According to US District Court federal Judge Thomas Griesa in Manhattan on Tuesday (July 22) ordered an around-the-clock negotiations aimed at averting a second debt default by Argentina in 13 years, saying a default would hurt "real people."
Judge Griesa issued the order from the bench after describing why Argentina must live up to documented promises it made to bondholders it now demonizes as "vultures" before it experienced a record $100 billion default in 2001.
He said non-stop negotiations set to begin at 1000 hours on Wednesday (July 23) were the best way to deal with complex issues because a default "is about the worst thing that ... I can envision."
Jonathan Blackman, a lawyer for Argentina, said the issues were too complex to resolve by the July 30 deadline and thus a settlement "simply can't be done by the end of this month."
He said one problem is that US bondholders who are owed $1.5 billion after refusing to exchange their bonds for lower-valued bonds after the 2001 default are insisting they receive 100% of what they are owed.
COMMENT: Argentine officials do not realize that federal courts in the US don't negotiate.
Blackman renewed Argentina's request for a stay of Griesa's orders, but the judge quickly rejected that.
Griesa has blocked US banks from letting Argentina pay the vast majority of its bondholders who accepted lower-valued bonds unless it pays the hedge funds.