In the old days, gunboats used to arrive at debtor countries from creditor countries seeking repayment. These days, the creditors are seizing the gunboats from debtors. The New York Times reports:
The Libertad, a three-mast tall ship with 330 navy cadets and crew aboard, was seized at Tema, an industrial port east of Ghana’s capital, Accra, on Oct. 2 through a court order obtained by N.M.L. Capital, a holdout creditor from Argentina’s default a decade ago that says it is owed more than $370 million. The creditor is among a few remaining holdouts to refuse debt restructuring agreements in 2005 and 2010. It had tracked the vessel through the Libertad’s Web site.N.M.L., a subsidiary of Elliott Capital, a New York-based hedge fund with $20 billion under management, offered to release the ship if Argentina paid a $20 million security. It also offered to bear the costs of flying the sailors home.
Heads are already rolling in Buenos Aires’ military establishment over this fiasco. Three days ago, the navy chief and two other top navy officials resigned; yesterday, the first female military intelligence director stepped down in shame. Meanwhile, the captive Libertad remains in Tema, racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in port fees.Via Meadia is not sure what Elliot Capital management plans to do with a three-masted tall ship, but we are ready to sign up for sunset cruises around New York harbor—or perhaps for a cruise to the Falkland Islands!