Washington DC - The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, announced Tuesday that she will resign on September 12th. Lagarde was nominated to lead the European Central Bank earlier this month.
Eric LeCompte the Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA, releases the following statement:
"Lagarde moved forward new focuses on gender and inequality at the International Monetary Fund.
"After the Greek crisis, we saw her lead shifts in thinking on the problems with austerity, although we didn't see enough changes in austerity policies at the IMF.
"Now that Lagarde is moving on, there are growing calls for the new head of the IMF to be selected based on the merits of the nominee as opposed to whether or not the person is born in Europe."
Jubilee USA Releases Statement on Japan Summit
Osaka, Japan - Leaders of the world's wealthiest economies gathered at the annual G20 Summit to discuss global policies on trade, climate, debt, tax and financial crisis prevention.
Eric LeCompte the Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA, releases the following statement on the G20 Japan Summit:
"Trade tensions, climate change concerns and preventing global financial crisis dominated much of the Osaka Summit.
"There is great concern at the G20 meetings about debt crises and future financial crisis.
"The G20 was founded to prevent financial crisis and there is willingness to move forward global policies on debt sustainability and transparency. The question is whether or not we can achieve policies that move beyond voluntary crisis prevention and implement binding policies that will prevent future crisis.
"Combating financial secrecy and raising revenue in countries remained a key focus of the Japan meetings.
"Fundamentally, we need trade policies that protect workers and the vulnerable. We need to see shifts in the status quo on trade policies.
"Climate is a critical issue, especially as the G20 focused this meeting on ensuring that economies can be more resilient in the face of natural disasters. Economies that can be resilient in the face of disaster need debt policies that offer relief until recovery goals are met."
European Finance Ministers endorse a new Greece debt agreement that provides financing in exchange for maintaining austerity policies and economic reforms.
“Parts of the Greece deal provide more breathing space for Greece in the short-term, but we are still concerned that there isn't enough debt relief to keep Greece out of trouble for the long-term," stated Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte, who monitors and works on international debt agreements. "I'm also worried that the continued austerity policies hurt too many Greeks and will negatively impact economic growth."
While the International Monetary Fund's Christine LaGarde supports the deal, she raised concerns about the deal's ability to achieve sustainability for the Greek economy.
Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently highlighted in The Bond Buyer speaking on emergency relief funds, the bankruptcy process and recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.
Puerto Rico Bond Holders May Have to Wait More Than Two Years
By Robert Slavin
Some observers, including Jubilee USA Network executive director Eric LeCompte and Council on Foreign Relation Senior Fellow Brad Setser, said the bankruptcy’s progress was reasonable considering the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
PROMESA “gave Puerto Rico some breathing space by allowing for a debt payment moratorium and preventing creditor litigation," LeCompte said. "PROMESA allowed Puerto Rico to default and made it disadvantageous for new predatory creditors to buy the debt. Finally, the legislation created a super bankruptcy process that is capable of restructuring all of Puerto Rico’s debt.”
LeCompte said PROMESA is the “first comprehensive debt restructuring process since the 1953 London Accord that restructured all of Germany’s debt.” He explained that by this he meant that it was the first time since the London Accord that both state-level and local government level debt was simultaneously restructured.
Read more here.
As Atlantic Region Braces For Another Damaging Hurricane Season, Concern Grows: Islands are unprepared as forecasters predict three hurricanes again
May 17, 2018
Efforts to reduce the country’s debt load in the wake of the hurricane appear to be moving backward, according to UN sovereign debt consultant and Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte. He points out that the initial offer to pay 25 cents on the dollar to investors has now moved 40 cents as serious consideration is being given to so-called G.D.P.-linked bonds tied to the success or failure of the nation’s economic engine.
While efforts to prepare Puerto Rico, a US territory, require a response from the wealthiest nation on earth, smaller independent islands are especially exposed if a hurricane ravages the region again.
Moves are underway at the United Nations that could provide debt relief to independent islands such as Grenada, St Lucia, and Antigua if they are again stricken.
Recent public and private conversations have taken place at the United Nations Financing for Development Forum (FfDForum) in New York. The group is currently considering provisions for automatic debt relief and payment moratoriums when a disaster hits, as well as mandated debt restructuring. After the FfDForum focused on the measure, LeCompte says the G7, G20, International Monetary Fund or UN could call for its adoption and the creation of a legally binding process. Once approved at this level it could become legally binding, he said.
LeCompte expects the provisions to move forward in the next few months, just as the hurricane season could be approaching its historically most volatile period in the fall.
Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently featured in Devex speaking on the Financing for Development meetings at the United Nations last week in New York. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.
UN financing forum sees focus on debt relief for vulnerable Caribbean nations
So far, there is no specific debt relief action plan for the Caribbean region, but it’s something to watch for at upcoming global summits, including the opening of the U.N. General Assembly in the fall, said Eric LeCompte, the executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Jubilee USA Network.
“We see a consensus emerging about the need for a debt relief process for Caribbean islands to protect them from hurricanes and other natural disasters,” LeCompte said. “What people are really talking about now, is how do we have a permanent process in place that looks to structure and relieve debt after a crisis occurs?”
“There is momentum with the hurricane season, trying to get anything in place,” LeCompte explained. “I’ve been doing this for a long time and I have never seen a moment where global decision makers are taking the situation as seriously as they are now. The seriousness is incredibly significant. If Jamaica gets hit by a Category Five, what does that do to the entire region?”
Read more here.
Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently featured in ValueWalk speaking on global debt following the Spring International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings in Washington, D.C. and the Financing for Development meetings at the United Nations last week in New York. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.
At UN Meetings, Global Leaders Raise “Undiplomatic” Concerns Regarding Debt
By: Mark Melin
For the past ten years, the global economy has been growing and on a sustainable path, the IMF has reported in typically polite and diplomatic language. But the warnings contained in recent reports have been the focus of concerned global leaders attending UN meetings in New York this week, said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubliee USA and a UN consultant on sovereign debt.
LeCompte, attending the UN meetings, said that discussions were “less diplomatic” than normal as concerns were raised that a debt crisis could materialize if steps are not taken to avert the problem.
Looking at the emerging world economy, sovereign debt has reached levels where it is becoming non-productive. In areas such as Africa, for instance, debt to GDP levels is reaching 55%, up from 30%. “When debt in the developing world reaches 55%, the increased debt is used to make interest payments and does not go directly into the Economy,” LeCompte notes.
As the IMF looks at the financial landscape, it sees debt levels moving to unsustainable levels and speculative financial behavior, led by the roll-back of Dodd-Frank legislation, creating a toxic brew. “This is the formula that ushered in the 2008 financial crisis,” LeCompte said, noting his surprise that the IMF would be considering a universal basic income at the same time they are expressing serious concern over debt levels. He said concerns over rising populism, particularly if there is an economic downturn, are driving the IMF to get ahead of the issues.
Read more here.
Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently featured in The Wall Street Journal speaking on Puerto Rico debt. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.
Why Puerto Rico is Proving to Be 2018’s Top Bond Investment
By: Matt Wirz
“The construction boom after the hurricane is fueling an increase in bond prices, but that’s going to be short lived,” said Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, one of the activist groups seeking debt forgiveness for Puerto Rico. “We should be focused on long-term economic growth for Puerto Rico and that includes debt relief.”
Read more here.
During United Nations Human Rights Council meetings last week, Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič, the Geneva based Vatican representative stated, “We can no longer frame the debt crisis as an exclusively economic problem. It affects future generations, as well as the social conditions that allow the enjoyment of human rights of vast numbers of people entitled to the solidarity of the whole human family.”
Jurkovič’s intervention during the UN Meetings called for, “stronger policies around public budget transparency, responsible lending and borrowing, securing greater development protections, stronger debt restructuring policies and fiscal strategies that curb tax evasion and corruption.”
“Archbishop Jurkovič’s speech is incredibly timely and expresses urgency to improve debt, tax and transparency policies to protect vulnerable people,” expressed Eric LeCompte who leads the interfaith religious development group, Jubilee USA. The organization counts the Catholic Church among its founders working with Jubilee USA for over 20 years on economic issues. “The speech is important because it calls for world leaders to promote development measures that tackle inequality and prevent financial crisis.”
The speech was made during The 37th Session of the Human Rights Council on Report of the Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of human rights. The report that the Vatican and world governments discussed at the United Nations session was prepared by UN Independent Expert, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky.
“The Holy See recognizes that severe human rights impacts resulting from the recent financial crisis have been widely and well documented. Policy responses to the crisis have revealed a deep-seated structural neglect of human rights in economic policy formulation, insufficient protection of the most disadvantaged and a lack of attention to participation, consultation, transparency and accountability,” stated Jurkovič whose official title is the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations.
During the address, Jurkovič reiterated concerns around “predatory firms that take advantage of economies in distress,” or groups popularly known as “vulture funds.” The statement endorsed a United Nations “bankruptcy” process for countries that is supported by Pope Francis. Setting targets to curb global corruption and tax evasion were also encouraged during the Vatican diplomat’s remarks.
“The developing world loses more than a trillion dollar a year because of tax evasion, corruption, bad debt policies and vulture funds,” said LeCompte who serves on UN expert finance groups. “From Puerto Rico to Mozambique, people are suffering because of a lack of transparency in the financial system. We have the ability to dramatically reduce poverty, if we can improve accountability in global economic policies.”
Read Archbishop Jurkovič’s United Nation Holy See Speech
Read the Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky UN Independent Debt and Human Rights Expert Report
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