Treasury Secretary Jack Lew: Puerto Rico crisis is ‘immediate and real’

by Michael Hiltzik  |  published on May 4, 2016

Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew strived to light a fire under congressional leaders Tuesday by calling the fiscal crisis confronting Puerto Rico “immediate and real,” with dire consequences for the island commonwealth’s 3.5 million citizens as well as investment markets nationwide.

Puerto Rico defaulted Monday on most of a debt payment of roughly $400 million; another $1.3 billion in bond payments are due July 1, and the island’s administration has made clear that it can’t meet the obligation. The island has been shut out of the debt markets, while creditors await action on legislation that would restructure its debt under the supervision of an independent oversight board.

Without congressional action, Lew told an audience at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, Puerto Rico could face the unraveling of “what we know of as normal life in an American community.” He was interviewed by Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and former chief economist to Vice President Joseph Biden.

Among other topics touched on in their talk were tax reform and the Treasury’s recent decision to place an image of Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill.

  • The Redhawk

    Sure Jack LEW (INSKY) PR is a crisis made by PROGRESSIVE PRACTICES….YES LOON are you “SETTING” up for Illinois to Do the Same CRISIS for another Waste of Tax payers Scarce MONEY??? Or are you Buying more paper for Printing more US bonds for sake to CHINA???

  • Centurion

    If the A$$hole LIE-berals think Puerto Rico is so important to their cause, then let them bail out the territory with their own personal fortunes. Taxpayers should NOT be bailing out anyone or anything!! Let’s see how many demon-communist-cRATS come forward with their check books.

    • The Redhawk

      The LIBAS-SHOLES are using PR as the Prelude to ILLINOIS bankrupcy just before the Election to THUGS on the Hearts of LIBORALESAS-SHOLES to VOTE for KILLERY

  • Lee

    No more bailouts period. The liberals sure do like giving our money away. Unbelievable.

    • The Redhawk

      I agree but the way the Senate Caved in to UNIONS about NOT FIRING VA Incompetents…..I just do not see this being DONE…They’ll CAVE again!

  • sue lenhart

    No more government bailouts! No more leaving creditors to take losses! No more “business as usual”, either in Puerto Rico or in our federal government. Puerto Rico needs to examine their laws/practices to see what they need to change, so they can rise out of their morass instead of sinking in it. Can they change their minimum wage requirements (since they are not a state, this is possible) or the way that they do business?

  • Peatro Giorgio

    Like California, Puerto Rico . The welfare sanctuary states an Us Territorys can go screw themselve.. No way should The tax payers of other states . Carry their dead weight.. let them drown in the welfare indebtedness.

    • The Redhawk

      BULLS EYE !!!

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