Congo Blasts ‘Vulture’ Giuliani Backer

By Justin Rood

Nov 1, 2007 12:23pm

A financial supporter of Rudy Giuliani’s presidential bid is under fire from a developing nation for what the country calls predatory financial practices.

The African Republic of Congo has launched a lobbying and PR blitz in Washington, D.C., targeting "vulture" investors who buy up third-world debt cheaply and then apply legal muscle to force them to pay, according to the Washington, D.C. newspaper The Hill.

One such investor is Paul Singer, they say, whose $8 billion hedge fund controls an investment group which owns $118 million in Congolese debt — and wants to collect.

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Singer and his employees have given more than $180,000 to Giuliani’s campaign this year, according to the Los Angeles Times. And as chairman of Giuliani’s fundraising in the Northeast, Singer has helped raise over $10 million for the former New York mayor’s presidential bid, the paper reported in September.

Congo’s lobbyists are linking Singer’s largesse to GOP causes — he has reportedly given more than $1.7 million to the Republican Party since 2000 — and to what they consider inaction by the Bush administration to stop the "vulture fund" behavior of his investment group and others.

A spokesman for Singer’s fund told The Hill that the allegations were "name-calling," and that the outfit only targeted "sovereign [nations] who can pay, but refuse." The Giuliani campaign did not comment.

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