Vulture Funds

Where to start with this one… how about a Greg Palast report from 2007? It’s a bit dated, but highly pertinent. It’s six minutes long, and it’s free. It also didn’t air in the USA, except on LinkTV. When it aired in England, it led to a change in the law to prevent vulture funds from turning third-world debt relief into a cash cow.

US Representative John Conyers, who watches Palast on the BBC, walked into the Oval Office and confronted George Bush himself about the issue. Bush denied knowing anything about it, and Conyers let Bush know that he knew about it. Bush did nothing about it. Neither has Obama. In the meantime, US-based vulture funds continue to sue third-world nations for the full value of discounted debt. In many cases, that means US aid given directly to a foreign nation winds up in the bank account of a vulture fund manager.

Who are these guys? One is Paul E. Singer. Singer happens to be the biggest Republican donor in New York City, and was associated with both the Giuliani and McCain campaigns in 2008. Singer’s money paid for the 527 Swift Boat Veterans group that brought down the John Kerry campaign in 2004. Following his associations through Elliott Associates and Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer, and Feld, LLP, we see connections with that firm and both the Republican and Democratic parties’ 2008 conventions. We also find that that LLP lobbies for Bechtel, Boeing, lots of Indian Tribes with gambling interests, Anheuser-Busch, General Electric, Honeywell, AT&T, ADM, and many more powerful clients. I would gather that such connections afford them a great deal of political protection to continue their practices of bribery and extortion of third-world nations. They’re murdering to get gain. Yes, the murders are indirect, but they are murders nonetheless. Making a murder deliberately indirect is just as immoral as premeditated murder.

This is not to say that Singer is Republican only. With the change in political winds, he’s sponsored fundraisers for Democrat politicians from New York, including former representative Eric Massa, who resigned his post for health reasons. Also because Democrat leadership got after him for opposing the health reform bill. Also also because he was being investigated by the House Ethics Committee for sexual misconduct directed at a young male staff member. Great guys, these fellows Singer chooses to support. While Massa was in the House, he sponsored a bill to make sure bankrupt, impoverished nations pay every penny demanded by vulture funds.

I used to believe economists when they said market forces should be used to resolve world problems. I now think that’s a load of rubbish. The real meaning of that statement is that once those market forces become operative, they will be perverted to make the world problem even worse.

A 2010 follow-up that focuses on Liberia is also available.

“And Cain said: Truly I am… the master of this great secret, that I may murder and get gain… and he gloried in his wickedness.” – Moses 5:31

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