Argentina’s Supreme Court has offered a valuable lesson on how to deal with financial criminals: arrest them and haul them before the courts! Unlike Barack Obama’s Justice Department, which “punishes” Wall Street and other financial predators with a slap on the wrist, Argentina’s Court confirmed on Feb. 10 that David Mulford, former Deputy Treasury Secretary under George H.W. Bush and current executive at Credit-Suisse Group AG, is subject to international arrest for his role in “defrauding the Argentine state” in relation to the $30 billion “mega-swap” he orchestrated in June, 2001 with his protege, then-Finance Minister Domingo Cavallo.
Mulford, who has spent decades imposing and enforcing genocidal austerity on developing nations, looting their economies and training killers like himself, has repeatedly ignored subpoenas to appear before Argentine courts to answer the charges against him. Cavallo has been indicted for defrauding the state and conducting negotiations “incompatible with the public interest,” and dozens of other bankers considered to be his and Mulford’s accomplices have also been indicted.
But Mulford is a big fish and the Argentines are, correctly, showing no mercy. As head of Credit Suisse-First Boston’s International Division, he personally oversaw every last detail of the $30 billion 2001 swap, which was nothing but an outrageous plan to loot an Argentine economy that would implode six months later. Bonds were swapped at a usurious 15.3% interest rate — compared to the average 7% rate on the original bonds — which meant that over the 30-year life of the swap, Argentina would have paid $52 billion more in interest than it would have otherwise! Moreover, the seven foreign banks that Mulford selected as “intermediaries” — HSBC, Credit-Suisse First Boston, JP Morgan, Grupo Santander Central Hispano, among others — received an obscenely-high $160 million in commissions.
At the time, Mulford chortled that “[Argentines] will have to pay dearly for that little favor,” referring to the megaswap’s non-existent “debt relief.” He’s probably not laughing now. Denying defense motions from Mulford’s lawyers, the Supreme Court ratified Federal Judge Marcelo Martinez de Giorgi’s September, 2012 declaration that Mulford was “in rebellion” for failing to respond to subpoenas, after which he issued an international arrest warrant for him. Martinez de Giorgi announced that he had contacted Interpol’s Extradition Department, the Argentine Federal Police, and the Director of Criminal Statistics to arrest Mulford, wherever he may be, and extradite him to Argentina.