STUMP » Articles » Puerto Rico Quick-take: You Found How Much Just Lying Around? » 19 December 2017, 12:03

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Puerto Rico Quick-take: You Found How Much Just Lying Around?  


19 December 2017, 12:03

This caught my eye on twitter today:

My remark:

So let’s take a look at the article itself:


Puerto Rico Finds $5 Billion More Cash in Latest Disclosure

Puerto Rico said it had $5 billion more in cash than disclosed three weeks ago after scouring more than 800 government bank accounts, underscoring the murky financial reporting that’s complicated the bankrupt island’s effort to emerge from a crippling debt crisis.

The territory on Monday said it had $6.9 billion at the end of November, according to a securities filing that includes several accounts that were left out of the previous disclosure. That new tally, which is up from $1.73 billion reported on Dec. 1, comes just days after a judge ordered the government to turn over more financial data to bondholders who have long complained about a lack of reliable information.

It’s not merely that it’s $5 billion “oh, just here and there”, but that it is several times what they said they had before they found that “spare” money.

What the hell.

Let me see what others have to say about it.



Seriously, this is beyond “heads would roll” at a company. I’ve been part of financial reporting before, and I’ve been in the position where a change of less than $1 million on the last day of close would not be entered, because it wasn’t material.

So I understand that just because a number sounds big, doesn’t mean that it is meaningfully big.

That said, for Puerto Rico, $5 billion is not immaterial.

Looking at the table Cate Long tweeted, I can see that the funds are for a variety of things, and it doesn’t mean that the almost $7 billion total is available for bondholders, necessarily.

But really, this is an absurd amount of money to just “overlook”. Let’s forget about the disaster recovery aspect (I can just imagine the holes money is emptying out into), even if that weren’t going on the books need to be thoroughly audited.

It is difficult to do any kind of fiscal recovery or ordering when the books are a mess. It needs to be organized and audited.

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