Friday, March 31, 2023

The Song Remains the Same

By on July 8, 2022

There is nothing like interviewing the past to bring truth to the forefront. The following is a now-present-tense version of an editorial written in 2018 that still rings true today: When you prompt the same dog to perform an old trick, you usually get a lukewarm reaction from the crowd attending the circus—whether the animal spins in the air or stands on front paws does not matter. In the case of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa), where the dog is walking blindfold, a biped backpeddling not impressed.

You see, when it comes to the Prepa dog and pony show, people want to see the dog jumping through hoops, but only if it does not cost them too much.

The announcement in 2018 of a preliminary deal between Prepa and its bondholders included a transition charge to help pay for a bond exchange with creditor constituencies that did not include the monoline bond insurers and the fuel-line lenders.

This was akin to stalled hypermitosis in cell division prior to birth— a Prepa deal took at least two-thirds of the creditor groups brought into the fold to bind the holdouts in a consensual deal. Much work remained to be done.

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