SAN JUAN, PR/WASHINGTON, DC (BBN-PR) — (Update on January 13, 2017 to add interview with US Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-District of Columbia) — Donald J. Trump’s harnessing of CEO intervention, the US military and exploiting the White House bully pulpit to resurrect of Puerto Rico to its former glory following the devastation by Hurricane Maria will undoubtedly be one of the the high points of his presidential legacy.
[President Donald J. Trump arrival on Air Force One filmed by Capitol Intelligence using CI Glass at Muniz National Air Guard Base in Puerto Rico. President Trump and First Lady Melania was met by Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello and wife. October 3, 2017]
To many in Puerto Rico — Hurricane Maria is a blessing in disguise as the enclave was facing an even more devastating slow death under USD 70bn of unsustainable debt to Wall Street banks and asset managers.
President Trump effectively talked down Puerto Rico bond prices from about 60 cents on the dollar pre-Hurricane Maria to about 30-35 cents following a choreographed impromptu interview with Fox News anchor and Puerto Rican native, Geraldo Rivera during during his visit on October 3, 2017 . The USD 9bn in bond debt owed by PREPA will be zeroed out as Hurricane Maria wiped out the utility.
While Puerto Rico won the highest level support from President Trump and his cabinet, Puerto Rico felt deeply betrayed by US Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla) and US House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) as parts of the recently passed US tax reform bill treats Puerto Rico as a foreign jurisdiction.