Argentina Rebels Against America's "Judicial Colonialism"

Tyler Durden's picture

The ongoing debacle surrounding Argentina's holdout over holdouts appears to be escalating (in rhetoric at least) once again. As Reuters notes, negotiations or voluntary payment by Fernandez's government appear almost impossible. Economy Minister Hernan Lorenzino called Griesa's ruling "a kind of judicial colonialism". "The only thing left is for Griesa to order them to send in the (U.S. Navy's) Fifth Fleet," Lorenzino told reporters, outlining Argentina's plans to file an appeal against Griesa's ruling with the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York on Monday.

A pro-government newspaper, Pagina 12, said Argentina's lawyers - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton - would ask the court to reinstate Griesa's stay on payment to the holdouts and contest his latest ruling in its entirety by arguing that it put future debt restructurings at risk and endangered global financial institutions such as clearing houses and banks acting as payment agents.

Many specialists think it unlikely that the appeals court will reinstate the stay. "It may be an issue of process, but Argentina will struggle to justify why it refuses to pay the $1.3 billion," Eurasia Group analyst Daniel Kerner wrote last week. "Argentina has the resources to meet the payment, so in the end it will be a political decision (and) there does not seem to be any political support for paying the holdouts at all." The Argentina case surely brings into clear view the murkiness of investing in sovereign debt and the increasing difference between ability-to-pay and willingness-to-pay.

 

Via Reuters:

Argentina will make a last-ditch attempt this week to stall a U.S. court ruling that has shaken the nation's strategy to put a 2002 debt crisis behind it and fueled fears of a fresh default.

 

A decade since it staged the biggest sovereign default in history, Argentina faces a stark choice between depositing $1.3 billion before Dec. 15 to pay "holdout" creditors who rejected two debt restructurings, or jeopardizing payments to all its bondholders.

 

About 93 percent of bondholders agreed in 2005 and 2010 to swap defaulted debt from the 2002 default for new paper at a steep discount.

 

But U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa last week ordered Argentina to pay the holdouts, led by Elliott Management Corp's NML Capital Ltd and Aurelius Capital Management, who rejected the swaps and are fighting for full repayment in the courts.

 

The ruling was a huge setback for Argentina's combative, left-leaning President Cristina Fernandez, who calls the holdout funds "vultures" and has vowed never to pay them.

 

It also dismayed investors who took part in the two debt swaps and fear the G20 country will now enter into "technical default" on about $24 billion in restructured debt.

 

Fernandez's decision to vilify holdouts - who are loathed by most Argentines - makes payment a difficult prospect, and a local law prohibits offering a better deal than that given in the swaps. Doing so might expose Argentina to lawsuits from creditors who tendered their paper.

 

On the other hand, another default - albeit a technical default - would tarnish Fernandez's record on managing the economy, deepen Argentina's isolation from global financial markets and hit investment at a time of sluggish growth.

 

Some analysts fear the case's implications could stretch far beyond Argentina and its creditors, hampering future debt restructurings and the operation of global payment systems.

 

The Argentine government is due to pay exchange bondholders at least $3.3 billion in principal and interest in December.

 

But if Griesa's demand for payment of the $1.3 billion into an escrow account for holdouts is upheld by an appeals court and Argentina still refuses to pay, U.S. courts could embargo payments to the creditors who accepted the debt restructurings.

 

Like Argentina, those creditors are preparing to appeal Griesa's ruling, which reflected his growing frustration with feisty statements from Fernandez and other government officials.

 

"These threats of defiance cannot go unheeded," Griesa said in his order, which hit Argentine bond prices.

 

As part of the long legal battle, NML won a court order in early October to seize an Argentine naval vessel during a visit to Ghana, and the ship remains stranded.

 

NML has more outstanding court judgments against Argentina that are not included in this case but it is willing to negotiate and would still consider a combination of cash and bonds to settle the dispute, a source familiar with its position said on condition of anonymity.

 

...

 

'JUDICIAL COLONIALISM'

 

Negotiations or voluntary payment by Fernandez's government appear almost impossible. Economy Minister Hernan Lorenzino called Griesa's ruling "a kind of judicial colonialism".

 

"The only thing left is for Griesa to order them to send in the (U.S. Navy's) Fifth Fleet," Lorenzino told reporters, outlining Argentina's plans to file an appeal against Griesa's ruling with the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York on Monday.

 

A pro-government newspaper, Pagina 12, said Argentina's lawyers - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton - would ask the court to reinstate Griesa's stay on payment to the holdouts and contest his latest ruling in its entirety by arguing that it put future debt restructurings at risk and endangered global financial institutions such as clearing houses and banks acting as payment agents.

 

Many specialists think it unlikely that the appeals court will reinstate the stay.

 

"It may be an issue of process, but Argentina will struggle to justify why it refuses to pay the $1.3 billion," Eurasia Group analyst Daniel Kerner wrote last week. "Argentina has the resources to meet the payment, so in the end it will be a political decision (and) there does not seem to be any political support for paying the holdouts at all."

 

...

 

Griesa's ruling means such payment intermediaries are subject to embargoes on funds destined for exchange bondholders.

...

 

Beyond the appeals court, Argentina's last-remaining legal option in the United States would be the Supreme Court.

 

Some legal experts think the Supreme Court could choose to weigh in on this case because of its implications for debt restructurings at a time of global economic turbulence.

 

U.S. government lawyers have backed Argentina's position on pari passu, or equal treatment. They said that Griesa's orders "could enable a single creditor to thwart the implementation of an internationally supported restructuring plan".

 

However, not everyone thinks the ramifications will be that wide because most bonds issued since Argentina's default contain collective action clauses that make a restructuring deal binding on all creditors.

 

"The pendulum, post Argentina, has swung," said Hans Humes, president of Greylock Capital Management. The New York-based fund shunned the first debt swap, but accepted the same terms five years later in 2010.

 

"We used to have a discussion about what a country is able to pay and (Argentina) broke the mold and we've been forced to sit down and listen to what they want to pay. So in the current case maybe its swinging back in our favor a bit," he added.

 

Securing the U.S. Supreme Court's intervention before the hefty payment on Argentina's growth-linked warrants is due on Dec. 15 appears a remote prospect.

 

An eventual default would deepen Argentina's economic isolation...

 

Paying all the outstanding defaulted bonds would cost up to about $11 billion, equivalent to about a quarter of the foreign currency reserves that Argentina needs to keep servicing its debts in the absence of fresh credit.

 

...

 

"A default on the new bonds must be avoided at all costs," he said. "The (2002) default was incredibly costly for Argentina and this situation could end up causing a new default combined with contempt of court."

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Clueless Economist's picture

Why the photo of that pig Diego Maradona?

The trend is your friend's picture

Strategic Defaults are only smart moves when financial institutions do them, any one else...your a deadbeat

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

"paying your debts is for the little people" Leona Helmsly or was that taxes oh well.

AldousHuxley's picture

argentina after bankruptcy and IMF treatment seem to be rebellious of western powers.

against British re Falkland Islands

against America's judicial colonialism

 

could it be that argentina's major exports are  edible oils, fuels and energy

 

oil countries hate US dollar

however, when your largest export is oil, you are stupid

BullionBoy's picture

Maradona lived more this week than you lived the whole time you've been sporting that goofy goatee, freak.  Who are you to call Maradona names?  What do you know about life and how to live it?  Are you an international superstar and national hero from a young age?  A sportsman?  Or just a freak with a big fat mouth and funny looking facial hair who can't grow a beard?  Diego can grow a beard by the way.

GMadScientist's picture

"Willingness" has always been the issue with this particular set of deadbeats.

Fool me once...shame on USD intervention...fool me twice?

Uh, no, Kirchener, fuck YOU!

steelhead23's picture

So, Argentina worked out a limited default with 93% of its creditors, helping Argentina out of its financial hole, it has escaped, and now you curse them because they won't pay the vultures?  BTW - its now Fernandez, not Kirchner.  The lady works for the people of Argentina and I suspect they strongly support her position on this.  So do I.  Debt vultures are the lowest form of life on Earth.  Let them work for their pound of flesh.

earnulf's picture

Want to see the world economy go to hell in a handbasket.   Tell creditors that ANY country can weasel out of its debts and there won't be any creditors.      Liquidity gone in a heartbeat

Nels's picture

Want to see the world go to hell in a handbasket?  Convince all the muppets that sovereign governments are run by angels and their bonds are as good as gold; get all banks to dump their gold and use the promises of politicians as 'assets'.  We are in that handbasket, and on our way. 

Liquidity should be gone, however painfull it might be, because that is what the arithmetic tells us.  The promises of politicians are always worth zero, except to their owners and they are not us.  The world of muppets is bankrupt, and the loss of liquidity would just mean we've finally realized that fact.

GMadScientist's picture

Then don't borrow the fucking money, shithead.

ceedub's picture

Seems like the lenders were the shitheads no?

Why is it always the borrowers fault because the lender didn't do their due diligence?

Like someone else said before, "strategic default" only applies to the mega beasts and anyone else is a scumbag deadbeat for not paying their debts.  Yea, I'll get right on believing that when I can start feeding at the military industrial complex trough like the real scumbag deadbeats.

Harbanger's picture

But how are the politicians supposed to fund their promises?  Can't raise taxes cause nobody's making any money.  It's a Socialist dilemma.

steelhead23's picture

Pay attention.  What do you imagine would occur if Argentina now paid the 7% that refused to play along with the restructuring?  Why, of course the 93% who took large haircuts would want the same deal.  That would be a severe burden.  Argentina has to play this out.  They may be forced to pay in the end as the nation is obliged to do business with the world, but it would be dumb to capitulate before fully exploiting its options.  It would prove very difficult for Argentina if it gets a hearing before the Supremes, loses, and still continues to default.  I hope they get that hearing.

 

BullionBoy's picture

The U.S. is at least 100 times more broke than Argentina so it seems you're really the chump here moreso than Argentines.  The U.S. is short $1,000,000 to $2,000,000 per taxpayer at the federal level alone and the Argentine debt in limbo is about $200 per taxpayer, so you're the idiot.  Chump.  You're among the biggest deadbeats on the planet and too dumb to even notice.

Disenchanted's picture

 

 

Don't rebel for me Argentina!

stinkhammer's picture

"Where's the money Lebowski? Where's the money Lebowski? Where's the fuckin' money shit head?"

GMadScientist's picture

With Luis de Guindos as "The Jesus".

"Mark it a zero, Donnie!"

Sheeple Shepard's picture

+1

 

Donny: Phone's ringing, Dude. 
The Dude: Thank you, Donny. 

Midas's picture

So you are saying someone needs to shove Cristina's head in the toilet several times?  In Argentina you would have your choice of toilet or bidet.

 

Ever thus to deadbeats.   ---Woo (After urinating on the Dude's rug).

resurger's picture

Reminds me of ISDA "CAC" on Greece!

Dont PAY! And default, Kudos to Argentina

LawsofPhysics's picture

Paper fucking promises.

PMakoi's picture

"The only thing left is for Griesa to order them to send in the (U.S. Navy's) Fifth Fleet," Lorenzino told reporters... wouldn't it be entertaining to see if the banksters run the Pentagon too?  The "soldiers" of the finance Dons??  "Pay up or we break your legs!"

GMadScientist's picture

Please present your Oligarchy Membership Card (with exclusive non-peasant priveleges).

Disenchanted's picture

 

 

"wouldn't it be entertaining to see if the banksters run the Pentagon too?"

Oh they do...see Smedley Butler's War Is A Racket

 

And let us not forget the bankers who financed the great war. If anyone had the cream of the profits it was the bankers. Being partnerships rather than incorporated organizations, they do not have to report to stockholders. And their profits were as secret as they were immense. How the bankers made their millions and their billions I do not know, because those little secrets never become public – even before a Senate investigatory body.

toady's picture

Actually, this is one of the arguments in my end-of-the-world thesis.

The US 1% has rigged the worlds economy so everyone must pay them, and they are allowed to default on anybody they wish (CDS).

So what happens when actual events don't go as planned? Someone refuses to pay, or refuses to allow a default?

That's the quickest way to WWIII in my opinion. If this ball starts rolling, first Argentina, then all of South America, then the US defaults on China ...

Well, I 'll just keep my eye on this one and think happy thoughts!

CPL's picture

War is VERY energy intensive.  VERY. 

Moving people and equipment around, not to mention you've got the largest consumer of energy on the planet even with technological efficiencies.  Then there are remote colonies under the USF banner which have gone up in operational costs by around 2500%. 

The world will not provide the energy needed.  Out of need of Oil.  There simply isn't enough energy to finish a conventional war of any kind.  Only war that can be launched now is a nuclear one.

 

One single fuck up, just a single one is all that is needed to miss food delivery, water for a city, diesel for an aging nuclear power infrastructure.  Could be anything at this point in time.  My bet is they print more MUNY and by unintended consequences of inflation more bases are closed and we start to read about homeless soldiers/families ON duty and enlisted.

BurningFuld's picture

If I was Argentina I'd call out the USA on this whole currency bullshit. The USA has defaulted on it's currency. The same currency people in Argentina have to work for and sell their resources for then scrape together enough to pay these vultures back...the good ol' USA just prints??? 40 Billion a month??? Fuck that!

Harbanger's picture

"The same currency people in Argentina have to work for and sell their resources for... "

FYI- It is illegal to use or save US dollars in Argentina.

StychoKiller's picture

It's also illegal to snort cocaine, yet it still goes on.

CPL's picture

We all know what comes next.

 

Mining strikes and embargos.  Argentina had a place to ask for assistance last time it's economy collapsed.  This time though.  Everyone is broke.  Everyone.

 

The US couldn't afford to send the Fifth fleet or it will lose the Pacific forever to China.  China knows the score and it's waiting for a mistake with it's biggest trading partner.  It would want nothing more than to fly a Chinese flag on all ships delivering goods across the pacific.  Of course that is happening, faster would be China's preference as it would be anyone's.

 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-20/china-grabs-share-in-latin-amer...

http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2012-11/12/content_15918660.htm

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2012-10/28/content_15851712.htm

PMakoi's picture

Kiribati!  Post that flag on your stern and save some dough!

 

chubbar's picture

This case should illustrate perfectly the danger of having either or both a one world currency and one world gov't. Imagine having no alternative other than paying a creditor at the risk of starving your nation (not saying this is the case here)?

Bonds and other investments have risk. The investors should be in charge of their own due diligence and suffer the consequences of bad choices. Argentine obviously is/was poorly managed, let all the investors suffer. A sovereign country shouldn't have to go hat in hand asking for favorable court rulings from a court outside of it's sovereignty.

Imagine a one world gov't that controls each soveriegn gov't and imposes whatever draconian repayment plan it feels like. How about a one world currency that doesn't allow each country to control the trade value of it's own currency? The majority of the worlds nations would eventually find itself in the exact situation of Greece today where it can't pay it's debt and can't print/trade it's way out of it either. Permanent enslavement.

Joshua Falken's picture

That is the thanks Obama gets for backing Argentina over the Falklands sovereignty against Britain.

 

Obama manages to upset and alienate the British and then gets rolled over by Argentina

 

No wonder respect for Washington evaporates by the minute

 

Wake up America the newly elected emperor still has no clothes on 

NotApplicable's picture

What do the machinations of a puppet have to do with anything in the REAL world?

Lemme guess, voter?

dwdollar's picture

Convincing America to wake up is like convincing an addict (who hasn't hit bottom yet) to quit. In other words... ain't gonna happen. So what's your plan B?

TruthHunter's picture

 Joshua Falken says "Obama...rolled over by Argentina"

 Isn't it more like rolled over by Romney's buddies at the holdouts?

It looks to me like  Elliott Management Corp's NML Capital Ltd and Aurelius Capital Management

are gumming up the works.  Why do they deserve a better deal?  To throw egg on Obama's face?

Mercury's picture

As part of the long legal battle, NML won a court order in early October to seize an Argentine naval vessel during a visit to Ghana, and the ship remains stranded.

 

And eventually such seized collateral/assets will have to be sold. 

Yes it would be awesome if Zero Hedge ends up with the Argentine navy's sail training ship and continues to harass financial tyranny from the borderless wilds of the high seas. No landbound secret and secure base of opperations will remain invulnerable as the day of reckoning draws nigh!


Pass the hat.

machineh's picture

The Zerohedge Tall-Ship Investment Cruise?

COOL!

Sign me up if Banzai7 will be on the speakers list.

q99x2's picture

It is not the country of the United States but the banksters and Washington DC crooks. They are doing the same things to the States of the United States.

Contempt of Court, I bet that really has Argintina trembling.

Shizzmoney's picture

Argentina is playing legislative tennis against a wall here.

The bankers ALREADY run the Pentagon.  He who writes the checks, makes the "rules" of war.

Of course, those who win wars, often don't follow the rules.

TNTARG's picture

Banksters run the whole show in the West. Goldman's guy takes over the Bank of England too.

They run it in the West.

It's interesting. Europe grasps. Shit is everywhere. USA...

Stay tunned.

 

Sudden Debt's picture

Argentina will be able to pull itself up thank to all the strong currencies like the dollar and the euro...

 

Urban Redneck's picture

and the law of unintended consequences will outweigh whatever short term benefit the US government thinks it has achieved.

azzhatter's picture

I'm sure Obuttfuck will just have Bernanke print up the $1.3B for Singer.No reason to squabble when you have a printing press

youngman's picture

The new morality of the world now...borrow money..and don´t pay it bac...governments...people...Business´s...its being taught in our schools...on our TV´s....just steal it now is OK....or lie to get the loan..its OK...lie to get the Federal handouts too..its OK...those rich 2% will pay for it all....

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

youngman, when corzine is in jail your comment has merit..until him and the rest mozillo.....are never even tried well whats good for the goose.

Omen IV's picture

this is a joke right?

the system is rigged by the banks - the borrowers have nothing to do with it other than walk -

the banks believe in caveat emptor for all those who buy the phony paper  - so should the borrower!

 

Louie the Dog's picture

+1

You can always tell by the responses to this type of article how many ZHers made stupid buying decisions and now post here for some misplaced comfort by posting their ad nauseum bansters-are-evil comments.  They could lynch every banker on the planet and still find someone to blame for their idiocy.