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When hedge funds bought up the Republic of Congo’s debt and started chasing the impoverished African nation for repayment plus interest, the country’s president, Denis Sassou-Nguesso, took the battle to Washington, D.C.

Sassou-Nguesso hired a host of insiders to do battle with the so-called vulture funds on his behalf. In March 2008, Sassou-Nguesso settled with the hedge funds — but his lobbying effort is still thriving.

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