September 28, 2016
Sir, Jonathan Wheatley writes: “In a broad sense, Caracas is already a serial defaulter. It has defaulted on its people by denying them access to the dollars they need for essential imports…” “Only one of Venezuela’s creditors is being paid without fail, on the button, every time: its international bondholders” “Venezuela clutches at straws in desperation to avoid bond default” September 28.
Let me ask: What would be a correct description of he who collects from a debtor knowing that he is being paid by a government because it denies food and medicines to its people? Or is that a moral irrelevance?
And what if the international bondholder’s would all just turn up to be close affiliates to the current government? I mean “A PDVSA bond maturing in 2017, on which a $2.3bn payment is due on November 2, is trading at about 80 per cent of par — hardly a sign of panic” could be indicative of it. Would it then just be another case of corruption? Insider trading?
The world needs a Sovereign Debt Restructuring Mechanism (SDRM) but, for that to be of any service or at least not a disservice to We the People, it needs to start with clearly defining what should be considered as odious credits or odious borrowings. As a minimum all bonds should not be bearer bonds, as we citizens should always have the right to clearly be able to identify who are financing our governments, and in what conditions, so that if we are not able to hold our governments accountable, like in Venezuela, we are at least able to hold its (our) creditors accountable.