DDCI calls on New Government to Strictly Regulate Vulture Fund Acquisitions

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Click to open report FROM PUERTO RICO TO THE DUBLIN DOCKLANDS, Dr. Michael Byrne (Debt and Development Coalition Ireland (DDCI)

FROM PUERTO RICO TO THE DUBLIN DOCKLANDS: Vulture funds and debt in Ireland and the Global South – report

DDCI calls on incoming Government to prioritise strict regulation of controversial funds

A new report  released today (Tuesday May 3rd) by Debt Development Coalition Ireland highlights the manner in which vulture funds have aggressively bought up large volumes of debt in recent years, and how this form of financial speculation has had hugely negative social impacts both in Ireland and the Global South.

Entitled “From Puerto Rico to the Dublin Docklands: Vulture Funds and debt in Ireland and the Global South”  the report shows how the Irish government has actively facilitated vulture funds through both the IBRC and NAMA.

For example, Texas based Lone Star Capital bought 60% of all assets brought to market by IBRC, while 90% of assets sold by NAMA went to US firms, the majority to private equity firms.

DDCI Director, Maeve Bateman, said:

“Vulture funds have earned their nickname through the aggressive and unusual tactics they pursue. The government has welcomed vulture funds into the Irish property market, without properly considering the impact. We would call on the incoming government to prioritise this issue. Immediate steps need to be taken to find out just how many mortgages are owned by vulture funds unregulated by the Central bank, and to ensure that the tenants and homeowners living in these homes are better protected.

The relatively recent role of vulture funds in the Irish market highlights the ongoing impacts of our own debt crisis, and shows the case for an independent global sovereign debt resolution mechanism has never been clearer”.

The report’s author, Dr Michael Byrne of the UCD School of Social Policy, said:

The funds’ history of aggressive asset management strategies poses significant risks for tenants and homeowners in Ireland whose homes are now simply assets on balance sheets for the funds, highlighted by the recent case of tenants in Tyrrelstown and business closures such as Clery’s.”

The report recommendations include:

  • The creation of an international sovereign debt resolution mechanism;
  • Legislation to bring about much improved transparency regarding the actions of vulture funds and to bring them under the regulation of the Central Bank
  • Greatly strengthened legal protections for mortgage holders.

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