The Guardian reported:
Locals were less than pleased about the sight of some of the world’s richest people lounging on Puerto Rico’s idyllic beaches plotting how to get even richer by exploiting the island’s $72bn debt crisis – a crisis that has pushed millions into poverty and brought the island’s schools and hospitals to breaking point.Hedge funds bought Puerto Rican debt at a discount, then pressed for repayment.
Billionaire New York hedge fund manager John Paulson invited hundreds of financiers to swap the bitter chill engulfing Wall Street for the sunny beaches of Puerto Rico for the weekend, if not for good.The greed and leverage boys manipulate dislocation to their perpetual advantage. Politicians are but a tool to be used. In this case eminent domain has been used to seize homes and demolish them in order to build a hotel and casino. It's the state of America and its territories, where politicians Red and Blue love PEU.
At an investment conference held a short walk from the soft sands of Condado, east of old San Juan, Paulson, most famous for making a $4bn killing on the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market, pitched Puerto Rico as a new tax haven with “the potential to become the Singapore of the Caribbean”.
Paulson, who is spending more than $1bn on luxury hotels and resorts on the island, encouraged his fellow financiers to help him turn around the island by moving there and, in doing so, saving themselves a small fortune in tax.
More than 1,000 people, including private equity tycoons Nicholas Prouty and Michael Tennenbaum, have already taken advantage of the island’s “aggressive tax incentive” laws 20 and 22 that allow Americans to pay zero tax on US income if they spend at least 183 nights on the island. They also get to keep their US citizenship and passports, which they would have to surrender if they moved to other tax havens like Singapore.