In this editorial, Jenner & Block Partner Robert D. Gordon examines the financial crisis in the US Virgin Islands (USVI) and a recent bill that was passed by Legislature to refinance and restructure about $1 billion of bond debt. Mr. Gordon criticizes the deal, opining that it prioritizes the interests of bondholders over those of USVI residents and retirees. “In such a situation, when the government’s revenues and funds are insufficient to cover expenses,” Mr. Gordon argues, “priorities must have the wellbeing of USVI residents and retirees at the top of the list.” The bond deal was recently canceled by the Governor. (Note: the title of the piece was created by the publication, not Mr. Gordon).
In August 2020, Mr. Gordon testified before the USVI Legislature regarding the bill, similarly arguing that it seeks to provide significant and unwarranted benefits to current bondholders while creating additional long-term challenges for USVI's finances.