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The unfortunate experience in recent years of the American holders of defaulted foreign bonds led to the passage by Congress on May 27, 1933, of the Corporation of Foreign Bondholders Act, as Title II of the Federal Securities Act. It was designed to furnish a medium through which American bondholders could act jointly in the adjustment of their claims against defaulting governments or other foreign entities. The holders of the defaulted bonds of a foreign state occupy a peculiar position. They cannot sue in the bondholders' state, nor, even where foreign governments permit themselves to be sued, have they any effective remedy in the courts of the foreign country. The diplomatic channel has been occasionally opened to them, but in most countries only on proof of discrimination against them as nationals of a particular country or on some evidence of denial of justice or bad faith, such as the diversion of security, or the repudiation of specific pledges or guaranties. Mere failure by reason of inability to pay is not alone deemed ipso jure, a violation of international law. While unofficial good offices have often been extended by the governments of the bondholders in an effort to assist them in obtaining payment or adjustment of rightful claims, and while the line separating good offices from official representations is not so clearly defined as is often supposed, bondholders have had no assurance of legal protection either judicial or diplomatic.
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Bonds, Congress, securities, discrimination, nationals, debt, default, war, mismanagement, world trade