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I read this entry on the front page of this blog titled ONE Vote '08 Attacks Worldwide Poverty As A Root Cause and at the Huffington Post: Ben Affleck: Join One Vote '08. I'd like to know why neither of them addressed the problem of the Vulture Funds? Greg Palast has done some excellent reporting on the subject, and I think we need to ask those promoting one Vote '08 what they plan to do to stop the vultures, and why they've been deadly silent on the issue.

Greg Palast has done some excellent reporting on the story of the vulture funds as was noted in this diary Why He Slept In! Another Bush Scandal which made the recommended list here. Democracy Now! has also done some excellent reporting on the issue, and here's their latest:

Conyers Hunts Vultures- PT 1

Part 2- Conyers Hunts Bush's Vultures

Greg Palast also did a report on the BBC on the issue of the vulture funds:

Greg Palast Reports: BBC NewsNight- Vulture Funds

Greg Palast Reports- Part 2 of BBC NewsNight Vulture Bond

Here's the beginning of the transcript from Greg Palast's interview on Democracy Now!:

At the close of the G-8 Summit in Germany last Friday, leaders of the world’s richest countries reiterated their commitment, first made in 2005, to cancel all of the debt owed by the world’s poorest countries. However, so-called "vulture funds," or companies that buy up third world debt at rock-bottom prices and then sue the countries for the full value and more, are undermining any promises of debt relief.
In February, BBC investigative journalist Greg Palast exposed on Democracy Now! how one vulture fund, Donegal International owned by US resident Michael Sheehan, was trying to collect $40 million dollars from Zambia after buying one of its debts for $4 million dollars. Soon after, Congressman John Conyers and Congressman Donald Payne brought this up with President Bush, and urged him to ensure that the G-8 summit would close the legal loopholes that allow vulture funds to flourish. Greg Palast produced this report for BBC Newsnight last week.

Here's my question. If those that support One Vote '08 really care about the issue of poverty, why aren't they drawing attention to the problem of the vulture funds? In my opinion, this would be the perfect opportunity to draw some attention to the problem, and to pressure George Bush to put an end to the vultures. If anyone here is supporting One Vote '08, I hope you ask them to address this problem and bring it into the limelight so the poor of the world get their money instead of it going into the hands of their corrupt politicians, and corrupt Bush campaign donors. Enough is enough, and if those who are running this new campaign can't address one of the biggest problems we've got going on right now with aid not making its way to the poor, then what worth does their organization have?

Originally posted to uniongal on Mon Jun 18, 2007 at 07:43 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PaulVA, marina, smkngman, NovatoBon, Faheyman

    getting some answers. If anyone can tell me how One Vote '08 will be different from the status quo, I'd love to hear it. If not, let's ask these people to do the right thing, and put an end to the vultures for once and for all by putting them in the lime light.

  •  This is as low as low goes (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, uniongal, Faheyman

    Absolutely horrendous.  More people need to be aware of this and this needs to be on the rec list at least and talked about at length.

    Great diary!

    Pass the Employee Free Choice Act!

    by PaulVA on Mon Jun 18, 2007 at 08:02:23 AM PDT

  •  This issue could not be more important! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, uniongal

    The visual of the vulture tracking the starving African child says it all....   It should be the lead story in the nightly news until it's resolved.
    There's a special place in Hell for anyone who would even consider such despicable behavior.

  •  ONE is not acting alone... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The ONE Campaign is working with over a hundred partner organizations.  In particular, Jubilee has taken  the lead on Debt cancellation and vulture funds.  

    While the focus for ONE and ONE Vote '08 is to keep the pressure up in addressing the emergency of extreme poverty and preventable disease, especially in Africa, ONE supports efforts across the board to address these critical issues.

    There's been a lot of advancement on the issue of Vulture Funds, for example, last week Rep. Maxine Waters introduced the 2007 Jubilee Act to expand debt cancellation which includes this language about Vuture funds.  

    From the Jubilee Act of 2007:

    The Jubilee Act will make 67 of the world's poorest countries eligible for complete debt cancellation by the United States, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and other bilateral and multilateral creditors. In order to receive debt cancellation, the governments of these countries will be required to allocate the savings from debt cancellation towards spending on poverty-reduction programs. They will also have to engage interested parties within their societies, including a broad cross-section of civil society groups, in the spending allocation process; produce an annual report on this spending; and make it publicly available.

    Countries would be excluded from receiving debt cancellation under the Jubilee Act if they have an excessive level of military expenditures; provide support for acts of international terrorism; fail to cooperate on international narcotics control matters; or engage in a consistent pattern of human rights violations. Countries also would be excluded if they lack transparent and effective budget execution and public financial management systems to ensure that the savings from debt cancellation would be spent on reducing poverty.

    The Jubilee Act will establish a framework for responsible lending in order to preserve the benefits that debt cancellation has provided to poor countries and their people. The Jubilee Act requires the United States Secretary of the Treasury to take action to end the predatory practices of "vulture funds," private investment funds that buy up the debts of poor countries at reduced prices just before these countries receive debt cancellation and then sue these countries to recover the original value of the debts plus interest. Finally, the Jubilee Act will require the Secretary of the Treasury to develop and promote policies to prevent bilateral, multilateral and private creditors from eroding the benefits of debt cancellation through irresponsible or exploitive lending.

    The Jubilee Act will expand debt cancellation to all needy and deserving poor countries and preserve the benefits that debt cancellation has provided to impoverished people worldwide. I urge all of my colleagues to support this important legislation to reduce poverty through much needed debt cancellation reforms.

    ...for the last six years the position of leader of the free the world has remained open. And it's time to fill that role... - Barack Obama

    by 5oclockshadow on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 08:00:48 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for the information... (0+ / 0-)

      and this is the sort of response I was hoping for when posting this diary. I'm sorry it came so late. All I know is that when I read the article here about One Vote '08 and the article on the HuffPo, the vulture funds were not mentioned. I would like to see more emphasis placed on that part of their campaign so the practice of the vulture funds can be ended and pressure can be placed on President Bush to do something about the vultures NOW.

  •  The ONE Campaign's Focus on the Jubilee Act (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The ONE Campaign has made the passage of the Jubilee Act recently introduced by Reps. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Max Bachus (R-AL) a legislative priority for 2007.  Jubilee USA is one of the ONE Campaign’s over 100 partners from the development community, and ONE has been working closely with Jubilee USA to mobilize around the Jubilee Act of 2007, which includes provisions to address the alarming growth in "vulture funds".  ONE’s 2.4 million members will be mobilized to contact their members of congress to support the Jubilee Act, particularly in the fall.  

    For text of the Jubilee Act of 2007 and its language on vulture funds, see here: [PDF]

    For the ONE Vote ’08 presidential platform, see here [PDF]

    We can't thank the author of this diary enough for bringing much-needed attention to this critical issue.  There's hope and progress afoot, and this is how things get done - working together.

    •  Thanks for the information... (0+ / 0-)

      and as I said to the other responder to this diary, this is the sort of response I was hoping for when posting this diary. I'm sorry it came so late. All I know is that when I read the article here about One Vote '08 and the article on the HuffPo, the vulture funds were not mentioned. I would like to see more emphasis placed on that part of their campaign so the practice of the vulture funds can be ended and pressure can be placed on President Bush to do something about the vultures NOW.

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