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International Call to Support and Internationalize the Belgian Law on Vulture Funds

Committee for the Abolition of Illegimate Debt (CADTM)




On 12 July 2015, the Belgian Parliament passed a law to prevent ‘vulture funds’ from making huge profits out of financial crises. The law limits the ability of creditors to pursue claims before its courts that are manifestly disproportional to the amount they paid for the debt.


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Vulture funds buy public debt from insolvent States at a huge discount, deliberately refuse to participate in debt restructuring efforts, and later try to make profits by suing the debtor States for full repayment of the nominal value of the debt and its interest. As the UN Independent Expert on debt and human rights stated: “vulture fund litigation has come at a significant cost for some States, diverting public funds into questionable forms of debt service, which should better be used for fighting poverty, improving public health care or education, and boost the debtors’ economies”. The profits they obtain are exorbitant: “vulture funds have achieved, on average, recovery rates of some 3 to 20 times their investment, equivalent to returns of 300 to 2,000 per cent.”


The Belgian law implements a key recommendation contained in a resolution of the UN Human Rights Council, which “called upon States to consider implementing legal frameworks curtailing predatory vulture fund activities within their jurisdictions” |1|. But it is currently being challenged by a Cayman Islands-based hedge fund, NML Capital Ltd. (a subsidiary of Elliott Management Corporation funded by the billionaire Paul Singer), before the Constitutional Court of Belgium. This vulture fund is one of the most infamous in the world. It lately won the so-called “trial of the century” in sovereign debt against Argentina in New York. Now it is asking the Belgian Constitutional Court to cancel the Belgian Law. Its aim is to dissuade other States from adopting similar regulations on vulture funds.


We support the Belgian Law on vulture funds and call on other States to adopt similar legislation in order to stop these speculators making huge profits off the back of the ordinary people around the world.


CADTM Belgique CNCD-11.11.11 (Belgium)
11.11.11 koepel van de Vlaamse Noord-Zuidbeweging (Belgium) Plateforme d’Information et d’Action sur la Dette et pour le Développement (PIADD Guinée)
Institute for Social and Economic Justice – CADTM Pakistan Enabanda Slovenia
Centre of Concern USA
SEND West Africa Eurodad
Latindadd ODG – Spain
PACD – Spain Jubilee USA
AFRODAD Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection – Zambia
Auditoria Cidada da Divida, Brazil Grupo da Divida – Mozambique
Ad hoc Commitee on debt and development /Justice et paix Congo ATTAC-CADTM Maroc
Uganda Debt Network Kendren – Kenya
Jubilee Germany Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development
Debt and Development Coalition Ireland LDC Watch (Nepal)
FNDP – Côte d’Ivoire Freedom from Debt Coalition – Philippines
Jubilee Debt Campaign UK Arab NGO Network for Development
Adhoc Committee on debt and development – DR Congo Debt Justice Norway
Jubileo Guayaquil (Ecuador)


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