Economists say Puerto Rico needs right to bankruptcy option

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico’s financial future hung in limbo Tuesday as economists and officials warned that the U.S. territory could head down Greece’s path if it is not allowed to declare bankruptcy as it struggles with $72 billion in public debt.

The island prepared to close a troubled fiscal year amid intense investor scrutiny just hours before the first of several multimillion-dollar debt payments is due. It remained unclear whether the government would meet the roughly $400 million obligation due Wednesday, obtain yet another extension from creditors, or default.

Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla has said that the overall debt is unpayable and that he will seek a moratorium on payments, although it is still unknown whether bondholders will agree to that or opt to resolve the issue in court. Continue reading

Greek banks would have collapsed in days without deal – Irish finance minister

(Reuters) – Greece’s banking system would have collapsed within days had Athens not compromised significantly and struck a funding agreement with euro zone ministers, Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan said on Saturday.

“The biggest threat to Greece was that their banking system would go belly up next Wednesday,” Noonan told national broadcaster RTE at his Fine Gael party’s annual conference. Continue reading