Debt relief package passed

Based on my understanding the debt relief package for PR has passed congress and is waiting on Obama signature to become law. He is likely to sign it sometime today.
Likely he will name also the 7 members of the board.
In the list of first action is and audit of the debt and government finances, this is likely to take many months as I expect that heads of the government departments will slow the progres.
Also in the list are voluntary negotiations with the bond holders that need to be completed by mid February, otherwise, the board needs to vote at least 4 to 3 to force a legal restructure which may not happen.
Mean time a moratorium is in place until February and retroactive to December 2015.

It is not likely that we will see a lot of economic changes for many months to come, maybe even a year or more. These things don't move fast.

So be patient, changes are coming. Unknown if they will be for the good or bad.
Mean time expect demonstrations and acts of civil disobedience which are already planned.

UN has also been visited and we are waiting what the UN has to say about the colonial status of PR.
Fingers crossed.

Uh-oh! Does this mean the lines will get longer at the Mothership?

For what it's worth, Hillary has pledged her support for the people of PR and says as far as she's concerned, hedge fund managers can go take a hike.

frogrock :

Uh-oh! Does this mean the lines will get longer at the Mothership?

Very likely. The board can restructure and cut personnel to cut costs. We do not know if they will look out for the people or bond holders.
They will not go away until PR has 4 successive and continus balanced budgets, so they are not likely to give up their power for another 10 years or potentially more.
Cuts are coming and contracts over 100,000 they have to approve. What will be cut is hard to say, but the mySalud is likely to be a target since it is a large portion of the budget.

The one thing, investigations and prosecution of those that stole from the government is not part of the law that is being passed. So it is hard to say if there will be a budget item to deal with past corruption and fraud.

They will enforce tax collection of every kind including electric and water payments and traffic tickets as these increase the money the government takes in, so balancing the budget is easier.

Any laws that gets in their way, they have the power to eliminate or modify as they see fit. They do not answer to the people and their agreements if any are published, do not have to be in Spanish, making it harder for Puerto Ricans to know where they are heading.
Time will tell if they are a beneficial bunch or the largest nightmare for PR.

lgustaf :

For what it's worth, Hillary has pledged her support for the people of PR and says as far as she's concerned, hedge fund managers can go take a hike.

Not sure if that will help. The congress has full power over PR and the board has the power of congress, there is little a President can do to interfere, but I could be wrong.
Only 1 member was to be selected by the president on his own, the rest were to be selected mostly by the republicans and 2 by the democrats. The president is selecting people from lists provided by the parties, and each list could possibly be only 1 or 2 long, giving the president no option as to the least of evils.

This is what she said: "The bill is by no means perfect, and I continue to have serious concerns about some of the provisions it contains. That's why, as this bill is implemented, I will continue to stand with the people of Puerto Rico to ensure that the oversight board created by this legislation is made up of members who will act in the best interest of Puerto Ricans, and protect their health care, pensions, wages, and well-being. And it is past time that we put the interests of American citizens ahead of hedge fund profits—which is why I will fight with the people of Puerto Rico to put the island’s economy back on a stable and prosperous path, including by ensuring Puerto Rico is treated equitably under federal law."

She should stand and join the protests and civil disobedience groups if she really means it. But in my opinion there is little she can do now or as president, to me she is just going for the Latino vote.

As I said, it is too early to tell which way the 7 board members lean or if they will do more harm than good.
Real results are not likely to be seen before 2 years from now, until then we will see steps that could be positive or negative in the short term, what really counts is where we are headed in 2 years, this will take time.

Hillary already has the Latino vote, not that it matters in PR, since Puerto Ricans aren't represented in the Electoral College.

This board, I believe, will probably have the hedge fund people's interests first..making sure they get paid.  Why aren't they looking at the past fraud and holding these people accountable?

lgustaf :

Hillary already has the Latino vote, not that it matters in PR, since Puerto Ricans aren't represented in the Electoral College.

None of the folks here in Puerto Rico with whom I have had conversations support Hillary.  My Cuban/American friends do not support Hillary. I am not  sharing my personal political thoughts. I never start a political conversation and don't intend to get involved in one.  Just want to share what I have heard here In PR. My input is that in my opinion it is incorrect to assume that everyone who speaks Spanish as their primary language all have the same political point of view.

Here is an interesting article that talks about the dependency steps the U.S. took and caused PR to become even more dependent. However removing the welfare system and other poverty programs will not cause more people to join the working class, specially if the minimum wage is lowered to 4.25 an hour. Those people are likely to come to the mainland for either a job or social programs.

It is going to take some really creative ideas to end or reduce the dependency, while keeping the natives in the island. It is a really complicated issue.

I can imagine the majority voting for statehood even if they gain the federal tax as they will pay none due to their poverty level but gain even more poverty program access. Will congress accept PR as a state? I wonder, as PR would be the poorest state of the Union and cost the most to the federal government. Also they will be adding 3.5 million liberal democrats to the voting roles.

Breaking the dependency of drugs is hard and dependency in social services is going to be harder to break, but break it must somehow.
Article: … ve-economy

Please read post #6, Schuttzie.

Whether or not Hillary has support in PR in immaterial. PR has no electoral representation. I know for a fact that Trump does NOT support any relief for Puerto Rico. He said so, right after he was in PR declaring bankruptcy on his golf courses, stiffing his investors, many of whom were islanders.

Lets not turn this into who will be a beter president, lets keep it to the board and the actions A president may or may not take given that congress power is fairly absolute in PR.

Whatever the case, before something significant happen, there will be a new president in office and it may be a year past that or more before we see the fruits of the board and the influence of whichever president come to office.

Well it is official, Obama signed it into law. … 8bc4ce7d08

Also looks like electric bill is going up around 26%, starting in July or August it is going up 8% and the rest of the rate comes later … rice-hike/

Let's see how many more leave the island in the next few months.

Many changes in the future for PR. I am an eternal optimist by nature, so I have to say that things can only get better (how can they get worse). No one is going to like big brother stepping in and asserting his power, but the island hasn't been able to do it on its own now for a while, so I am hopeful that things are going to turn for the better in the long run.

One thing I have wondered about since moving here is, if the island was doing so much better when the tax haven offered to big businesses was in place, why can't it be restored?

The island has a long history of struggling with poverty and dependence on government assistance, generations of learned behavior. They can't even entice the prisoners to pick coffee for shorter sentences, not that they should have a choice, but the people need to be willing to work and a desire to better their status.  Hopefully PROMESA can make positive  changes without setting off civil disobedience and discord, and bring hope to the people of the island that with a united effort, great things can get done.

Expats need to keep an eye on the developments as these will affect everyone, not just the natives. If the board reduces jobs to cut cost they will end up pushing more people to leave, affecting services and medical and driving real estate down.

The board will have a very difficult job of applying measures that maintain basic services, provide more private sector jobs unrelated to government services, and develop strong and fair tax collection to increase revenue. A lot of people and corporations are not currently paying their taxes.

I am not as optimistic in the short run, but down the line (2 years or so) I expect things will start to become positive as the board actions take hold and people learn how to survive and thrive with the new emperor and it court.

Amnesty International is requesting assurances that the federal government with the national guard will not use violence to break up a protest against the PROMESA board. The protest is at the Federal Court.

The protesters have been asked to move but they have decided on civil dissobidience and Amnesty International is concern that trouble may be brewing and that the Federal government may ask the national guard and police to force them out.
Keeping an eye, this may be round one. … s-2217504/

Let us hope it remains peaceful!

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