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AN ACTIVIST group wants the city’s largest pension fund to divest from investors linked to the debt crisis in Puerto Rico.
The New York City Employee Retirement System, or NYCERS, has at least $565 million invested in three hedge funds that own chunks of Puerto Rico’s debt, according to a new report by the group Hedge Clippers.
“It’s a moral stand against investing in things that are going to harm the Puerto Rican people,” said Julio Lopez, a member of the group who’s from the island.
Puerto Rico is drowning in $72 billion of debt, a sum its government says it can’t pay.
But a group of hedge funds that are owed cash says the commonwealth can manage the debt — pushing officials there to cut spending by getting rid of teachers, slash health and welfare benefits, and collect more taxes.
Those austerity proposals prompted a backlash from activists.
New York’s public workers pension fund, which meets this week, has big bucks invested in Fig Tree Partners, Brigade Capital Management and D.E. Shaw Group.
“It’s becoming an accomplice to what these hedge funds are doing,” Lopez said.
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