Abner Dennis & Kevin Connor

Abner Dennis is a Puerto Rico research analyst and Kevin Connor is the director of the Public Accountability Initiative.

Recent Articles

Hedge Funds Win, Puerto Ricans Lose in First Debt Restructuring Deal

A federal court this week approved a plan that will grant predatory vulture funds a huge payday while consigning the island's citizens to 40 years of high sales taxes.

Wall Street scored a major victory this week in its seemingly endless campaign to extract profit from Puerto Rico, as a federal court approved a deal that locks in 40 years of extremely generous government payments on sales tax–backed bonds, the island’s largest pool of debt. The restructuring plan for what is known as COFINA debt carries grave consequences for the vast majority of Puerto Ricans: Money that could be funding health care, education, and a just recovery from 2017’s hurricanes and a 13-year economic depression will instead pad the pockets of hedge-fund billionaires and their wealthy investors. Additionally, the deal is structured in a way that will deliver huge profits for vulture funds and significant losses for Puerto Rico–based investors, all the while being funded by one of the most regressive forms of tax there is—a sky-high sales tax, which at 11.5 percent is higher than in all 50 states. This is, in some ways, the nightmare scenario...