Monday, October 18, 2021

Obama reveals fiscal board members

By on September 3, 2016

SAN JUAN – After months of uncertainty, President Barack Obama officially revealed the names of the seven members that will compose the Financial Oversight & Management Board established by the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (Promesa).

However, the announcement has concerned multiple Puerto Rican sectors by affirming that within its borders, the board conceals various “architects” of the fiscal crisis the island is going through.

(AP / Ricardo Arduengo, Archivo)

Promesa enabled the creation of a fiscal board that will oversee the island’s economic development and stability. (AP / Ricardo Arduengo, Archivo)

The first member who draws attention is the former president of the Government Development Bank (GDB) during Luis Fortuño’s administration, Carlos M. García, who was one of the executors of the infamous austerity plan implemented by the former governor’s administration and who created the Puerto Rico Emergency Moratorium and Financial Rehabilitation Act (Act 7), which eliminated hundreds of public jobs. García currently presides the Caribbean Financial Group Holding board, and is also chief executive at Bay Boston Managers LLC and partner director of Bay Boston Capital LP.

Another board member is José Carrión, Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi’s brother-in-law, and who has also been mentioned publicly for his political donations in favor of the Puerto Rican statehood cause and Pierluisi’s campaign. Previously, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) forced Carrión to give a portion of the contributions raised for Pierluisi because they did not comlpy with FEC regulations.

Likewise, Ana J. Matosantos, an expert in public finance and current president of Matosantos Consulting, served as CFO in the California Department of Finance between 2009 and 2013, and chief deputy director of Budget Office from 2008 until 2009, under the administrations of former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Gov. Jerry Brown. Matosantos was arrested for driving under the influence in 2011, and then submitted her her resignation to Brown, which he didn’t accept. Even though Matosantos is affiliated with the Democratic Party, her work in California was useful in keeping her job upon Republican Schwarzenegger’s entry as governor.

Arthur J. González, a distinguished member of the New York University School of Law, is remembered for his duty as a judge in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Southern District of New York who ruled on notorious bankruptcy cases, such as those of energy company Enron, telecommunications company WorldCom, and Chrysler. González served as a teacher in the New York City school system for 13 years


Some people claim the board conceals

various “architects” of the island’s fiscal crisis


David Skeel, who is a corporate law professor at University of Pennsylvania, is known for being one of the few legal academics who practices what is known as “Christian Legal Studies” and published the book “True Paradox: How Christianity Makes Sense of Our Complex World,” which defends Christianity and its role in modern society.

Similarly, Andrew Biggs, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute conservative think tank, has published articles about Social Security, pension and public servant compensation reform. He was the principal deputy commissioner of Social Security from 2007 until 2008, and has published articles in which he criticizes the Democratic Party’s plans to expand its benefits to retired people for allegedly not identifying necessary funds to cover them, and advocated for increasing the retirement age.

Finally, José R. González, is the CEO and president of Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (FHLBNY), which he joined in 2013 as executive vice president and chief operating officer, positions he held until 2014. Previously, he occupied several positions in local banks, such as OFG Bancorp, Santander BanCorp, Santander Securities Corp., and Credit Suisse First Boston (Puerto Rico). He also has experience in political finance as former president of the GDB under the administration of Rafael Hernández Colón, between 1986 and 1989.


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