The upcoming restructuring is leading investors to wonder how Puerto Rico will prioritize debt payments versus citizens' needs.
"We're beginning to discern a... mindset on the island that the government is weighing the interest of investors against the economic interest of the island," said Thomas McLoughlin, UBS chief investment officer wealth management research.
Suarez told reporters in San Juan Wednesday that a missed payment would not constitute default. Bond documents state that Puerto Rico's legislature is not legally bound to appropriate the funds to pay.
However, credit rating agency Standard & Poor's said it would view a non-payment on rated PFC bonds on their due date as a default. Moody's said it would also consider it a default.
"It (would be) the first failure by the government to pay on a debt to public investors and indicates the weakness of the government's ability and willingness to pay," said Timothy Blake, managing director of Moody's Public Finance Group.
A default could open the door to a fight with investors, although that may be uphill.
"Our reading of the legal documents is that bondholders have very limited remedies," said David Hitchcock, analyst at S&P. "Puerto Rico could potentially just ignore the bondholders."
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Whether Puerto Rico defaults may not be known until Monday. According to PFC documents, a payment falling on a weekend can be made on the next business day.
Officials may give information after a scheduled meeting by a working group created by the governor, set for 1 p.m. EDT.
"It's going to be a long process, a very long, drawn out process," said Michael Comes, portfolio manager and vice president of research at Cumberland Advisors in Florida, which holds insured Puerto Rico debt. "It's kind of like watching the Titanic sink."