Lifting Life Support – Barron’s (July 19, 2014)

To the Editor:
While its legal viability is questionable, the Puerto Rico Recovery Act sends a long-overdue message to revenue bondholders of commonwealth-owned utilities: The central government should not and must not subsidize bonds of these independent entities (“Puerto Rico: The New Detroit,” Follow-Up, July 7).

The whole point of revenue bonds is to protect general taxpayers from the debts of issuers whose service revenues from subscribers are supposed to be the sole source of repayment. The longstanding, detrimental practice of keeping commonwealth-owned utilities on life support at the expense of taxpayers helped to conceal their financial mismanagement and lay the groundwork for this unfolding fiscal disaster.
David R. Martin

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