Presente | Tell the Treasury: Puerto Rico deserves better. Antonio Weiss must go.
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Tell the Treasury: Puerto Rico deserves better. Antonio Weiss must go.

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    The Message

    Dear Treasury Secretary Jack Lew,

    I’m outraged to learn that the US Treasury Department’s response to Puerto Rico’s debt crisis is being led by Antonio Weiss. Weiss formerly worked for Lazard Frères, an investment bank which played a significant role in expanding Puerto Rico’s public debt by marketing Puerto Rican government bonds to hedge funds. Lazard has a significant financial interest in Puerto Rico’s debt, and Weiss received a $21.2M “golden parachute” from Lazard upon his departure in 2014.

    Puerto Rico deserves solutions that prioritize the wellbeing of its citizens and its economy, not the profits of elite investment banks. Given his background, Antonio Weiss cannot be counted on to prioritize the needs of Puerto Rico’s people and economy over the interests of wealthy investors and financial institutions.

    I’m calling on you to remove Antonio Weiss from any role in the Treasury’s response to Puerto Rico’s debt crisis, and replace him with someone who does not have ties to the banks and hedge funds that manufactured this crisis and seek to profit from it.

    Sincerely,

    [your name]

    Puerto Rico’s debt crisis didn’t come from nowhere. Big investment banks and hedge funds saw a big opportunity to profit from lending to Puerto Rico, and pushed its government institutions to take on more and more debt that they would never be able to repay. Now, they want Puerto Rico’s people to foot the bill and guarantee their profits. It’s classic predatory lending, on an international scale.

    Antonio Weiss helped manufacture this crisis when he worked at investment bank Lazard Frères, and he was rewarded with a $21.2 million golden parachute about a year ago. Now he’s at the US Treasury Department, and he’s been put in charge of leading the Treasury’s response to the crisis – despite the fact that his former employer has a huge financial interest in what happens.

    It’s outrageous. Puerto Rico deserves solutions that prioritize the wellbeing of its citizens and its economy, not the profits of elite investment banks. Please join us in demanding that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew remove Antonio Weiss from any involvement in responding to Puerto Rico’s debt crisis.

    Sources:
    - ANTONIO WEISS, LAZARD FRÈRES AND THE PUERTO RICO CRISIS
    - National Coalition Calls on Antonio Weiss to Recuse Himself from Puerto Rico Debt Crisis Response at U.S. Treasury
    - Coalition Letter to Antonio Weiss

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