Jun 17, 2019

Puerto Rico's debt gets a big haircut

Activists in Los Angeles call for support of Puerto Rico one year after Hurricane Maria. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Puerto Rico reached an agreement with bondholders on restructuring around $35 billion of its debt, which accounts for close to 50% of the bankrupt island’s total.

Details: The agreement calls for forgiveness of more than 60% for all $35 billion, a 36% haircut on pre-2012 general obligation or "GO" bonds and a 27% haircut on public authority bonds that carry a constitutional payment guarantee.

  • The plan would reduce Puerto Rico's related bonds outstanding to less than $12 billion, according to an announcement from the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico.
  • "The agreement is an important element of a plan of adjustment that would allow Puerto Rico to emerge from bankruptcy early next year," the announcement said. "The Oversight Board expects to file that plan of adjustment for the Commonwealth within the next 30 days."

But, but, but: Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló's top finance adviser, Christian Sobrino, tells the Wall Street Journal that the government doesn't support the proposal because it's based on a fiscal plan that cuts pension benefits.

Go deeper: Puerto Rico's unlikely financial bounceback

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,014,673 — Total deaths: 52,973 — Total recoveries: 210,335Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 244,678 — Total deaths: 5,911 — Total recoveries: 9,058Map.
  3. 2020 updates: The Democratic National Committee said its July convention will be postponed until August because of the coronavirus. A federal judge declined to delay Wisconsin's April 7 primary election.
  4. Jobs latest: Coronavirus unemployment numbers are like a natural disaster hitting every state.
  5. Public health latest: Anthony Fauci called for all states across the U.S. to issue stay-at-home orders. The FDA will allow blood donations from gay men after 3-month waiting period, citing "urgent need."
  6. Business latest: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said oil companies are eligible for aid from new lending programs the Federal Reserve is setting up, but not direct loans from his department.
  7. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Navy removes captain of aircraft carrier who sounded alarm about coronavirus.
  8. 1 future thing: In developing countries, consequences of COVID-19 could be deeper and far more difficult to recover from.
  9. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Mark Meadows considers new White House press secretary

Photos: Alyssa Farah, Defense Department; Stephanie Grisham, Alex Wong/Getty Images; Kayleigh McEnany, Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has privately discussed bringing on Pentagon spokesperson Alyssa Farah or Trump campaign spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany as a new White House press secretary, two sources familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: Meadows' start on Tuesday as Trump's new chief presents a chance to overhaul a press shop that's kept a low profile since President Trump ended the tradition of daily press secretary briefings.

CNN: Fauci advises all states issue stay-at-home orders

Dr. Anthony Fauci listens to President Trump speak during a briefing on April 1. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci recommended on Thursday that all states across the U.S. implement stay-at-home orders, at a CNN town hall.

Why it matters: The recommendation stands in contrast to President Trump's calls for "flexibility." Nearly 4o states have issued stay-at-home orders to promote social distancing as a way to combat the novel coronavirus — but the orders vary in strictness and duration.

Go deeperArrow7 hours ago - Health