Fri Jul 31, 2015 7:30AM
Puerto Rico's debt crisis
Puerto Rico's debt crisis
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Puerto Rico is drowning in debt. An index of the island's economic activity has fallen by 18 percent over the past years as the number of employed people has fallen by 11 percent.

The government runs chronic budget deficits and has a weak track record for collecting everything from sales and corporate income taxes to power and water bills. To plug the gap, the government and its agencies have turned repeatedly to the $3.7 trillion US municipal bond market, eventually amassing a collective debt of $72.6 billion.

Puerto Rico is one territory of the US drowning in debt now. However, there are states that offer a grim picture of the future. Puerto Rico’s debt as percentage of GDP stands below 70%. But according to a report by the nonpartisan States Project, the percentages for Hawaii, New Jersey and Ohio are 61%, 54% and 51%, respectively.