Hedge-fund billionaire Seth Klarman owns $911 million of Puerto Rico’s debt. And he thinks it’s time for the island to pay up.
Just last month, Puerto Rico was hit hard by Hurricane Maria, and still more than half of the population are without power, making this the largest blackout in US history. A third of households lack access to drinking water. And while politicians put debt forgiveness on the table in the hopes it can help Puerto Rico rebuild, Klarman is demanding the island pay up.
Puerto Rican lawyer and politician, Iván Rivera Reyes, says the COFINA bonds that Klarman’s firm owns were a “creation of Wall Street financial whizzes” to take advantage of the island’s precarious economic situation. This isn’t the time to collect on Puerto Rico’s debt, it’s time to forgive these immorally extracted bonds and help the island rebuild.
Call on Seth Klarman and Baupost to forgive Puerto Rico’s debt now.
The crisis in Puerto Rico has called renewed attention to the island’s semi-colonial status. The archaic Jones Act, passed in 1920, guaranteed an American monopoly on goods shipped in and out of Puerto Rico -- creating massive shortages of food and fuel until the Trump Administration temporarily waived the law at the end of September.
Protesters have rallied outside of the Boston offices of Baupost, Klarman’s firm, chanting “money for recovery, not Seth’s salary”. “We can name the enemy, we know exactly the financial investments that they have made in the suffering of Puerto Rico,” said organizer Michael Fiorentino.
It’s crucial we come together to support those struggling to put their lives back together in the wake of Hurricane Maria -- especially by donating to frontline communities through funds like the Hurricane Maria Community Relief & Recovery Fund. But we also need to insist that Puerto Rico isn’t a playground for hedge-fund billionaires to get even richer off of anymore. Let’s join voices to call on Seth Klarman to do the right thing and forgive the Puerto Rican bonds he holds.
Demand Seth Klarman forgive his Puerto Rican bonds in support of efforts to rebuild the island.