Puerto Rico Doctors Practice Medicine In ‘Post-Apocalyptic’ Conditions – “It’s A Mad Max Situation”

Puerto Rico Doctors Practice Medicine In ‘Post-Apocalyptic’ Conditions:

Nearly four weeks after Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico, doctors are experiencing “post-apocalyptic” conditions. The reality doctors in Puerto Rico are facing is similar to that from a dystopian novel.

Doctors are conducting surgical procedures in sweltering 95-degree heat, experience malfunctioning X-ray machines, and have seen medications literally melting. “We’re practicing disaster medicine in real life,” said Dr. William Kotler, a senior resident in emergency medicine at Florida Hospital in Orlando, who spent two weeks volunteering on the island earlier this month. “We improvise if we have to, with very little resources.”

Read more

Fed’s Dudley Sent Puerto Rico A “Plane Loaded With Cash”

“We thought the cash was going to be a problem… [but] the magnitude of this is something we haven’t experienced…”

Fed’s Dudley Sent Puerto Rico A “Plane Loaded With Cash”:

In the days following Hurricane Maria’s devastating blow to Puerto Rico, air traffic on the island came to a complete standstill as airport damage prevented commercial pilots from servicing the island.  That said, with the island economy grinding to a halt, San Juan International apparently managed to find a way to accept one very important plane…a “jet loaded with an undisclosed amount of cash” from New York Fed president William Dudley.  Per Bloomberg:

Less than a week into the massive blackout that followed Hurricane Maria and essentially turned Puerto Rico into a cash-only economy, one top local banker became so concerned about the supply of bills that he called the Federal Reserve.

William Dudley, the New York Fed president, put the word out within minutes, and ultimately a jet loaded with an undisclosed amount of cash landed on the stricken island, according to Richard Carrion, the Popular Inc. executive chairman who made the call. He and Chief Executive Officer Ignacio Alvarez reflected on the chaotic early days of the crisis in an interview Friday at their office in San Juan’s Hato Rey financial district.

“We thought the cash was going to be a problem,” said Carrion, 64, whose bank is the biggest in Puerto Rico by deposits. “The magnitude of this is something we haven’t experienced.” Suzanne Elio, a New York Fed spokeswoman, declined to comment on the money shipment.

The executives described corporate clients’ urgent requests for hundreds of thousands in cash to meet payrolls, and the challenge of finding enough armored cars to satisfy endless demand at ATMs. Such were the days after Maria devastated the U.S. territory last month, killing 39 people, crushing buildings and wiping out the island’s energy grid. As early as the day after the storm, the Fed began working to get money onto the island, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be named discussing the Fed’s preparations.

Of course, as we’ve noted before, nearly three weeks after Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico on September 20th, some 90% of the island is still without power and the resulting damage to the local economy will undoubtedly have long-lasting effects.

Nine of ten Puerto Ricans are still without power, half the island has no drinking water, schools are closed, there’s a government-mandated curfew — and businesses everywhere are trying to cope. At Popular, half of branches remained shuttered Friday, as did two-thirds of ATMs.

Alvarez, 58, is a Harvard Law School graduate who took over as Popular’s CEO earlier this year. Previously, the post was held by Carrion, whose family has helped run the firm for generations. Alvarez said that stores have closed and workers have been laid off as a result of the storm, which is a worry for the bank.

“More than property damage to our collateral, which is not going to be that great, is the economic disruption caused by the hurricane,” he said.

The lack of power was a nightmare for dialysis and cancer patients, as well as the elderly trapped in condominiums without air conditioning. The blackout also means that this corner of credit-card dependent America is relearning how to function almost entirely in cash. When some generator-powered ATMs finally opened, lines stretched hours long, with people camping out in beach chairs and holding umbrellas against the sun.

Popular could face a downgrade by Fitch Ratings on concerns that the storm’s after-effects may harm business. Its stock has dropped 11 percent since the storm in New York trading, and is down 19 percent for the year.

Meanwhile, the even larger threat to the Puerto Rican economy is that residents will simply decide they’ve had enough of the island life, and the constant threat of devastating hurricanes that comes along with it, and jump ship to the mainland.  As Bloomberg notes, the island already loses roughly 2% of its population a year to the continental United States but, with many people being evacuated in the days following September 20th, it’s very likely that 2017 will see a much larger exodus.

A major concern, both men agreed, was the prospect of a mass exodus to the U.S. mainland. Governor Ricardo Rossello has warned that, if the aid package being debated in Washington falls short, “millions” could leave the island. The population has already been shrinking 2 percent annually for three years running on the island of 3.4 million, due in large part to a decade-long economic lull.

“There is a danger” of flight, Carrion said. “I don’t need a visa. I don’t need anything to go there. I have relatives in Orlando, or I have relatives in Houston, or I have relatives in New Jersey.”

“Everybody has relatives in the states,” said Alvarez, cutting him off.

“Yeah, everybody,” Carrion said. “There’s more Puerto Ricans in the continental U.S. than here. So everybody’s got a relative.”

…all of which has Democrats laying out the welcome mats in the key swing state of Florida…never let a good crisis go to waste

* * *

PayPal: Donate in USD
PayPal: Donate in EUR
PayPal: Donate in GBP

Gov. Rick Scott Declares State Of Emergency As 100,000s Of Puerto Ricans Flee To Florida

Gov. Rick Scott Declares State Of Emergency As 100,000s Of Puerto Ricans Flee To Florida:

As mayors of cities with large Puerto Rican populations continue to advocate for federal assistance to help with the resettlement of hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans who are expected to temporarily seek shelter with friends and families in the US, Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in Florida, allowing state agencies to take extraordinary measures to assist families that will soon be arriving in droves to cities like Orlando and Miami, both of which feature large Puerto Rican populations.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that Scott announced that disaster relief centers will be set up at Orlando International Airport and in Miami to help those seeking refuge in Florida.

Read more

US Cities Demand Federal Help As They Brace For Influx Of 100,000s Of Puerto Ricans

US Cities Demand Federal Help As They Brace For Influx Of 100,000s Of Puerto Ricans: 

As the disaster-relief effort enters its second week, air traffic is slowly resuming, which means hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans will likely flee the devastated island to stay with friends and relatives in the continental US as they wait for FEMA to rebuild roads, repair power grids and and revive the island’s communications infrastructure – a process that could take months, if not longer.

* * *

PayPal: Donate in USD
PayPal: Donate in EUR
PayPal: Donate in GBP

“What Are We Going To Do?” Puerto Rico In Chaos As Cash Runs Out

“What Are We Going To Do?” Puerto Rico In Chaos As Cash Runs Out:

Most Puerto Ricans haven’t had access to electricity, cell service or financial services for nearly two weeks now. And as we reported yesterday, residents who didn’t stockpile enough cash have been struggling after Hurricane Maria essentially knocked the island’s economy into the 1950s, forcing some to forgo essential supplies – or worse – resort to looting. For those who do have access to working ATMs and banks, long lines have sapped cash reserves as the country has effectively reverted to a “cash only” economy.

Those whose access to cash has been limited – or cut off entirely – are becoming desperate as they start to wonder how they will begin the process of rebuilding their trashed homes – or even where their next meal will come from. As Reuters reports, cash has become just one of many scarce resources on the island (food, medical supplies and gas are also in incredibly short supply).

Read more

Hurricane Maria Floods San Juan, Knocks Out Power Across Puerto Rico

Hurricane Maria Floods San Juan, Knocks Out Power Across Puerto Rico:

Even after weakening to a category 4 storm shortly before making landfall along the southeastern coast of Puerto Rico, Hurricane Maria has caused unprecedented devastation to the cash-strapped island, knocking out electricity for all residents…

* * *

PayPal: Donate in USD
PayPal: Donate in EUR
PayPal: Donate in GBP

Trump Approves Puerto Rico Emergency Declaration As Maria Strengthens Into “Potentially Catastrophic” Cat-5 Hurricane

Trump Approves Puerto Rico Emergency Declaration As Maria Strengthens Into “Potentially Catastrophic” Cat-5 Hurricane:

Update: The National Hurricane Center reports that Hurricane Maria has just strengthened to a “potentially catastrophic” Category-5 Storm with winds expected over 160mph.

* * *

PayPal: Donate in USD
PayPal: Donate in EUR
PayPal: Donate in GBP

Puerto Rico Files For Bankruptcy Protection In Largest Ever US Municipal Debt Restructuring

Puerto Rico Files For Bankruptcy Protection In Largest Ever US Municipal Debt Restructuring:

Puerto Rico will file for bankruptcy protection, Gov. Rosselló said on Wednesday, setting up a showdown with Wall Street firms owed billions of dollars in the largest-ever U.S. municipal debt restructuring.

* * *

PayPal: Donate in USD
PayPal: Donate in EUR
PayPal: Donate in GBP

Puerto Rico Blackout Enters Second Day – Entire Island Of 3.5 Million People Without Power

Puerto Rico Blackout Enters Second Day – Entire Island Of 3.5 Million People Without Power:

The 3.5 million people of Puerto Rico are entering their second day with no power after a substation fire knocked out service to the entire island.   The power outage has left schools scrambling to cancel classes and public hospitals forced to cancel surgeries.

Perhaps even worse, the outage caused numerous fires across the island as a result of malfunctioning generators, including at the upscale Vanderbilt hotel in the popular tourist area of Condado and at the mayor’s office in the northern coastal town of Catano.

Read more

Puerto Rico Defaults On $2 Billion In Debt Payments

PR flag

Puerto Rico Defaults On $2 Billion In Debt Payments:

As expected, Puerto Rico will default on about $2 billion in debt payments Friday, including $780 million in constitutionally-backed general obligation bonds, as governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla has issued an executive order authorizing the suspension of payments. In addition, Garcia Padilla also declared states of emergency at the island’s biggest public pension – the Commonwealth’s Employee Retirement System – which is more than 99% underfunded, as well as the University of Puerto Rico and other agencies Reuters reports. The default will mark the first time a US territory has failed to pay on its general obligation bonds.

Under these circumstances, these executive orders protect the limited resources available to the agencies listed in these orders and prevents that these can be seized by creditors, leaving Puerto Ricans without basic services,” Garcia Padilla’s administration said in a statement.

Read more

Puerto Rico To Default On July 1 After Senate Passes Bailout Bill

Puerto Rico To Default On July 1 After Senate Passes Bailout Bill:

Moments ago, following the overwhelming passage of a Puerto Rico bailout bill by the US House of Representatives, Congress found itself on the edge of sending the PR debt relief Bill for the president signature, when the Senate, in a 68-32 vote, likewise passed the measure. This makes final passage of the legislation a virtual certainty as sixty votes were needed to clear the procedural hurdle, but only a majority vote is necessary on final passage.

The legislation allows Puerto Rico to restructure $70 billion in debt and establish an outside control board to steer the island’s troubled finances. President Obama supports the package, and is expected to quickly sign it.

Read more

No more ‘US & UN trickery’: Bankrupt Puerto Ricans flood San Juan demanding decolonization

No more ‘US & UN trickery’: Bankrupt Puerto Ricans flood San Juan demanding decolonization:

Ahead of next week’s visit by the UN decolonization committee and buried in economic debt, some 500 activists with the Puerto Rico independence movement took to the streets of Old San Juan to demand freedom from US rule.

There were two purposes to the Saturday march, according to Liliana Laboy, one of the members of the Independentista Roundtable, speaking to EFE: “To insist that it’s time to start the decolonization process that will bring us independence, and to support the hearings this Monday.”

Read more

Bondholders Stunned As Puerto Rico Finds $4.4 Billion In Outstanding Debt “Unconstitutional”

If bondholders were angry with Puerto Rico before, they’ll surely be pissed now that there is a reasonable chance that they’ll end up with nothing at all as 1 17 member audit commission found some of the nation’s debt “unconstitutional.” In other words, the government may now just declare the bonds invalid.


Bondholders Stunned As Puerto Rico Finds $4.4 Billion In Outstanding Debt “Unconstitutional”:

After Puerto Rico defaulted on its $422 million debt payment in May, governor Padilla begged congress to step in and help out, which happened shortly thereafter when a House committee cleared legislation that provided Puerto Rico with a way forward on restructuring its debt.

20160602_padilla_0

As it turns out, on the day the House announced that it planned on taking up the Puerto Rico bill next week, a 17 member audit commission found that two debt issues worth $4.4 billion of the $72 billion in debt outstanding were unconstitutional.

Read more

The Elite One-Percent’s ‘Orgy Island’ Exposed

The elite one-percent’s ‘Orgy Island’ exposed… you won’t believe this!:

LITTLE ST. JAMES, U.S. Virgin Islands (INTELLIHUB) — If you can name it — it has likely taken place this the lavish private island off the coast of Puerto Rico which boasts a beautifully landscaped plush luxury estate complete with its own helipad, privy only to certain members of the global elite.

Owned by Jeffery Epstein, a wealthy American financier and convicted sex offender, Little St. James Island appears to be somewhat of a gathering place and is a well desired hangout among key figureheads, actors and royalty to the likes of former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Kevin Spacey and even Prince Andrew.

However, the people attending the lavish residence are likely do not go there to discuss “cutting edge scientific and medical research” as the Epstein VI Foundation would like you to believe, but rather go there to experience full-on sexual encounters with underage girls as young as fourteen.

Read more

Republicans, Democrats Agree On A Bill To Bailout Puerto Rico

Republicans, Democrats Agree On A Bill To Bailout Puerto Rico

Republicans, Democrats Agree On A Bill To Bailout Puerto Rico:

It turns out that Puerto Rico’s plan to default on its debt and beg congress for help is working out as planned.

After a slight delay, House Republicans have reached an agreement with the Obama administration to provide a path to restructure Puerto Rico’s $70 billion debt load. The bill would offer the island a legal out similar to bankruptcy and wouldn’t commit any federal money according to the WSJ.

Read more

“Don’t Forget, I’m The King Of Debt, I Love Debt” – Donald Trump Would NOT Bail Out Puerto Rico

“Don’t Forget, I’m The King Of Debt, I Love Debt” – Trump Chimes In On Puerto Rico

In an interview with Wolf Blitzer, Donald Trump said that although he is the “king of debt”, and that he “loves debt”, he wouldn’t bail out Puerto Rico.

trump-debt

Responding to whether or not Trump would bail out Puerto Rico as president of the United States…

No I don’t believe they should, and I think frankly Puerto Rico is better if they don’t because they’ll cut the bonds, they’ll cut them way down there’s far too much debt. The problem with Puerto Rico is they are far, far too much in debt. Don’t forget, I’m the king of debt, I love debt

As far as how he would suggest Puerto Rico solve its debt issue, The Donald, of course, has a solution for that.

Read more