Main content

Puerto Rico Defaults on Debt Payment

Puerto Rico will not be able to make its latest debt repayment of $470m without threatening basic services to the island's 3.5 million residents.

The clock is ticking for Puerto Rico. The territory is $72billion in debt. A staggering 45% of its population live in poverty. Unemployment is running at 12% - more than double the US figure. Now the administration in San Juan has announced that it will not be able to make its latest debt repayment of $470m without threatening basic services to the island's 3.5 million residents. And, since Puerto Rico is not a state it cannot make use of the US insolvency code - and therefore has no bankruptcy protection from creditors. The administration has already seen a succession of protests from anxious workers, as we hear from Nick Brown, Reuters bureau chief in San Juan.

It is Budget Day in Australia and with maybe as little as two months to go before the general election, it is widely seen as a campaign pitch by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his Liberal Party. Peter Ryan, Business editor at ABC Radio Current Affairs, gives us his thoughts.

We also look at two international agreements - the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which has brought together 12 nations from Asia and the Americas, and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) - currently being negotiated between the US and the EU, in protracted sessions.

Our two guests throughout the show are Lori Wallach, director and founder of Global Trade Watch and Alex Frangos, Asia editor of Heard on the Street at the Wall Street Journal, in Hong Kong.

(Photo: The Puerto Rican Capitol building. Credit: Getty Images)

Available now

50 minutes

Broadcast

What makes a good short film?

What makes a good short film?

The directors of the films nominated for a 2018 Academy Award for Best Short Documentary

Download the Podcast

Download the Podcast

Listen to the latest editions of the Business Matters podcast

Life in Israel and the Palestinian Territories

Life in Israel and the Palestinian Territories

The difficulties of working where the threat of conflict is part of everyday life

Podcast