Another Milestone in Latin Media
The edition of Caribbean Business that you are reading marks a historic milestone for this publication because it is the first fully digital version of this newspaper, which is taking a hiatus from printing over the holidays, as is standard at many national publications that publish year-end double issues. You will notice a revamped website that is much more agile, thus matching the retooling of our print edition.
As is customary, Caribbean Business publishes its Year in Review cover story, but in typical Latin Media House style, we have added a political parody titled the “12 Days of Christmas” just to spice things up.
Drafted along the lines of Esquire magazine’s “Dubious Achievement Awards,” this newspaper pulls no punches—we are equal opportunity offenders on that front. “On the first day of Christmas, the Three Kings Gave to me: One Lame Duck in a Palm Tree; On the Second Day of Christmas, the Political Parties Gave to me: two Political Primaries; On the Third Day of Christmas, the Government Gave to me, Three Nasty Clawbacks…” and so on. You surely get the point. Each of the verses serves as the headline to short humor pieces backed by hard facts and statistics. Humor is underpinned by good research because much truth is said in jest.
Todo el mundo coge su aguita; you will find all the major players here—Gov. Alejandro García Padilla, Jim Millstein, Steven Rhodes, the dissident five among the populares (not to be confused with the Jackson Five), monoline bond insurers and the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) with its multiple deadlines and extensions. This is a nasty Christmas Party if we have ever seen one—for adults only. Such is the case with this economy, which is discussed on a more serious note by some of Puerto Rico’s top economists in our Front-Page cover story.
Their take is no surprise—things are looking horrendously dire for Puerto Rico, as a confluence of events has put Puerto Rico’s economic development in a devastating spiral. Igniting economic development in these times has been a near impossible task—over-coming the mass exodus of our young and professional class to the tune of more than 1,200 people leaving every week and a huge drop in net job creation to numbers below the 1 million mark, a low point that has hit the jobs market particularly hard.
As this newspaper was being put online, the term sheet that would bring monoline bond insurers into the fold of the Restructuring Support Agreement—essential to the Prepa deal—is hugely important because it is a key step to stave off default. This would be one bit of good news for the García Padilla administration’s debt-restructuring brigades, but it certainly shouldn’t be a sign that Puerto Rico can finally relax, as significant challenges lie ahead in the New Year.
As Puerto Rico and the U.S. enter an election year, it would be refreshing to hear someone be specific about a plan to reverse outmigration—to bring back all the talent that has left, return access to the capital markets and create jobs that will lead to sustainable economic development for the island.