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Puerto Rico at a Crossroads


Several pieces on Puerto Rico have come out in the last few weeks ranging from the upholding of the ban on gay marriage, to the role Puerto Ricans will play in the 2014 Elections. The latest comes from Roll Call, as a commentary from an adviser of Doral, the bank that just won in court against the Government of Puerto Rico over a dispute regarding a tax refund agreement.

The piece is a scathing commentary as to Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla’s performance in office, in particular, his government’s actions in the Doral case, and how they affect Puerto Rico’s economy at a time when investment is stagnant and the Government Development Bank is said to be near insolvency.

From the piece:

“The commonwealth has time to avoid this drastic scenario, if the governor is prepared to reverse course and do what it takes. He could start by signaling to American, Puerto Rican and foreign investors alike that Puerto Rico’s government keeps its word and respects the law. He could accomplish much of that by honoring his Treasury’s agreement with Doral and respecting the court’s recent judgment in that case. Once that is behind them, Padilla and his advisers should consider Ireland’s model of economic development. The goal is to make Puerto Rico the preferred jumping-off point for foreign multinationals to enter the U.S. market. The basic method is simplify taxes, reform regulations and expand public investments in ways that attract large foreign direct investments from Latin America, Asia and Europe.

The first step, however, is to govern responsibly.”