Tag: vultures funds

Obama Lands in Argentina –
Palast on Loud & Clear Radio

Greg Palast 

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 1.47.17 PMToday, President Barack Obama travelled to Argentina to speak with the country’s new President Mauricio Macri.

Marci just concluded a deal paying off US vulture fund operator Paul Singer, a $2.5 billion pay-out which the Argentine government described as “extortion.”

The story of Argentina versus Singer, aka The Vulture, looms hugely over the US Presidential election. As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton attempted to prevent Singer from collecting this “extortion” pay-off from Argentina. Singer, the top donor to the Republican Party, is fuming.

To get the story, listen to Greg Palast on Loud & Clear, …more

The Rubio/Romney Vulture Connection

Greg Palast 

HuffPo reports that former Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney will endorse Senator Marco Rubio. Why? The answer is: the financier known as The Vulture, Paul Singer—donor Number One to the GOP—and top sugar daddy to the Rubio campaign.

Back in 2012, we broke The Nation cover story exposing how Singer, Mitt Romney’s finance chair, secretly stuffed the “blind trust” of Ann Romney with up to $115 million.  For $115 million, a politician will wash your car — with his tongue.  So, of course, Mrs. Romney’s husband will endorse the Vulture’s choice. Blind trust=blind endorsement.

Download Vultures and Vote Rustlers,  the film of Romney’s folly and other Palast team investigations, our best for BBC and Democracy Now! (Or get a signed copy of the DVD!)

More to come on Singer candidate shopping spree in our upcoming movie: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.

You can read more about the Vultures here:

Who Hatched Rubio?

BBC America: Palast Hunts the Vultures

* * * * *

In 2016 Greg Palast will be releasing his new feature film The Best Democracy Money Can Buy—A Tale of Billionaires and Ballot Bandits, which includes his award-winning investigation Jim Crow Returns.

Greg Palast is the author of several New York Times bestsellers including The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, Armed Madhouse and the highly acclaimed Vultures’ Picnic.

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Investigó a Paul Singer y cuenta quiénes pudieron ganarle

Greg Palast 

by Francisco de Zárate for Clarin.com

Investigó a Paul Singer y cuenta quiénes pudieron ganarle

Entrevista con Greg Palast, periodista de la BBC y The Guardian También relata cómo el poderoso titular del fondo buitre NML venció a Perú y al Tesoro de Estados Unidos.

Durante su vida anterior, cuando era detective privado, el estadounidense Greg Palast (62) trabajó para sindicatos, para el Gobierno de Estados Unidos y hasta para los indios nativos de Alaska, a los que ayudó a descubrir un fraude de British Petroleum por el desastre ecológico del petrolero Exxon Valdez en 1989. Hasta que se cansó que ver cómo los reporteros hablaban de su trabajo y se pasó al otro lado: “Me convertí en periodista de investigación de la BBC y The Guardian (Leer la traducción del artículo). No les importaba que supiera o no escribir. Lo que les interesaba era la información”.

Desde Nueva York, Palast habló por teléfono con Clarín sobre Paul Singer. El hombre que maneja el fondo NML y principal demandante de Argentina en el conflicto por la deuda en default, …more

Vulture Financier Attacks
Banned in Britain

Greg Palast 

April 8 – London – Update for In These Times

We’ve stuffed the bird and nailed it to the wall: Today, the British Parliament effectively banned financial vulture funds from the British Isles. The law, merely awaits the expected touch of the Queen’s scepter.

“Vulture funds” are international re-po men who buy up old debt of the world’s poorest nations for pennies on the dollar, then sue for ten to a hundred times what they paid for these old loans. The new UK law, passed unanimously, would would bar financiers from using UK courts to collect more than the sums authorized by the International Monetary Fund. In effect, this stops American predators – such as financiers Eric Hermann, Michael Straus, and Michael Francis “Goldfinger” Sheehan, from siphoning tens of millions of dollars of aid money the US and UK treasuries had earmarked for Liberia, Zambia, Congo and other desperately poor countries.

The first vote in the House of Commons to ban vultures took place on February 26, the day after BBC broadcast our investigation of Vulture Eric Hermann (see it here), but maneuvers by a Conservative MP appeared to have de-railed the law.

In the US Congress, Congresswoman Maxine Waters is sponsoring the Stop VULTURE Funds Act H.R. 2932), whose passage may have to wait upon the election of a Democrat to the White House.

For the original story, see Stop Feeding the Vultures in In These Times.

Stop Feeding the Vultures

Greg Palast 

 For In These Times

I get the idea that Eric Hermann doesn’t want to talk to me. When I came to his office suite, his hedge fund’s name plaque had been unbolted from the building’s wall, the suite number removed and all the employees locked in.

I’m not surprised. Hermann is a vulture, not the carrion-eating type, but the kind that prey on the financially wounded. “Vulture” is a hedge fund industry term for the financiers who buy up the right to collect old loans of the world’s poorest nations, and then use every trick in the book — from lawsuits to bribery to hiring Henry Kissinger’s lobby firm — to muscle destitute countries into turning over their meager foreign aid funds.

Vultures, whether of the feathered or speculator species, don’t like to talk to reporters.

On February 25, the day after BBC Television’s Newsnight ran my report from in front of Hermann’s locked office door, Britain’s Parliament voted to bar vulture funds from using Britain’s courts to grab the assets of poor nations. …more

Getting into Massa’s Drawers:
Truly Creepy Details
about the Congressman

Greg Palast 

Exclusive for Buzzflash.com

For the two weeks before tickle-and-grope charges busted open on him, and before his resignation from Congress, our BBC Television investigations team was hunting for Representative Eric Massa.

We wanted to know what he had hidden in his drawers. Not his knickers, which have captivated America’s peep-show media, but Massa’s file drawers where he keeps his dirtier secrets.

Frankly, I don’t give a rat’s ass about Massa’s creepy little peccadilloes. But I care an awful lot about creeps that quietly backed him.

Massa plays himself as a two-fisted Progressive Democrat, telling the President to jam his fake health care bill where the Rahm don’t shine, and he gave the Iraq war his middle finger. I mean, the guy was on Rachel Maddow.

That’s the television Massa. But what about the Congressman Massa? And why was he ducking us?

I specifically wanted to ask the New York Congressman about Paul Singer: “Swift Boat” Singer, the guy who funded the vile attacks on Presidential Candidate John Kerry. “Swift Boat” Singer — reportedly the biggest funder of the Republican Party in New York. Our information was that the demi-billionaire Singer was backing Massa.

Singer’s nickname isn’t really Swift Boat. It’s “The Vulture.”

Singer is a speculator, the predator-in-chief of the flock of financiers, collectively known as “vultures,” who buy up the right to collect on old loans made to the world’s poorest nations. Vultures use law suits, political muscle, and in some cases, bribery …more

BBC America: Palast Hunts the Vultures

Greg Palast 

Special Report for BBC World News America
Broadcast March, 2, 2010

Some vultures have feathers, but some have fancy offices and huge homes. Tonight, BBC investigative reporter Greg Palast follows the trail of one “vulture fund” chief, from a locked office door in New York to mud-brick houses in Africa.

liberia
Reporter Greg Palast outside the office of New York vulture fund. The name plaque has been removed and the staff locked inside.

How strange. When I arrive at the offices of Eric Hermann at hedge fund FH International, just outside New York City, the company’s corporate sign is unbolted from the wall and the suite number removed from the door.

But wait … I hear noises inside the office. Huh? I knock on the locked door and out steps the office building’s security manager.

“Guys, they don’t want to be interviewed. They don’t want to be seen. So we are going to have to ask you to leave the building.”

“And do you know why they took the sign off?”

His reply to our cameras, “I have no clue.”

But we do.

Mr. Hermann is the principle owner of a so-called “vulture fund” which attempted to seize more than $20 million from the war-wounded nation of Liberia.

Mr. Hermann is known in the finance business as a debt “vulture.” He and his associates buy up the debt of the poorest nations on the planet, usually for pennies on the dollar, then sue or use other means to squeeze the nations to pay ten times, even a hundred times, what the vulture fund paid for the debt.

The effect of Hermann’s financial maneuvers earns little applause in Liberia. In that African democracy, diplomat Winston Tubman tells us what he would say to vulture fund operators, “‘Do you know you are causing babies to die all over Liberia?'”

…more

Vulture Vomit Kills Bill

Greg Palast 

BBCVultures defend themselves by vomiting on their enemies. In Britain last week, terrified vultures puked up a Tory MP named Christopher Chope.

Two weeks ago, the day after the 25 February broadcast of our investigation on BBC Television of financial vultures preying on the world’s poorest nations, the British Parliament voted to effectively put them out of business in the UK. A rare victory for victims.

But last Friday, MP Chope used a Parliamentary gimmick to kill the bill.

Chope, I should say, has not confessed to the deed. The cowardly little piece of vulture puke would not admit he’d put the knife in the back of the law. However, vulture vomit has a truly vile stench, impossible to wash off; so activists were able to sniff him out.

Vulture funds buy up Third World nations’ debts at pennies on the dollar then sue these nations for ten or a hundred times what the funds paid for the securities. The Debt Relief (Developing Countries) Bill would have barred vultures from using UK courts.

Whether the law ultimately takes effect may depend on the outcome of the UK election. Though all parties in the UK back the anti-vulture law, the Conservatives’ commitment is apparently hobbled by some of their members’ preference for dining on the dead.

When I was in West Africa in February, I met with former UN diplomat Winston Tubman, who asked the vultures, “Don’t you know you are causing babies to die all over Liberia?”

Will the honorable MP Mr. Chope answer the question?

Greg Palast’s investigations can be seen on BBC Television Newsnight.
Sign up to receive Palast’s reports at www.GregPalast.com
…more

We Kicked Butt
New Boots Needed

Greg Palast 

A week ago Friday, the day after BBC Television broadcast of our investigative report on Liberia vultures, Britain’s Parliament voted to put an end to the creepy business of financial “vultures” who siphon off aid money through manipulating Third World nations’ debt.

And our prior report on financial tricksters, on Democracy Now!, motivated two congressmen to confront the President personally, in the Oval Office with our findings. And now legislation has jets on in the USA.

We’ve kicked vulture butt, but now we need new boots.

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Greg Palast is an investigative reporter for BBC Newsnight and the author of Armed Madhouse and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.
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MPs move to outlaw Vulture Funds

Greg Palast 

By Meirion Jones
BBC Newsnight

Former UK ministers and MPs from all UK parties are set to back a bill later on Wednesday outlawing the activities of vulture funds, hedge funds which divert debt relief from the poorest countries into their own pockets.

goldfingersheehanThe bill singles out Donegal International and its boss Michael “Goldfinger” Sheehan who was exposed by Newsnight reporter Greg Palast for making a fortune out of Zambia’s debt.

Vulture funds have been condemned by governments around the world as perverse and immoral for preying on the world’s poor.

Developed countries including Britain and the US have spent billions of pounds trying to relieve the debts of the world’s poorest nations so that they can spend that money on health and education.

The vulture fund speculators effectively divert that debt relief to themselves by buying debt for pennies in the pound just as it is about to be written off, and then suing in British or US courts for the full value plus interest.

US outrage

In 2007, Newsnight exposed the activities of Donegal International which bought a tranche of Zambia’s debt for $3m and then sued for $55m – the size of Zambia’s health budget.

Reporter Greg Palast doorstepped Donegal’s boss Michael “Goldfinger” Sheehan who styles himself after the James Bond villain.

…more

Palast Hunts the Real Life Goldfinger for BBC – Watch it on Democracy Now!

Greg Palast 

“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.

ListenWatchRead the ReportRead the Transcipt
“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.

…more

Bush Could Block Debt Collection by ‘Vulture’ Funds

Greg Palast 

by Ashley Seager, Economics Correspondent
Thursday February 22, 2007
Guardian (London)

President Bush could come to the aid of Zambia against a so-called “vulture” fund demanding millions of dollars in debt payments. He is reported to be concerned that investors from the Washington DC area won a court case in Britain last week which enabling them to claim $20m to $40m (£20m) from the poor African nation — as much as it has received in debt relief from rich countries in recent years. …more

Vulture Fund Threat to Third World

Greg Palast 

Greg Palast reports on Vultures for BBC NewsnightWatch the Report
By Meirion Jones
BBC Newsnight

February 14, 2007On Thursday 15 February a high court judge in London will rule whether a vulture fund can extract more than $40m from Zambia for a debt which it bought for less than $4m.
There are concerns that such funds are wiping out the benefits which international debt relief was supposed to bring to poor countries.
Martin Kalunga-Banda, Zambian presidential adviser and a consultant to Oxfam told Newsnight, “That $40m is equal to the value of all the debt relief we received last year.” …more