How the Triple Tax Exemption on Puerto Rico’s Bonds Financed Its Territorial Status—and Helped Spark Its Debt Crisis

How did Puerto Rico manage to incur a monumental debt of $72 billion without raising red flags among the sophisticated investors who continuously bought its bonds? Here associate professor of business Evaluz Cotto–Quijano points to the role of a tax exemption designed by the US Congress over 100 years ago to finance Puerto Rico’s territorial government by inflating its bond debt instead of appropriating federal funds.  

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Can Credit Tightening Spur Social Unrest? Evidence from 1930s China

In 1933 the United States launched its Silver Purchase program, which raised silver prices worldwide, drained China’s silver stock, and caused credit to Chinese firms to contract sharply. In a new paper, economists at Tilburg and Bocconi universities use the incident as a natural experiment to examine whether economic shocks can trigger labor unrest and boost support for fringe political parties.  

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