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Sarah Lazare – New report commissioned by bondholders and hedge fund managers calls for sweeping austerity measures

Hedge fund managers and bondholders are pressing the government of Puerto Rico to drive through a series of punishing austerity measures, including dramatic cuts to public education and workers’ rights protections, to “solve” the crisis of debt and poverty gripping the Caribbean island.

A group representing $5.2 billion of debt held by 38 investment managers paid three former economists for the International Monetary Fund, who now are employed by the firm Centennial Group International, to devise policy recommendations in response to Governor Alejandro García Padilla’s claim last month that Puerto Rico’s $72 billion debt is “not payable.”

Entitled For Puerto Rico, There is a Better Way, the report urges the government to increase tax collection and then use this money to pay back creditors while at the same time severely slashing public programs—particularly education—and privatizing assets and industries. Needless to say, the billionaire bondholders who commissioned the study have a direct financial interest in its findings.

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