Monday, July 10, 2017

Puerto Rico is an organized criminal enterprise, much like the modern-day mafia.

Commentary: Is the Congressional Natural Resources Committee a ship of fools?
Published on July 4, 2017
By Richard Lawless

Look no further than their solution for the Puerto Rico financial meltdown.

In June of 2016, the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) was created by Congress, through the Natural Resources Committee, as a proposed solution for the financial crisis in Puerto Rico.
The Act reversed decades of case law protecting creditors and investors alike. The Act’s extraordinary measures put a temporary hold on all lawsuits and confiscated the investors bonds without just compensation.

Prior to the passing of the PROMESA legislation all members of the Congress and Senate were made aware that there was likely massive fraud and corruption associated with the issuance of the islands $70 billion dollars in bonds. Rather than hold the issuing agencies, the ratings agencies and the major Wall Street banks accountable, they threw the innocent bond investors under the bus.

To add insult to injury, Puerto Rico had a long and well know legacy of corruption and theft.

Between 2005 and 2010, more than 1,700 Puerto Rico police officers were arrested for crimes including murder, assault, theft, domestic violence, and drug trafficking.

Puerto Rico has a very small police force. Could you image 1,700 police officers in Chicago being arrested? Okay, maybe not the best example given Chicago’s reputation. How about 1,700 officers in Rhode Island? You get my point.

In 2013 Puerto Rico places 33rd in an international corruption index. A score of 33 worldwide signifies a country that is very corrupt. In 2016 Transparency International ranked Puerto Rico as “very corrupt”.

FBI arrested nine other Puerto Rican businessmen and officials in December 2015 as part of an ongoing FBI corruption investigation into Padilla’s government. At the time of their arrests,
FBI special agent for San Juan, Carlos Cases, issued a scathing indictment of Puerto Rico’s government and the role corruption played in driving it to the brink of default, stating, “Unfortunately, this is one more case of graft, greed, and corruption that over the last 20 years have contributed to the government of Puerto Rico's fragile economic condition and [placed it] on the brink of bankruptcy… Let there be no doubt this is only the beginning and the investigation will continue.”
I could go on for 30 pages. This information was widely available and reported in all the major papers.

Many of the individuals assigned to Puerto Rico’s Fiscal Board, the organization charged with implementing the PROMESA legislation contributed much to Puerto Rico’s financial collapse. It should come as no surprise than that the Fiscal Board is now violating the PROMESA legislation to protect Puerto Rico’s legacy of corruption and theft. Many on the Fiscal Board are having a good belly laugh at how stupid our congressmen are.
Puerto Rico is an organized criminal enterprise, much like the modern-day mafia. Our congressmen knew that but still rushed to their rescue on the back of American tax payers. Now our congressmen are busy throwing hundreds of millions in aid at Puerto Rico, money that will never be accounted for or find its way to the Puerto Rico people.
Richard Lawless is a former senior banker who has specialized in evaluating and granting debt for over 25 years. He has a Master’s Degree in Finance from the University of San Diego and Bachelor’s Degree from Pepperdine University. He sits on several corporate boards and actively writes for several finance publications. Reference material is available at .