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Month: February 2019

Oversight Board appeals First Circuit ruling to US Supreme Court

The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico today announced that it will ask the United States Supreme Court to review the February 15, 2019 decision by the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, which held that members of the Oversight Board are federal officers who have to be appointed pursuant to the Appointments Clause of the US Constitution. The Oversight Board will also ask for a stay of the First Circuit’s mandate, pending the US Supreme Court consideration of the Oversight Board’s petition for a writ of certiorari. The Oversight Board has been given the...

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What the Puerto Rico debt restructuring deal means for debtors

On February 4, 2019, a major debt restructuring plan for Puerto Rico was approved by a federal bankruptcy judge. It was the first such deal in Puerto Rico since the territory’s government declared that it could not pay its public debt nearly four years ago. This restructuring plan required Puerto Rico to pay $32 billion over 40 years. Although it looks like this requirement will put a high degree of economic pressure on the Puerto Rican government, officials said this restructuring deal will be a great move for the recovery of Puerto Rico’s economy because the territory would save...

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American Samoa placed in European Union’s tax havens list

The European Union adopted a new list of 12 countries and 11 jurisdictions, including American Samoa, to reduce the scope of money laundering and terrorist financing activities. Banks and other entities covered by EU anti-money laundering rules will be required to increase their efforts in due diligence when dealing with customers and financial institutions from the listed countries and jurisdictions. American Samoa was already included in a separate EU blacklist of tax havens. The list has been adopted by the Commission in the way of Delegated Regulation and will be submitted to The European Parliament and Council for approval...

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Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón urges those affected by Hurricane María to benefit from SBA grants

Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón (NPP,R) of Puerto Rico encourages those affected by Hurricane María who have not requested assistance yet from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to do so, as the agency continues accepting late applications under certain requirements. Individuals can apply for assistance by calling the SBA offices in Puerto Rico or the FEMA Community Resource Center that is still open all around the islands. The deadline for filing claims to SBA was June 18, 2018; however, the agency explained that it will continue accepting late claims, “resulting from essential important causes beyond the control of the applicant”....

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Shutdown negatively affects Puerto Rico

On December 22, 2018, the US government began a shutdown as a result of the budget for the next fiscal year remaining unapproved, which occurred this year due to disagreement over Trump’s border wall: a project estimated to cost anywhere from $12 billion to $70 billion. This past month’s partial government shutdown is the longest in US history. It’s economic effects are wide-reaching, including a pronounced economic impact on Puerto Rico. The government shutdown entails closed nonessential offices, no pay for workers of closed offices, and suspended federal funding of parks, monuments, museums, and other areas deemed nonessential. 14,000...

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