A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 16, 2013
Greece of the Caribbean (Puerto Rico in financial crisis)

A comparison of any place to the country of Greece can be taken two ways. If the comparison is to ancient Greece, then it’s a compliment, referencing democracy and advanced education. If the comparison is to modern Greece, then it means that a country is in serious financial trouble.

Puerto Rico has been called the “Greece of the Caribbean” since at least March 12, 2012, when this nickname was posted on Twitter. “Is Puerto Rico the Greece of the Caribbean?” by Nicole Goodkind was posted on Yahoo! Finance’s The Daily Ticker on November 29, 2012. “Puerto Rico’s Battered Economy: The Greece Of The Caribbean?” was broadcast on NPR on February 6, 2013.

“Greece of the Caribbean” has less frequently described other parts of the Caribbean. “Haiti, the Greece of the Caribbean” was cited in print on March 6, 2012, and “Dubbed Greece of the Caribbean, Jamaica forced to ‘reform’” was cited on Twitter on April 9, 2013.


Wikipedia: Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico (/ˌpɔrtə ˈriːkoʊ/ or /ˌpwɛərtə ˈriːkoʊ/, Spanish pronunciation: [pʷeɾto ˈriko]), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (Spanish: Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico), is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.

Puerto Rico (Spanish for “rich port") comprises an archipelago that includes the main island of Puerto Rico and a number of smaller islands, the largest of which are Vieques, Culebra, and Mona.

Caribbean News Now!
Commentary: Haiti, the Greece of the Caribbean
Published on March 6, 2012
By Jean H Charles
St Lucia dubbed herself the Helen of the Caribbean. Helen was that goddess of Greek mythology, daughter of the god Zeus and the goddess Leda. She was so beautiful that she had hundreds of suitors, including king and princes. Wedded to Menelaus, prince Paris of Sparta abducted Helena, causing the mythical Trojan War.

Because of the beauty of the land and the charm of its people, St Lucia was abducted by France and England successively some forty times, justifying the legendary surname of Helen.

Haiti’s connection with Greece has more to do with modern Greece than with Ancient Greece. I was inspired by two recent columns in the New York Times to draw the comparison between Haiti and the debacle happening these days in Greece.

Twitter
Luisa Garcia Pelatti
‏@garciapelatti
Is Puerto Rico the Greece of the Caribbean? http://ow.ly/9Bujm
11:11 AM - 12 Mar 12

Yahoo! Finance—The Daily Ticker
Is Puerto Rico the Greece of the Caribbean?
By Nicole Goodkind | Daily Ticker – Thu, Nov 29, 2012 9:11 AM EST
European nations struggling to repay loans and requesting bailouts have become fairly common in the past few years, but now it appears that this trend might be crossing the Atlantic. Global markets and U.S. officials are becoming increasingly concerned that Puerto Rico will have to default on its debt.

Puerto Rico is currently crawling out of a five-year recession. The unemployment rate is in the mid-teens, government pensions are only 6% funded and GDP growth is moving at a snail’s pace.

“There are aspects of Puerto Rico that are quite similar to [Greece],” says Robert Donahue, managing director at Municipal Market Advisors.

NPR
Puerto Rico’s Battered Economy: The Greece Of The Caribbean?
by DAVID GREENE
February 06, 2013 2:58 AM
Puerto Rico’s population is declining. Faced with a deteriorating economy, increased poverty and a swelling crime rate, many citizens are fleeing the island for the U.S. mainland. In a four-part series, Morning Edition explores this phenomenon, and how Puerto Rico’s troubles are affecting its people and other Americans in unexpected ways.

Twitter
Doug Harrison
‏@DougHarrisonFL
Dubbed Greece of the Caribbean, Jamaica forced to “reform” (i.e., adopt conservative policy) - by @jacquiecharles http://hrld.us/YK3reR
8:03 PM - 9 Apr 13

Twitter
PA Karolos Papoulias
‏@Plaid_Papoulias
A new article says that Puerto Rico is the Greece of the Caribbean. It seems our country’s misfortune is going to become a social verb/slang
6:00 PM - 25 Oct 13

WHYY (DE & PA)
Puerto Rico: Greece of the Caribbean?; Delaware’s State Treasury Office
November 21, 2013
Guests: Dan Rosenheck, Dánica Coto, Jonathan Starkey
Trouble is brewing in the United States’ territory in the Caribbean, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Yesterday it was announced that a team of U.S. officials will be deployed to the island in December to help the Puerto Rican government brace for an impending economic crisis. The island is struggling to stay afloat amidst a sea of debt and bad bonds. So how did Puerto Rico get in this situation?

Twitter
....
‏@Pachangafiend
Barbados, the Greece of the Caribbean.
3:45 PM - 13 Dec 13

Zero Hedge
Fear and Trembling In Muni Land
Submitted by testosteronepit on 12/16/2013 12:49 -0500
Wolf Richter http://www.testosteronepit.com http://www.amazon.com/author/wolfrichter
(...)
Puerto Rico had a good run for decades as federal tax breaks lured Corporate America to set up shop there. But when these tax breaks were phased out by 2005, the companies went in search for the greener grass elsewhere. To keep splurging, the government embarked on a borrowing binge that left the now lovingly named “Greece of the Caribbean” with nearly $70 billion in debt.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Monday, December 16, 2013 • Permalink