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US Judge Plans to End Argentina Debt Sanctions

US District Judge Thomas Griesa agreed to lift injunctions on Argentina that could pave the way to ending the country's decade-long debt dispute with "hold-out" hedge funds.
US District Judge Thomas Griesa agreed to lift injunctions on Argentina that could pave the way to ending the country's decade-long debt dispute with "hold-out" hedge funds. The ruling allows Argentina to repay investors who accepted past debt restructuring deals even if it does not first pay a small group of hedge funds who refused recent settlement offers.

"The most predatory actors in this case are increasingly isolated," said Eric LeCompte, a sovereign debt expert who tracked the case for six years and is the executive director of Jubilee USA, a religious development organization. "It's clear the judge felt Argentina's latest offer was reasonable and the hold-outs should have accepted it and ended this saga."

For the order to take effect, Argentina must first repeal its laws blocking payments to the so called "vulture funds." Elliot Management and Aurelius Capital Management, the two most prominent "hold-outs," rejected Argentina's recent $6.5 billion offer to settle the case. A US Appeals Court must also validate Judge Griesa's ruling for it to take effect.

"Unfortunately, the case still validates a predatory and exploitative business model," said LeCompte, whose organization filed with the Supreme Court in 2014 ‎to urge the high court to overturn lower court rulings. "The parity rulings which favored the predatory funds are still intact and we remain concerned how those rulings will impact some of the world's poorest countries."

Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations and 550 faith communities working with 50 Jubilee global partners. Jubilee's mission is to build an economy that serves, protects and promotes the 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