UPDATE (Friday) – Judge Griesa said he won’t comment on Citibank’s request, at least until the Second Circuit’s final ruling on objections to the form of his order:
Citibank asserts that it needs clarification as to its obligations in the event that the Court of Appeals affirms the District Court’s November 21,2012 rulings. The District Court declines to make any further comment on matters now before the Court of Appeals. What further ruling or action is required from the District Court will obviously depend on the holding from the Court of Appeals. No more can be said at this time.
Now back to Thursday’s original post for the stakes involved…
Hat-tip to Bloomberg — it looks like we have a new entrant in the pari passu saga.
Technically it’s Citibank’s Argentine branch. They’ve made a slightly curious request for ‘clarification’ of Judge Griesa’s order last November for Argentina to pay bond holdouts alongside other, restructured creditors. (Payments just to the latter could be seized, and ultimately launch Argentina into a sovereign default… just to catch you up.) Read more
With its latest submission in this Court, the Republic of Argentina continues its long and consistent pattern of defaulting on its contractual obligations, defying the laws of the United States (which its contracts expressly invoked), and showing contempt for the courts to whose jurisdiction it unreservedly submitted. The government of Argentina plainly believes the rule of law does not apply to it…
In theory, there was no offer. “This is a proposal to judges, not an offer to vultures,” Argentina’s finance minister tweeted at the weekend.
For their part, the three judges of the US Second Circuit had ordered Argentina to tell them “how and when it proposes to make current those debt obligations on the original bonds that have gone unpaid over the last 11 years” (emphasis ours). It’s a last act in the battle that Argentina has been losing to stop restructured debt payments being linked to its defaulted bonds under the pari passu clause.
In practice, the 22-page letter that the government sent to the Second Circuit on Friday — containing “options” for holdouts to take payments “equitably and ratably” with bondholders who swallowed its 2010 debt restructuring, by getting restructured bonds in place of the original debt — pretty much was an offer.
And — it looks like — not one the judges can accept. Meanwhile, the market has panicked like wildebeest. Read more
Guess it pretty much comes down to the alternative ‘formula’ for paying its holdouts which Argentina will be making to the Second Circuit at the end of this week, then.
The court on Thursday denied the government’s separate request to have its pari passu case reheard ‘en banc‘ — that being when a full court hears your case, instead of a panel of judges (which is usual): Read more
In case you didn’t fancy ploughing through our 3,000+ words on NML v Argentina last week at the Second Circuit…
Barclays’ analysts have boiled down the next turning point in the pari passu saga into two paragraphs, in their March 5 note (irresistibly titled ‘Cram-down or sanctity of contract? Is there a way out?’): Read more
Headline via the Harlan Ellison short story. “Timewise, it was jangle…”
What a week for the pari passu saga, and the fight to show that an order for Argentina to pay holdouts ‘ratably’ alongside its restructured sovereign debt is both over-reaching, and an unfair threat to third-party bondholders and banks.
Yep, FT Alphaville also went along to the oral argument before three judges of the Second Circuit in NML v Argentina on Wednesday, along with about 300 other people. A pretty crazy affair in itself, the hearing has now led to a follow-up order from the court, telling Argentina to give “precise terms” explaining how it would pay holdouts, and how it would obey any decision of the Second Circuit. Read more
Update (Feb 26) – It turns out that we failed to be clear on something pretty important here… rendering our headline ironically pretty apt. Maybe you really can’t believe Belize’s disavowal of ratable payment on its bonds.
OK, so here’s the section on pari passu language in the new bonds’ Offering Memorandum: Read more
It’s a schematic of the arguments which the Second Circuit will likely consider when deciding appeals against an order for Argentina to pay holdouts alongside restructured bondholders. Some of the arguments are key. Some are not so key. Read more
At times, pursuing a defaulted sovereign debtor for full payment can almost (almost) come across as a facetious exercise. As when NML’s latest brief in the Argentine pari passu case quotes Casablanca. Read more
On October 26, the Second Circuit chucked out Argentina’s appeal against having to pay bond holdouts, having had “little difficulty concluding” that the defaulted debt’s dusty, old — but contractually standard — pari passu clause demanded rateable payment. Read more
UPDATE – Beyond the to-and-fro about stays and the Second Circuit in the post below…
Bank of New York Mellon has filed for leave to appeal Judge Griesa’s revised order for Argentina to pay (and for third parties not to assist it in not paying – including BNY). This is a significant move given the role of BNY enabling payments to restructured holders as their trustee. It was kind of stuck in the middle over the dispute between Argentina, holdouts and restructured bondholders, and had last asked courts to clarify its obligations. This filing marshals indenture trust law, Rule 65(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and “dangerous precedent” to seek to challenge the merits of Judge Griesa’s ruling itself. Read more
Looks like those emergency bondholder briefs had some effect on the Second Circuit…
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the motion by the Exchange Bondholder Group for leave to intervene as interested non-parties for the purpose of appealing orders entered by the district court on 11/21/12 and for the purpose of seeking a stay pending appeal is GRANTED. Read more
Let’s say you took part in Argentina’s original, 2005 debt restructuring.
You exchanged your luckless bonds for securities worth around 30 cents of your original dollar. You took your lumps – and you checked, very carefully, the complicated payment structure designed to ensure the Republic can’t stiff you in the future. Read more