Debt Vultures Shot for Chanukah – Liberia is saved but predators are still at large by Greg Palast

by Greg Palast
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
www.gregpalast.com
for In These Times
23 November, 2010

We got’m. I can hardly believe it.

Yesterday, the financial vultures, the carcass-chewers who were preying on the dirt-poor African nation of Liberia, gave up.

Two shadowy vulture funds, which had won a $43 million court judgment against Liberia, agreed to accept only $1.4 million to settle their claim following an investigation by our BBC Newsnight team. We had sought to determine if the vulture funds were covers for an elaborate fraud scheme. They folded rather than face further scrutiny and attacks from activists, Parliaments and Congress.

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Stop Feeding the Vultures by Greg Palast

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by Greg Palast
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
www.gregpalast.com
30 March, 2010

For In These Times

I get the idea that Eric Hermann doesn’t want to talk to me. When I came to his office suite, his hedge fund’s name plaque had been unbolted from the building’s wall, the suite number removed and all the employees locked in.

I’m not surprised. Hermann is a vulture, not the carrion-eating type, but the kind that prey on the financially wounded. “Vulture” is a hedge fund industry term for the financiers who buy up the right to collect old loans of the world’s poorest nations, and then use every trick in the book — from lawsuits to bribery to hiring Henry Kissinger’s lobby firm — to muscle destitute countries into turning over their meager foreign aid funds.

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Greg Palast follows the trail of one “vulture fund” chief, from a locked office door in New York to mud-brick houses in Africa

Updated: added report on Democracy Now!

by Greg Palast
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
www.gregpalast.com
2 March, 2010

Special Report for BBC World News America
Broadcasting TONIGHT at 7pm EST on BBC America

Some vultures have feathers, but some have fancy offices and huge homes. Tonight, BBC investigative reporter Greg Palast follows the trail of one “vulture fund” chief, from a locked office door in New York to mud-brick houses in Africa.

Liberia map

How strange. When I arrive at the offices of Eric Hermann at hedge fund FH International, just outside New York City, the company’s corporate sign is unbolted from the wall and the suite number removed from the door.

But wait … I hear noises inside the office. Huh? I knock on the locked door and out steps the office building’s security manager.

“Guys, they don’t want to be interviewed. They don’t want to be seen. So we are going to have to ask you to leave the building.”

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Liberian leader urges MPs to back action against vulture funds by Heather Stewart and Greg Palast

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by Heather Stewart and Greg Palast
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
www.gregpalast.com
24 February, 2010

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An investigation for BBC’s Newsnight, to be broadcast tonight, Thursday at 10:30pm GMT, has uncovered allegations that speculators subverted the international debt relief process.

By Heather Stewart and Greg Palast for The Guardian

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the president of [Liberia] is urging MPs to back a bill banning vulture funds from using British courts to prey on poor countries when it comes to a vote on Friday. Liberia lost a $20m (£13m) case in London last year against two so-called vultures. Such funds buy up the loans of poor governments, wait for them to win from the international community, and then use courts to pursue the countries for assets.

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