News Column

Investors to Supreme Court: Deny Argentine do-over

May 8, 2014

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina's opponents have filed their last arguments with the U.S. Supreme Court, urging justices to deny the South American government's appeal of a $1.4 billion debt ruling because President Cristina Fernandez has repeatedly vowed not to honor any ruling that goes against her.

Argentina wants the court to overturn a ruling it says would provoke a catastrophic default by forcing it to pay $1.4 billion in cash to the investors it calls "vulture funds." These investors, led by billionaire Paul Singer'sNML Capital Ltd., snapped up Argentina's defaulted debt when its economy crashed a decade ago and have litigated ever since, seeking payment in full plus interest even after 92 percent of other bondholders agreed to provide generous debt relief in exchange for regular payments on new bonds.

"Argentina already has made clear that it will not obey any adverse decision on the questions it presents," reads NML's brief, filed just before Wednesday night's deadline.

"Argentina ultimately is not interested in any court's views concerning those questions. By Argentina's lights, it has the final word, and it will recognize a judicial ruling only if it accords with Argentina's conclusions," NML said.

The "Aurelius Respondents," another group of hedge funds and holding companies based in the Cayman Islands and the US state of Delaware to avoid scrutiny and taxes, also filed a brief, urging the justices to deny Argentina's "do-over" request. "A chorus of disinterested parties has recognized that Argentina is without peer in its mistreatment of private-sector creditors," their brief said.

Argentine Cabinet chief Jorge Capitanich dismissed the arguments, saying the funds have spent millions of dollars on "aggressive and bad-faith tactics."

The justices are expected to meet privately in June to decide how to respond. Several days later, the court will likely announce whether it will hear the appeal, turn it down, ask for input from the Obama Administration or send the case back to the New York appeals court for more information.

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Source: Associated Press

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