Multinationals suing Countries; Argentina’s Debt

The following article is written by Tony Phillips an Irish and Argentine economist specialising in the build up to and the consequences of excessive national debt. He is Editor (with Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz and former Argentine minister for economics Roberto Lavagna) of his most recent book: “Europe on the Brink; Debt Crisis and dissent in the European Periphery” which is published in English, Spanish and Portuguese. (Ya también disponible en Castellano bajo el título “

The article gives an account of Argentina’s woes in defending itself in what was then 37 tribunal cases taken against Argentina in the World Bank arbitration court called the ICSID (International Centre for Settlement of investor Disputes). The ICSID is an Investor-State Dispute Settlement tribunal (SDS) that is it is a tribunal where private corporations can sue governments (via Bilateral Investment Treaties) for claims in investment losses (including future profits). The European Union (EU) is currently trying to make member states vulnerable to such law suits by signing trade and investment agreements such as TTIP which have ISDS built into them.

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