Het vleugellam maken van de 'vulture funds'

NEW YORK – Temidden van het huidige debat tussen Argentinië en de 'vulture funds' die de staatsobligaties van het land in handen hebben tekent zich een brede consensus af over de noodzaak van 'sovereign-debt restructuring mechanisms' (SDRMs, mechanismen ter herstructurering van de staatsschuld). Als die er niet komen zal de uitspraak van de Amerikaanse federale rechter Thomas P. Griesa dat Argentinië de fondsen volledig schadeloos moet stellen (nadat 93% van de andere obligatiehouders akkoord zijn gegaan met een schuldsanering) opportunistische beleggers de vrije teugel geven om toekomstige schuldsaneringen te saboteren.

Onlangs heeft de International Capital Market Association (ICMA, de vereniging van de internationale kapitaalmarkten) nieuwe voorwaarden aanbevolen voor staatsobligaties. Hoewel het voorstel van de ICMA de honderden miljarden aan obligaties die onder de oude voorwaarden zijn uitgeschreven ongemoeid laat, komt het er in feite op neer dat Griesa's interpretatie verkeerd is en erkent het dat het overeind houden van de uitspraak een schuldsanering onmogelijk zal maken.

De door de ICMA voorgestelde contractuele termen verhelderen de pari passu clausule die ten grondslag ligt aan de ondoordachte uitspraak van Griesa. De bedoeling van die clausule – een standaardcomponent van staatsobligatiecontracten – was dat het uitgevende land identieke obligatiehouders gelijk zou behandelen. Maar het is altijd zo geweest dat bepaalde crediteuren – bijvoorbeeld het Internationale Monetaire Fonds – anders worden behandeld.

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