Sanders Statement on Hedge Fund Managers Advice To Puerto Rico

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, issued the following statement today after a group of economists hired by hedge fund managers suggested that the government of Puerto Rico lay off teachers and close schools to pay off debt.

”It is a moral outrage that hedge fund managers are calling on the Puerto Rican government to shut down schools and slash the social safety net to pay back billionaires on Wall Street.  At a time when 56 percent of children in Puerto Rico are living in poverty, the last thing that Puerto Rico needs is more austerity. The people in Puerto Rico should not be forced to suffer so that a handful of billionaires can make even more money.

“We need to do everything we can to allow Puerto Rico to restructure its debt in a rational way that does not harm its people. That means, among other things, that Wall Street must take a major haircut.  Let us not forget: seven years ago, the U.S. Congress and the Federal Reserve acted with a fierce sense of urgency to bail out Wall Street and the largest financial institutions in this country that were considered ‘too big to fail.’

“It is now time for creditors to sit down with the government of Puerto Rico on a debt repayment plan that is fair to both sides. The children of Puerto Rico are already hurting. They shouldn't be forced to suffer even more.”