Welcome to Control Board Watch

The Control Board is finally, here.  After 2 plus years of talk, Congress has acted. This bill, known as the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), establishes a robust control board over the affairs of Puerto Rico.

The financial control board is an unprecedented development in the history of the Commonwealth.  If implemented, the board will represent an extraordinary limitation of the rights granted to Puerto Ricans since we gained full the right of self-governance in 1952.

Given this, it is vital that we closely monitor the board to ensure our rights as Puerto Ricans and as American citizens are protected, that the board and its appointees and employees serve the purpose of helping the Puerto Rican people, and that board operates in a transparent manner.

As the name suggests, the goal is to report on the developments of the board, identify and vet the slew of prospective board candidates circulating the media and the halls of the U.S. Congress, and report on those seeking to advise or work for the board.

Potential candidates already floated by the media include:

  • George Pataki
  • Richard Ravitch
  • Richard Carrion
  • David Chafey
  • Juan Carlos Batlle
  • Jose Enrique Fernandez
  • Anthony Williams
  • Kevyn Orr
  • Jose Ramon Gonzalez
  • Paul Volcker
  • William McDonough
  • Simon Johnson
  • Frank Shafroth

I hope this website provides the people of Puerto Rico and elsewhere access to timely information and details about the control board, and I encourage readers to submit tips on the latest happenings with the board.

Who Will Be A Good Fit For The Federal Control Board?

I have launched Control Board Watch in part to evaluate the many prospects that will undoubtedly be floated as potential candidates for membership on Puerto Rico’s federal control board and its staff and team of advisors.

This control board, which is set to be approved tomorrow by the United States Senate, is unprecedented in the modern history of the Commonwealth – and for that matter, U.S. history. While similar boards have been created under different circumstances in New York and Washington, DC, etc., the situation here is unique because, unlike in Washington, a substantial number of Puerto Ricans are opposed to the board and, unlike in New York, Puerto Ricans have no voting representation in the Congress that will create this board. The list goes on and on.

Given these circumstances, it is incredibly important that candidates and their staff are given a thorough and transparent public vetting before the people of Puerto Rico, so that we can do everything within our power to ensure that the board is populated only by those who will act in the best interest of the citizens of the island.

To that point, ControlBoardWatch will review rumored candidates for various board positions on two general criterion:

  • Do they have the requisite experience to step into the board under these dire circumstances, and helpfully contribute to a resolution of our crisis?
  • Are there are any red flags that indicate that a given candidate may have ulterior motivations for working on the board, or otherwise suggest that they may not act solely in the best interest of the Puerto Rican people?

These are simple but, given the power wielded by the board and the many competing interest that will seek to influence it, vitally important questions to address about every potential board member and staffer. The way I will go about it is equally simple: rumored candidates will be assessed along the aforementioned parameters, and I will present that assessment to readers and the general public right here at ControlBoardWatch. Candidates will receive a score in “flags” – green for those who are good fits, yellow for those with mixed reviews, and red for those who should not be considered.

I would like to involve my readers as much as possible; if you have a potential candidate in mind that has not been vetted, or a rumor or a tip, I encourage you to reach out to us via the “TIP” button located in the top right corner of the ControlBoardWatch homepage. Before making these recommendations, look at the requirements established in PROMESA for Board Members, to wit, Section 101(f).

I look forward to a transparent and thorough dialogue as more information on the board comes.