We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Greece: here come the vulture funds

Click here to access article by Nick Dearden from Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt.

When banks and other lending agencies give up on a sovereign debt, they sometimes sell these debts to private debt holders often referred to as vulture funds. 
Vultures "invest" in the sovereign debt of countries facing crisis – meaning they can buy debt cheap. They then "hold out" against any form of write-down on this debt. By doing this, they hope to get paid out in full. Given they paid a fraction of the value of the debt, getting full repayment represents an enormous profit.
Vulture fund companies have a variety of methods, not always successful, of forcing payment from countries. Read all about it here.