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News Link • Puerto Rico

The Case For Wiping Out Puerto Rico's Debt

• http://www.zerohedge.com, Tom Sanzillo

The commonwealth owes bondholders somewhere on the order of $70 billion, with most of that debt tied to general-obligation bonds, revenue bonds and bonds issued by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA).

Ahead of the wide devastation wrought by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, we were of the view that the commonwealth could manage perhaps 20 to 30 percent of its general-obligation and revenue-bond debt and that PREPA could pay off perhaps 30 percent of its debt.

Now, as the island and its economy reel from the carnage of the hurricanes, we see the only viable way forward as a zeroing-out of the bonds in question and an immediate cessation of interest payments. Puerto Rico's badly-crippled economy must rebuild, and the only way for that to happen is for legacy governmental debt to be handled in a way that won't impair the restoration of markets and physical development.

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