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Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change

Puerto Rico downgrade took ‘cojones’: Bond pro

Construction workers dig a trench on a waterfront street in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Alfredo Sosa | Christian Science Monitor | Getty Images

Downgrading Puerto Rico's debt took "cojones" though it was long overdue, according to one bond pro.

Ratings agency Standard & Poor's—one of the so-called Big Three, along with Fitch and Moody's—announced Tuesday it was slashing the troubled island's debt to junk. S&P worried that the territory's fiscal plight would restrict its access to debt markets and make it more difficult to repay its $70 billion debt load.

With its ultimate impact yet to be seen, the move was welcomed in some circles.

"It has taken this long for even one rating agency—S&P is the first—to downgrade Puerto Rico's credit worthiness," Marilyn Cohen, head of Envision Capital Management in Los Angeles, said in a note titled "Someone Found Their Cojones," a Spanish term she said refers to "that part of the male anatomy generally associated with courage."

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