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Which Puerto Rico Bond Defaults Next? 46% Yields Provide a Clue

Puerto Rico defaulted for the first time on Aug. 3, when a little-known agency, the Public Finance Corp., paid investors just $628,000 of the $58 million they were owed. The Finance Corp. is only one of the 17 arms of the U.S. territory that have sold tax-exempt bonds, according to the Government Development Bank. Unlike debt typically issued by countries, the securities carry varying degrees of risk because they're backed by different sources of funds and legal safeguards. Puerto Rico's big bond payments aren't until December and January, when $1.4 billion of principal and interest is due, and Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla may arrive at a plan for retooling the commonwealth's $72 billion of debt before then. Victor Suarez, Garcia Padilla's chief of staff, on Monday said the government expects to have the cash needed to make the interest payment in January on its GO bonds as it plans to borrow money to keep the government afloat. Read more.

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