Document Type


Publication Date



This article is based on a February 2016 keynote address given at the University of Puerto Rico Law Review Symposium “Public Debt and the Future of Puerto Rico.” Thus, much of it remains written in the first person, and so the reader may imagine the joy of being in the audience. (Citations and footnotes have been inserted before publication ‒ sidebars that no reasonable person would ever have inflicted upon a live audience, even one interested in bankruptcy law. Rhetorical accuracy thus yields to scholarly pedantics.) The analysis explains how bankruptcy law not only can but will be required to remedy Puerto Rico’s financial woes, be it through the explicit provisions of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code or an ad hoc analogue. It also cautions, however, that the necessary underlying structural reforms cannot arise from bankruptcy (or any other) judicial proceeding.