Clinton’s former U.N. Ambassador makes a boo-boo

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nancy Soderberg’s column in Monday’s Financial Times (subscribers only) calling on Argentina to pay of its international debts and reject aid from Hugo Chavez, first raised eyebrows here at FP because of Soderberg misidentifying Mexico’s current president as Vicente Fox. Oops. Fox was, of course, succeeded at the end ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
599416_VicenteFox_05.jpg
599416_VicenteFox_05.jpg

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nancy Soderberg's column in Monday's Financial Times (subscribers only) calling on Argentina to pay of its international debts and reject aid from Hugo Chavez, first raised eyebrows here at FP because of Soderberg misidentifying Mexico's current president as Vicente Fox.

Oops.

Fox was, of course, succeeded at the end of last year by Felipe Calderón, a fact that should be well known to anyone in a position to comment on Latin American affairs (not to mention the FT's fact checkers). The paper has since corrected the mistake, but the piece still warrants some further scrutiny. 

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nancy Soderberg’s column in Monday’s Financial Times (subscribers only) calling on Argentina to pay of its international debts and reject aid from Hugo Chavez, first raised eyebrows here at FP because of Soderberg misidentifying Mexico’s current president as Vicente Fox.

Oops.

Fox was, of course, succeeded at the end of last year by Felipe Calderón, a fact that should be well known to anyone in a position to comment on Latin American affairs (not to mention the FT‘s fact checkers). The paper has since corrected the mistake, but the piece still warrants some further scrutiny. 

Soderberg—whose personal Web site describes her as an expert on a number of regions, which do not include Latin America—is described by FT as co-chair of the American Task Force Argentina. The ATFA, in case you were wondering, is a lobbying group funded by creditors, some of them so-called “vulture funds” or investment firms who bought millions of dollars worth of Argentine bonds when the country defaulted on its debts in 2001-2002. Whatever you think of the debt issue and the swing toward economic populism in Latin America that Soderberg denounces, doesn’t The Financial Times owe its readers more context when it turns over its editorial page to a lobbyist for debt collectors?

For more on the role of vulture funds around the world, see David Bosco’s article, The Debt Frenzy, from our July/August issue. His take may surprise you.

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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