Two Of Puerto Rico’s New Overlords Are Accused Of Helping Create Its Debt Crisis

Activists are calling for the resignation of two members of Puerto Rico’s fiscal control board over the roles they previously played in boosting bank profits at the expense of the island’s financial health.

The control board, which has veto power over major Puerto Rican budget decisions, was created by Congress in June as the island foundered under $70 billion in public debt. 

A new report, titled “Pirates of the Caribbean,” argues that control board members José Ramon Gonzalez and Carlos Garcia should be held accountable for their part in plunging the island into debt. The paper, released Thursday, comes from two progressive coalitions, Hedge Clippers and the Committee for Better Banks, which both seek to combat the political power of financial institutions.

Before they were appointed to the control board, Gonzalez and Garcia moved between top positions in Puerto Rico’s Government Development Bank (GDB), which issues the island’s government bonds, and Banco Santander, the Spanish-owned mega-bank that was buying and structuring the vast majority of those same obligations.

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