By Insurer’s Calculation, Puerto Rico Debt Burden Is Lowest


The reports of Puerto Rico’s unpayable debt load have been greatly exaggerated, according to the MBIA Inc. unit National Public Finance Guarantee Corp.

The cash-strapped island, which defaulted on bonds for the first time this month, has a smaller burden than all other U.S. states after adjusting for its territory status, according to a report dated Monday by the bond insurer. Excluding the island’s utility bonds and adding the U.S. debt to each state based on their population, Puerto Rico has a lower debt-to-income ratio per capita than even Maryland or Virginia, which have top credit ratings, National said.

The analysis is in stark contrast with data from Moody’s Investors Service, which gives Puerto Rico the third-worst credit rating and says its net tax supported debt per capita is the highest among U.S. states and 11 times greater than Virginia’s. Moody’s projects recovery rates from 35 percent to 80 percent on commonwealth bonds…

By Insurer’s Calculation, Puerto Rico Debt Burden Is Lowest

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