9. AURELIUS CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, LP ISSUES PUBLIC NOTICE TO (A) PARTICIPANTS IN ARGENTINA’S OFFERING OF BONAR11. ARGENTINA RISK: ALERT – CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS MAY SPUR UNREST (Economist Intelligence Unit – Risk Briefing)16. IN EPIC TWITTER RANT, ARGENTINA’S PRESIDENT DISCOVERS THE INTERNATIONAL JEWISH CONSPIRACY (The Tower Org)17. MAYBE THE NISMAN MURDER WILL INSPIRE THE NEXT GREAT TRAGIC TANGO FROM ARGENTINA (American Thinker)By Larry NeumeisterApril 22, 2015NEW YORK — Lawyers for U.S. bondholders who are owed money by Argentina can seek information from banks and the republic about a new bond offering it has arranged, a judge said Wednesday.U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa told lawyers for billionaire hedge fund investor Paul Singer’s NML Capital Ltd. that they are entitled to basic facts about the over billion-dollar offering. He said the information will allow them to see if there is any money they can try to obtain to satisfy judgments totaling about $1.5 billion. He called their effort a “legitimate quest.”The judge said he would prefer that Argentina negotiate through a court-appointed special master with the U.S. bondholders to settle their claims but he understands the only other avenue is to try to siphon away money connected to Argentina that is passing through U.S. financial institutions.Argentina’s leaders call the U.S. funds “vultures” because they refused to participate in swaps in 2005 and 2010 in which more than 90 percent of Argentina’s bondholders agreed to accept lesser-valued bonds.Attorney Jonathan Blackman, representing Argentina, told the judge that the offering was a “purely internal domestic Argentine debt offering of a kind Argentina has done repeatedly over many years.”He said the money would be used to fund infrastructure and social issues in Argentina. The republic conducted a similar offering a year ago, he added.He called the request by NML Capital “ridiculous,” saying the bondholders were seeking information in the hopes they could seize assets they were not entitled to.Attorney Robert A. Cohen, representing NML Capital, said he wants to see how the bond deal is structured to ensure it is not a ruse to evade the judge’s orders.The judge has required Argentina to pay the U.S. creditors if they pay bondholders who accepted lesser-valued bonds in the debt swaps.Cohen said Deutsche Bank AG in New York is buying the bonds from Argentina and was making calls to create a market to resell them. He said he knew that was true because some of the plaintiffs had received calls from Deutsche Bank about the bonds.He asked for quick action by the judge because the bond deal was slated to close on Thursday.The judge directed lawyers on all sides to immediately discuss what information can be turned over and to contact him if there are problems.“The plaintiffs are entitled to discovery to determine if the new financing will produce assets which are available to satisfy in whole or in part the plaintiffs’ longstanding unsatisfied debt,” he said. “Mr. Cohen has a legitimate need for very prompt information.”A lawyer for Deutsche Bank told the judge it would cooperate but said NML had not specified what information it was seeking.By Michelle CelarierApril 23, 2015Hedge fund mogul Paul Singer won another small victory in his debt dispute with Argentina when a federal judge agreed Wednesday to let his firm examine details of a $1.4 billion domestic bond offering the country is planning.Singer is looking at the debt sale as a way to attach assets to satisfy judgments it has against Argentina. The country owes $3 billion to Singer and other “holdout” bondholders who refused to participate in an earlier restructuring.Argentina has been shut out of the debt markets since its first default in 2001.Lawyers for the country said the planned offering, which is being led by Deutsche Bank and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, is a domestic financing that falls outside the US courts.The hedge fund believes the money to buy the bonds is flowing through the New York branches of those two international banks.“Calls have been made by plaintiffs to buy bonds in New York,” said Singer attorney Robert Cohen.Federal judge Thomas Grisea stopped short of either giving Singer the 6 p.m. Wednesday discovery order he wanted, or ordering the bond sale halted. Instead, he asked attorneys to get together and share the information.Benedict Mander in Buenos AiresApril 22, 2015Argentina’s thirst for dollars has been temporarily quenched by a $1.4bn bond sale but a state visit to Russia this week is unlikely to yield significant support for its languishing economy.Hindered from issuing debt in international capital markets by a long-running dispute with a group of holdout hedge funds, Argentina succeeded in issuing dollar-denominated debt under local law on Tuesday to bolster precariously low foreign exchange reserves.Having struggled to raise funds since defaulting on its debt last year, the initial $500m offer was more than three times subscribed, mostly by foreign investors whose optimism that Argentina’s struggling economy will rebound under a new administration next year has fuelled a sustained rally in bond prices.Argentina has been forced to seek innovative ways to prop up its dollar-starved economy, turning to countries such as China and Russia to make up for its exclusion from traditional sources of funding and investment since its economic collapse in 2001.But President Cristina Fernández’s trip to Russia this week to advance a budding relationship and follow up on trade and energy deals signed last year is unlikely to lead to concrete economic support before she steps down in December.Although Russian officials told journalists on Wednesday that they would invest about $2bn to build a hydroelectric plant in Argentina, a potentially important energy deal expected to be signed between Russia’s Gazprom and Argentina’s YPF to develop some of the world’s biggest shale reserves in Patagonia will lack concrete commitments.Instead, Argentina’s burgeoning relationship with Russia has led to speculation that it will lease 12 Soviet-era long-range bombers in exchange for beef and grain to alleviate the effect of economic sanctions. This has provoked concerns in the UK government that Buenos Aires poses a “very live threat” to the disputed Falkland Islands, prompting it to ramp up spending to reinforce defences.As well as Russia, Argentina has turned to China for economic support, which has been more forthcoming. Last month, Argentina activated a new instalment, worth $1.5bn, of an $11bn currency swap agreement with China, according to local business paper, El Cronista.In a note to clients this week, Marcos Buscaglia, an economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said “significant balance sheet deterioration in 2015” at the central bank was “well under way” and happening “faster than expected”, warning of pressure on Argentina’s overvalued currency as October presidential elections come closer.But a strategy of seeking dollars from bond investors remains risky, as the so-called holdout investors — led by NML Capital and routinely called “vultures” by Argentine officials — which refused debt restructuring deals, try to block the country’s efforts.“We are closely scrutinising this highly unusual transaction to determine what enforcement actions are appropriate,” said Robert Cohen, lawyer for NML Capital, which is expected to seek to bring the new bonds under a US court ruling that they won in 2012 which prevents Argentina’s bondholders from receiving payment without the holdouts being paid in full.After Argentina aborted a $2bn bond issue backed by JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank in February because of legal complications, the bonds this time were sold directly to investors without using banks as intermediaries. Economy minister Axel Kicillof told state news agency Telam in Moscow that the holdouts “weren’t able to scare off investors with their threats”.In a blog post on Sunday entitled “Everything has to do with everything (when it comes to geopolitics and international power)”, Ms Fernandez suggested that the holdouts had backed Alberto Nisman, the state prosecutor who died mysteriously in January days after accusing the president of covering up Iran’s alleged involvement 20 years ago in Argentina’s worst terrorist bombing. The case against Ms Fernandez has been dropped.By Nate Raymond22 April 2015NEW YORK, April 22 (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Wednesday ruled that hedge funds suing over unpaid debt stemming from Argentina’s 2002 default are entitled to details of a recent bond offering by Buenos Aires.U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa in Manhattan said the funds can seek documents from Argentina and banks including Deutsche Bank AG related to Tuesday’s $1.4 billion bond sale to determine if any assets exist in the United States that could satisfy billions of dollars in unpaid judgments.“That is a legitimate inquiry and a legitimate question,” Griesa said at a court hearing.The ruling applies to Argentina and banks subscribed to the offering, including Deutsche Bank and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA.The hearing came at the urging of NML Capital, an affiliate of billionaire Paul Singer’s hedge fund and the lead creditor suing Argentina for full repayment on the country’s bonds following its $100 billion default in 2002.Philippe Zimmerman, Deutsche Bank’s lawyer, told Griesa the bank would cooperate, though he criticized NML’s last-minute efforts as “troubling.” A representative for BBVA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Argentina defaulted again last July after refusing to honor court orders to pay $1.33 billion plus interest to hedge funds including NML that had spurned the country’s 2005 and 2010 debt restructurings.Despite the litigation, Argentina moved ahead with a sale of Bonar24 bonds issued under local law on Tuesday that saw strong demand from investors ahead of elections in October.NML, though, has said that Argentina’s latest bond offering appears to be covered by orders by Griesa requiring that the country not service its restructured debt unless it also paid the hedge funds.Griesa in March blocked Citigroup Inc from processing interest payments by Argentina on $2.3 billion in dollar-denominated bonds issued under that country’s laws.Griesa, though, said on Wednesday that he did not have information before him to suggest Argentina had indeed sought to evade his orders.Jonathan Blackman, Argentina’s lawyer, told the judge nothing in his past orders prevented the offering from going forward, as it was “purely domestic” in nature.“This is purely an internal transaction,” he said.The hedge funds’ position appeared to remain constant even after the hearing, with another lead creditor, Aurelius Capital Management, issuing a statement saying it believed the offering was made with the “intent to hinder, delay or defraud” it.Aurelius warned that it intends to sue some or all participants in the offering and subsequent bond purchasers for fraudulent transfer, “but only if Aurelius ultimately concludes it is responsible to do so.”April 22, 2015(Reuters) – Argentine state energy company YPF wants to issue a new 10-year bond which it could price close to 8.75 percent, banking sources told Thomson Reuters publication IFR, a day after a sovereign bond auction met with strong demand.The bond would be issued through leads Bank of America Corp Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse, governed by New York law and listed in Luxembourg and Buenos Aires, the sources said.Those leads were approaching investors on Monday with a guidance of around 8.75 percent, the sources added.At a YPF sale in February, the company sold $500 million of bonds, a third less than it had offered as many bids were for higher yields than it would accept.But sentiment among investors regarding Argentine assets is improving ahead of October presidential elections. The next government is expected to be more market friendly and to resolve a long-running legal battle with holdout creditors.Despite being in default on a large share of its restructured bonds, Argentina sold $1.4159 billion worth of local law Bonar24 bonds in a top-up on Tuesday, receiving bids for more than three times the amount on offer.YPF needs to raise cash to invest in its vast but barely tapped Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas resource in order to reverse Argentina’s gaping energy sector trade deficit that is pressuring low foreign reserves.22 April 2015MOSCOW, April 22 (Reuters) – Argentina and Russian state-owned gas producer Gazprom will sign a memorandum on Thursday, Kremlin adviser Yuri Ushakov confirmed on Wednesday.Sources familiar with the situation said earlier that Argentine state oil company YPF was close to signing a memorandum of understanding for Gazprom to make energy investments in the South American country.The memorandum is to be signed in Moscow during a visit by President Cristina Fernandez and YPF chief Miguel Galuccio, according to two Buenos Aires-based sources who asked not to be named and provided no details of the planned deal.Ushakov did not elaborate, but said that Fernandez would meet the heads of Gazprom, Russia’s top oil producers Rosneft and Lukoil as well as Rosatom later on Wednesday.Argentina is keen to reverse a costly energy deficit that will take as much as $200 billion in investment to erase, YPF has said. Key to the effort will be the development of the barely-tapped Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas field in Patagonia.By Bob Van VorisApril 22, 2015The U.S. judge overseeing a dispute between Argentina and holders of its defaulted debt said investors led by Paul Singer’s NML Capital are entitled to information about Tuesday’s $1.4 billion bond offering by the South American nation, but didn’t order disclosure just yet.U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa Wednesday rejected NML’s request that Argentina and two banks that bought the bonds — Deutsche Bank AG and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA — produce details of the sale by Thursday. He directed the parties to try to reach agreement on getting the information to NML.NML wants to try to identify Argentine assets that can be attached to pay judgments against the country stemming from its 2001 default on $95 billion in debt, the hedge fund’s lawyer, Robert Cohen, told Griesa in an hour-long hearing in Manhattan.Jonathan Blackman, a lawyer for Argentina, told Griesa the Tuesday bond sale was a “purely internal, domestic Argentine debt offering of the kind Argentina has done for many years.” The debt was offered only in Argentina and isn’t subject to Griesa’s orders, he said.Argentina hasn’t sold bonds abroad since the 2001 default. After the default, holders of about 92 percent of the repudiated debt agreed to take new bonds, at a discount of about 70 percent. NML and other hedge funds and individuals sued for full payment in the U.S., the forum selected by Argentina in the original bond agreements for resolving disputes.Griesa in 2012 blocked the South American nation from paying restructured bondholders unless it pays the group led by NML Capital that claims $1.7 billion in defaulted debt.The case is NML Capital Ltd. v. Republic of Argentina, 08-cv-6978, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).By Katia Porzecanski and Bob Van VorisApril 22, 2015Aurelius Capital Management, a hedge fund that sued for repayment on defaulted Argentine notes, said a $1.4 billion bond sale by the nation may constitute fraud.In a statement to creditors and financial institutions that participated in Tuesday’s offering, Aurelius said the sale conducted under Argentine law was done with “the intent to hinder, delay or defraud” creditors pursuing payment on defaulted bonds and that they may have the right to pursue relief.“The present notice is intended to ensure that the Notified Persons cannot be said to have taken the Bonds in good faith or without knowledge of the fraud,” the New York-based hedge fund said.A press official for Argentina’s Economy Ministry declined to comment.A group of investors including Aurelius and hedge fund NML Capital won a ruling in U.S. court requiring Argentina to pay holders of defaulted bonds from 2001 whenever it makes payments on securities issued in its debt restructurings. Argentina has refused to comply with the ruling, which in July triggered the nation’s second default on overseas bonds in 13 years.The U.S. judge overseeing the dispute said earlier Wednesday that the creditor group is entitled to information from Argentina about the offering, while rejecting a request that the country and two banks that bought the bonds produce details of the sale by Thursday.He directed the parties to try to reach agreement on getting the information to the so-called holdout creditors.NML wants to identify Argentine assets that can be attached to pay judgments against the country stemming from its 2001 default on $95 billion in debt, the hedge fund’s lawyer, Robert Cohen, told the judge in an hour-long hearing in Manhattan.Argentina hasn’t sold bonds abroad since the 2001 default. After the default, holders of about 92 percent of the repudiated debt agreed to take new bonds, at a discount of about 70 percent, while Aurelius, NML and other creditors fought for better terms in court.9. AURELIUS CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, LP ISSUES PUBLIC NOTICE TO (A) PARTICIPANTS IN ARGENTINA’S OFFERING OF BONAR 2024S AND (B) SUBSEQUENT PURCHASERS OF THOSE BONDS (Business Wire)22 April 2015NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–April 22, 2015– Aurelius Capital Management, LP provides this notice on behalf of those of its managed entities that are creditors of the Republic of Argentina (“Aurelius”).On April 21, 2015, the Republic of Argentina offered for sale $1.4 billion principal amount of bonds known as BONAR 2024s (the “Bonds”). That offering (the “Offering”) is scheduled to settle tomorrow, April 23.Aurelius hereby provides notice to the following persons and entities (the “Notified Persons”):— All participants in the Offering, including without limitation allinitial purchasers of the Bonds and all financial institutions thatfacilitated the Offering or the initial purchasers’ participationtherein.— All subsequent purchasers of the Bonds, whether from the initialpurchasers thereof or from any other such subsequent purchasers.It is Aurelius’s provisional view that the Republic’s incurrence of debt pursuant to the Offering was made with the intent to hinder, delay or defraud Aurelius (as well as many other creditors of the Republic). Aurelius believes that if this provisional view is correct, then (i) this issuance of Bonds would constitute a fraudulent conveyance under the laws of most if not all states in the U.S. and (ii) Aurelius (among others) would be entitled to relief under those laws as against the Notified Persons.The present notice is intended to ensure that the Notified Persons cannot be said to have taken the Bonds in good faith or without knowledge of the fraud. (See, for example, Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act Sec. 8(b)(2) and N.Y. DCL Sec. 278.) In order to preserve its causes of action, Aurelius considered it prudent to provide this notice before the Offering was consummated.The abruptness of the Offering and the limited disclosure attendant thereto have not allowed Aurelius to complete its analysis before issuing this notice. Aurelius intends to bring suit against some or all Notified Persons under fraudulent transfer laws (or other causes of action), but only if Aurelius ultimately concludes it is responsible to do so. Aurelius requests that the Notified Persons retain for one year all documents of any type (including without limitation all emails, other correspondence, and notes) and medium, referring or pertaining to the Offering, the Notified Persons’ participation therein, the Bonds, or the Notified Persons’ purchase thereof.This notice is sent without prejudice to any rights and remedies Aurelius may have against the Notified Persons or anyone else.22 April 2015RATINGS CHANGESRISK RATINGS Current Current Previous PreviousScore Rating Score RatingOverall assessment 65 D 65 DSecurity risk 43 C 43 CPolitical stability risk 50 C 55 CGovernment effectiveness risk 61 D 61 DLegal & regulatory risk 75 D 75 DMacroeconomic risk 100 E 100 EForeign trade & payments risk 75 D 75 DFinancial risk 63 D 63 DTax policy risk 69 D 69 DLabour market risk 64 D 64 DInfrastructure risk 47 C 50 CNote: E=most risky; 100=most risky.The operational risk model is run once a quarter.COMMENTARYIn the latest review of our operational risk model for Argentina, the scores for two categories have strengthened.The score for political stability risk has improved by five points, to 50. There have been a series of general strikes, and also a nationwide protest, following a scandal surrounding the death of a federal prosecutor who had accused the president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, of corruption. However, the foreign reserves position has improved in the wake of a currency swap agreement with China, and this will reduce the short-term risk of any balance-of-payments crisis or sharp devaluation (while not eliminating the risk altogether). In this context, the risk of large-scale social unrest currently appears to have fallen slightly, although further periodic strikes and demonstrations remain extremely likely.The score for infrastructure risk has strengthened by three points, to 47. An improvement is reflected in the World Bank’s World Development Indicators which show 233 telephone mainlines per 1,000 people in 2013 and an increase to 1,625 mobile phones per 1,000 people in the same year.Overall, however, Argentina’s risk score remains unchanged, at 65.11-. ARGENTINA RISK: ALERT – CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS MAY SPUR UNREST (Economist Intelligence Unit – Risk Briefing)22 April 2015NEW SCENARIORisk Briefing’s risk scenarios are potential developments that might substantially change the business operating environment over the coming two years. We analyse the drivers, provide the context and conclude with recommended action. The following scenario has been added at the latest country update.POLITICAL STABILITYSocial unrest increases amid government corruption allegations, producing a disorderly political transitionLow probability; V High impact; Risk intensity = 10The lingering effects of a scandal that shocked the political establishment earlier this year present a risk to political stability. The scandal surrounded the death in January of Alberto Nisman, a federal prosecutor, under mysterious circumstances days after formally accusing the president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, of conspiring with Iran to cover up the latter’s involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish centre in the capital, Buenos Aires– Argentina’s largest ever terrorist attack. Investigations have still not established whether Nisman committed suicide or was murdered, but opinion polls suggest that a majority of the public believes that the latter is the case, highlighting a clear lack of faith in government and state institutions. Ms Fernández’s opinion poll ratings have started to recover after falling sharply in the immediate aftermath of the scandal, aided by a court decision to dismiss Nisman’s accusations. Nonetheless, public frustration over a lack of answers regarding Nisman’s death-as well as the continued failure to bring the perpetrators of the 1994 bombing to justice-will heighten the risk of social unrest. Even before the Nisman affair, the political outlook had been clouded by the state of the economy. Devaluation pressure has persisted and wage demands have skyrocketed amid rampant inflation. In this context-and given the country’s strong tradition of protest and powerful unions-risks to political stability will be high in the run-up to the October 2015 presidential poll. Although the Economist Intelligence Unit believes that the risk of social unrest disrupting the political transition will be relatively low, Argentina does have a relatively recent history of messy political transitions (most recently during the 2001-02 economic crisis, which saw four presidents in the space of a few months), and the threat of further triggers for social unrest impeding the upcoming election cannot be discounted altogether.By John Ingle23 April 2015Antonio Torrent, CEO of Safety Design USA, began discussions with the U.S. Embassy in Argentina about three years ago to expand his oil field support company, and now that dream has been realized with Safety Design headquartered in Wichita Falls.Torrent was one of more than 300 vendors at this year’s Texas Alliance of Energy Producers Expo and annual meeting at the Ray Clymer Exhibit Hall.The electrical engineer is the inventor of a piece of equipment — Fast Grip — that has served ChevronArgentina for the past decade. The concept is simple: Prevent materials including pipes and electrical cables attached to an electro-submersible pump from dropping thousands of feet into an oil well.Torrent said without Fast Grip, oil companies have to “fish” the pump and electric cable out of the well.“Any possibility of a fishing situation makes it a big risk for the people working there,” he said. “All the workers there in the fishing situation (are in a) dangerous situation.”He said in the 10 years that his equipment has been used in Argentina, they have not had any mishaps or accidents.The Fast Grip is placed over the well head when an electro-submersible pump is about to be removed from the well because of aging or malfunction. Crews from Safety Design are on hand while the ESP is being extracted, and if it appears the electrical cable leading to the ESP is about to break, a sensor or worker will trigger the Fast Grips’ hydraulic, pneumatic and electrical components to cause a multiflap wedge to close, catching the ESP’s cable.The Fast Grip stays on site during removal of the ESP through installation of a new one.By Linette LopezApril 22, 2015The Argentine government on Tuesday held a bond offering — something it really hasn’t had an opportunity to do much since its 2001 default. The Republic sold $1.4 billion worth of bonds.So economy minister Axel Kicillof took to Twitter to gloat a little bit (you can check out the tweets in Spanish here).“The analysts said that ‘the market’ was asking us to pay $1.8 billion to the vultures,” he said. “Never the less, the market clearly showed us the opposite: It wasn’t scared by the vultures and it invested $1.4 billion in our country.”This after Argentina technically defaulted on its sovereign debt last fall. The default was just another chapter in its decade-plus legal battle against a group of hedge funds collectively known as NML.NML bought Argentine bonds at basement prices during the country’s 2001 default. Instead of taking a haircut on that debt like over 90% of investors, though, it wanted to be paid 100 cents on the dollar. For that, Argentina refused to pay NML while settling debts with creditors around the world — that made the Republic a pariah of international markets.And so Kicillof is acting as if this bond offering was his country’s coming out party.“The market also rejected the recommendations of rating agencies like Moodys, that are constantly getting their prognostications wrong,” he tweeted. “The difference between what happened in Argentina from 1976 to 2003, today the country takes funds to execute our sovereign economic policy.”Another difference between now and then is that the world is incredibly hungry for yield. The US Federal Reserve’s policy of low interest rates has encouraged investors to take more risk to get a decent return. Some investors believe a new leadership will take over after Argentina’s elections this fall — one friendlier to financial markets.President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is incredibly popular right now, however, and while she can’t run, she can pick a successor who emulates her political philosophy. Not only that, but she can also go back to her old job as a legislator in Argentina’s congress or a governor of a province.She can also return to the presidency by 2019 — and political pollsters in the country believe she’ll do just that.Naturally, Robert Cohen, NML’s lawyer, isn’t having any of this. Here’s the statement he sent out Tuesday:“Those contemplating participation in Argentina’s latest attempt at a global offer should understand that it appears to have all the hallmarks of external indebtedness that is covered by our pari-passu rights. We are closely scrutinizing this highly unusual transaction to determine what enforcement actions are appropriate.”Pari-passu (in case you haven’t been following) is the contractual legal ground under which NML sued Argentina and that says the Republic cannot pay some debt-holders over others.For what it’s worth, when Argentina tried to have a bond offering last February, NML managed to block it, and according to Bloomberg, NML has sent a letter to Deutsche Bank asking it for information about this bond offering, too.According to analysts, if this adds to the Republic’s “foreign indebtedness” as defined by a US Court — meaning that Argentina sold bonds abroad or didn’t stop foreigners from participating in the auction — then some people may be getting their money back.By Adam KlasfeldApril 22, 2015MANHATTAN (CN) – Argentina must let Republican billionaire Paul Singer’s hedge funds peek behind the curtain of its reported sale of $1.4 billion in U.S. dollar-denominated bonds on the local market, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa held today’s emergency hearing on the heels of Argentina’s announcement of a fundraising campaign that the nation expects to close in two days.Singer’s hedge funds NML Capital and Aurelius Capital Management see the news as an opening for them to collect a debt from 2001.Griesa seemed to agree, telling an attorney for the funds in the hour-long hearing: “I believe the parties that you represent are entitled to discovery about this new financing.”This latest ruling adds a new irritant to the already-icy relationship between the judge and the Argentinean republic.For his rulings in favor of Singer’s hedge funds, which gobbled up Argentina’s distressed debt in 2001, Griesa has already had his face superimposed onto the body of a vulture on the streets of Buenos Aires.NML and Aurelius sued the republic in New York seven years later to reclaim 100 cents on the dollar.Countries like Peru, the Congo and Argentina have vilified his funds for this business model, but U.S. courts have routinely found that he holds legally binding contracts.Argentina complains that Griesa’s findings in favor of the hedge funds sidestep measures aimed at settling international debt restructuring. The republic says it participated in two such restructuring plans in 2005 and 2010 that satisfied roughly 93 percent of the creditors.NML, Aurelius and an increasing number of other creditors have found a sympathetic ear in U.S. federal and appellate courtrooms, however, with claims that they deserve to be made whole.“This is a legitimate inquiry,” Griesa said, referring to the funds’ effort to collect on the proceeds of the new sale. “That’s a legitimate quest.”Dechert attorney Robert Cohen told the court that the Argentinean press have been the sale as an attempt to wiggle around the U.S. judiciary.“The headlines say this was a transaction done in order to evade Griesa,” he said.Lawyer Jonathan Blackman, who represents Argentina for the firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, brushed this accusation aside.“The Argentine press prints a lot of things, and some of that are planted by his client,” Blackman said, referring to the hedge funds.Griesa did not factor these allegations into his ruling.“I do not take seriously the press accounts about evading my [ruling], though maybe there’s something to it,” he said.Singer’s funds also claimed to have information that the German-based Deutsche Bank and Spanish-based Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (better known by the initials BBVA) would also take part in the sale.This assertion dragged Deutsche into court, and one of its lawyers called it “unfortunate and deeply troubling” that the hedge funds never provided them with details.With the sale Argentina announced around the corner, Griesa ordered the parties to start discussions about the discovery in the courthouse. Attorneys from Deutsche will participate in that meeting.By Mark P. JonesApril 22, 2015Dec. 10 will mark the end of the 12-and-a-half-year-long Kirchner era in Argentina. The country’s next president will almost without question be more supportive of free enterprise and private investment, have a greater respect for the rule of law — both domestic and international — and pursue a more centrist and pragmatic foreign policy than President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (who succeeded her husband, Néstor Kirchner, in 2007).One of three men will succeed Fernández de Kirchner: city of Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri, National Deputy Sergio Massa or province of Buenos Aires Gov. Daniel Scioli. Scioli and Massa belong to Argentina’s large Peronist movement. Scioli is the standard-bearer of the movement’s pro-government wing led by the term-limited Fernández de Kirchner, while Massa is the informal leader of the opposition wing. Macri is the only viable non-Peronist candidate, and last month cemented an alliance with the Radical Civic Union (UCR), which for almost 70 years has represented the political counterweight to Peronism.If elected, each of the three candidates would reduce the degree of unilateral and opaque government intervention of the Argentine economy, exhibit greater respect for the rule of law and improve Argentina’s frayed bilateral ties with a host of nations ranging from Spain and Germany in Europe to Brazil and the United States in the Americas. Thus, regardless of who wins, we can expect Argentina to move toward the more pragmatic and market-friendly social-democratic models of neighboring Brazil, Chile and Uruguay and away from the contrary model represented by present-day Argentina. That said, there are differences among the candidates in terms of the degree to which they would diverge from the current model of government.Of the three, Scioli is the candidate of continuity, with Argentine policies expected to change the least from the current status quo under a Scioli presidency. Macri, in contrast, is the candidate of change, potentially representing the most dramatic break from the status quo (with a caveat discussed below).On one hand, Massa is the Goldilocks candidate, promising a sharper shift toward the Brazil/Chile/Uruguay model than offered by Scioli, but not as great as that offered by Macri. On the other hand, Massa could arguably be the candidate capable of delivering the most robust reform.If Macri is elected president, his electoral alliance would hold only about one-third of the seats (most belonging to the UCR) in both the Argentine Chamber and Senate and run no more than two-fifths of the country’s provinces. Argentina has no experience with successful coalition government, and it is possible that as president, Macri could find himself very constrained in terms of the actual implementation of his desired reforms. In contrast, if Massa is elected president, an overwhelming majority of Peronists would in all likelihood, in line with the movement’s strong vertical leadership tradition, fall in behind Massa as their new boss. As the undisputed head of a party with substantial congressional majorities and control of more than half of the provincial governorships, a President Massa would quite possibly be better positioned than a President Macri to effect the most transformative policy change, since while his proposals would on average be more modest in scope, their prospects for actual implementation would be higher.The presidential election takes place on Oct. 25. It is expected today that no candidate will win enough votes to avoid a runoff on Nov. 22. Recent polls have Scioli (35 percent) narrowly ahead of Macri (30 percent), with Massa (25 percent) in third place, but well within striking distance.As the bridge between continuity and change, Massa would be favored in a runoff against either Scioli or Macri, but to earn one of the two golden tickets to the dance on Nov. 22, he will need to vault ahead of at least one of his rivals between now and the end of October. With the election six months away, it is not possible to proffer a prediction of the outcome of a hypothetical Macri-Scioli faceoff. There are too many unknown factors, including future campaign dynamics, the state of the economy in November and post-first round actions by Fernández de Kirchner and Massa, which could potentially tilt the outcome in either candidate’s favor.Jones is the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy’s fellow in Political Science and Argentina Program director, the Joseph D. Jamail chair in Latin American studies and the chair of the Department of Political Science at Rice University.16. IN EPIC TWITTER RANT, ARGENTINA’S PRESIDENT DISCOVERS THE INTERNATIONAL JEWISH CONSPIRACY (The Tower Org)By Ben CohenApril 22, 2015“Everything has to do with Everything” sounds like the title of some obscure New Age manifesto. In fact, it’s the headline on a disjointed article by Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in which she claims, in essence, that an international Jewish conspiracy was supporting the efforts of Alberto Nisman, the special prosecutor who spent more than a decade investigating the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires.Nisman was found dead in his Buenos Aires apartment in January, one day before he was due to appear before the Argentine Congress to launch a report charging Fernández de Kirchner and her cohorts with covering up Iran’s culpability for the AMIA bombing. Fernández de Kirchner said almost immediately that Nisman had committed suicide, but she backed down after waves of contradictory evidence emerged that strongly suggested he’d been murdered. If Nisman was murdered, the president opined, it was carried out by those—exactly whom, she didn’t say—who were out to get her as well!The grim reality is that establishing the truth around Nisman’s death is as much a priority for the Argentine government as finding those responsible for the AMIA bombing, the single worst anti-Semitic atrocity since the Second World War. It’s not simply that justice has been denied in both these cases; Fernández de Kirchner has now gone one step further by portraying herself and her government as the innocent victims of a dastardly global operation masterminded by you-know-who.In common with many of today’s anti-Semitic rants, Fernández de Kirchner didn’t mention the word “Jew” in either her article or in a bizarre series of tweets which the Israeli journalist Noga Tarnopolsky deemed worth reading only if you’re under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs. But the underlying meaning was crystal clear.The source of Kirchner’s accusations was Jorge Elbaum, a court Jew and government employee who authored an op-ed in the government mouthpiece Pagina/12. In that piece—which Fernández de Kirchner told us she’d read “3 times! (Something I never do with any news story)”—Elbaum alleged that Nisman had told Argentine Jewish leaders distressed by their country’s rapprochement with Iran that “Paul Singer will help us.”Since those same leaders have denied that Nisman said those words, it is distinctly possible that Elbaum invented the quote in order to fit the theory that Singer, a leading hedge fund manager who has been embroiled in a lengthy legal dispute with Argentina following the country’s 2001 default on its foreign debt, was now funding political opposition to Fernández de Kirchner’s government. In that regard, Elbaum highlighted Singer’s financial support for the Washington, DC-based Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), whose research has highlighted Iran’s support for terrorism around the world. “You see,” wrote Fernández de Kirchner, “everything has to do with everything.”“Everything,” in this case, starts with Paul Singer (dubbed by her as the “Vulture Lord”), FDD, and Argentina’s Jewish leadership, who are engaged in what she called a “global modus operandi” that “generates international political operations of any type, shape and color.”Given these flimsy connections, grounded not on concrete evidence, but on the ant-Semitic assumption that Jews involved in international affairs do so with a hidden agenda, it is hardly surprising that Nisman’s case against the Argentine government has been summarily dismissed in the wake of his death. Yesterday, the pro-Kirchner prosecutor Javier de Luca announced that he would not be pursuing Nisman’s complaint against the government. For good measure, de Luca added that German Moldes, another prosecutor who argued that Nisman’s complaint merited a federal investigation, was a “gangster.”As Moldes pointed out in a radio interview, “I warned three weeks ago that there were delaying maneuvers in places, maneuvers which slowed down the filing in the Appeals Court in order to give [De Luca] time to enter.” It was, Moldes continued, “already decided that he was going to put the final nail in the coffin. He was the grave-digger.”With Fernández de Kirchner now arguing that her opponents’ real aim is to wreck a final deal with Iran over its nuclear program—”For many of us, peace is the best tool to achieve greater global security. It’s a shame that a powerful few have not yet understood that,” she pontificated—perhaps it’s time to finally admit that Argentina’s corrupt judicial system will never secure justice for either the victims of AMIA atrocity or Nisman himself. Twenty-one years after 85 people were callously murdered in a truck bombing, the international community must now hold Argentina’s own leaders to account for their collusion with Iranian-backed terror.For more on the anti-Semitism and intrigue in Fernández de Kirchner’s Argentina, read Iran, the Nisman Murder, and the Future of Jewish Life in Argentina, written by Eamonn MacDonagh for the March 2015 issue of The Tower Magazine.17. MAYBE THE NISMAN MURDER WILL INSPIRE THE NEXT GREAT TRAGIC TANGO FROM ARGENTINA (American Thinker)By Silvio Canto, Jr.April 23, 2015Let me tell you about tango, the dance of Argentina. The songs are passionate. The lyrics are always about intrigue, heartbreak, and those things in life that no one can understand.It won’t be long before the tragedy and heartbreak of Mr. Nisman’s death becomes another tango.This week, the murder of Alberto Nisman took a rather intriguing turn. This is from Jonathan Gilbert:A criminal case against President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner seemed to dissolve Monday when a federal prosecutor dropped accusations that she and her foreign minister had conspired to shield Iranians suspected of planning the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center here.The prosecutor, Javier de Luca, said in a court document that there was no crime on which to base an investigation. The case had been brought by another prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, who died of a gunshot wound to the head hours before he was to present his findings before Congress.Mr. Nisman, who had conducted a lengthy inquiry into the bombing, which killed 85 people, charged that Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite movement, carried it out and that Iranian officials planned and financed it. In a criminal complaint, Mr. Nisman said that an agreement between Argentina and Iran to expedite the investigation into the bombing was actually the veneer for a secret deal in which Argentina, under the orders of Mrs. Kirchner, promised to absolve former Iranian officials accused of masterminding the attack.In exchange, Mr. Nisman wrote, Iran would send oil to Argentina to ease its crippling energy deficit.The bombing case remains unresolved.And the murder of Mr. Nisman will remain unresolved, too.Fausta’s Blog reported that the dismissal came on the day that Mr. Nisman’s mother filed a writ before the Supreme Court to keep her son’s complaint afloat. She also posted that the prosecutor, a man with strong connections to the Fernandez presidency, argued that the negotiations between Iran and the president’s inner circle cannot be considered a crime since conspiracy is not included in the Argentine Penal Code.The dismissal of Mr. Nisman’s case is an insult to the intelligence of every citizen of Argentina. It is also another dagger in the heart of the rule of law. It is shocking!I can understand now why our friends in Argentina are so cynical when it comes to politics.By Paul ByrneApril 23, 2015BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — The head of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Argentina says he is proud, but definitely not surprised, that his friend Pope Francis recently called the 1915 mass killing of Armenians in Turkey “genocide.”Archbishop Kissag Mouradian says he developed a friendship with the pope when Jorge Mario Bergoglio was the Roman Catholic archbishop of Buenos Aires in the 1990s. In private conversations and in public, Mouradian says, Bergoglio expressed support for the strong conviction of Armenians worldwide that the mass slayings constituted genocide, which Turkey denies.Bergoglio often celebrated Mass “recognizing the martyrs (of the Armenian massacre), so we can say that we always knew what his stance was,” Mouradian told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday at the Armenian Cathedral in Buenos Aires.During a Mass this month commemorating the 100th anniversary of the bloodshed that many scholars estimate killed around 1.5 million Armenians, Francis called it “the first genocide of the 20th century.”“Concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it,” Francis said St. Peter’s Basilica on April 12.Turkey has long held that the death estimate is inflated and says that those killed were victims of civil war and unrest, not genocide. The Turkish government reacted strongly to the pope’s comments, recalling its ambassador to the Vatican and accusing Francis of spreading hate and unfounded claims.“I do not often say it in a loud voice, but in this case I really did feel a deep inner pride that my friend could do such a thing,” Mouradian said of the pope’s comments.Mouradian said Bergoglio had a strong relationship with many Armenians in Argentina, which is estimated to be home to about 120,000 ethnic Armenians, many of whose ancestors fled Turkey after the killings.“We are not just leaders of churches or religions, we are two friends,” said Mouradian, who has a picture with the pope in his office.