Bloomberg has created a data visualization explaining the complicated debt crises in Puerto Rico, which filed for bankruptcy in May 2017. Puerto Rico is in debt to bondholders for $74 billion. Agencies sold securities that they planned on paying for with government revenue, and now that Puerto Rico is seeking bankruptcy protection, bondholders are fighting a complicated web of conflicting legal claims to try to recoup their investments. Puerto Rico also owes current and former government employees $49 billion in pension benefits, which pension bondholders allege the government is wrongly drawing funding from to pay off other debts, violating the terms of their bonds. The visualization breaks down the debt Puerto Rico owes by type of debt, to whom Puerto Rico owes the debt, and the bond insurers on the hook for this debt.
Understanding Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis
Joshua New was a senior policy analyst at the Center for Data Innovation. He has a background in government affairs, policy, and communication. Prior to joining the Center for Data Innovation, Joshua graduated from American University with degrees in C.L.E.G. (Communication, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government) and Public Communication. His research focuses on methods of promoting innovative and emerging technologies as a means of improving the economy and quality of life.
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