Monday, October 29, 2012

I'm Not Crying for Argentina

It's just that I'm not crying for the bondholders either.  We're having a big brouhaha over at Credit Slips over Argentina's default on its bonds, its workout agreements with most bondholders, and recent court decisions on its obligations to pay the holdouts.  I think both the Ghana court and the Second Circuit were flat wrong on the law, and call me funny, but I believe that's what the courts are there to enforce.  A pair of Germans on the board, though, are really going after me because I refuse to buy into their arguments, which really only amount to argumenta ad passiones.   Willi1 sunk 500 million euros (probably his retirement) into this junk and now wants it back.  Jakob represents 150 people who pulled the same stunt and want the same results.  They can't accept that everyone is going to take a massive haircut and that it's just reality and not a massive conspiracy the international legal community cooked up just to defraud them.

The problem is that the same greed they accuse the Argentine government of (properly, in my in no way humble opinion) is what got them into this in the first place.  They sunk their retirement accounts into this refuse pile because all they could see were the promised returns; they never bothered to look at the risks.  They also probably never sought professional advice to sort it out for them either, although I would note that if Jakob advised these folks to buy, and he were in the US, his insurance carrier would be defending a malpractice class action right now.  As I've said repeatedly, if you can't afford to lose the money, don't put it on the craps table, and if you don't understand the rules, DON'T PLAY.

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