Borrowing to fund pensions could make California the next Puerto Rico

G■ By Marc Joffe / Contributed overnor Brown’s proposal to fund CalPERS with borrowed money parallels a similar move by Puerto Rico in 2008. Borrowing to meet pension obligations can work under certain circumstances, but it is a risky policy. It backfired in Puerto Rico and can do so here. Last month, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico filed for bankruptcy in federal court. The island’s government is unable to service $70 billion in bonds and almost $50 billion in pension debt. The bankruptcy filing – the largest ever by a U.S. government unit – was just the latest chapter in a fiscal crisis decades in the making. In 2008, Puerto Rico

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