Vulture funding, a term that refers to private entities investing in cheap, high-risk debt with the hopes of earning high returns when the debtor fails, can threaten the already vulnerable economies of poor countries. As an example, Argentina has recently suffered losses due to vulture funding and is now recovering from the economic damage.
This summer, Charles Allegar ’14 is interning with the Jubilee USA Network, an alliance of 75 U.S. organizations, 50 global partners and other members that challenge the actions of global financial authorities. The network is building an economy that serves and protects vulnerable countries and corporations around the world. Jubilee USA also encourages responsible borrowing and lending by powerful institutions, tax reforms that close loopholes and international financial institution reform that promotes more accountability, accommodation and transparency.
The Scott Steven Morris ’86 Fund, administered by Hamilton’s Career Center, is supporting Allegar’s internship with the organization.
Writing blog posts for the Jubilee network is a typical duty for Allegar. He details macroeconomic problems and other issues plaguing countries that may not be able to broadcast the problems and appeal for aid themselves.
Allegar also researches histories behind the debt accumulation in countries such as Ghana, Pakistan and Uganda. He examines from what countries or companies they are receiving funds and to what the money is designated and then he develops arguments outlining why these countries’ debt should be forgiven. Allegar said that countries are expected to pay off this predatory debt that takes away from their domestic antipoverty measures and other spending initiatives.
Another area that Allegar is researching is tax havens, countries in which tax rates are exceptionally low or non-existent. He is examining how global corporations establish their businesses in these havens to reduce their tax expenditures. Allegar hopes that international financial agencies will address the issue and “curb corporations’ manipulative behavior.”
With a world politics concentration focusing on poverty and development, Allegar enjoys how this internship allows him to explore global issues pertinent to his major. He always thought international financial agencies were both responsible and fair, but Allegar said “the organizations’ involvement with vulture funds, tax havens and other structural injustices have shown me otherwise.”
Allegar helps Jubilee with grassroots lobbying, and he enjoys working people, listening to their opinions before contacting Congress. He sends potential supporters resources and materials on current issues. Allegar then encourages them to contribute to the cause however they see fit, whether it be writing a petition, contacting their local representative or providing monetary support. Spending time on Capitol Hill has also solidified Allegar’s interest in pursuing a career involving economic injustice advocacy in D.C.
Allegar is a graduate of Central Dauphin High School (Pa.).