Episode

6/13 Bernie Sanders on Finishing the New Deal & The Billion Dollar McKinsey Way to Save Puerto Rico w/ Andrew Rice

Yesterday, after an important campaign speech in Washington, Bernie Sanders joined Sam to discuss what Democratic Socialism means in the 21st century and why freedom in America is predicated on economic Bill of Rights. Sanders looks at the biggest changes in America’s history and explains why change does not happen from the top down. Instead, the key to social revolution and real change always happens from sustained grassroots efforts advocating of behalf of working people.

Contributing Editor at New York Magazine Andrew Rice joins Michael Brooks to discuss his piece, “The McKinsey Way to Save an Island,” on how one consultant agency is charging more than a billion dollars for expert advice on how to make the island solvent once again. Much of Puerto Rico’s debt trouble stems from the byzantine status of the island’s bonds which were once seen as a safe investment for investors became a playground for more “creative” bonds like a rum and sale tax bond. Over the past several decades Puerto Rico has racked up $74B in bond debt and is now bankrupt. Rice and Brooks explore how Puerto Rico’s vague colony status has created a precarious legal and financial situation for the island, its government, and ultimately its people. Rice goes spares no detail when describing the austere program prescribed by McKinsey and implemented by the US government oversight board known locally as la junta.  While cuts to schools, public safety, and privatizing the electrical grid are bad on their own, it’s that much worse when it looks like McKinsey stands to directly benefit from its policies in Puerto Rico via its Investment Office. Turns out that the McKinsey Investment Office was highly invested in Puerto Rican bonds dating back to the 80s! McKinsey and the Oversight Board (after an internal investigation) both claim that there is no conflict of interest between the Investment Office and the firm’s role in restructuring the Puerto Rican government. Rice and Brooks consider the role of consultant firms like McKinsey in government and whether or not their work ultimately benefits the public good and what a changing public perception means for the managerial class moving forward.

And in the Fun Half:  Nancy Pelosi’s political malpractice, Trump’s still open to opposition research from foreign countries, Tom Perez says Jay Inslee’s climate debate is ultimately self serving, Marco Rubio says Democratic Socialism is incompatible with American values, Bernie channeling his inner FDR and the champions the former president’s Economic Bill of Rights, Trump has another “pump me up” cabinet meeting session, Michael breaks down Lula’s political prisoner status, plus your calls & IMs!

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