Argentina holds gun to Citi's head

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A lawyer for Citibank said the government of Argentina has 'a gun to our head,' threatening the forced takeover of its branch in that country if the bank obeys a U.S. judge’s order blocking it from making payments to holders of $8.4bn in Argentine bonds.

'We’re going to obey, and if we obey, we have a gun to our head and the gun will probably go off,' Citibank’s lawyer, Karen Wagner, said Thursday in arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan. 'I ask this court, what good will that do? It won’t change what Argentina does.'

Bloomberg News reports that U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa in Manhattan barred Citibank on July 28 from forwarding a $5 million interest payment due Sept. 30 to the bondholders if the South American nation continues to refuse to make payments on its defaulted debt.

If it doesn’t pay, Citibank claimed, the Argentine branch and its executives face possible criminal and civil penalties, including the loss of its banking license and nationalization by Argentina.

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Citibank Tells Court Argentina Has a Gun to Its Head

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