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American Vultures get rich off other other nation's debt

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  • American Vultures get rich off other other nation's debt

    “Vulture Fund” Company Wins $20 Million Payment from Zambia on $4 Million Debt
    Thursday, February 15th, 2007

    Watch the BBC Newsnight investigative report on BBC Newsnight — or at Democracy Now! with Palast and Amy Goodman.

    Listen — Watch — Read
    “Vulture fund” companies buy up the debt of poor countries at cheap prices, and then demand payments much higher than the original amount of the debt, often taking poor countries to court when they cannot afford to repay.

    Investigative journalist Greg Palast reports on one company that has won the right to collect $20 million from the government of Zambia after buying its debt for $4 million. In his recent State of the Union address, President Bush declared the United States was taking on the challenges of global hunger, poverty and disease, and urged support for debt relief, which he called the best hope for eliminating poverty.

    But what exactly are wealthy nations doing to reduce the debt of impoverished countries?

    Today we take a close look at companies known as “vulture funds.” Vulture fund companies buy up the debt of poor countries at cheap prices, and then demand payments much higher than the original amount of the debt, often taking poor countries to court when they cannot afford to repay.

    For an in-depth look at this issue, we turn to a BBC Newsnight documentary by investigative reporter Greg Palast. Greg Palast’s BBC report on vulture funds. Today a high court judge in London ruled on the case that a vulture fund can extract more than $20 million from Zambia for a debt which it bought for just $4 million. To tell us more about this case and more we now turn to Greg Palast.

    LATEST UPDATE — Zambia Loses ‘Vulture Fund’ Case

    Greg Palast. Investigative reporter for the BBC on this story is author of the books “Armed Madhouse”, “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy” and “Democracy and Regulation.”

    The BBC Newsnight report was produced by Meirion Jones, BBC London; Rick Rowley, videographer/editor. Investigative research by Matt Pascarella, New York.

    Continue reading ‘Palast Hunts the Real Life Goldfinger for BBC - Watch it on Democracy Now!’

    WWW.LIFEAFTERTHEOILCRASH.NET

    WWW.LIFEAFTERTHEOILCRASH.NET WWW.LIFEAFTERTHEOILCRASH.NET

  • #2
    Multi-national corporations exploiting and whoring the poorest nations could be stopped with one UN DEMAND!!!

    ----Implement a universal minimum wage for the whole world!

    Corporations could no longer hold nations hostage under threats of relocation...

    Albeit such a resolution would never get passed, but it would solve immense problems for third world nations.

    Comment


    • #3
      This article is a crock of shit. They tie in Bush's "state of the union address" to show how Bush is promising to cut debt to Africa, which he has, then focus on private companies working overseas that do not fall under the scope of american law, and happen to be british, and make it seem like our country is somehow doing something wrong: "What are wealthy nations doing? Bush said this, a British company did this, omgwtfz"

      The only country to blame for this is Zambia, who took on debt, and defaulted. While sad, this is a matter for Zambians to figure out on their own with their creditor. No idiot lends out $20million to a risky creditor and when they can't pay, they suddenly go "oh, the poor country/person, they're struggling. no thanks, you keep the money. I don't need it". That's not how life works. There is no such thing as a free lunch. They became free in 1964, a socialist government failed them until reforms took place in 1990, and the corrupt government and still large public sector does nothing to eliminate the countries reliance on copper. Zambia's internal problems forced it to rely on outsiders who set high premiums on a risky creditor, as would any sane person, and unfortunately for the 11million people, they defaulted.
      Last edited by TheWalrus; 02-15-2007, 09:05 PM.
      Warpox exposes himself | Editorial 1 4 | 2Pox

      Comment


      • #4
        Obviously, it's their responsibility (or rather the government's) for defaulting on their own debt, however there's an important point missing in the article.

        There kind of bond schemes are jeopardizing the efforts for debt relief for the poorest nations in the world. In this case, the government of Romania lent the government of Zambia money for tractors in 1979. Zambia could not keep up the payments and in 1999 both governments negotiated to liquidate the debt for 3m dollars.

        Then one of DAI's funds stepped in and bought the debt for 4 million and sued for 40 million, which is the amount of debt relief Zambia received in 2006. Now, Zambia did not try to get their debt totally written off, they negotiated and settled with the government of Romania to liquidate it for 3m.

        From then on DAI's involvement was unneccesary (on the top of that, there's some uncertainty whether the fund bribed the former president of Zambia with 2m dollars, so they can claim the debt easily.)

        In normal situations the scheme is totally acceptable (except the bribing allegations), debt trading has been practiced for decades, if not centuries. However in such cases, where we have the governments of the poorest nations in the world involved, who already settled with their creditor nations, who are part of debt relief programs, these operations are cancelling the whole debt relief effort.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by TheWalrus View Post
          This article is a crock of shit. They tie in Bush's "state of the union address" to show how Bush is promising to cut debt to Africa, which he has, then focus on private companies working overseas that do not fall under the scope of american law, and happen to be british, and make it seem like our country is somehow doing something wrong: "What are wealthy nations doing? Bush said this, a British company did this, omgwtfz"

          The only country to blame for this is Zambia, who took on debt, and defaulted. While sad, this is a matter for Zambians to figure out on their own with their creditor. No idiot lends out $20million to a risky creditor and when they can't pay, they suddenly go "oh, the poor country/person, they're struggling. no thanks, you keep the money. I don't need it". That's not how life works. There is no such thing as a free lunch. They became free in 1964, a socialist government failed them until reforms took place in 1990, and the corrupt government and still large public sector does nothing to eliminate the countries reliance on copper. Zambia's internal problems forced it to rely on outsiders who set high premiums on a risky creditor, as would any sane person, and unfortunately for the 11million people, they defaulted.
          thats not entirely true. 3rd world countries are literally FORCED to take on huge loans with high interest from the World Bank or else they face CIA coups and/or military invasion. the whole purpose of the World Bank is to keep 3rd world nations as indentured servitudes. leaders of these countries are corrupt because the United States only support corrupt leaders around the world like the KING of saudi arabia and all the right wing paramilitary monkeys in Latin America. i suggest you wipe off Rupert Murdoch's cumshots from your eyes and read a book



          heres the interview with Greg Palast and that london pig
          Greg Palast: "I just want to ask you Mr Sheehan - why are you squeezing the poor nation of Zambia for $40 million - doesn't that make you a vulture?

          Michael Sheehan: "No comment I'm in litigation. It's not my debt."

          Greg Palast: Aren't you just profiteering from the work of good people who are trying to save lives by cutting the debt of these poor nations?

          Michael Sheehan: Well there was a proposal for investment. That's all I can talk about right now.

          Five years ago Gordon Brown told the United Nations that the vulture funds were perverse and immoral: "We particularly condemn the perversity where Vulture Funds purchase debt at a reduced price and make a profit from suing the debtor country to recover the full amount owed - a morally outrageous outcome". But the vulture funds are still operating.


          'We don't do interviews'

          and heres the article on the american pigs

          Debt Advisory International are very generous to their lobbyists in Washington. They have been paying $240,000 a year to the lobby firm Greenberg Traurig - although recently they jumped ship to another firm after Greenberg Traurig's top lobbyist was put in jail.

          Paul Singer has more direct political connections. He was the biggest donor to George Bush and the Republican cause in New York City - giving $1.7m since Bush started his first presidential campaign.

          Rudi Guiliani is the favourite to be the next Republican presidential candidate and a leaked memo from his campaign shows that Paul Singer has pledged to raise $15m for Guiliani's campaign.

          Tactics

          The vulture funds have teams of lawyers combing the world for assets which can be seized to settle their claims. There have also been claims of dubious tactics.

          Back in Britain the Zambian case has seen much legal discussion about allegations of bribery. The Zambian legal team - led by William Blair QC - Tony Blair's brother, has argued that a $2m bribe was offered to the former Zambian President to make it easier for the vulture funds to claim their money.

          They showed the court an email disclosed in the Zambia case saying that a payment to the "President's favourite charity" had allowed them to do a more favourable deal.

          When we caught up with Michael Sheehan outside his house in Virginia he told us it was not a bribe but a charitable donation.

          He told us, "We offered to donate debt to a low income housing initiative which was a charitable initiative which did end up building several thousand houses" before adding "you're contorting the facts, you're on my property and I would ask you to step off".

          The Jubilee Debt Campaign told Newsnight that they are calling on Gordon Brown to turn his moral outrage about vulture funds into action if he becomes Prime Minister and change the law to make the Zambian case the last to appear in a British court.
          the whole article...
          http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programme...ht/6362783.stm

          WWW.LIFEAFTERTHEOILCRASH.NET

          WWW.LIFEAFTERTHEOILCRASH.NET WWW.LIFEAFTERTHEOILCRASH.NET

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