Tall Ship Libertad back home

In Boats, Polytricks on January 10, 2013 at 8:53 am

The Argentinian Training vessel Libertad is back home now after escaping the clutches of the Vulture Funds.  It was unlawfully impounded in Ghana by court request from Elliott Management Corporation, a vulture fund.  It spent two months in detention until the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ruled unanimously that its seizure was illegal due to it being a military training vessel.

Of course there is a tale to be told about how this vessel came to be impounded in Ghana in the first place.  Argentina went through a terrible economic crisis in the 90’s.  It defaulted on $93 billion debt and floated its currency resulting in massive inflation.

Under huge pressure to repay this massive debt, mostly owned to private banks, Argentina fought hard to keep from destroying its national economy to repay the debt.  It managed to renegotiate three quarters of its bonds down to 25 cents on the dollar, but a quarter of the debt holders have held out in the hopes of a better deal.

Vulture funds are one of the worst expressions of capitalism.  These ‘funds’ buy up risky debt for pennies on the dollar and then shake down usually impoverished Third World countries for repayment.  President Cristina Kirchner is right to call these sleazy creeps “anarchist capitalists”.  Their existence is a clear example that ‘the market knows best’ neo-liberal dogma is complete bullshit.


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