President Barack Obama's administration is mulling whether to intervene in a legal battle pitting the Argentine government against U.S. investors who refused to accept debt swaps in 2005 and 2010, including a prominent Republican campaign donor, the Washington Post reported.
Justice Department officials met Friday with attorneys from both parties in the case as Washington considers whether to weigh in on the matter before it is asked to by the U.S. Supreme Court, sources familiar with the meeting told the daily.
The Obama administration must decide whether to side with the Argentine government in a decade-old legal battle with a group of U.S. hedge funds and other holders of Argentine bonds, some of which they purchased at a steep discount after the country's $100 billion default in 2002.
The hedge funds - led by NML Capital Ltd, a company controlled by Paul Singer, a billionaire and prominent Republican Party donor - have been battling in the U.S. courts to force the country to pay what they say is the reasonable value of the debt.
Argentina's government settled with the vast majority of its bondholders, who accepted a steep "haircut" on the debt amounting to as little as 25 cents on the dollar, but Singer and others have refused to agree to a restructuring.
On June 25, the Argentine government filed an appeal with the Supreme Court against a ruling by a U.S. federal judge who sided with the hedge funds and ordered the South American nation to pay more than $1.3 billion to the holdouts.
In its Supreme Court appeal, Argentina said that ruling represented "an unprecedented intrusion into the activities of a foreign state within its own territory that raises significant foreign relations concerns for the United States." EFE