Puerto Rico: An Exclave in Decline


Tuesday, April 24, 2018, 12:00pm to 2:00pm


CGIS South, S250, 1730 Cambridge Street

Speaker: Hiram Ramirez-Rangel, Divisional Executive Vice-President and Co-Branch Manager of AXA Advisors, LLC, Puerto Rico

Moderator: Steven Levitsky, Professor of Government at Harvard University

Puerto Rico’s current financial and economic crisis is examined firstly by examining the geopolitical dynamics that once sustained its role as an American exclave, and which gradually changed, giving way to a period of decline in strategic importance. As its importance as exclave began to decline, the Island turned to both external and internal sources of financing to mitigate or defer economic and financial adjustment policies. The incentives for the issuance of Puerto Rico debt in the US municipal bond market, the use of special instrumentalities for the issuance of debt, and the absence of true independence of these entities from the local government created a system of concentrated, interlocking risks until the cycle of creation of external debt could no longer be sustained. Hiram Ramirez-Rangel will end by examining how dynamics in other exclaves may shed light on the Island’s future.

hiramHiram A. Ramirez-Rangel is Divisional Executive Vice-President and Co-Branch Manager of AXA Advisors, LLC in Puerto Rico. Hiram joined the Puerto Rico branch in 2005 as the Branch Operations Manager. Prior to joining AXA Hiram held several positions in the government of Puerto Rico including Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company, Advisor to the Governor on Economic Development and Finance and Acting Secretary of Economic Development and Commerce. Hiram is also the former president of the Board of Directors of the Puerto Rico Life and Health Guarantee Association. Hiram has also been a visiting professor at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras and Sacred Hearth University, both in San Juan. He has published on matters of economic development both in the local press and in Brazil. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico a Masters and PhD from Harvard University.