WILL PUERTO RICO BECOME OUR 51st STATE OR BE CUT LOOSE WITH A DEBT 9X BIGGER THAN DETROIT'S?
LAST WEEK Puerto Rico officially became the largest bankruptcy case in the history of the American public bond market.
On May 3, a fiscal control board imposed on the island’s government by Washington less than a year ago suddenly announced that Puerto Rico’s economic crisis had “reached a breaking point.” The board asked for the immediate appointment of a federal judge to decide how to deal with a staggering $123 billion debt the commonwealth government and its public corporations owe to both bondholders and public employee pension systems.
The announcement sparked renewed press attention to a Caribbean territory that many have dubbed America’s Greece.
The island’s total debt, according to the control board, is unprecedented for any government insolvency in the U.S., and it is certain to mushroom quickly if no action is taken. Detroit’s bankruptcy, by comparison, involved just $18 billion — one-ninth the size of Puerto Rico’s.
Within days, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts....appointed federal Judge Laura Taylor Swain....[who] famously presided over the long criminal trial of employees of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme.
Few press reports on Puerto Rico’s troubles, however, have bothered to examine the deeper issues behind this crisis...
[And] now, with a Washington-appointed board directly overseeing the island’s economy, and with a pivotal Supreme Court decision last year affirming that Congress continues to exercise sovereign power over Puerto Rico, the mask of self-governance has been removed...
...Civil society groups contend that the plunder of the Puerto Rican people through predatory and even illegal bond deals that island politicians concocted together with top Wall Street firms will now be exposed
~THE INTERCEPT Juan Gonzalez
Three quarters of the bond debt cannot be repaid. According to this article, this failure will reverberate through all U.S. Bond Markets
PUERTO RICO’S $123 BILLION BANKRUPTCY IS THE COST OF U.S. COLONIALISM