Religious Leaders: New York Debt Bill Helps Solve Economic Crises in Developing Countries

New York and US Taxpayers, Global Economy Benefit from Legislation

Religious and labor leaders explained that New York laws can provide debt relief for countries struggling from the pandemic and shocks from the Ukraine war. Speaking at a press conference in the New York State Capitol Building, they expressed support for legislation introduced by Assemblymember Patricia Fahy, Chair of the Banks Committee.

“New York is the world’s global financial hub — positioning us well to enact basic changes that will ensure debt relief for developing nations through investments in sustainable growth, infrastructure and more,” said Fahy. “Not only will this legislation protect U.S. taxpayers, it will spur new development and growth within the global economy, reduce stress on international supply chains, and establish clear strategies for growth in nations burdened by massive amounts of debt.”

The New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act (A. 10595) ensures private creditors participate in debt relief initiatives at the same level as the US government, other governments and other creditors. Over 50% of the world's debt held by private creditors is contracted under New York State law.

“The pandemic pushed many developing countries into debt and economic crises,” stated Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network. “Countries can get help resolving debt crises under New York law and the new legislation ensures countries get the relief they need. Because we trade with these countries, resolving debt crises helps resolve supply and economic shocks that we face at home.”

At 7:00 PM ET, Jubilee USA Network hosts a panel discussion featuring Fahy and LeCompte. Speakers include, Rabbi Matthew Cutler, Congregation Gates of Heaven Synagogue; Rev. Dustin Longmire, Messiah Lutheran Church of Schenectady, New York, and former President of the New York Council of Churches; Rev. Nicolle D. Jean-Simon, Pastor of Duryee Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and NAACP President of Schenectady Branch #2175; Rev. Dr. Amaury Tanon-Santos, Executive Director of Schenectady Community Ministries and President of the Labor Religion Coalition of NY State; and Ron Deutsch, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness.

Watch livestream event “Funding Food, Vaccines and the Environment in Developing Nations,” at 7:00 PM ET.

Read NYS Assemblymember Patricia Fahy’s Office Press Release here.

View the NY Taxpayer and International Debt Crisis Protection Act and Bill Memo here.

Read a previous Jubilee USA press release on the bill here.


Read More

Spectrum News 1 Discusses the New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act

Spectrum News 1 Discusses Jubilee USA's New York bill to fight developing countries' debt crises and address supply shocks. Below is a brief excerpt. Click here for the full article.

NY lawmakers, advocates want pressure for developing nations' creditors

By Nick Reisman

For the Rev. Nicolle Jean-Simone, helping her husband's native Haiti often comes from personal pleas. 

"We receive calls from family members, friends, missionaries telling us the needs of what's going on in the country and we do our very best to support them," she said. "But what if we could do it also through legislation."

Jean-Simone was among the advocates on Wednesday at the state Capitol calling for a measure that would require the New York-based creditors of developing nations facing a mountain of debt to help with relief and restructuring efforts. 

The goal is to make it easier for those countries to pay the debt back and in turn help the residents of those countries who have struggled with ongoing crises. 


Read more here.


Read More

CBS on the New York Taxpayer and International Debt Crises Protection Act

CBS Albany Discusses Jubilee USA's New York debt bill to tackle developing countries' debt crises and address supply shocks. Read an excerpt below and click here for the full story.

Assemblymember Fahy introduces NY taxpayer and international debt crises protection act

By WRGB Staff

Albany, NY (WRGB) — Assemblymember Fahy is introducing the New York taxpayer and international debt crises protection act

It requires private creditors to join debt relief initiatives for developing nations, which are struggling with debt crises, the pandemic and economic shock from the war in Ukraine.

The bill prevents tax money that funds u-s contributions to debt relief initiatives from being used to bail out private creditors and enables countries that are in debt to support spending on health, education and other services for their most vulnerable.

See the article here.


Read More

Executive Director Eric LeCompte Speaks with Madison Public Radio on Student Debt Cancellation

Eric speaks with WORT 89.9 a Madison, WI public radio on student debt cancellation. Hear the full interview here

LeCompte: How Student Debt Cancellation Affects Communities

Read More

Annual Federal Reserve Wyoming Meeting Hosts Central Bank Heads to Improve Global Economy

Inflation, Recession and Developing Country Debt Top Agenda of Jackson Hole Meeting

The future of interest rates and the threat of stagflation – a phenomenon where the economy and jobs shrink while inflation rises -- dominate the agenda at a three-day global central bank retreat starting on Thursday. This year’s traditional Jackson Hole, Wyoming symposium gathers the US Federal Reserve and other world central banks under the theme "Reassessing Constraints on the Economy and Policy."

“The meeting is focused on trying to tame inflation without causing more harm for developing countries in crisis,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the development group Jubilee USA Network. “We are reminded by the challenging decisions world leaders faced with the economy in the 1970s. At this point with greater threats to the global economy, we are in uncharted waters."

The US Federal Reserve raised interest rates more than two percentage points since the beginning of the year and consumer prices rose the fastest in four decades. The combination of interest rate increases and a strong dollar raises debt levels in developing countries. In July the IMF reported that debt in 60 percent of the poorest countries and 30 percent of emerging middle-income economies reached critically-high levels.

“While lowering inflation is important, we need to keep in mind the global impacts of increased debt, food crises and supply shocks that can undermine the economic stability we hoped to achieve through lower inflation,” shared LeCompte.

On Friday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell addresses the Jackson Hole meeting.
Read More

Biden Cancels Student Debts and Extends Loan Payment Suspension

The Biden Administration announced plans to cancel $10,000 in student debt for borrowers earning under $125,000 a year. Borrowers who received a college federal Pell grant, given to students that have the greatest need, qualify for up to $20,000 in student debt relief. The White House action extended a freeze on student loan payments that President Trump initiated in 2020 as part of pandemic relief. This is the fifth time President Biden continued the moratorium on student debt payments.

“President Biden’s historical student debt cancellation is a bold step that goes beyond previous support and will help vulnerable communities,“ said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of religious group Jubilee USA Network. LeCompte's organization advocated for the student relief measures with the Biden and Trump White House. “Soaring food and gas prices are putting more pressure on vulnerable communities still reeling from the pandemic.”  

Jubilee USA mobilized thousands of messages to Congress and the Trump and Biden White Houses urging student debt relief to help confront the economic crisis spurred by the coronavirus.

“While the student loan forgiveness helps those hit by the pandemic and inflation, more student debt relief will be needed,” added LeCompte. 

Read More

Crux Features Jubilee USA Network and Eric LeCompte on Puerto Rico's Economic Crisis

Crux features Jubilee USA Network and Eric LeCompte on the topic of Puerto Rico's increasingly severe economic challenges in light of efforts in creating debt restructuring plans. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full article.

Puerto Rico ‘at a crossroads’ as economic crisis takes toll

By John Lavenburg

“We’re at a crossroads,” Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network told Crux.

“If Puerto Rico receives more economic shocks – natural disasters, the COVID-19 pandemic – without more aid or resources, it’s really going to get much worse,” LeCompte said. “On the other hand, if Puerto Rico gets the resources it needs to deal with disaster relief, child poverty, climate, to be able to support new jobs; if these things move forward not only will it help make Puerto Rico’s debt sustainable, but it will ensure there’s positive economic growth.”

Jubilee USA Network is a faith-based organization that promotes debt relief around the world. Since 2014 it has monitored Puerto Rico’s financial and debt crisis, growing child poverty rates and policy implementation and has advocated alongside Puerto Rico’s religious leaders.


Read here for more.

Read More

Presbyterian Mission Features Aldo Caliari on the International Community's Response to the Debt Crisis

Presbyterian Mission features an article by Aldo Caliari detailing the need for a more robust response to the debt crisis borne from the COVID-19 pandemic and Ukraine invasion, particularly from the G-20. Read a brief excerpt below, and click here for the full article.

The International Community Must Respond to the Debt Crisis

By Aldo Caliari

Paying debt service also comes at the expense of infrastructure investments critical for recovering and building resilience to climate and other shocks. Under-investment eventually takes its toll. Many weaknesses in developing countries’ response to the pandemic can be traced back to years of skimping on health and jobs infrastructure. Jubilee USA and LATINDADD’s Atlas of Vulnerability found that in all but two of the developing countries for which it has data, health spending per person is less than a quarter the average in industrialized countries. Africa, with the highest share of population affected by food crises – at 346 million – and dependent on Ukraine and Russia for a high share of food imports, is also the region most vulnerable to climate change. Lack of climate change preparedness, amidst rising floods, water scarcity and other weather-driven events, dramatically lower agricultural output and add to COVID- and war-induced food access barriers.


Read here for more.


Read More

Barbados Simultaneously Tackles the Challenges of Debt and Climate Change

The New York Times published an article detailing the struggle of Barbados as it faces the challenges of paying its debt to the financial institutions and being further hampered by climate change disasters, with significance to Prime Minister Mia Mottley's work on the matter. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

The Barbados Rebellion

By Abrahm Lustgarten

With Lagarde on the phone, Mottley made her pitch. Barbados, she said, was going to default on the debt it owed to private banks and investors. She wanted Lagarde’s support in persuading them to renegotiate its terms. The I.M.F. is both the assessor and the enforcer of global economic policy, the de facto gatekeeper to the world’s capital markets. Mottley knew that banks and investors would work with her only if Barbados were participating in a formal I.M.F. program for economic reform — and it had to start immediately.

Mottley told Lagarde that Barbados was prepared to do voluntarily what most countries have to be coerced to do: cut its budget and raise taxes. But she needed something in return. With the effects of climate change bearing down on the region, the kind of austerity the I.M.F. demanded from developing nations — slashing the size of government agencies and firing thousands of public employees while auctioning off real estate and other national assets — would no longer work. Mottley wanted Lagarde to endorse an economic program that would still allow her to raise salaries of civil servants, build schools and improve piping and wiring for water and power. “Before you carry people on a long journey,” she told Lagarde, “you have to give them a little breakfast.”


Read here for more.

Read More

Barron's Quotes Eric LeCompte on Lack of G-20 Joint Communique

Barron's quotes Eric LeCompte in an article detailing the divisions within the G-20 in inviting Russian representatives to meetings in light of the Ukraine invasion and the financial crises borne from it. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full article.

G20 Finance Talks Overshadowed By Ukraine End Without Joint Communique

By Marchio Gorbiano

Observers said the failure to agree on a joint communique would hinder coordinated efforts to solve rising inflation and food shortages.

"The lack of a G20 finance ministers' communique means it will be more difficult for the G20 to forge a consensus on vital issues in the fall," said Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, an NGO that lobbies for developing nation debt relief.

"Internal divisions hinder the G20's ability to act decisively and leaves the world in uncharted waters."


Read here for more.


Read More

Jubilee USA Network Statement on G20 Finance Ministers Meeting

The G20 finance ministers concluded their meetings in Bali, Indonesia. The ministers focused on the global economy impacted by the pandemic, Ukraine war, high country debt levels and rising inflation. 

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network and a United Nations finance expert who tracked or participated in G20 meetings since 2010, releases the following statement on the G20 finance ministers meeting:

“The lack of a G20 finance ministers communiqué means it will be more difficult for the G20 to forge a consensus on vital issues in the fall.

"Tensions over Russia's war in Ukraine translated to the G20 failing to take more action on inflation, food shortages and pandemic response.

“Internal divisions hinder the G20’s ability to act decisively and leaves the world in uncharted waters.

“Countries lack the resources to deal with food shortages and we are concerned that the food shortages can lead to unrest.

“As more countries risk defaulting on their loans, we face more threats for stability of the global economy.

“We are waiting for the G20's debt reduction framework to be running so developing countries can receive relief to address food shortages and respond to the pandemic.

“A critical part of the G20 meetings was reviewing proposals that can increase development bank lending by hundreds of billions.

“Getting more resources to development banks would be a significant step to prevent future pandemics and food crises."

Read Jubilee USA's press release about the meetings here.  
Read More