Abby Wilhem

  • IMF Warns Climate Impacts on Poor Countries Can Affect Growth and Stability

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released its biannual report on the state of the global economy, predicting that economic growth for several wealthy countries will continue.

    "‎The IMF is warning that poor countries don't have the resources to protect against climate-related changes," noted Eric LeCompte, the Executive Director of Jubilee USA and an expert on United Nation finance groups. LeCompte has tracked IMF economic reports since 2010. "We can look at the string of hurricanes that hit poor Caribbean countries to see that poor economies are not equipped to deal with natural disasters."

    Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are among several Caribbean economies struggling to recover from this year's hurricane season.

    "Beyond dealing with stronger and more frequent storms, the IMF sees vulnerabilities for poor countries who need to deal with food and poverty issues caused by climate changes," commented LeCompte on the climate elements of the report.

    The World Economic Outlook report notes that while growth for some developed countries is on the "upswing," the growth is still lower than expected.

    "While some growth is positive, too many poor and developing countries have yet to recover from the global financial crisis," stated LeCompte.‎

    Read International Monetary Fund's October 2017 World Economic Outlook Report‎


  • The Hill Talks with Eric LeCompte about Puerto Rico

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

    Supreme Court Rules Puerto Rico Can't Restructure Debt

    By: Lydia Wheeler

    “'I think what the decision makes clear is the only real option on the table right now is congressional action,' said Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA. 'Now that the House has passed legislation, it’s incumbent on the Senate to pass its version of the legislation.'

    Read more here.


  • Development Group Says Debt Relief Can Provide Quick-Recovery Aid to Dominica and Puerto Rico

    The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) joins other religious and development groups in their call for ‎debt relief for hurricane-battered Caribbean islands. In a letter to the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the USCCB wrote, "Natural disasters in countries with extremely at-risk economies, like Antigua and Barbuda and others in the Caribbean, can wreak catastrophic and paralyzing impacts on their prospects for further development—including their ability to service their debt responsibly."‎ The letter echoed calls from Caribbean Catholic Bishops to temporarily stop debt payments so that troubled islands can recover.

    "No island should be making debt payments until they can recover, whether we are talking about US territories like Puerto Rico or ‎countries like Dominica," noted Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA.

    Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the USCCB and Bishop Oscar Cantú, Chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace for USCCB, sent the letter to the IMF just after Bishop Gabriel Malzaire, Bishop of Roseau and President of the Antilles Episcopal Conference did the same. Malzaire sent the letter after Hurricane Irma tore through the Caribbean, but before Hurricane Marie struck his home island of Dominica.

    "Sadly, since multiple hurricanes have ravaged the Caribbean, there are many islands in need of immediate aid. Delaying debt payments is one of the fastest ways to move money into recovery and reconstruction efforts," noted LeCompte who serves on UN expert working group‎s that focus on financial crisis.

    Every street and every town in Dominica, home to roughly 73,000 people, was affected according to the island's Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit who lost his own home. Dominica's government says the island is currently without running water and electricity. Power outages are occurring across hurricane-struck islands. The US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are struggling to regain power. ‎Puerto Rico's power company stated that it could take 4 to 6 months to get power fully back in the US territory.

    "The US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico need to ‎focus on the emergency needs of their people, not debt payments," said LeCompte. "Congress, creditors and the territory governments all have a responsibility to free the US citizens on the islands of debt as they recover from these hurricanes."

    Read the USCCB's Letter to the IMF

    Read Jubilee USA's Letter to the IMF

    Read Bishop Gabriel Malzaire's Letter to the IMF

    Read Jubilee USA's Petition for Hurricanes Irma and Maria


  • Catholic News Service Talks with Eric LeCompte on Economic Policy Under the Trump Administration

    Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently featured in Catholic News Service, America Magazine, and Catholic Philly speaking on policies under the incoming Trump Administration. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.

    How Catholic Advocates View the New White House

    By: Dennis Sadowski 

    "In one sense, LeCompte hopes that the practices of predatory hedge funds, trade agreements that fail to consider the needs of workers, and corporate tax avoidance that his agency has addressed with Congress and past White House administrations will resonate with Trump's staff. They are issues Trump has touched on during his campaign rallies in states with large blue-collar communities.

    'We expect all of our issues we work on in terms of how the global economic system works (will receive) a welcome from the White House,' LeCompte said."

    Read more here.


  • The Hill Features Eric LeCompte Op-ed on Puerto Rico

    Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA recently wrote an op-ed for The Hill speaking on Puerto Rico. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.

    Congress, Oversight Board and Stakeholders Must Take Next Steps to Resolve Puerto Rico Crisis

    By: Eric LeCompte

    "A balanced budget and economic growth in Puerto Rico depend on quick action from Congress on the recent bipartisan recommendations from the Congressional Task Force on Economic Growth in Puerto Rico. Congress should ensure that the same healthcare funding and child tax benefits that U.S. citizens receive who live in the 50 states is extended to U.S. citizens living on the island.

    The Financial Oversight and Management Board of Puerto Rico also announced debt restructuring negotiations are moving forward. The board plans to review an updated fiscal plan from Puerto Rico’s new governor. As the oversight board continues its work, it must listen to the varied civil sectors in Puerto Rico, including those who experience some of the worst aspects of the crisis."

    Read more here.


  • Huffington Post Interviews Eric LeCompte on Tax Avoidance

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

    New Developing Nations Leader Has Big Plans To Crack Down On Global Tax Dodging

    By: Daniel Marans 

    "Eric LeCompte, executive director of the faith-based anti-poverty organization Jubilee USA and moderator of a Thursday panel on tax havens for which Long delivered the opening remarks, nonetheless lauded Ecuador’s leadership on this issue.

    'It is clear to me that the government of Ecuador has looked at how tax and trade issues impact vulnerable communities in their country,' LeCompte said earlier this week.

    Short of a global body to combat tax havens, a coordinated push to reduce tax avoidance could involve providing greater resources to developing nations to monitor exports, LeCompte argued. Commercial goods that get past customs officials represent a major source of lost tax revenue, he noted."

    Read more here.


  • Caribbean Bishops and Development Groups Urge Debt Relief for Irma-Struck Islands

    On behalf of Caribbean Catholic Bishops, Bishop Gabriel Malzaire called for islands dealing with Hurricane Irma to receive debt relief. As president of the Antilles Episcopal Conference, Malzaire joins US, European and Caribbean development groups that are calling for debt payments to be delayed until affected islands can rebuild. 

    "The utter destruction caused by the passage of Hurricane Irma across the Northern Leeward Islands has not only shocked the people of our region by its severity but has left all of us with a much deeper awareness of our vulnerability to natural disasters and with a fear of threats from other approaching weather systems," wrote Malzaire in a letter to Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund. The Catholic Bishop continued his plea for a delay in debt payments until countries like Antigua and Barbuda can recover. "The sad reality is that the ones who are affected most, the poor, cannot be held responsible for this reality," continued the Catholic Bishop in his urgent request for a delay of debt payments.
     
    Hurricane Irma tore through the Caribbean devastating a host of islands including Antigua and Barbuda, St. Martin and the US and British Virgin Islands. On September 7th, Jubilee USA launched a petition and sent a letter to the IMF requesting a delay in debt payments or a debt moratorium for islands so they can rebuild. Calls for a debt moratorium were also sent from the Jubilee Caribbean Network, Jubilee Germany, the United Kingdom's Jubilee Debt Campaign and the European Network on Debt and Development.
     
    "When a natural disaster strikes, delaying debt payments is a quick way to get funding for rebuilding," said Eric LeCompte who is the Executive Director of the religious development group, Jubilee USA. LeCompte serves on United Nation expert groups that focus on debt. "The International Monetary Fund and other creditors can delay debt payments and ensure faster recovery for a country like Antigua and Barbuda."
     
    Antigua and Barbuda's Prime Minister estimated about 150 million dollars for reconstruction efforts on the islands. As the hurricane passed last week, the disaster-struck island had a 3 million dollar debt payment to the IMF due. 
     
    Read Jubilee USA's petition on debt relief for Hurricane Irma.
     
    Read the full letter from Bishop Malzaire and the Antilles Episcopal Conference.
     
    Read Jubilee USA's letter to the IMF.
     
    Read the letter from European debt and development groups to the IMF.

  • published Eric LeCompte Featured in The Hill in Press 2017-09-08 16:37:28 -0400

    Eric LeCompte Featured in The Hill

    Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA recently wrote an editorial that was published in The Hill and featured in Millennial Journal speaking on transparency. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.

    Repealing Transparency Measure Hurts the Poor

    By: Eric LeCompte

    "On behalf of the hundreds of faith communities who supported Section 1504 or the “Cardin-Lugar amendment” to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, I’d encourage all Members of Congress to consider how weakening 1504 could impact vulnerable populations. Now is the time to hold hearings for Congress, not for hasty actions that prevent members from understanding why a post financial crisis world needs more accountability, not less."

    Read more here

     

     


  • Eric LeCompte Featured in National Catholic Reporter

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

    Trump's 'Forgotten Man' Turns Out to be Goldman Sachs

    By: Michael Sean Winters

    "'This deeply saddens me and our national religious partners," LeCompte continued. "Our interfaith religious community continues to influence a bipartisan agenda. Unfortunately, I fear‎ we are all facing more obstacles in the short term. The financial issues we work on impact our lives almost as much as the very oxygen we breathe. JubileeUSA's religious leaders have been successful in bridging all political divides we face. Ultimately, I know in the long-term, we will again be successful in overcoming the special-interest groups who are trying to divide us. But I am disappointed by this current setback because we failed by two votes to protect some of the most vulnerable people on our planet. I know we will win, but it will take several more years of focused and consistent work.'"

    Read more here


  • Eric LeCompte Featured in Public Finance International

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

    Dodd-Frank Reform Could Increase Corruption in Developing Nations, NGOs Fear

    By: Emma Rumney

    "Section 1504 enabled citizens and civil society to track whether companies were paying their taxes, paying their workforces properly or paying bribes, said Eric LeCompte, of the Jubilee USA Network, which advocates for a fairer financial system to benefit the world’s poorest.

    It had become a 'critical revenue building measure' he told PFI. He added that, while it was still in the early stages of existence, its potential benefits were clear from the success of similar legislation such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act."

    Read more here.


  • published Eric LeCompte Featured in The Guardian in Press 2017-09-08 16:17:29 -0400

    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.


  • published Eric LeCompte Featured in The Guardian in Press 2017-09-08 15:33:35 -0400

    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."

    Read more here


  • published Jubilee USA Featured in Agenzia Fides in Press 2017-09-08 15:26:05 -0400

    Jubilee USA Featured in Agenzia Fides

    Jubilee USA was recently featured in Agenzia Fides. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article. 

    Religious Leaders Ask the United States to Prevent Financial Crises in the Country

    By: Staff

    "Religious leaders in their letter, sent to Fides, recall that they have been working to solve the crisis of Puerto Rico since 2015... and have Jubilee USA and national religious organizations like the Catholic Bishops Conference of the United States and the United Church of Christ as partners"

    Read more here.


  • published Eric LeCompte Featured in Financial Advisor in Press 2017-09-08 15:00:34 -0400

    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


  • published Eric LeCompte Featured in teleSUR in Press 2017-09-08 14:46:05 -0400

    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.

     


  • 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.


  • Eric LeCompte Featured in National Catholic Reporter

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

    Debt Crisis in Puerto Rico Comes to a Head

    By: Michael Sean Winters

    "'Conceivably, this could be one of the largest debt-relief initiatives in the history of fiscal crises if the board remains true to the goals it has set for itself,' Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA, told me. LeCompte is in San Juan for the meeting and has played a leading role helping to guide religious leaders on the island as they fight to prevent austerity measures that would target the poor.

    'The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops continues to show phenomenal leadership, not only on resolving the crisis in Puerto Rico, but on global debt issues, too,' said LeCompte. 'The church's consistent policy stance flows from sustained moral reflection on these issues of debt and development.'"

    Read more here.


  • Eric LeCompte Featured in Financial Express Bangledesh

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

    Call for Debt Cuts as Puerto Rico Heads for Bankruptcy

    "'When the oversight board votes for bankruptcy proceedings, Puerto Rico can access a comprehensive process to deal with all of their debt,' noted the executive director of Jubilee USA, Eric LeCompte, who tracks the debt negotiations."

    Read more here.


  • Eric LeCompte Featured in National Catholic Reporter

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

    Puerto Rico's Creditors Push Congress to Stop Bankruptcy Process

    By: Michael Sean Winters

    "'We've kept Puerto Rico on Congress' agenda, even though Congress is pretty distracted with other issues,' LeCompte told NCR. 'We've been moving forward bipartisan recommendations to provide the same health care financing and child tax benefits to American citizens in Puerto Rico that citizens receive in the 50 states. This is important because we need more financing for Puerto Rico to ensure average people are protected as Puerto Rico restructures its debt.'

    'Some of the creditors are back in full force on Capitol Hill, and they are trying to stop the bankruptcy process. There even have been efforts to delay health care and‎ child benefit financing by some of the creditors,' LeCompte added. 'Some of the creditors are desperate because they will profit less with an orderly bankruptcy process that protects interests of the people on the island. As always we see Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle influenced by the powerful creditor lobby. But I still have great hope and know we will win because both Republican and Democratic leadership firmly supports our efforts for the people of Puerto Rico.'"

    Read more here.


  • published Eric LeCompte Featured in NPR in Press 2017-09-08 12:17:10 -0400

    Eric LeCompte Featured in NPR

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

    Puerto Rico Eyes Options As It Faces Debt Deadline — Again

    By: Camila Domonoske

    "'It mirrors conventional bankruptcy processes that are ordered and arbitrated through a court system,' says Eric LeCompte, the executive director of Jubilee USA Networks, a religious development organization that supports debt relief and debt forgiveness.

    The 'Title III' process, as it's called in PROMESA, allows Puerto Rico to address all of its debts at once, in a comprehensive process — which even Chapter 9 doesn't allow, LeCompte says. It's essentially a bankruptcy process custom-built for Puerto Rico's debt crisis."

    Read more here.