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Peter R. Orszag

The Help That Puerto Rico Needs

Of all the options left for the debt-ridden territory, the Obama administration's is the least bad.
Something has to give.

Something has to give.

Photographer: Derick E. Hingle/Bloomberg

After years of irresponsible fiscal management, Puerto Rico has few good options to address its growing debt crisis. But in most tales of bad behavior, there comes a point where continued punishment for past mistakes becomes counterproductive. We're reaching that point on Puerto Rico, and the Barack Obama administration has put forward a sensible new approach. 

(Citigroup, my employer, has various business relationships with Puerto Rico, including serving as underwriter and market maker in various securities. I've had no involvement in those activities, and this column represents my personal views, not those of Citi.)