Monday, June 13, 2016

Supreme Court Rejects Puerto Rico Restructuring Law -- June 13, 2016


May 3, 2017: Puerto Rico files for biggest ever US local government bankruptcy

May 1, 2017: deadline tonight. Take it or leave it. If bondholders refuse deal, bankruptcy protection ends. Lawsuits begin. 

April 12, 2017: Puerto Rico seen sliding toward bankruptcy as May 1, 2017, deadline nears. Data points:
  • $70 billion in debt
  • last year (2016), US Congress tried to help Puerto Rico's situation with a freeze on creditor lawsuits
  • but the freeze ends May 1, 2017, and an extension by Congress is "not going to happen"
  • one source: "avoiding bankruptcy is impossible"
Original Post
Link here.
The Supreme Court on Monday struck down Puerto Rico’s effort to restructure its public utility debts, ruling Congress had precluded the territory from enacting its own bankruptcy legislation.
The 5-to-2 vote increases pressure on Congress to act to resolve the island territory’s fiscal crisis, since Puerto Rico as a U.S. territory has no authority to provide for municipal bankruptcies.
Really, really bad news for Apple. Link here:
The Supreme Court on Monday made it easier for patent holders to win increased financial damages in court from copycats who use their inventions without permission.
The high court, in a unanimous opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts, overturned a specialized lower court that had adopted hard-to-meet standards for winning punitive damages, even in cases where someone infringed upon a patented invention intentionally.
The chief justice said the lower court’s standard was too rigid and effectively protected some companies from being punished with larger monetary penalties despite their willful trampling on another’s intellectual-property rights without permission.
Federal law allows trial judges to award enhanced infringement damages to patent holders that total three times the amount of actual damages in a case.
On the other hand, some good news. Congress passes a resolution "condemning" an Obama-inspired proposal to add a new $10.25/bbl tax on crude oil to pay for transportation infrastructure. I assume Prince Salman was a huge supporter of this proposal. Analysts suggest the tax would add 25 cents/gallon of gasoline. My hunch is that the 25 cents is off by about $1.00. US shale can't survive at oil less than $40. At oil barely at $50 now, adding a $10 fee, takes US shale back to $40. It would pretty much crush the industry. It would make a lot more sense to set a reasonable "percentage" fee that wouldn't kick in until oil was well above, let's say, $150. LOL.

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