EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Vulture Fund Owner Wins Debt Payment from Zambia
But Faces Possible Indictment at Home
A British court has ordered the government of Zambia to pay the “vulture fund” company Donegal International 15 and a half million dollars. Donegal is owned by the US company Debt Advisory International. But investigative journalist Greg Palast reveals a new development
“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.
Listen — Watch — Read the Report — Read 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.
by Ashley Seager, Economics Correspondent
Thursday February 22, 2007
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.
Democracy Now! | Tuesday, February 20th, 2007
In response to Greg Palast’s report last week on BBC and Democracy Now, the debt-relief and economic justice group Jubilee USA is launching a new effort today calling on
Greg Palast reports on Vultures for BBC Newsnight –
By Meirion Jones
February 14, 2007 — On 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.”
By Kavita Puri
Programme producer, BBC Newsnight
Remember Make Poverty History that campaigned to cancel third world debt? And the lofty proclamations by politicians at the G8 in Gleneagles to reduce debt?
Tonight, we have a shocking investigation into vulture funds that make a mockery of these pledges.