| NEW YORK, July 9
NEW YORK, July 9 The battleground between
Argentina and its holdout creditors shifted from U.S. courts to
the court of public opinion as both sides took out full-page
advertisements to argue their cases in the world's major
Just what can be gained from the ads, which appeared
worldwide, remains to be seen given Argentina lost its legal
case on June 16 when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an
Argentine appeal, letting stand a lower court's order that it
pay holdout creditors $1.33 billion plus accrued interest.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars, perhaps over $1 million
combined from both sides, has been spent on ads in the New York
Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the
Washington Post in the last three weeks.
Both sides have met with a court-appointed mediator in hopes
of structuring a deal before a July 30 deadline, but they have
not met face-to-face.
Argentina's Economy Minister Axel Kicillof has made speeches
at the United Nations and in Washington, repeatedly calling the
holdout creditors "vultures" and saying that U.S. District Judge
Thomas Griesa's rulings were biased.
Argentina published legal notices saying it wouldn't be
responsible for a default because it deposited money with Bank
of New York Mellon at its central bank. U.S.-based BNY Mellon,
the indentured trustee, is seeking Griesa's guidance on what it
should do with the money.
Key holdout creditor Jay Newman, portfolio manager at
Elliott Management Corp, had an opinion piece published in the
Financial Times reiterating a desire to negotiate. This was
followed up by an ad from the American Task Force Argentina, a
lobbying group supported by Elliott and others that calls for
Argentina to abide by the court ruling and pay its debts.
"Argentina has been putting out misinformation in lieu of
negotiating," Robert Shapiro, co-director of American Task For
Argentina (ATFA), said from Buenos Aires where he plans to hold
a press conference with the local media. "We decided to put out
ads that set the record straight in case Argentina says it was
forced to default."
ATFA placed a full-page ad in the Financial Times on
Tuesday, which was repeated in the Wall Street Journal on
Wednesday, titled "The Facts of Argentina's Debt Dispute."
Argentina fired back at the ATFA with another full-page ad
on Wednesday titled: "VULTURE FUNDS: FACTS SHOW THAT IT IS NO
MYTH THAT THEY ARE VULTURES." Attempts to reach Argentina's
embassy in Washington, which e-mailed copies to the media, were
"In the end, nothing that President (Cristina) Kirchner
says, nothing Kicillof says, nothing that I say or Jay Newman
says has any effect on the court rulings," said Shapiro. "If
they would comply with the court rulings, nobody would have to
run any ads for anything. It could have been settled last week."
(Additional reporting by Jennifer Saba in New York. Editing by