Bretton Woods Cites Eric LeCompte Discussing the Current Financial Crisis

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently cited in Bretton Woods speaking on the current financial crisis. This discussion was held at the International Monetary Fund/ World Bank Spring Meeting Civil Society Forum event. Read the excerpt below and follow the link to full article.

Financial crisis 10 years on. Has the response to 2008 laid the foundations for the next?

By: Miriam Brett

Since January in the USA, there has been an attempt to repeal financial regulation measures put in place following the financial crisis.

The proposed repeal of section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act – also known as Cardin-Lugar anti corruption law – poses a significant threat. This is the portion of the legislation that called for greater transparency, recording payment processes, which acted as an anti-bribery law and covered areas such as illicit financial laws, tax evasion, and corruption. 1504 was under sustained attack and repealed in the House of Representatives.

This was significant as it had been used as a model for regulation and legislative measures post crisis, and a consensus was brought about on this.

A model law could offer a different approach and a legislative remedy to deal with 51 per cent of where the world’s debt stock is marketed. The US and UK have between an 85 and 90 per cent share of the debt market, and Germany, Singapore and Japan also charting high.

There is a possibility to change New York law as a model law, to say that if ¾ of investors agrees to a structuring, we have to move things forward for debt to be arbitrated, which could offer a viable and clear path forward.

Read more here.

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Metro Puerto Rico Covers Religious Leaders Letter to PR Oversight Board

Metro Puerto Rico covers a letter form Religious Leaders in Puerto Rico to the Financial Oversight and Management Board.  Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was also featured in the article. 

Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.

Religiosos hacen peticiones a la Junta en nueva carta:Los religiosos enviaron hoy la carta a la Junta de Control Fiscal

By: Metro Puerto Rico

Por su parte, Eric LeCompte, director ejecutivo de Jubilee USA, expuso en una comunicación escrita que "Puerto Rico no puede pagar ninguna deuda hasta que se recupere de los huracanes, ve un crecimiento económico sostenido y una reducción de la pobreza infantil". "Además de cancelar la mayor parte de la deuda de Puerto Rico, un nuevo plan fiscal debería evitar una mayor austeridad, reducir la corrupción y respaldar protecciones sociales adecuadas", agregó.

Finalmente, Jubilee USA indicó que en la carta que los líderes religiosos enviaron a la Junta el martes, pidieron una moratoria de pago de la deuda de 5 años. "Instamos a todas las partes interesadas a dialogar y trabajar juntas por el renacimiento, la libertad y la nueva vida para la gente de Puerto Rico".

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Puerto Rico Should Cut Debt and Protect Poor Say Island Religious Leaders

As Puerto Rico's oversight board considers a fiscal plan, major religious leaders say the final plan should cut debt, prevent austerity and reduce child poverty. San Juan's Catholic Archbishop, Puerto Rico Evangelical Bible Society leader and the Executive Director of the island's Catholic Charities sent a letter to the oversight board.

"We are writing as you prepare to certify a new fiscal plan for Puerto Rico that takes into account the devastation and immense suffering of Puerto Rico's people due to hurricanes, Irma and Maria," wrote Archbishop Roberto González, Reverend Heriberto Martinez and Reverend Enrique Camacho. "We are concerned that the current fiscal plan under debate fails to consider the serious impact of these storms. We are concerned that monies Congress authorized for healthcare and hurricane relief could be used to pay creditors."

In the summer of 2016, Congress passed emergency debt crisis legislation that created a federally appointed oversight board to implement a fiscal plan for an island that wrestles with a 58% child poverty rate. After the hurricanes struck, the oversight board withdrew their original plan in order to create a new plan to take into account the impact of the storms.

Puerto Rico's Governor submitted a new plan that the oversight board is scheduled to certify this week. The new proposed fiscal plan pays 40 cents on the dollar for debt service when the previous plan in place before the hurricanes paid 25 cents on the dollar to creditors. Governor Ricardo Rosselló and the oversight board have disagreed about implementing a debt payment moratorium and cuts to public pensions.

"Puerto Rico can not pay any debt until it recovers from the hurricanes, sees sustained economic growth and a reduction in child poverty," noted Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte who advises Puerto Rico's religious leaders. "In addition to canceling most of Puerto Rico's debt, a new fiscal plan should prevent further austerity, curtail corruption and support adequate social protections."

In the letter that the religious leaders sent to the oversight board on Tuesday, they called for a 5 year debt payment moratorium, for at least 80% of the total debt to be cut and urged that a focus of the plan should be to stem migration from Puerto Rico.

"We urge all stakeholders to dialogue and work together for rebirth, freedom and new life for Puerto Rico's people. Puerto Rico can be reborn after the hurricanes," stated Puerto Rico's religious leaders in their letter to the oversight board. "Puerto Rico's people can be free from debt, corruption and constraining economic policies."

Read the full religious leader letter

Lea la carta completa del líderes religiosos

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Global Renewal: Debt Relief and Financial Investments Towards a Sustainable Future

Global Renewal: Debt Relief and Financial Investments Towards a Sustainable Future

What: IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings Panel

Debt crises and rising debt levels pose challenges to global growth and sustainable economies. Market fluctuations, commodity issues and natural disasters press countries to borrow. Countries across Africa and Caribbean islands like Puerto Rico are struggling with unsustainable debt. We will discuss solutions for economies faced with debt crisis.

WhoMark Flanagan, IMF Debt Policy Division; Reverend Heriberto Martinez, Puerto Rico Bible Society; Bodo Ellmers, EURODAD; Tirivangani Mutazu, AFRODAD and Eric LeCompte, Jubilee USA Network (moderator)

Sponsors: Jubilee USA Network and AFRODAD

When: April 20, 2018
2:00 - 3:30 pm
Where: IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings
IMF HQ2
Room 03B - 838B

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Financial Crisis 10 Years On. Has the Response to the Last Crisis Laid the Foundations for the Next?

Financial Crisis 10 Years On. Has the Response to the Last Crisis Laid the Foundations for the Next?

What: IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings Panel

Since 2008, IFIs, the G20, governments, and central banks have embarked on a reform agenda that was supposed to fix the old crises and prevent the next. Measures ranged from bank bailouts and quantitative easing to partial financial sector reform. While the impact of the old crisis is still being felt, there are already signs of the next. At the same time, the pace of financialization of the global economy keeps increasing, under the added pressure of wide-scale promotion of large  infrastructure investments and related public-private partnerships.

WhoTamim Bayoumi, IMF Strategy, Policy and Review; Maggie Murphy, Transparency International; 
Manual Montes, Finance and Development, South Centre; Eric LeCompte, Jubilee USA Network
and Bodo Ellmers, EURODAD (moderator)

Sponsors: Jubilee USA Network, Eurodad, Center of Concern, Brot Fur die Welt,
Financial Transparency Coalition, and the CSO Financing for Development Group

When: April 19, 2018
2:00 - 3:30 pm
Where: IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings
IMF HQ2
Room 03B - 838B

To attend these events, members of the press must be credentialed for the IMF/WB Spring Meetings. Register for credentials here.
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IMF World Economic Outlook Report Raises Concerns for Long-Term Growth

The International Monetary Fund releases its World Economic Outlook (WEO) Report, forecasting global growth in the short-term and raising concerns on possible economic downturns beyond the next few quarters. The Fund issues the report ahead of the Spring IMF and World Bank meetings where world leaders, finance ministers and nongovernmental organizations gather this weekend on the 10-year anniversary of the global financial crisis.

"In the near term the IMF sees continued economic growth, but it's warning that continued growth is short lived," noted Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte, who has tracked IMF meetings for nearly 10 years. "The IMF is warning that rising debt levels are a growing risk around the world."

Recently the Fund released analysis focusing on specific concerns with rising, unsustainable debt levels in Africa. While the Fund's economic outlook report predicts short-term global growth of 3.9%, it highlights debt levels, trade policies, decreased labor participation and aging populations as risks to long-term growth.

"The IMF is asserting that now is the time for countries to get their houses in order to prevent and be prepared for future financial crises," noted LeCompte who serves on United Nation expert groups that focus on economic issues. "Overall these economic forecasts allude to growing inequality and increasing divides between the rich and the poor."

Read the April 2018 World Economic Outlook

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National Catholic Reporter Talks with Eric LeCompte on Puerto Rico Fiscal Plan

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently featured in the National Catholic Reporter speaking on Puerto Rico's fiscal future. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.

Puerto Rico needs bold, visionary effort, especially in energy

By: Michael Sean Waters

Beyond the challenges inflicted by the hurricane, the fiscal crisis has only worsened. "Early last year, Puerto Rico's oversight board and governor authorized a fiscal plan with high debt payment cuts and austerity measures," Eric LeCompte, executive director of JubileeUSA told NCR. JubileeUSA has been very active monitoring the debt crisis negotiations. "When the hurricanes hit, the oversight board eliminated the previous plan to make room for a new plan that took into account the storm devastation. As we were working on a new fiscal plan early this year, there were some serious improvements, including a complete stop on debt payments." For a variety of reasons, Puerto Rico’s public debt soared in the past 10 years as economic activity on the island never rebounded from the 2008 recession and the phasing out of special tax breaks for manufacturing on the island in 2006. 

"Unfortunately, the governor's most recent plan looks largely similar to the plan before the hurricanes and doesn't stop debt payments or take into account the magnitude of hurricane damage," says LeCompte. "In the next few weeks, the oversight board will likely certify a new fiscal plan and we need to be sure that a new plan stops all debt payments for at least five years, supports a high total principle cut of the debt, lessens austerity and has specific measures to only pay debt in the future if we see sustained economic growth and child poverty reduction." 

LeCompte is also worried that Congress may not authorize the reconstruction money the island needs. "Puerto Rico can't succeed if Congress does not authorize the remaining recovery funds the island needs," he told me. "We continue to work with congressional leadership to get the remaining installments of relief aid over the coming months." 

Read more here.

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ValueWalk Features Eric LeCompte Discussing Puerto Rico's Debt

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently featured in ValueWalk speaking on Puerto Rico's debt. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.

Puerto Rican Debt Negotiations At Critical Crossroads

By: Mark Melin

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA, a debt relief advocacy group, told ValueWalk negotiations have become “a Kabuki dance over what should and should not be in the plan.”

The fiscal plan will set the framework for a final solution, which could occur through two routes.

One solution can occur through direct negotiations between all interested parties, including creditors. The other is for Judge Laura Taylor Swain, who was appointed to supervise the bankruptcy process, to issue a ruling on the final settlement. The negotiation process includes input from creditors while Judge Swain, who has shown a propensity to side with those advocating debt relief, is not required to negotiate with creditors.

Pushing for a solution comes as US lawmakers authorized Promesa in June 2016 to create a board and iron out a turnaround plan which, to date, has not materialized.

LeCompte, who negotiated with Congress to set up the current process and advocates against austerity measures until hurricane relief is complete, would like to see a long-term solution. He advocates creating a new type of bond that increases its payout to investors as the economy picks up steam but automatically suspends debt payments if or when another natural disaster occurs.

If a permanent solution is created that gives investors an extra payout during times of strong economic growth it would set a precedent. Currently being discussed are solutions where a Puerto Rican bond might pay 6% or 7% during “normalized” conditions. If the economy improves beyond clear benchmarks investors might receive 10%, LeCompte said. But if a natural disaster were to occur, the bond payments would be halted until the humanitarian crisis subsides.

At issue in negotiations are government workers taking a 10% cut in their pensions while creditors might take an 80% cut in their payments until the current hurricane relief program is complete.

“If we don’t get it right, if Puerto Rico doesn’t get back to economic growth, no one wins,” LeCompte said. “Consumers need to consume in order for an economy to grow and there can only be promise if good economic policies are in place.”

Read more here.



 

 

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Before the next hurricanes come...

Friends -

Struggling with high poverty rates, islands across the Caribbean are still recovering from a brutal hurricane season.

The next hurricane season begins in two months and we really need your help.

Because of our efforts together, we've seen progress on debt relief and aid for Dominica and Puerto Rico, for Barbuda and the US Virgin Islands. But we have much more we need to do before the next hurricane season starts in two months. Please make a tax-deductible donation to Jubilee USA to support our strategic efforts that win economic policies that will protect vulnerable communities before the next disaster strikes.

Since the hurricanes hit last fall, together we moved the White House, Congress, G20, United Nations and International Monetary Fund to follow our call and take action. Now new policies we campaigned on for years are finally being debated for debt relief and austerity prevention after disasters hit worldwide.

Our partners across the Caribbean are calling for debt, tax, transparency and trade policies that protect the poor in the face of crisis. We have a brief window to move Congress, the IMF and United Nations.

Please join me and make a donation to Jubilee USA today. Whether you can donate $5, $25 or $500, your support is needed now to win critical debt, tax and transparency campaigns—before the next hurricane hits.

We are so grateful for your partnership.

To our many friends and partners celebrating the hope and promise of Passover and Easter, we at Jubilee USA celebrate with you.

Happy Passover, Happy Easter!

 

Eric_Signature.transparent.jpg

Eric LeCompte
Executive Director
Jubilee USA Network
eric@jubileeusa.org

Twitter: @Eric_LeCompte
www.jubileeusa.org/support-us



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Jubilee USA Network
212 East Capitol St NE - Washington, DC 20003
(202) 783-3566 - coord@jubileeusa.org


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Puerto Rico Governor and Oversight Board Spar on Fiscal Plan

The certification of a plan to get Puerto Rico out of debt and back to economic growth was delayed again this week. Puerto Rico's federally appointed oversight board told the island Governor Ricardo Rosselló to submit a revised plan next week with an aim towards board certification by April 20th.

"Various fiscal plan versions fail to take into account the continued suffering in Puerto Rico after hurricanes Maria and Irma," stated Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte. "Before the hurricanes hit, nearly sixty percent of kids on the island lived in poverty. I'm worried that a final plan could propose paying debts instead of tackling hurricane recovery, limiting austerity and reducing child poverty."

LeCompte testified to the oversight board about solutions to the island's financial crisis before the board certified the original plan in 2017. After the hurricanes hit, the board revoked the previous plan to make room for a new fiscal plan that took into account the impact of the hurricanes. Sparring over benefit cuts and halts on debt payments, the Governor and oversight board have gone back and forth on new fiscal plan versions since January.

"Puerto Rico should not make a single debt payment until it sees positive and sustained economic growth," said LeCompte. "Puerto Rico can not afford to pay debt at the expense of its children."

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