The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Argentina:
Little Thieves and Big Usurers

Feb 18, 2013

In December 2001, Argentina declared bankruptcy since it was unable to deal with the financial crisis. The big international financial institutions, rather than completely interrupt profitable relations with a debtor nation, accepted to renegotiate Argentina’s debt. Three fourths was written off and the remainder was spread out over a number of years. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) guaranteed the procedure. Inside Argentina, the workers paid for the deal, despite their resistance, with a brutal cut in their standard of living. That solved the debt problem with no pain for international finance.

Argentina was then “banned from banking” on the international financial market, except for making annual payments on its restructured debt. Since then, the Argentine economy has gotten somewhat back on its feet.

But the debt has returned – the part not renegotiated in 2001. At the time, Argentine debt was completely written off; no banker would have agreed to loan money to the Argentine state and still less to buy any of the country’s debt certificates.

But two U.S. hedge funds bought up the remaining debt for a tenth of its value. The “vulture funds” are trying now to get Argentina to pay the full price, increased by ten years of interest, amounting to 1.3 billion dollars. They obtained a New York court ruling and are seizing Argentine state assets to get paid back. The bailiffs showed up to seize an Argentine navy training ship at an African port and to grab the president’s official airplane!

These vultures threaten Argentina – which is incapable of paying everyone – with a new crisis, for which the workers alone will have to pay the costs. Further, they threaten the international financial system that’s already destabilized by the current shock waves.

Armies of lawyers paid a pretty penny for their great competence amass mountains of files to figure out who has the right to pressure the Argentine workers, and in what proportions.

The discussion takes place among their own bourgeoisie, the biggest corporations in the world through the IMF, and of course the vulture funds. And no one questions their criminal “rights,” exercised against the Argentine population.