This is kind of fun, actually.
The Financial Times has had it with the dispute between a group of hedge fund managers and Argentina’s President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. And so — the normally staid publication is letting it’s hair down a little in an effort to call both parties out on their nonsense.
It’s really Fernandez who got the worst pen lashing. The FT’s editorial page wrote that “Ms Fernández has spent too long behaving like a sulky adolescent. It is time to grow up.“
Definitely not what you want to hear as the leader of a G-20 country (or as one of her people), but given the long, drawn out legal battle Argentina has undertaken and the damage its done to the country’s cred ability, the FT may not be off the mark.
Fernandez has, after all, resorted to name-calling. The hedge fund managers, she says, are “vulture capitalists” bent on keeping Argentina low on the global economic pecking order
After Argentina’s economy crashed over a decade ago, most investors holding the country’s sovereign debt were forced to take a haircut of about 70% on their bond holdings. Singer and his cohorts refused, and have since sued Argentina, gotten a Ghanaian Court to impound one of the country’s warships (it was freed from a Ghanaian port after 2 months), and tried to seize the country’s bank account in Brussels.
Belgium, for its part, did not want to get involved. It’s not hard to see why (from the FT):
…Even if the US Supreme Court hears the case, it is unlikely to do so before October 2014. Meanwhile, the holdouts are wracking up legal fees and want to settle. Argentina’s feet are also being held to the fire by a possible technical default. This would further squeeze trade finance, the economy and thus Ms Fernández’s shrinking voter base.
There is no easy way out.