Mark DeCambre at Market Watch explains how Puerto Rico has more than $70 billion in debt
Why is Puerto Rico in such bad economic shape?
More than a decade of economic decline and ballooning deficits, amplified by an exodus of the territory’s best and brightest, including doctors, to the U.S. has dealt a heavy blow to the Puerto Rican economy. It has been in a recession, defined as at least two consecutive periods of declining growth, since 2006.
- The Commonwealth had an unemployment rate of 12% before the hurricanes, compared with an unemployment of 4.4% for the U.S., as of August.
- 43.5% of its residents live below the poverty line, according to U.S. Census Bureau data, more than double that of Louisiana and Mississippi.
- Its population is 3.4 million as of July 1, 2016, representing a decline of more than 8% since 2010.
- [emphasis added] The island’s debt load represents $12,000 per capita, with its debt representing more than three-quarters of its annual gross national product, which would make it one of the most indebted countries in the world.
- As a U.S. territory, the island uses the U.S. dollar, That means it can’t devalue its currency in a bid to improve competitiveness.
The article was published twelve days ago.
As if things weren’t bad enough, Howard Dean wants to put the Clinton Foundation in charge of Puerto Rico relief. That would make it official for the Clinton political machine, but, on the other hand, Howard ignores the Clinton shenanigans in Haiti. (Related: How the Clinton Foundation Got Rich off Poor Haitians)