Myths and Realities

Sep 1, 2005

Hedge fund Elliott Associates answers critics of its role in Argentina's debt restructuring and calls for changes in the IMF's approach to financial crises.

Activist investors are routinely derided as "vultures" and "rogue creditors."  A June editorial in LatinFinance entitled "Of Judges and Vultures" was no exception. It asserted that our firm, Elliott Associates, bought defaulted Argentine debt to force Argentina to pay in full, that we – and holders of over $20 billion of bonds not tendered into Argentina's recent debt exchange – now hold "worthless" paper, that the US Second Circuit ruling on attachment "vindicate[d] the exchange mechanism," and that "vultures...took a risk and lost" and "should pay the price." In addition, the editorial asserted that Elliott owned defaulted Nicaraguan debt – which is not true – and was involved in litigation in that country, which is also not true.

First, Elliott bought the bulk of its Argentine debt well before the country's December 2001 default. Rather than intending to "force" Argentina to pay in full, we believed that...

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