FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 27, 2012
Argentina Continues Stall Tactics
Legal Experts Cast Skeptical Eye on Argentina’s Anticipated Arguments
Washington, DC (December 27, 2012) – A panel of legal experts today expressed skepticism that Argentina’s arguments would prevail in the pari passu litigation, on the eve of the Republic’s latest filing with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
“Argentina’s claim that the pari passu clause will cause chaos in world markets is inaccurate,” said Richard Samp, Chief Counsel for the Washington Legal Foundation. “The Second Circuit specifically recognized that Argentina is a unique case, and that sovereign debtors can avoid Argentina’s predicament by including non-voluntary collective action clauses in their bondholder agreements, like Greece has done in the past.”
The legal experts’ consensus was that this stage of the litigation should not be viewed as calling into question the validity of the Second Circuit’s October 26 holding that the pari passu clause is valid and enforceable. The Second Circuit held that the pari passu clause, or “equal treatment provision” prevents Argentina from paying creditors who participated in restructurings without at the same time paying those creditors who did not.
Professor John Baker Jr., a Visiting Fellow at Oriel College, University of Oxford, said, “The Second Circuit should be applauded for determining that Argentina must be bound by its contractual commitment to treat creditors equally, and Argentina’s claims that holdouts do not deserve to be paid are a clear strategy meant to continue avoiding the payment of billions of dollars it owes bondholders. Under Argentina’s logic, debt contracts would be irrelevant.”
“Tomorrow, over a decade after defaulting on an unprecedented $81 billion worth of bonds, Argentina is expected to file a brief in the latest stage of NML vs. Republic of Argentina. This will continue its persistent efforts to avoid paying debts owed to bondholders in the United States and around the world,” said Robert Raben, executive director of the American Task Force Argentina. “It is time for Argentina to reach into its vast reserves and honor its financial obligations.”
The legal experts today participated in a media teleconference, Argentina's 2nd Circuit Appeal: What to look for in the Pari Passu Case on the eve of Argentina's filing. The experts focused on the latest developments in NML vs. Republic of Argentina, also known as the “pari passu case.” Argentina is expected to file tomorrow an appellate brief before the Second Circuit in the case.
Judge Thomas P. Griesa of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on November 21 had issued an order that would enforce the Second Circuit’s October 26 holding. On November 28, the Second Circuit stayed Judge Griesa’s order and set forth a series of filing deadlines for briefs from various parties to the case, to occur over the coming weeks. Oral argument in the case is scheduled for February 27.
The American Task Force Argentina (ATFA) is an alliance of organizations united for a just and fair reconciliation of the Argentine government’s 2001 debt default and subsequent restructuring. Our members work with lawmakers, the media, and other interested parties to encourage the United States government to vigorously pursue a negotiated settlement with the Argentine government in the interests of American stakeholders.