Category Archives: Bankruptcy

Obama Appoints Board to Restructure Puerto Rico’s Debt – the New Greece?

 

Earlier this summer Puerto Rico which is $70 billion plus in debt defaulted (third default) on $779 million worth of general obligation bonds. The day before Barack Obama signed into legislation, Puerto Rico Debt Crisis Bill aka PROMESA (Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act) which will undoubtedly lead to U.S.-imposed austerity measures on the federal territory.

Tasked with overseeing Puerto Rico’s debt problem is the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico, a bipartisan group of seven individuals, four of whom were selected by House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. And the remaining three by Obama.

The appointees are:

  • Andrew G. Biggs* – resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and former deputy commissioner in the Social Security Administration;
  • Jose B. Carrión III* – a native of Puerto Rico, president and principal partner of HUB International, an insurance brokerage firm in Puerto Rico;
  • Carlos M. Garcia* – CEO and founder of BayBoston Managers LLC and board chairman of Caribbean Financial Group Holdings, L.P.;
  • Arthur J. Gonzalez** – retired Chief Judge of United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, Senior Fellow at New York University School of Law (NYU) and former adjunct professor at NYU;
  • José R. González**– Chief Executive Officer and President of Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (FHLBNY);
  • Ana J. Matosantos**– President of Matosantos Consulting, former Director of California’s Department of Finance, former Chief Deputy Director for Budgets and former Deputy Legislative Secretary for Health and Human Services and Veterans Affairs.  All positions were with the debt laden state of California; and
  • David A. Skeel Jr.* – corporate law professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

*Republican appointees.
**Obama appointees

In addition to restructuring Puerto Rico’s $70 billion debt, according to a White House press release, the seven member board which  has been dubbed by Communists recognizing an opportunity the “colonial control” board, would oversee collaborate with the government of Puerto Rico to “create the needed foundation for economic growth and to restore opportunity to the 3.5 million Americans of Puerto Rico….”

The CBO estimated the cost to American taxpayers of operating the Oversight Board for Puerto Rico is $370 million covering the fiscal period 2017 to 2022.

Obama’s Oversight Board will be charged with “powers to approve, for territory governments or instrumentalities of those governments (such as public corporations or municipal governments):

  • Fiscal Plans;
  • Budgets;
  • Voluntary agreements with bondholders;
  • Debt restructuring plans; and
  • Critical projects eligible for expedited permitting processes.

screenshot puerto rico debt crisis

The citizens of Puerto Rico are outraged, not at its government spending and corruption (this week anyway) but that the legislation passed along with the creation of an oversight board “to rule over Puerto Rico” not elected by the citizens of Puerto Rico will make decisions that are not in the interests of Puerto Rico and its citizens.

TeleSurTV

The idea of a Republican-imposed fiscal control board, known colloquially as La Junta in Puerto Rico, is largely reviled on the island.

Opponents argue it will be oblivious to the social needs of Puerto Rico and impose harsh austerity measures, including severe cuts in public services and pension funds. …

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders called the PROMESA bill “both a political and economic disaster for the people of Puerto Rico” that “takes away their democratic rights and self-governance and will impose harsh austerity measures, which will make the poorest people in Puerto Rico even poorer….”

[Those evil Republicans how could they? What about the three Progressives appointed by Barack Obama?]

Hundreds or dozens (depending on whom you ask) took to the streets of Puerto Rico Wednesday to protest Obama’s legislation and the installation of his oversight board thru 2022.

screenshot of protest against oversight board created by barack obama to tackle Puerto Rico's debt crisis 2_Fotor COMPRESSED

Protesters threw rocks and bricks as they blocked the entrance to the San Juan’s Condado Plaza Hilton hotel where members of the board were attending a gathering organized by the National Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce (CCPR).

A viewpoint as told by Democracy Now blaming capitalism and the evil United States.

On Wednesday, hundreds of protesters in Puerto Rico blocked a street in front of a hotel where bankers and business executives were gathering for a conference hosted by the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce. Meanwhile, a new report from the ReFund America Project has revealed firms like UBS, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Barclays Capital have collected $1.6 billion in underwriting fees from Puerto Rico since 2000 just for refinancing bonds to pay interest and fees on older bonds….

Read full article

The result of failed social engineering policies, government dependency that morphed into an entitlement mentality of the masses, government spending and corruption put Puerto Rico on this road to austerity.  A long time coming, this can get ugly for both Puerto Rico and the United States.

 

Image:  Flag of Puerto Rico (San Juan) courtesy of Ricardo Mangual-Flickr (CC  BY 2.0)

Cross-posted on PumaBydesign001’s Blog.

 

“Eddie the Eagle” Shows the Bankruptcy of the Sports Imperialists!

There are so many movies out today I can’t even find time to blog about them.  But I have to say a few words about this one.  For Eddie the Eagle, although like many movies, is a semi-fictionalized version of a true story:  Michael “Eddie” Edwards is a real person who competed for Great Britain in the real Olympics.  Back when the sports imperialists didn’t rule the roost.

Here’s the Wikipedia account of Eddie the Eagle.  A brief bio:

Michael Edwards (born 5 December 1963), better known as Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards, is a British skier who in 1988 became the first competitor to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping. At the time, he was the British ski jumping record holder (a record later broken by others[1][2]), the world number nine in amateur speed skiing, (106.8 mph (171.9 km/h)) and the stunt jumping world record holder (10 cars/6 buses).[3] Finishing last in the 70m and 90m events, he became famous as an example of an underdog or “heroic failure”, and of perseverance and achievement without funding. In 2016, he was portrayed by Taron Egerton in the biographical film Eddie the Eagle, co-starring Hugh Jackman as fictional coach Bronson Peary.

Well, now it is a movie!  Here is info on that from the official Fox site:

Inspired by true events, Eddie the Eagle is a feel-good story about Michael “Eddie” Edwards (Taron Egerton), an unlikely but courageous British ski-jumper who never stopped believing in himself – even as an entire nation was counting him out. With the help of a rebellious and charismatic coach (played by Hugh Jackman), Eddie takes on the establishment and wins the hearts of sports fans around the world by making an improbable and historic showing at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. From producers of Kingsman: The Secret Service, Eddie the Eagle stars Taron Egerton as Eddie, the loveable underdog with a never say die attitude.

Now the IOC was so furious at the idea they changed the rules to make it harder to compete.

Shortly after the 1988 Olympic Games, the requirements to compete were significantly strengthened. Instead of anyone making the cut so that a country had a representative, the International Olympic Committee instituted the Eddie the Eagle Rule, which stated that all Olympic hopefuls need to place either in the top 50 competitors or in the top 30 percentile in internal competition. The aim, of course, was to keep the Eddie the Eagles of the world out of the Olympics.

This was the precursor to sports imperialism.  Today it is virtually impossible for an Eddie the Eagle to represent their nation at the Games.

Now the movie will not make anyone (especially me and I have not yet seen it) forget Chariots of Fire or Miracle but it did earn sixth place at the box office and presently about 7.7 million dollars.  So perhaps (at ten bucks a pop) about 750,000 persons went to see it.

I hope each of them will remember how far the Olympics have fallen.  Today Eddie would have no chance in basketball, golf, tennis, soccer and now probably boxing.  All for ratings and money.  Probably by the time of the Games in Rio, I’ll have Eddie the Eagle on DVD and it’ll be added to the movies I can watch instead of pro basketballers and other consequences of sports imperialism.  I’ll root instead for non-inperialistic sports such as fencing and nations who have not won a medal or never won a gold medal.  And remember:  NOT ONE DIME for the IOC or the USOC until they renounce this madness.


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders