Puerto Rico has become the Wild West of Wall Street fraud, with the island’s politicians guiding the robbers. The latest scam – netting more than one billion dollars – was engineered by Goldman Sachs and executed by two governors from BOTH political parties: Alejandro Garcia Padilla (PPD) and Luis Fortuño (PNP).
They used the island’s most profitable highway, PR-22, in order to steal $1.25 billion dollars. Here is how…
PR-22, aka José de Diego Expressay, is 51 miles long. It runs from Santurce to Hatillo, passes through San Juan, and is the island’s busiest highway. Every day, more vehicles pass through PR-22, than any other road in Puerto Rico.
The annual toll revenues from PR-22 are $85 million.
In 2011, Luis Fortuño turned PR-22 into a “public private partnership” (aka “P3”) with Goldman Sachs and a Spanish corporation named Abertis.
This P3 gave Goldman Sachs and Abertis a 40-year lease on PR-22 and PR-5, for which they would receive 50% of the toll revenues (roughly $1.8 billion) in exchange for a $1.4 billion investment, for a profit of approximately $400 million.
AND THEN THEY GOT SLICK
The ROI (return on investment) on this deal seemed reasonable…but now in 2016, the deal suddenly changed.
In the immortal words of Johnny Guitar Watson, “Somebody doing something slick…downtown.”
Five years into the deal, in April 2016, Gov. Garcia Padilla quietly altered the initial contract.
LET’S DO THE MATH
Under the new terms, in exchange for an additional investment of only $115 million, the governor decreased the island’s revenue share on PR-22 from 50% to 25%, and extended the lease term for an additional 10 years.
So for 35 years, Goldman/Abertis will receive an additional 25% annually…
For 10 new additional years, they will receive 75% of 85 million.
The math works out like this:
25% additional of $85 million per year x 35 years = 21 x 35 = $735 million
75% of 85 million x 10 years = 63 x 10 = $630 million
The total added revenue is thus $1,365,000,000 ($1.365 billion), on an investment of $115 million…for a new, additional profit of $1.25 BILLION.
Did you hear about this?
I certainly didn’t.
Somebody doing something slick…downtown.
LET’S BRIBE THE $16 BILLION DOLLAR MAN!
Now eight months later, in December, a little news item emerges in Caribbean Business. Luis Fortuño was just named onto the board of directors of Abertis, because it wants “independent directors on its board…seasoned experts with a variety of professional profiles.”
Fortuño is certainly seasoned.
He marinated himself in public debt, during his brief stint as governor, by “borrowing” $16 billion from Wall Street. In just 4 years, Fortuño “borrowed” more money from Wall Street, than any other governor in Puerto Rican history.
$9 billion of that money was spent on “private contracts” which, to this day, have not been accounted for.
So at the precise moment that a new $1.25 billion scam goes public, one of the key players hires Fortuño for a “board membership” that will provide elegant vacations to Spain for Fortuño’s family, and hefty board fees to Fortuño.
Fortuño is being bribed – some would say “hired” – to provide Abertis and Goldman Sachs some additional influence over the Financial Control Board (FCB), which is supposed to “investigate” these questionable deals.
A WORD TO THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT
Puerto Rico allegedly “owes” $72 billion, and the FCB was allegedly created to help them pay it.
One of the best ways to do this is to investigate, annul and even prosecute any questionable deals which provide extraordinary and unexplainable profits to a few individuals and private entities, at the expense of the entire Commonwealth.
If the FCB does not investigate and prosecute this $1.25 billion scam which involves a foreign corporation, a US investment bank, two governors and both major parties in Puerto Rico, then the FBI and the US Justice Department should step in…and investigate the FCB, as well.
They can start by using the RICO statute.
For a history of the War Against All Puerto Ricans, read the book…
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One of the chains that binds our people as slaves is that of ignorance. It’s a long chain and makes many believe that gringos have come to help when they just do what you do with a colony, pillage all resources.
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Sras, y Sres. Esto suena muy real ,yo reconosco eso de la ruta 22 pero nunca imagine, que hubiera un movimiento matematica y maquiavelico como melase presentando. Yo pienzo que personas ,intituciones gubernamentales y otras., tendran que pagar este abuso con el pueblo puerto riqueno.
What do you mean by moderation?
Martin Luther wrote a book about groups like golden sacks. It is in you tube.
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Zionistas again stealing from Puerto Rico. Read what original Martin Luther 500 years ago said those blood suckers
I seriously doubt the FCB will do anything when two of its members served under the Fortuño administration; one of them just happens to be the head of the FCB. Both also served on the boards of Banco Santander, just another culprit in the scamming of Puerto Rico. Gracias gobernadores.
USA! Find a way and put them in JAIL, does Puerto Rico have to suffer for the doing of those crooks,,Alejandro and Fortuño should be in JAIL!!!
USA! Find a way and put them in JAIL, does Puerto Rico have to suffer for the doing of those crooks,,Alejandro and Fortune should be in JAIL!!!
I’ll repeat my words when I saw what happened to New Orleans during Hurricane Catrina… “SHUT, SHIT, HOLY SHIT, OM, OM, A, A, SHIT, SHIT What a messy SHIT…!”
Someone really needs to teach whoever writes this column about net present value and discounting future cash flows. Spreading such incredible misinformation is harmful to the public discourse.
I’m sorry, Jose.
I learned about net present value and discounting future cash flows in my Harvard economics classes, then again at Yale Law School, then again in 35 years of legal practice, then AGAIN as a New York State Assemblyman.
You can try snowing someone else with your 62 dollar words.
115 million dollars does NOT translate into a $1.25 billion windfall via private late-stage financing (not even mezz) and a balloon 1,100% ROI — perhaps in the commodities markets or some equity flips/short sales which you may be fond of — but not in the public economy, with taxpayers subsidizing enormous private windfalls…especially under the current entropic conditions of pending creditor litigation, asset seizures, pension stays, Article 78 maneuvers, FINRA/COFINA arbitration, force majeure events, pari passu claimaints and wholesale receivership.
Nice try, though.
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Over 100 Creative DIY Pallet Furniture Ideas – Ch…: http://youtu.be/RC_FV4w7rPI
There are so many ideas to build your own-your own business, hurricane strong homes without mortgage as an independent country without their code enforcement abusive fine laws that will be enforced as state. America does not care about anyone- YOU need to build together-grow your own crops, farm your own bees necessary for crop. Get involved, work together and cut the chain of slavery and dependence of these brutes that are just collecting lands and WEALTH killing off indigenous peoples.
Yeah, can you just imagine if the Puerto Rican government ran PR-22? The highway is currently regularly maintained and improved, I can only imagine the 65mph speed limit wouldn’t mean shit if they were in charge as the potholes and mispainted lines would keep it at a max of 25. Nobody thinks about these things when they scream “but but the government should be in charge and collecting the money”. Yeah the corrupt political system that brought us to the brink should be trusted with the 1.25 Billion that’s a great idea.
Ughhhhhh, how can we get this goin!? Can a petition help? Maybe start with http://www.change.org ? I’m SO sick and tired of these corrupt bastards and our people suffering and paying for it. Me da pena por mi familia allá! 😦
POLITICS MAKE STRANGE BEDFELLOWS!
Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
O-M-G!!! ‘Puerto Rico has become the Wild West of Wall Street fraud, with the island’s politicians guiding the robbers.’
… practicing for the new America??
Any recommendations Financial Control Board?????? My recommendation is lock the crooks up. Deep down I know this is not going to happen, because crooks don’t lock up other crooks…F.B.I. Keep your hands folded these are your buddies.
I don’t see the issue here. You wrote that it originally had a reasonable ROI and that it was later changed by AGP. The investment companies are still investing the money originally agreed too and that is money that PR does not have to spend maintaining that roadway, plus PR gets additional funds from the toll. That Fortuño is now on the board simply means the company is making sound business decisions.
Certainly there is a question of former public officers moving into high ranking business positions, but that question and restriction if needed must apply to all former public officials. We cannot single out just one. Personally I don’t have a problem with privatization, but I’ve never been a fan of tolls in general except to pay for on going maintenance which they never seem too.
Wall Street is not the enemy, nor is the US government. The ones doing harm to PR are in Puerto Rico and that is where the focus ought to be.
If you think that a governor approving a $1.25 BILLION GIVEAWAY is a fine thing — without any legislative or public review — then I respectfully disagree with you.
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Nelson..I’m a fan of your work. Can this story be verified? Can you cite sources?
I feel outraged and feel that all Puertorriqueñ@s should be as well. We cannot allow things to be businesses as usual and we should take the initiative to bring those responsible to pay for their wrong doings against the Puerto Rican people.