Monday, October 15, 2012

Don't cry for me Argentina, I still plan to....

News Observer reports 

Investor wants $20 million for Argentine flagship

The flagship of Argentina's navy, the A.R.A. Libertad, right, sits docked at the port of Tema, outside Accra, Ghana, where it is being held by a judge answering a complaint from a U.S. hedge fund, Friday, Oct. 5, 2012. A court in Ghana on Tuesday, Oct. 2, ordered the ship held in port until Argentina posts a court bond equal to its value, which could be $10 million or more. The three-masted tall ship stopped in Tema while training hundreds of navy cadets.

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ACCRA, Ghana -- International investors put a $20 million price tag on an Argentine navy training ship Thursday after a judge in Ghana ruled that the ARA Libertad cannot set sail until the South American country settles claims for unpaid debts.

I thought that military assets enjoyed a diplomatic immunity when there was no actual declaration of war in place. Google doesn't confirm this.
The U.S. creditors are demanding payment in full on Argentine bonds for which most investors accepted 30 cents on the dollar in 2005.

Hang on you took a gamble and it failed ? For fucks sake you expect the people ( taxpayers ) of Argentina to provide relief for your bad judgement. Oh  sorry I had forgotten the new economic orthodoxy that you socialise loss and privatise profit.
Justice Richard Agyei-Frimpong had ordered the tall sailing ship held at Tema harbor days earlier after creditors cited judgments in the U.S. and Britain approving the seizure of Argentine assets anywhere in the world. On Thursday, he said Argentina failed to persuade him to remove the injunction.

US and British law now applies in Ghana. Why not it would appear US law is applicable in NZ given the Dot Com fiasco. As Chris Trotter points out

" How else to explain Bill English’s casual admission that, were he given it all to do again, he wouldn’t hesitate to re-order the suppression of all evidence relating to the activities of the GCSB. Why else would John Key refuse a comprehensive and transparent inquiry into the illegal surveillance of Mr Dotcom? And be backed in his refusal by a former Labour Prime Minister, Sir Geoffrey Palmer?"

Argentina's government said the ruling violates international norms as well as rulings by judges in the U.S., Germany and France that found Argentine military vessels immune from the seizures.

I am with Argentina on this one.
The ruling "compromises Ghana's international responsibility, adding a political dimension to the judicial case that affects bilateral relations," Argentina's defense ministry said. It said the country's deputy defense minister and foreign minister would travel to Africa to discuss the matter with Ghana's highest authorities.
The case was brought by NML Capital Ltd., a subsidiary of the Elliot Capital Management fund run by billionaire Paul Singer, who leads a group of holdouts demanding payment in full plus interest for Argentine bonds bought at fire sale prices after Argentina's economy collapsed in 2002. Some 93 percent of bondholders accepted pennies on the dollar seven years ago, but Argentina has failed to come to terms with the holdouts.

So litigate it in an Argentine court. Or accept the logical consequence of this action and acknowledge you have declared a state of war exists between NML Capital and Argentina, that means Argentina is within its rights to react to that. If that means destroying NML Capital by any means possible so be it.  I would bet on a nation state and the resources it has rather than a corporate in any such fight. Has NML Capital got a seat at the UN ? 
Singer "has boasted of having always won with his strategy of buying debt in default so that he can later multiply geometrically his investment. The immorality of this usurious practice" has been particularly harmful to African countries, the Argentine foreign ministry said in a statement Thursday.

Something Ghana might want to think about.
The three-masted training vessel Libertad came to Ghana on a goodwill mission as part of a West African tour with hundreds of navy cadets from Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Peru. Chile's government said Thursday it was keeping in contact with the Argentine navy and their cadets' families as the situation developed.

Pissing off Latin America and Africa isn't a good move on the part of Ghana or NML Capital. I wonder how sound NML Capital is?  By the way Ghana have you checked out whether any bribes have been paid ? Just asking.  
Luis Suarez, a cadet working in the ship's galley, told an Argentine radio station that they access to Internet and phones and can communicate with their families back home. He said that there is food aboard the ship and the crew rode buses into town to buy things, but that their movements are restricted.
"We are not freely circulating," Suarez said.
NML now plans to seek an auction of the ship, which it hopes will pressure Argentina to post a bond in Ghana reflecting the vessel's value. At that point, the ship and its crew would be able to leave port, Argentina would forfeit the bond, and NML would collect the money.
NML's lawyer, Ace Anan Ankomah, said his side filed a motion saying "you know what, our claim is all about $350 million, but if you post a bond of $20 million, we will agree with you and go to court, that the vessel can leave. So we are waiting to hear from them."

$20 million on an alleged $350 million shortfall. This screams desperation. 
Argentina responded that it won't bend.
"Argentina will exhaust all judicial possibilities in Ghana and in international courts in defense of its sovereignty, against the vulture funds and those who try to impose a global system in which people's lives are subjected to the speculation of capital," the foreign ministry said.

Robert Raben, director of the American Task Force Argentina, a Washington lobbying group representing bondholders, said the people of Ghana will benefit from Thursday's ruling.

" American Task Force Argentina "! Shit, sounds like it is part of the American military rather than a lobby group. How the hell does it benefit the people of Ghana ? Pissing of both Argentina, Brazil and quite probably putting the rest of the world on notice that Ghana is a play thing of vulture capitalism benefits the the people of Ghana,.... well maybe.
"As a country upholds the rule of law, investment increases and the economy grows. This is precisely the opposite direction that Argentina has gone - repudiating debt that it has the ability to pay," Raben's statement said. "As a result of these policies, investment into Argentina has evaporated, and it has become isolated from the international community."

Why didn't he just say that Argentina needs to play by the current global rules and impoverish further its people so a corporate that made bad decisions can be bailed out.

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