Billionaire Paul Singer, founder and CEO of hedge fund Elliott Management Corporation has picked up some major political muscle to press his case in the long-running debt battle with Argentina, reports the New York Post.
The hedge-fund mogul has hired the consulting firm of former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who worked under President Bill Clinton, to lobby for him in Argentina. Carlos Gutierrez, Albright’s co-chair and a former US Commerce Secretary, has been in Argentina trying to mobilize opposition to the government, sources said.
Gutierrez is a former Commerce Secretary under Republican president George Bush.
President Cristina Fernandez has rallied the country around her fight with Singer and other “vultures” that demand to be paid in full. The cry intensified after the country fell in 'selective' default on July 30 on some 15 billion in debt rather than pay Singer and other holdouts, 1.5bn. plus accrued interests.
Last week Cristina Fernandez sent a bill to Congress to skirt the US court order mandating Argentina pay Singer and other so-called holdout investors at the same time it makes payments to those who agreed to swap their bonds and take a 70% haircut.
The bill would allow those bondholders who haven’t been getting paid to swap into Argentine law bonds that wouldn’t be subject to the US court order. Payments would be done through Nacion Fideicomisos instead of trustee Bank of New York Mellon.
Already opponents of the bill have been accused of acting on behalf of foreign interests. However there is growing consensus among the opposition in Congress not to vote the bill, although the government seems to have the sufficient votes.