Top budget director in New York to head Puerto Rico’s finances

Carlos Nogueras (Al Día News) reports on the appointment of Robert Mujica, the overseer of New York’s $200 billion budget, who “has been tasked to reign in Puerto Rico’s dire economy.”

Puerto Rico’s Financial Oversight and Management Board (FOMB) is primed for a shake-up as its governing board announced this week that Robert Mujica, New York’s Budgeting Director, will serve as its new Executive Director. 

Mujica, son of the Puerto Rican diaspora, is poised to transition to his new post at the end of the year, a spokesperson for his office told AL DÍA.  “It is a special place to me, and I want to see it prosper,” he said in a statement. 

News of Mujica’s transition appeared to be a surprise for New York Governor Kathy Hochul, who in September 2021 told POLITICO he’d be in her cabinet for a long time. Nonetheless, Gov. Hochul said she was “glad that our neighbors in Puerto Rico will get to benefit from his considerable talents,” in a statement. 

Mujica, donned a “game changer” by the FOMB’s Chairman David Skeel, will be tasked to manage a mammoth $78 billion debt owed to bondholders and vulture funds who staked their investments against Puerto Rico’s increasing government expenses. He will also inherit Jaresko’s $625 thousand salary, a substantial raise from his current role, which awards Mujica $216,186.

For Mujica, Puerto Rico’s debt is dwarfed by the budget he currently manages, but where Mujica’s challenge may lie are the multiple actors looking for a payout. [. . .]

The FOMB is a Congress-appointed board that controls Puerto Rico’s total spending and was granted the authority to determine where the island’s resources are directed, as well as approve or reject any form of government expenditure, including any financial resolutions set forth by its Governor, Pedro Pierluisi. 

It was installed in 2016 by former President Barack Obama with a narrow 68-30 majority to ensure Puerto Rico’s $78 billion debt was paid back to its lenders, mostly bondholders and vulture funds who staked investments against the debt. [. . .]

For full article, see

[Photo above by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call: Robert Mujica, N.Y. budget director, attends a news conference with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on the COVID-19 pandemic at the National Press Club in Washington D.C., after a meeting with President Trump at the White House on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.]

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