Greg Palast Reports: The Vulture Chewing Argentina’s Living Corpse

As readers here are aware, the global Ponzi economy and the institutional investors predators in control has eyes on Argentina, and much more. Valiantly Argentina continues to fight for sovereignty from Wall Street-NY-DC control…
A very disturbing and interesting crime story indeed!
I feel the need to share, as a reminder to us and perhaps news to some, Greg Palast’s investigation relating to current Argentina, and his reports are very revealing.
Billionaire Paul Singer, the man who manages the fund and lead plaintiff NML of Argentina, in the conflict over the Argentina’s troubled debt (some claim it is in default).

Some choice excerpts are below, read full report: ~Ron


And by the way, I didn’t give Singer the name “Vulture.”

His own banker buddies did—with admiration in their voices.


Clean water for the Congo? Forget it—Singer and his vulture colleagues grabbed it all.

In Africa, I spoke with Winston Tubman, the former deputy secretary-general of the UN. He asked me to ask the Vulture and his cronies, “Do you know you are causing babies to die?”

It’s legal, it’s sick, it’s Singer.

Well, not legal in most of the civilized world. Britain, Germany, Holland, and many others have outlawed Singer’s repo-man seizures. In Europe, Singer is a financial outlaw. But in the USA, he’s a “job creator.”

Singer The Vulture gets loads of positive press, in the New York Times especially, where the corpse-chewer offered an open checkbook to any state Republican who would vote for the right of gays to marry. Don’t think of this as an unselfish act of moral courage: it was more droit du seigneur, the right of the Lords of the Manor to deflower the virgins of choice on their lands. The Vulture’s son wanted to marry another man, and so Vulture would buy the New York State Legislature to approve the nuptials. (That almost all Singer’s money would go to national candidates who would make gay marriage illegal, well, money is thicker than blood.)

But, under press cover of funding the GOP for social rights, Singer’s influence in the state legislature has paid back a hundredfold. He lobbied the legislature to change the law on the calculation of interest charges on his vulture loan-sharking operation, a change that will guarantee him hundreds of millions of dollars more from the Congo.


The stakes in the legal-financial-political war are enormous, yet the real battle is hidden from the public view.
A titanic struggle had now been set in motion, a battle over billions, between the Obama administration and the wealthiest men in America, the hedge-fund billionaires, all out of sight of the public and press.

Argentina’s consul called me from DC, stunned by the Clinton move. WTF? Did I have any info?

I said, this action goes way, way beyond Argentina. Obama and Clinton told the court that the Vulture was undermining the safety of the entire world financial system, destabilizing every financial rescue mission from South America to Greece to the Congo. (What would Romney do? His expected replacement for Clinton would be his chief foreign policy advisor Dan Senor—currently on the payroll of . . . Paul Singer.)



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5 comments on “Greg Palast Reports: The Vulture Chewing Argentina’s Living Corpse
  1. RonMamita says:

    Citibank Goes Back to Judge Who Blocked Argentina Payment

    By Bob Van Voris Sep 20, 2014
    Citibank NA, which told judges this week that Argentina is holding a gun to its head over a $5 million bond interest payment due Sept. 30, faces the possibility the trigger may be pulled as the court threw out its appeal of an order barring it from forwarding the payment.

    The U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan yesterday dismissed Citibank’s challenge of the July 28 order, sending it back to the judge who rejected a bid to make the payment, and setting up a conflict with the South American nation that could result in the loss of its local branch.

    Citibank claims Argentina has threatened civil and criminal sanctions, including the possible nationalization of Citibank Argentina, if it fails to pass the interest payment to holders of $8.4 billion in U.S. dollar-denominated bonds issued under Argentine law and payable locally.

    The dismissal leaves in place the order by U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa that blocks the unit of New York-based Citigroup Inc. (C) from forwarding payments if Argentina keeps refusing to pay a group of hedge funds led by Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp. that holds Argentina’s defaulted debt.

    Citibank said it will obey the court order. Karen Wagner, a lawyer for the bank with Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York, appeared before Griesa yesterday without lawyers for the hedge funds or Argentina, “to apprise court of activities Citibank intends to pursue next week,” according to court records.
    New Hearing

    “Citibank to file show cause order” in a yet to be scheduled court hearing, the docket entry stated, referring to a proposed motion to expedite action.

    Read more:


    Elliott unit extends legal fight on Argentina debt to China

    By Davide Scigliuzzo Thu Aug 28, 2014

    NEW YORK, Aug 28 (IFR) – A unit of billionaire Paul Singer’s Elliott Management, which is Argentina’s main holdout creditor, is extending its legal fight with the South American nation to China.

    NML Capital served subpoenas this week to Bank of China (BOC) and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) in an effort to obtain information on US$6.8bn in financing for deals signed by the two countries in July.

    “We want to understand the mechanics of these credit facilities to establish whether assets to which Argentina has a legal title could surface in jurisdictions where we would be able to attach them,” a lawyer advising Elliott told IFR on Thursday.

    The subpoenas are aimed at a US$4.7bn facility provided by China Development Bank, ICBC and BOC to finance the construction of two hydroelectric dams in Patagonia and a US$2.1bn loan from China Development Bank and ICBC to finance the Belgrano Cargas railway project.

    Both deals were signed by Argentine President Cristina Fernandez and her Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, during an official visit of a Chinese delegation to Buenos Aires.

    Elliott hopes to be able to track the payment mechanisms and time legal actions in any relevant jurisdiction accordingly.

    The hedge fund is also hoping to bring to light disclosures that Argentina may have made to its Chinese creditors with respect to its dispute with the holdouts, which in July pushed Argentina into its second default in 13 years.

    “We think that Argentina may have provided some assurances to the lenders that they have plans to evade the pari passu injunction,” said the lawyer, referring to an injunction issued in 2012 by US district court Judge Thomas Griesa that prevents Argentina from paying holders of its restructured bonds unless it also makes holdouts whole.

    The Chinese banks have about a month to provide the documents and have been asked to testify at the New York offices of law firms Dechert and Miller & Wrubel on October 8, according to subpoena documents seen by IFR.

    While the banks can oppose the request, Elliott is confident that the US courts would ultimately allow its request to go through.

    The subpoenas apply to any form of financing and currency swaps the banks may have arranged for Argentina or hundreds of Argentine government-related entities over the last four years.

    Elliott – via its NML Capital unit – is one of the lead creditors who sued Argentina for full repayment after the sovereign’s 2001 default.

    The hedge fund has won a number of legal battles against the country, including obtaining a green light from the US Supreme Court to seek information about Argentina’s non-US assets.

    In separate proceedings, Elliott plans to subpoena international banks including Citigroup, HSBC and Standard Chartered to seize what it suspects are embezzled Argentine funds, a source at the hedge fund told IFR last week.

    Bank of China declined to comment, while Industrial and Commercial Bank of China was not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Davide Scigliuzzo; editing by Shankar Ramakrishnan and Paul Kilby)


  2. RonMamita says:

    Argentina Appeals To A Higher Authority In Fight With Creditors

    Tue., September 23, 2014

    Argentina’s battle with holdout creditors is taking on ever-broader dimensions as Cristina Fernández, the president, appeals for support from the United Nations this week after meeting billionaire George Soros and Pope Francis, the Financial Times reported.

    In New York, Ms Fernández hopes to recruit Mr Soros in her fight against the holdouts.
    His Quantum hedge fund holds a 3.5 per cent, or $450m stake, in YPF, the national oil company that would benefit from renewed access to international credit.
    She also hopes to build on a rhetorical victory won this month when the UN agreed on a non-binding vote to launch a multilateral framework for sovereign debt restructurings.

    Yet analysts increasingly fear Buenos Aires does not have a strategy to solve its mounting economic problems at home, and is simply stumbling from one problem to the next.

    * * * Below is an Intelligence analysis * * *

    String of bilateral deals puts China in strong position to secure footholds in Argentina’s key economic sectors

    IHS Jane’s Intelligence Weekly 18 September 2014


    Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, right, and China’s President Xi Jinping in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires on 20 July 2014. Source: PA

    Key Points

    • The agreements have taken place at a moment when Argentina is struggling with recession and is on the brink of a new sovereign debt default.
    • A currency swap worth USD11 billion and Chinese loans to fund energy and infrastructure projects are likely to result in China increasing its presence in Argentina’s key economic sectors, including agribusiness, energy, and infrastructure.
    • The relationship between the two countries is very likely to deepen, with China well placed to secure favourable treatment in energy and infrastructure projects; this, however, will be an unequal relationship in which China is likely to have the upper hand.


    Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and her Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping signed a flurry of commercial and investment deals on 20 July.

    President of Argentina Cristina Fernández de Kirchner met China’s President Xi Jinping in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires on 20 July to announce a string of commercial and economic deals aimed at deepening the relationship between the countries. The two leaders were adamant that bilateral relations had reached new levels, describing the agreements as the beginning of a ‘strategic alliance’. Argentine officials said that the agreements were on the same level as the one signed between China and Brazil last year.

    The motivations for the two countries to favour such agreements differ: China is driven by long-term goals of food and energy security, expressed in an expansionist trade model targeting developing countries. At the same time, China is interested in securing markets in which its largest companies can invest. Meanwhile, Argentina is struggling with its most serious economic crisis in 13 years; it is isolated from the international capital markets and is in desperate need of foreign investment, particularly to fund the development of the Vaca Muerta field, one of the largest shale gas deposits in the Americas. These differences have set the conditions for an agreement between two unequal partners: a strong China thirsty for commodities and new markets and a financially vulnerable and economically beleaguered Argentina.

    China – after making major inroads in Africa – is now targeting Latin America. China’s overarching goals in the region include: the internationalisation of its currency (renminbi); finding new markets for Chinese companies to invest; the expansion of its financial clout in international markets; and, the strengthening of its influence in the region, preferably by flexing its economic muscle. In the case of Argentina, China’s main goal is likely to be to secure footholds in key economic sectors such as agribusiness (soy beans), oil and gas, as well as infrastructure.

    Argentina’s main goals in this relationship are more modest: securing alternative sources of funding in light of its increasing isolation from international markets; protecting its foreign reserves; and boosting exports to China.

    Currency swap puts China in strong position

    The 20 agreements signed between Argentina and China reflect this dynamic. On 7 September, the Chinese and Argentine central banks agreed on a multi-billion-dollar currency swap operation. The swap would help to contain the rapid depletion of Argentina’s foreign reserves. Symbolically, China has also offered support to Argentina in its dispute with the ‘hold-out creditors’, which resulted in a technical debt default on 31 July 2014. Such a swap fits with China’s mid-term plan of making the renminbi a currency widely accepted in global markets. Under the agreement, Argentina would have access to an USD11 billion pot; the first USD1 billion will be released in December 2014. Argentina is obliged to deposit the equivalent amount in Argentine pesos up to 12 months later.

    Although the swap agreement will not bail out Argentina, it will help to mitigate the country’s deteriorating sovereign debt scenario. Argentina’s foreign reserves are around USD28.2 billion at the moment, down from USD52 billion in 2011, with the downward trend expected to continue. In political terms, fresh money should help President Fernández to weather her last 15 months in office by avoiding a financial and economic meltdown.

    Argentina’s poor record when it comes to honouring its sovereign debt obligations begs the question of why China is lending money to a country that would probably spend the whole swap in two years, and whose credit outlook is expected to deteriorate further? It appears that China is approaching this relationship strategically with a view to cementing its long-term presence in Argentina. China’s financial clout puts it in a strong position to enjoy favourable treatment in bilateral trade and investment deals.

    Energy and infrastructure agreements

    The nature of the deals signed in July points to China’s strong position. They include a Chinese credit line worth USD2.1 billion to overhaul Argentina’s railway system, particularly the Belgrano Cargas network. Argentina said it would contribute an additional USD370 million, taking the total investment to USD2.5 billion.

    There were also agreements on power generation: these will include a USD4.4 billion investment for the construction of two new hydroelectric dams in the province of Santa Cruz; and a USD2 billion deal to finance Chinese products and services for the construction of the Atucha III nuclear power plant. Meanwhile, USD423 million will be earmarked for the construction of 11 ships for dredging.

    Secrecy over a possible Chinese space station in the province of Neuquén is raising questions at political levels in Argentina. Since Argentina keeps many contractual provisions secret, it is far from clear what the level of Chinese involvement in the development of this project is likely to be. Both sides have denied claims by domestic media outlets that the space station might be used for military purposes.


    A cash-rich China is taking advantage of Argentina’s financial distress to secure footholds in key economic sectors. China and Argentina have been trying to deepen economic ties for more than a decade, but visits by previous Chinese presidents – the first took place in 2001 – resulted in very few deals. This time, the new round of talks has yielded concrete and meaningful agreements that will benefit both sides. However, this is far from being an agreement between equal partners, as was the case between Argentina and Venezuela over the last decade, when Argentina was in better economic and financial shape and therefore had scope to resist conditionality if it was against the national interest.

    The agreements with China have taken place out of necessity, at a moment when Argentina has run out of sources of funding and is on the brink of a new default. This puts China in a strong position to secure favourable deals in strategic areas: agricultural goods, energy, and infrastructure projects. China’s National Offshore Oil Cooperation (CNOOC) is already Argentina’s second largest oil company after state-run company Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales (YPF). CNOOC is a partner of YPF in the development of the highly promising Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas field.

    China is generally perceived within Argentina as a good commercial partner, as opposed to the United States. In this context, more agreements and commercial exchanges should be expected between the two nations. Notwithstanding this, it would be China that would dictate the scope of the economic engagement. This unequal relationship also means that Argentina will be less able to resist unfair competition from Chinese producers, which in the past have flooded the Argentine markets with cheaper goods. In 2010, Argentina slapped an import ban on 400 Chinese products in order to protect domestic producers. Under the current circumstances a ban on Chinese import would prove very costly for Argentina if China decides to retaliate not only commercially, but also by withdrawing funding for energy and infrastructure projects.

    (1250 words)


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