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“Vulture Fund” Company Wins $20 Million Payment from Zambia on $4 Million Debt
Thursday, February 15th, 2007
Watch the BBC Newsnight investigative report on BBC Newsnight — or at Democracy Now! with Palast and Amy Goodman.

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“Vulture fund” companies buy up the debt of poor countries at cheap prices, and then demand payments much higher than the original amount of the debt, often taking poor countries to court when they cannot afford to repay.

Investigative journalist Greg Palast reports on one company that has won the right to collect $20 million from the government of Zambia after buying its debt for $4 million. In his recent State of the Union address, President Bush declared the United States was taking on the challenges of global hunger, poverty and disease, and urged support for debt relief, which he called the best hope for eliminating poverty.
But what exactly are wealthy nations doing to reduce the debt of impoverished countries?
Today we take a close look at companies known as “vulture funds.” Vulture fund companies buy up the debt of poor countries at cheap prices, and then demand payments much higher than the original amount of the debt, often taking poor countries to court when they cannot afford to repay.
For an in-depth look at this issue, we turn to a BBC Newsnight documentary by investigative reporter Greg Palast. Greg Palast’s BBC report on vulture funds. Today a high court judge in London ruled on the case that a vulture fund can extract more than $20 million from Zambia for a debt which it bought for just $4 million. To tell us more about this case and more we now turn to Greg Palast.
LATEST UPDATE — Zambia Loses ‘Vulture Fund’ Case
Greg Palast. Investigative reporter for the BBC on this story is author of the books “Armed Madhouse”, “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy” and “Democracy and Regulation.”
The BBC Newsnight report was produced by Meirion Jones, BBC London; Rick Rowley, videographer/editor. Investigative research by Matt Pascarella, New York.

Conyers Confronts Bush On Vulture Bonds

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about how your meeting went with the President yesterday?
REP. JOHN CONYERS: Well, we talked essentially about Iraq, Katrina and the domestic breakdown that’s going on right now. But it was my job, I felt, to raise the whole question of this bond speculation that goes on at the expense of poor debtor countries, in which their debt is bought up and then they’re sued for the full amount. It’s bought up at pennies on the dollar,

BBC Newsnight Report:'Vulture Fund' Threat to Zambia

Greg Palast reporting for BBC Newsnight First Broadcast 15 February 2007 WATCH THE REPORT (Democracy Now! Re-Broadcast) READ ABOUT IT Note: Due to the BBC player link being currently broken we are temporarily providing a link from Democracy Now! which re-aired the program

Exxon-erated! Palast Escapes Clutches of Homeland Security

HUFFINGTON POST- EAT THE PRESS | Scott Thill
Good news from the edge of reality: Exxon has changed its mind. It was only days ago that they were employing the help of their subsidiary known as the Department of Homeland Security to put a Gitmo scare into Greg Palast and Matt Pascarella for filming the oil powerhouse’s Baton Rouge refinery — and about a thousand Katrina refugees being held behind barbed wire near it