Puerto Rico in Distress

ABI Analysis

Puerto Rico’s current debt, between $52 billion and $70 billion, is the third-largest behind California’s and New York’s, despite a far smaller and poorer population, according to an analysis in the recent edition of The Economist. In America’s 50 states the average ratio of state debt to personal income is 3.4 percent.

Puerto Rico’s struggling Spanish-language newspaper El Vocero has a survival strategy to avoid becoming yet another victim of the consolidation wave sweeping the media industry, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.

Federal officials are expected to announce incentives to boost Puerto Rico's economy in the next few months, a top legislator from the commonwealth said this week, responding to investor concerns about the island's rising debt costs and bleak growth, Reuters reported yesterday.

Municipal-bond prices have fallen further than other debt amid rising U.S. interest rates this summer, exacerbating investor jitters spurred by Detroit's record-setting bankruptcy filing, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Bonds from some financially troubled issuers, like Puerto Rico and Chicago, have been particularly hard hit.