Puerto Rico has a debt crisis unlike Greece or Detroit. The causes may be similar, government policies that didn’t shift in time with shifting economies, but the cures are different and possibly more difficult. As if Detroit’s and Greece’s cures aren’t difficult enough, Puerto Rico has fewer options because it isn’t a sovereign nation, it isn’t an American city; therefore, it has less leverage in negotiations and can’t declare bankruptcy. There is a similarity with Argentina, however, where vulture fund managers are pressuring the government into austerity measures that benefit the financiers regardless of the impact on the citizenry. The US federal government has said it won’t bail out the unincorporated territory. The answer for many businesses and individuals is to leave the island, worsening the situation there. No readily apparent resolution is in sight.
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