The clock is ticking on Puerto Rico, which has a major debt payment due on Monday. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Puerto Rico debt deadline looms
Puerto Rico simply doesn’t have enough money to pay it’s bills.
The U.S. territory has already defaulted on some smaller debt issues, but there is a large one – more than $400 million dollars owed by Puerto Rico’s Government Development Bank or GDB – coming due on May 1st, though they get an extra day, because that falls on the weekend.
The Caribbean island, which has a 45 percent poverty rate, is facing $70 billion in total debt.
Ted Hampton of Moody’s Investors Service:
(SOUNDBITE) TED HAMPTON, VICE PRESIDENT, MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE, (ENGLISH) SAYING:
“Over the last decade or so, as its economy has continually under performed, it’s relied on borrowing to pay for operating expenses. In this fiscal year, which began on July 1, its debt service burden ramped up dramatically, and it simultaneously was running out of cash, and the market was saying, we won’t lend you any more money to pay for operating expenses.”
The governor has already said they are going to default next week. Earlier this month, he signed a law allowing him to impose a moratorium on any debt payment he deems necessary.
On Thursday, the U.S. government said they are getting “very close” toward legislation to address Puerto Rico’s debt crisis but so far nothing has been passed.