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Author: Kerem Tuncer

An invisible obstacle to Puerto Rico’s progress: lack of data

Amid the financial crisis in Puerto Rico, experts have started to suggest a new cause of the problem: lack of proper statistics and analysis. Several weeks ago, a local organization published a document on the tourism in the islands. One of the major points of the publication was a request for a “National System of Tourism Statistics for Puerto Rico.” Although Puerto Rico already has a designated system for calculating the statistics of tourism each year, those procedures are not up to the standards recommended by the World Tourism Organization. What this means is the inability to evaluate sector...

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“Despacito,” a miracle for Puerto Rico’s economy

Puerto Rico, the island that had to declare bankruptcy to reorganize the economy for a $70 billion debt, saw an incredible boost in its tourism business. The world-famous pop song ‘Despacito’ seems to be the immediate cause of this sudden spike. The song was composed by singers Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, both of whom are natives of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The two stars included the phrase “this is how we do it down in Puerto Rico.” The YouTube video of the song, which currently has around 2.5 billion views, was recorded in numerous photogenic areas of Puerto...

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Rosselló administration likely to cut ties with Lewandowski’s firm

Early in January, the Puerto Rican administration had asked for help from Corey Lewandowski’s consultancy firm. Governor Rosselló believed that keeping close ties to Washington would speed up the solution process for fighting the fiscal crisis in the island. Corey Lewandowski’s firm was given a 4-month contract, which could have been extended if there was any success to it. Unfortunately, many believe that the work done by the firm is not holding up to the expectations, just as Lewandowski himself leaves the firm because of foreign contracts.. A newly published report from Lewandowski’s political strategy firm notes that the...

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A possible restructuring of PREPA debt is on the way

Amid the current negotiations of the Puerto Rican government with various bondholders, one group, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority bondholders, stands out with its latest offer to the Rossello administration. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority has offered a restructure of the utility’s $8.9 billion of debt on Wednesday. Although the offer was made privately to the Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency & Financial Advisory Authority, an exclusive report from Reuters states that its main purpose was delaying the payments for a few years, which would ultimately help the citizens with electricity payments. In addition, it is further noted...

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Why Puerto Rico froze tax credits, explained

The Puerto Rican government announced that it is freezing all future tax credits. Additionally, a further $2 billion in funds were frozen in order to promote the cash flow and stabilize the budget. These measures were likely taken to create more time to analyze the tax credits and evaluate the ones that seem more beneficial financially. Puerto Rico Secretary of the Treasury Raul Maldonado noted that his department will work to evaluate any tax credit worth over $140 million. “We want to analyze what kind of credits are really being awarded,” noted Maldonado. He further stated that the credits...

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