G20 Finance Ministers Discuss Global Economic Stability

G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meet today and tomorrow in Baden-Baden, Germany.

"Debt reduction, tackling global tax avoidance and trade policies are being discussed at the G20," stated Jubilee USA's executive director Eric LeCompte who tracks the meetings. "Already we see some new dynamics on issues like trade with new leadership coming from Washington."

It is the first G20 meeting for new Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. In recent years G20 leaders seemed to use the same playbook on trade policies. President Trump was elected criticizing trade policies previously supported by the G20. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble is pressing for common statements on trade.

"There is a lot of pressure at this meeting to get leaders on the same page on trade," said LeCompte. "Generally, I'm concerned about continuing progress on debt and transparency issues."

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Eric LeCompte Featured in Public Finance International

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently featured in Public Finance International speaking on debt and interest rates. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.

Fed Increases Interest Rates as US Economy Gains Momentum

By: Emma Rumney

"Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA, which advocates for a fairer financial system for developing countries, said: 'Over the last few years, poor countries took out more loans from wealthy countries because interest rates were so low.

'As the Fed raises rates and the dollar becomes stronger, many poor countries will see debt payments going up. Too many poor countries are still struggling to recover after the global financial crisis and I’m worried about their increasing debt burdens.'"

Read more here.

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Federal Reserve Raises Rates and Poor Countries Pay More Debt

Eric LeCompte, the Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA, releases the following statement on the Federal Reserve raising interest rates by .25 points:

"Over the last few years, poor countries took out more loans from wealthy countries ‎because interest rates were so low. As the Fed raises rates and the dollar becomes stronger, many poor countries will see debt payments going up.

"Too many poor countries are still struggling to recover after the global financial crisis and I'm worried about their increasing debt burdens."

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Puerto Rico Religious Leaders Ask Congress to Pass Debt Crisis Actions

"‎As religious leaders in Puerto Rico, we urge you to act on behalf of the 3.4 million American citizens living on the island," wrote two prominent ministers to Congress about ‎policies to help the debt-troubled island. Archbishop Roberto González Nieves and Bible Society leader Reverend Heriberto Martínez-Rivera want Congress to adopt health care and child tax benefit recommendations proposed by the bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Economic Growth in Puerto Rico. 

"Our people are suffering," the religious leaders write in a letter sent to Congress. "Nearly 60% of our children live in poverty and thousands of our brothers and sisters flee to the US mainland each year in search of work, tearing apart families and communities."

The Congressional task force estimates that extending the Child Tax Credit would generate roughly $3 billion for the island's economy. Congress created this task force as part of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act, or PROMESA, which passed to address the financial crisis last June.

"I'm grateful that Congressional leadership supports these recommendations," stated Jubilee USA director Eric LeCompte, who advises the religious leaders on Puerto Rico's debt crisis. LeCompte testified to Congress and the oversight board on solving the crisis. "Congress needs to follow through on its part to resolve the crisis."

On March 13th, the Financial Oversight and Management Board of Puerto Rico, also created by PROMESA, approved the latest fiscal plan presented by the island's Governor. The approved plan enables Puerto Rico to pursue debt restructuring negotiations with the island's creditors. The oversight board predicts that Puerto Rico must make deep debt cuts as high as 80% to resolve the crisis. A halt on debt lawsuits against Puerto Rico ends in May.

"In your important work in addressing the island's financial and developing humanitarian crisis, we pray you will weigh any decision that you make in light of how it impacts our children and the children of future generations," González and Martínez write in their letter to Congress. "These children played no role in creating this crisis but stand to lose the most if we do not resolve it. ‎"

Read the full letter the religious leaders wrote to Congress

Read the Congressional Task Force on Economic Growth in Puerto Rico's recommendations 

Read more about the task force

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Eric LeCompte Featured in teleSUR

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently featured in teleSUR speaking on Puerto Rico. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.

Puerto Rico Debt Control Board Orders Harsh Austerity Measures

By: Staff

"'A deep cut in Puerto Rico's debt is now needed as the oversight board previously noted,' Eric LeCompte, executive director of the religious development group Jubilee USA, said in a statement Monday. 'Without enough debt relief to bring the debt back to sustainable levels, no fiscal plan can be enough for economic recovery.'

'As any fiscal plans are implemented, special attention must be paid to protecting vulnerable communities,' he added."

Read more here.

 

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Oversight Board Accepts Puerto Rico Fiscal Plan

During its New York City meeting, the Financial Oversight and Management Board of Puerto Rico accepted a revised fiscal plan from the island's Governor. The board rejected an earlier version of the plan last week.

Eric LeCompte is the Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA. He testified to the oversight board and to Congress on the island's debt crisis. LeCompte releases the following statement:

"A deep cut in Puerto Rico's debt is now needed as the oversight board previously noted. Without enough debt relief to bring the debt back to sustainable levels, no fiscal plan can be enough for economic recovery.

"As any fiscal plans are implemented, special attention must be paid to protecting vulnerable communities.

"In the coming weeks if negotiations fail to achieve the needed debt reduction, the oversight board should move forward the official bankruptcy process as outlined by Congress."

Read more about the fiscal plan

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Puerto Rico Oversight Board Rejects Fiscal Plan

The Financial Oversight and Management Board of Puerto Rico rejected Governor Ricardo Rosselló's fiscal plan. Governor Rosselló has until March 11th to submit a revised plan for board approval.

Eric LeCompte is the Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA and he testified to Congress and the oversight board on the island's financial crisis. LeCompte releases the following statement:

"The crisis in Puerto Rico is worsening and we need to protect vulnerable populations.

"The island needs significant debt relief and an economic plan that supports economic growth."

Read the board's rejection

Read the governor's fiscal plan

Read more about the fiscal plan

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Eric LeCompte Featured in Financial Advisor

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently featured in Financial Advisor speaking on tax and transparency. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.

Treasury Eyes Money Laundering In Luxury Real Estate

By: Thomas Kostigen

"The reason title insurance companies are being drawn into regulations is because cash transactions of real estate aren’t monitored. Banks and mortgage companies, however, do have controls for detecting money laundering activities.    

'Luxury real estate transactions can be used to launder money,' affirmed Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA, a nonprofit that lobbies for financial reforms, in a prepared statement. Further, such purchases can support tax evasion and drive up real estate prices, he said."

Read more here

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Eric LeCompte Featured in The Guardian

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently featured in The Guardian speaking on tax and transparency. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.

Donald Trump Lifts Anti-Corruption Rules in 'Gift to the American Oil Lobby'

"Eric LeCompte, executive director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA, said: 'In the short term, we lost a tool that can help track the billions of dollars lost to corruption and tax evasion in the developing world. Now we need to be sure that the new rule that the Securities and Exchange Commission writes will be a rule that can still stop corruption.'

Jubilee USA, which represents over 650 faith groups, fought for the passage of the Cardin-Luger rules in 2010 as a way of tackling bribery and corruption in developing countries that it argues exacerbate conflict and poverty. 'Improving financial transparency and ending global poverty are two sides of the same coin,' said LeCompte."

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Eric LeCompte Featured in The Guardian

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently featured in The Guardian speaking on transparency. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.

Campaigners Fear Trump Resolution Could Hit Coffers of Poor Countries

By: Ben Quinn

“'It really was in many ways a new model for being able to monitor illicit financial flows and why so much revenue was being lost in resource-rich countries in the developing world,' said Eric LeCompte, executive director of the religious development group Jubilee USA and one of the original drafters of the provision.

“'Equatorial Guinea is a place where you can really see the impact of this and why Cardin-Lugar is needed. It’s actually one of the most resource-rich countries in the world. It should be like Singapore in terms of how they have dealt with their resources, yet three-quarters of their population live in poverty.'"

Read more here.

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