(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — The 60 Plus Association announced the formation of “Main Street Bondholders,” a new small bondholder coalition made up of ordinary investors from Puerto Rico and the United States mainland who hold retirement, college and life savings in Puerto Rican bonds. These investments are threatened by Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla’s recent statements that he would refuse to honor Puerto Rico’s debts.
To launch the Main Street Bondholder Coalition, Matthew Kandrach, Vice President of the 60 Plus Association, and Dr. Elías Gutiérrez, a small bondholder and economics professor at the Graduate School of Planning at the University of Puerto Rico will host a media call on Thursday, August 27 at 11:00 a.m. EDT.
“Governor Garcia Padilla’s recent statements that his government would refuse to honor its debts, including Puerto Rico’s own constitutional debt, are reckless, and are a serious threat to thousands of our members who hold investments in Puerto Rico bonds,” said Kandrach.
Kandrach continued, “Puerto Rico can fix its problems, but fixing Puerto Rico needs to start with fiscal reform, not punishing creditors. The Governor and his circle of advisors, who are the same bunch representing deadbeat sovereigns like Argentina, have chosen to manufacture a crisis in order to get Washington’s help in their plan to stiff creditors. Congress must not allow that to happen. Puerto Rico would benefit from a fiscal control board, just like the District of Columbia had in the 1990s when it faced financial crisis. Congress must also oppose the Governor’s plan to restructure Puerto Rico’s constitutional bonds. Allowing him to do so would set a terrible precedent, and open a Pandora’s box of other state defaults. No retirement account in America would be safe.”
As a longtime economist and holder of Puerto Rican bonds, Dr. Elías Gutiérrez added, “I invested my family’s life savings in Puerto Rican bonds because I wanted to support Puerto Rico and believed the government would never abandon its obligations. Bondholder’s rights must be protected. Our word and our laws must be valued above all else. The Commonwealth must honor its debts, especially constitutional debt. We will have no credibility if we repudiate on our promises. Governor Garcia Padilla must seek to restore confidence and credibility in capital markets, which can only be done by joining those in his party that are rejecting the current strategy of his consultants and legal team, or our economy and the people of Puerto Rico will continue to suffer.”
The 60 Plus Association has a history of uniting and providing a platform for small bondholders. In 2009, 60 Plus launched the GM Main Street Bondholders Coalition that was dedicated to call attention to small bondholders who were not given a voice throughout the General Motors bankruptcy negotiation process.