Sunday, March 31, 2013

Paul Singer v. the people of Argentina

In 2008, seven years after the Government of Argentina defaulted on $95 billion in sovereign debt, hedge funds managed by Paul Singer bought up some of those defaulted bonds for pennies on the dollar. Ever since, Singer has been using the American courts in an attempt to force Argentina to pay out those bonds at face value.

This case highlights some of the more egregious abuses that finance capital imposes on its host societies. While Singer's distressed-debt investment strategy has made him a wealthy man, has it contributed anything positive to society?

No. Hedge funds like Singer's represent an opportunistic and non-productive pool of capital that seeks to turn legal technicalities and political influence into windfall gains. Hedge-funds are the Rumpelstiltskins of the modern era.

The legal system is their spinning wheel. When lawyers for Singer, a long-time Republican Party insider and huge financial backer, appear in front of judges appointed by Republican presidents, does anyone imagine that the other side will get an impartial hearing?

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