The good news for Argentina…their football team is onto the knockout stage of 16 in Brazil, and with Messi on the pitch, and in form, their chances to bring the cup home look pretty good.
The bad news for Argentina…they are about to be driven to financial default, again.
Bloomberg kicks things off (no pun intended)…
Argentina is poised to miss a bond payment today, putting the country on the brink of its second default in 13 years, after a U.S. court blocked the cash from being distributed until the government settles with creditors from the previous debt debacle.
The nation has a 30-day grace period after missing the $539 million debt payment to seek an accord with a group of defaulted bondholders led by billionaire Paul Singer’s NML Capital Ltd. and prevent a default on its $28.7 billion of performing global dollar bonds. While both Argentina and NML have said that they’re open to talks, public comments signal little progress has been made so far.
The U.S. Supreme Court on June 16 left intact a ruling requiring the country pay about $1.5 billion to holders of defaulted debt at the same time it makes payments on restructured bonds. Argentina last week transferred funds to its bond trustee to pay the restructured notes, only to have U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Griesa order the payment sent back while the parties negotiate.
With the clock working against them and negotiations to settle at a stand still, both sides have now resorted to a verbal game of chicken.
As Zerohedge explains…
Thanks to SCOTUS’ decision…The decade-long battle between Argentina and holdout creditors from the country’s $95 billion default in 2001 is coming to a head as the judge’s decision “closes Argentina’s options to finally force it to negotiate,” said Jorge Mariscal, the chief investment officer for emerging markets at UBS Wealth Management, which oversees $1 trillion. “Argentina should now stop using these delay tactics and get serious.”
But Argentina is not happy…
The ruling “is merely a sophisticated way of of trying to bring us down to our knees before global usurpers,” Argentina said. “But he will not achieve his goal for quite a simple reason: The Argentine Republic will meet its obligations, pay off its debts and honor its commitments.”
In an e-mailed statement, the Economy Ministry said Griesa is abusing his power and acting outside of his jurisdiction as the restructured bonds are not part of the holdouts’ case.
“A judge is trying to impede a debtor from carrying out its obligations and creditors from getting paid,” the ministry said.
Let’s hope Messi and Co. can bring the financially embattled country some good news from Brazil.