Dec 06 2011
Just prior to the 2010 general election, the UK Labour Government passed a ground-breaking law to clip the wings of predatory Vulture Funds. The UK law enforces internationally agreed relief for the most impoverished countries. Unfortunately, due to a technicality, this law did not apply to Jresey.
Vulture capitalists run Vulture Funds to make profit out of debt. Vulture capitalists make a killing and feed off of other people’s misery. The UK brought in a law to stop Vulture Funds using British courts to prey on the hardship of developing countries. However this law doesn’t yet apply to Jersey.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo should be one of Africa’s richest countries however it has suffered from decades of ravaging civil war. It has a mineral wealth estimated to be around $24 trillion (£15tn). There are huge deposits of cobalt, diamonds, gold, copper, oil and 80% of the world’s supplies of coltan ore – a valuable mineral used in computers and mobile phones.
Yet 100 women a week are still dying in childbirth and 16,000 children under the age of five die every year. One in three children in the DRC will never get anything more than primary education.
One of the reasons the country has been unable to recover is that it is being pursued by international debt speculators, known as Vulture Capitalists through offshore tax havens such as Jersey, for debts that were run up during 30 years of war and civil war.
Vulture funds operate by buying up a country’s debt when it is in a state of chaos. When the country has stabilised, Vulture Funds return to demand millions of dollars in interest repayments and fees on the original debt.
Right now, the Vulture Fund FG Hemisphere is using Jersey’s courts to claim $100m from the Democratic Republic of Congo. They bought this debt for just $3.3m. Jersey’s new Chief Minister shouldn’t turn a blind eye to this; he should extend the UK’s anti-Vulture Funds law to Jersey.
The European Union should also follow the UK Labour Government’s example and introduce such a law to force creditors to take part in debt write-downs and stop the Vultures scavenging.
You can seethem,the Vultures are beginning to circle Greece and Ireland.