The Bond Buyer References Eric LeCompte on the Future of Puerto Rico's Debt

The Bond Buyer referenced Eric LeCompte in an article on the future of Puerto Rico's debt following House Bill 1003, a new bond restructuring which is likely to pass through Congress next week. Read an excerpt below and the full article here. 

Questions remain about Puerto Rico deal's viability

When observers were asked if Puerto Rico would be able to afford the deal in the long term, most expressed skepticism. “Strategically speaking, it is a smart move from the [board],” said Fernós Sagebien. “This places the entire burden on the Puerto Rico’s two branches of government [executive and legislative] responsible for the budget as they are now forced to identify nonexistent free cash flow in order for Office of Management and Budget to honor the full pension expenditure.

He said the deal was not affordable and “I don’t believe any of the three parties (Federal Oversight and Management Board, executive branch, and legislative branch) involved care. They all know time is of the essence and we are running out ... they have proven unfit to serve. The citizens of Puerto Rico feel like this is like in Evolutionary Game Theory’s ‘Red Queen's race’: ‘constantly running but remaining in the same spot.’”

Marxuach said the feasibility of the deal could be measured using economic development tools or simply through examining whether it would prevent hunger, provide a good education, decent healthcare, and a reasonable livelihood for the elderly.

“I fear though that Judge Taylor Swain has a strong incentive to approve a plan, any plan,regardless of whether or not it is the best plan for Puerto Rico and the current circumstances,” Marxuach said. “She was appointed to this job by Chief Justice [John Roberts, Jr.] so it is in her professional interests to confirm a plan and put an end to this long process. The risk is that a whole generation of Puerto Ricans would be paying the price of living with a ‘good enough’ plan for decades to come.”

Jubilee USA Network Executive Director Eric LeCompte said, “If not enough debt was cut and revenue plans fail, Puerto Rico will likely default again in a few years. Growth assumptions seem unrealistic, austerity slows growth and Medicare and other federal monies are not certain."

Read more here.