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Argentina Finally Wins One In Court

Cristina can't lose 'em all.
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Will just have to run Axel Kicillof down with his car next time.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa is pretty pissed at Argentina. I mean, the country has been spitefully ignoring every single thing he’s said since the 84-year-old jurist was in his early 70s and, in the time it has been refusing to obey him, it has been calling him names and Photoshopping his head onto vultures and wasting his special master’s time and all sorts of things that federal judges just aren’t used to. It’s enough to exhaust even a much younger man. But Griesa has had one thing going for him: His superiors across the street at the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals (and at the Supreme Court) have had his back time and time again, maybe even more than he ever dreamed. But the 2nd does have its limits, and one of those limits appears to be deciding that a central bank has waived its sovereign immunity when it hasn’t waived its sovereign immunity.

Sorry, Tom. Dial it back a little next time.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York overturned a 2013 ruling denying a bid by Banco Central de la República Argentina (BCRA) to dismiss claims by U.S. investment firms holding $2.4 billion in judgments against the South American country.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa had previously held that the central bank had waived its sovereign immunity, and that as a result, the hedge funds could move forward with a lawsuit targeting the bank's assets….

But the three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit reversed, saying BCRA could invoke its own sovereign immunity to avoid liability. It directed Griesa to dismiss the case.

Circuit Judge Jose Cabranes wrote that the court's ruling is not intended to allow Argentinato "continue shirking the debts it has the ability to pay, although we suspect that this will be a predictable and unfortunate outcome of our decision."

U.S. appeals court says bondholders can’t seize Argentina’s reserves [Reuters]


The late Judge Thomas P. Griesa. By John Haslam from Dornoch, Scotland [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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