist Joseph Stiglitz and the governments of Brazil and Mexico also filed on Argentina's side. The G24, the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, United Nations and the US government continue to raise concerns with predatory holdout behavior.
“There's a global consensus that his behavior hurts poor people and legitimate investors,” said LeCompte who serves on several UN expert groups working to stem predatory behavior. "If the Supreme Court takes the broader case and decides for Argentina, we'll see a lot of this extreme behavior end."

IMF Annual Meetings Focus on High Debt Burdens and Global Inequality G24 Concerned with IMF Quotas and SCOTUS Argentina Case
28 weeks 6 days ago
Communications

The annual International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank meetings are focusing on the role of high debt burdens in both global economic recovery and increasing inequality. At the onset of the meetings, the G24 released an IMF statement noting that the IMF's failure to implement quota reform and the outcome of the US Supreme Court Argentina/NML Capital case impacts global inequality.

"The G24 knows that emerging markets have a lot to lose if the Supreme Court decides in favor of the hedge funds and against Argentina," stated Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network, a religious development coalition.

The G24's broader disappointments stem from the failure in implementing the 2010 IMF Quota Reform agreement. The reforms sought to offer fairer representation in the governance and efforts of the IMF. The reforms have stalled because the US Congress has not approved them. Since the United States government has the dominant vote in the IMF, the reforms can not move forward until they are approved by the US Congress.

"The Obama Administration believes in the reforms and urgently wants Congress to pass them," noted LeCompte. "At this time, Congress is actively questioning what is the appropriate role for the fund."