Treading Carefully In The CLICO Debate

Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Urban Development

Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Urban Development

The CLICO Affair has occupied our region for more than five weeks now. We suspect that it will continue to do so for a little while longer. Underlying the cause of CLICO’s problem maybe a combination of a lack of a harmonized regional regulatory framework to manage our Pan-Caribbean companies, and the global financial meltdown which has dried-up cash flow for many companies. There are some people who might suggest that the Lawrence Duprey company has not endeared itself to regulators in the region over the year, a story for another time. This might explain the haste with which the CL Financial empire is being dismantled across the region.

Barbados has long been rated as a stable financial market. Unlike Bahamas, Guyana, Belize and others the Barbados authorities (government) have elected to manage the CLICO crisis in a different way. The Opposition Party in Barbados has shown its displeasure by tabling a motion of no confidence in the government which was predictably defeated on Friday (6 March 2008). Our style of government entitles the Opposition Party to table a motion of no confidence in their judgement.

Member of Parliament

Ronald Toppin, Member of Parliament

The Opposition by their admission used the right to table a motion of no-confidence in Minister of Finance David Thompson knowing they would lose it. The strategic importance of the exercise on Friday was obviously to use the privilege of parliament to reveal information for the benefit of the public. The government countered that it was political opportunism on the part of the Opposition. Who knows!

Two matters arising out of the debate in parliament has caused us to be concerned about the intelligence which a few of our members of parliament demonstrated in the debate.

Ronald Toppin at a point in his presentation indicated that if he had an investment in CLICO he would have withdrawn it by now (words to that effect). Now Mr. Toppin that was an unintelligent pronouncement to make on nationaltelevision don’t you think? If we were to give you credit on having average intelligent you must know that your comment would only have served to undermine the effort to maintain stability in the market when it is sorely needed. To withdraw your investment is always your right but one which is prudent to have kept private in the prevailing circumstances.

Minister of Health Donville Inniss

Minister of Health Donville Inniss

The other issue of concern was raised by Ministers Sinckler and Inniss. They more than hinted that members of parliament on the Opposition side had significant deposits at CLICO. We don’t remember any points of order when the claims were made by MPs on the Opposition side! We agree with MP Toppin when he made the point that discussing the financial information of MPs who hold accounts at CLICO was a breach of confidentiality and lacked class.

Along with the two points of concern mentioned, we could have cited others. MPs Toppin, Sinckler and Inniss definitely displayed a lack of sensitivity and responsibility given the prevailing climate. Ultimately this matter is not only about efficiently managing the CLICO Affair but more importantly preserving the financial stability of the country.  

If it is one conclusion we can make after the 12+ hour debate is that there is enough blame to share around.

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Listen to the 12+ hour No Confidence Debate – Parts 1234

  • Dear David:

    You wrote “To withdraw your investment is always your right but one which is prudent to have kept private in the prevailing circumstances.”

    Are you suggesting that it would be ok if MP’s privately withdraw their CLICO investments?

    And where would that leave the rest of us?

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  • And my second question is:

    If Barbados is hit by an Ivan or Katrina sized monster 6 months from now, are the property insurance companies in a position to pay the claims which will result?

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  • I certainly did not know until a few days ago that CLICO was $93 million in arrears for its legally required statutory reserve.

    I am wondering now, what else don’t I know about CLICO?

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  • @J

    We are saying that it was a unintelligent remark to make in a televised debate in the prevailing climate.

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  • Dave, that would be ‘treading’, my bro!!

    Best wishes!!

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  • Thanks Bimbro, appreciate it!

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  • Pleasure, bro!!

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  • One positive outcome of Clicogate is Leroy Parris being taken down a notch. Mia Mottley does not get my support because her tactics are harmful to CLICO and our economy.

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  • Here is an update on how CLICO has been affected across the region so far.

    CLICO fears shared by entire Caribbean (Caribbean.Net)

    Published on Monday, March 9, 2009    Email To Friend    Print Version

    GEORGETOWN, Guyana (GINA): On March 5, the shares of the great Citigroup, once one of the largest banks and companies in world, traded for only 97 US cents on the New York Stock Exchange.
    Unfortunately, this is not a unique situation. It has been repeated with many other financial institutions in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and many other countries around the world.

    In the Caribbean, on the other hand, many commentators have viewed the financial system as archaic, and unlikely to suffer from the global financial crisis as a result. While that may be true, the CL Financial Group was not. With operations stretching from Guyana to the United Kingdom, the CL Financial Group was involved in banking, insurance, agriculture and forestry, and energy and petrochemicals among others.

    They were a sophisticated conglomerate that used the funds generated from the operations of their different subsidiaries aggressively to invest in opportunities that were presented. However, not all their investments were wise and on January 30, the financial crisis, which removed US$30 trillion from the world stock markets in 2008, arrived in the Caribbean.

    Trinidad & Tobago
    On that day, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, through its Central Bank, were forced to bail out four of the subsidiaries of the CL Financial Group, namely CLICO Investment Bank, CLICO Trinidad, Caribbean Money Market Brokers and British American Insurance Company.

    Ewart Williams, Governor of the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, in a statement noted that the financial difficulties faced by the CL Financial Group were as a result of excessive related-party transactions, an aggressive high interest rate mobilization strategy, equally high risk investments and high leveraging of the Group’s assets.

    As a result, CLICO Investment Bank, and to a lesser extent CLICO Trinidad, began to experience an unusually high level of withdrawal requests which put a strain on their available liquid resources.
    The Central Bank noted that contagion risks that an institution as large as the CL Financial Group could have, not only on the financial system of Trinidad and Tobago, but of the entire Caribbean region.

    Immediately, governments all over the Caribbean were forced to look at the CLICO operations within their countries. In Guyana, Government and the management of CLICO Guyana assured the public that there was no exposure to the operations of the subsidiaries seized by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. However, it was noted that there was significant exposure, to the tune of $6.9B or US$33.7M, to the operations of CLICO Bahamas.

    The Bahamas
    On February 24, just over three weeks after the action by the Trinidadian Government, the Bahamian Prime Minister, Hubert Ingraham, who is also the Minister of Finance, was granted a winding up order over the operations of CLICO Bahamas.

    In a statement issued by the Office of the Registrar of Insurance Companies, it was noted, “This action was precipitated at this time because of the continuing decline in the market value of the real estate investment in the United States via CLICO Bahamas Limited subsidiaries, CLICO Enterprises Limited and Wellington Preserve Limited, the uncertain financial position of its ultimate parent, CL Financial Limited of Trinidad and Tobago, the inability of the company to pay claims/surrenders of policies in one of the jurisdictions where it operates and the lack of a credible plan by the company to address the shortfall in capital and liquidity in a reasonable time.”

    Guyana
    Immediately following the actions of the Bahamian authorities, the Government of Guyana, through the Commissioner of Insurance, was granted a judicial management order by the courts on February 25.

    In a press conference on February 26 to announce the action, President Bharrat Jagdeo noted that, given the action taken by the Bahamian regulators, as well as the significant exposure that the local company has to CLICO Bahamas, Government viewed it as a prudent measure to obtain the judicial management order.

    He further noted, “With this move, it is anticipated that a fuller assessment of the financial position of the Company will be obtained and greater protection would be offered to policyholders. Government intends to work towards recovering the sums outstanding from the Bahamas, and to protect the interests of all policyholders of CLICO Guyana.”

    On March 3, in response to statements made by the Bahamian Prime Minister, Hubert Ingraham before Parliament that there did not appear to be any evidence of CLICO Guyana’s investment in CLICO Bahamas, President Bharat Jagdeo noted that there was a substantial paper trail to support Guyana’s claims. He also took the opportunity to reiterate that all policyholders in the affected company would be protected.

    Belize
    Following the action of Guyana, on March 2, the Supervisor of Insurance in Belize, Alma Gomez obtained a judicial management order on the operation of CLICO Belize, securing the assets of the company and taking full control over its statutory reserves.

    A Government statement said that the action was taken after the operations of its parent company, CLICO Bahamas, was subject to a liquidation order. It was noted that CLICO Belize was to refrain from repatriating any funds out of Belize and from disposing any of its assets without the prior written consent of the Supervisor of Insurance.

    Cayman Islands
    On March 6, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, ordered CLICO Cayman to cease issuing new policies with investment components, to refrain from accepting new premiums on existing policies with investment features, and they are also required to take certain actions within a prescribed time frame, and must impose additional reporting requirements, to monitor its business activities and financial condition.

    It is unlikely that this will be the end as Prime Minister David Thompson has stated that CLICO Barbados may be sold. Unfortunately, for all involved, the subsidiaries of the CL Financial Group are intricately interlinked and, while this was a good attribute in good times, it will reverberate for a long time to come.

    From the foregoing, it can be seen that Guyana is not alone. The problems with CLICO Guyana are not as a result of weak financial regulations, but rather is a consequence of the intricate related-party transactions that occurred between subsidiaries of the CL Financial Group.

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  • me // March 9, 2009 at 8:17 am

    One positive outcome of Clicogate is Leroy Parris being taken down a notch. Mia Mottley does not get my support because her tactics are harmful to CLICO and our economy.
    ===========================

    How so Me? How so???/

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  • Me said, Leroy Parris was taken down a notch! Why are you so happy about that – because he is a SUCCESSFUL black man who did not go to Harrison College? You’re just one of the vicious crabs in the bucket. Stay there.

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  • Dear Buzz:

    me did not go to HC either; so it looks as though you will have to find another argument.

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  • The more we read about the CLICO Affair the discussion in the BU household centres on, What if Owen Arthur were Prime Minister and he had issued a statement to the effect that government would have guaranteed CLICO policyholders. Would the Opposition (DLP) have responded as the BLP have done?

    Given the reputation of Arthur for the duration of his administration there was consensus that the answer would have been no!

    What is the difference? We think one key reason; the known relationship of Thompson and Parris. We respect Thompson being loyal to his friend but as a politician he must know that political expediency and loyalty to a friend may part ways at times. Prime Minister Thompson very soon may want to reflect on how he wants to involve Parris in his government. Our suggestion has nothing with dissolving the friendship but more about recognizing that Parris has become heavy political baggage which may undermine his role as Prime Minister.

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  • David:
    We respect Thompson being loyal to his friend but as a politician he must know that political expediency and loyalty to a friend may part ways at times.
    ————————————————–
    Indeed friendship and business does raise and should raise concern,..but beyond being, constantly aware, and on the lookout for infallicities resulting from this friendship,….what actionable evidence is there to justify any focus beyond said awareness, that we should concern ourselves with Thompson’s friendship with Leroy Parris?

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  • Adrian most Barbadians are aware of the VERY close personal and professional relationship which Parris has with Thompson. In the no confidence debate we all were made aware how close Thompson was to the company as well acting as lawyer in Barbados and in other EC islands. Given the wide implications of the current CLICO Affair he has opened up himself for the friendship to become a distraction at a difficult time for his government.

    He can maintain the friendship but why operate like he does not know how that friendship is perceived?

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  • Not sure if this report was reported in the Barbados media. If it was BU missed it. In a nutshell the report is suggesting that The T&T and Barbados governments have been talking but of note is making the rich Trinidad Petroleum Fund available to CL Financial subsidiaries.

     

    Depositors demanding millions from CLICO and British American             

    By VonDez Phipps

    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – As financial demands on CLICO and British American skyrocket to millions of dollars, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago has recommended that the Trinidad and Tobago/CARICOM Petroleum Fund be made accessible for the CL subsidiaries to pay out cash to their depositors.

    Minister of Finance, International Trade and Commerce Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris informed SKNVibes that “Both companies have millions requested to be paid by their depositors which they may not be prepared to handle. They must be able to give depositors their money upon demand or rumours will get worse and the businesses may go through self-fulfilling prophecy and plunge as demands continue at an abnormal rate.”

    The recommendation to utilise the Petroleum Fund was made last Wednesday (Mar. 4) during an urgent meeting of the Prime Ministers and Ministers of Finance from Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago along with Ministers of Government from the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), when it was realized that the company’s liquidity problems potentially posed great threats to their nations’ depositors.

    Harris explained that a number of “positive ideas” emanated from the meeting as various financial representatives were able to decide upon a short-term response to keep CLICO and British American functional.  

    “In our short-term response, consideration would be given to the Trinidad and Tobago/CARICOM Petroleum Fund to make finances available to both companies in a way to boost consumer confidence in them. This fund would provide liquidity so as to reassure policy holders that their companies are not going under. We have not determined the terms of the loan, but understanding that their cash is tied up in investment, we can offer easy terms of lending and allow the companies to pay back in an appropriate time.”

    Although Harris noted that the Fund was established to pay particular attention to improving the standard of living, reducing poverty and improving security measures, he stressed that considering the magnitude of the problem and the stress it potentially has on the OECS, it is necessary to make such funds available to avoid any further liquidity difficulties.

    Harris, who led the St. Kitts-Nevis contingent to Barbados last Wednesday said the Governments of Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago have committed “explore all options” in order for CLICO and British American to remain able to serve their depositors and investors noting that if these businesses were to fail, it would be “calamitous for us as individual nations and particularly our depositors into the companies”.

    Minister Harris added that another important part of the meeting was a confirmation by Prime Minister of Barbados Hon. David Thompson that in relation to the depositors and investors of CLICO, the Government of Barbados “stands ready to ensure that the fallout in the Eastern Caribbean is minimized. They reassured us [Ministers of Finance] that they would employ whatever resources to ensure equitable settlement of the issue”.

    “CLICO Holdings Barbados has very significant investment from Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean and so that confirmation was very important as it signified the willingness of that government to protect the investors that stand to lose,” Harris stated.
    Harris noted that the commitment from the Trinidad and Tobago Government had not been as explicit as that from Barbados, adding that all the necessary data in relation to the potential exposure had not yet been gathered by each country.

    He stressed though that governors of the relevant central banks along with the necessary regulators will be keenly assessing the situation with the aim of protecting the depositors and investors.

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  • “CLICO Holdings Barbados has very significant investment from Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean and so that confirmation was very important as it signified the willingness of that government to protect the investors that stand to lose,” Harris stated.
    Harris noted that the commitment from the Trinidad and Tobago Government had not been as explicit as that from Barbados,
    …………………………………………………………..
    Shrewd move by Thompy. He destroyed Arthur’s accusation of him being anti CSME and confirmed himself as a staunch reliable regionalist in one fell swoop.

    Rickey Singh you have a peg to hang a gripping article.

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  • Adrian most Barbadians are aware of the VERY close personal and professional relationship which Parris has with Thompson.
    ————————————————-
    ….and it is in this knowledge that I believe, if there was anything untowards in this relationship, we would have known about it by now. Until such time the pragmatism (often misplaced and misused) that Barbadians are known for, would do us good.

    …..I have often spoken about Barbadians honouring Bree St.John, and Henry Forde with the honour of allowing them to be their representative while these two men have been legal council at some point for the one company in Barbados that can be rightfully defined as Anti-bajan, and for “fleecing” the people of the caribbean region for decades. I speak of C&W. CLICO’s record as a friend of Barbados cannot be matched by C&W.

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  • @Adrian

    You are probably correct and this is why during the last debate there was repeated mention by government members that Thompson is not getting the respect because he is a Fitts Village boy.

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  • David // March 9, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    @Adrian

    You are probably correct and this is why during the last debate there was repeated mention by government members that Thompson is not getting the respect because he is a Fitts Village boy.
    ===========================

    Let it be said that Mia Mottley wants power. It can be said that she is hungry for such. She has demonstrated the height to which she is prepared to go to gain that power. Those folks who work for CLICO, and those 40,000 person who have policies at CLICO have to seriously ask themselves, does Mottley intervention and public disclosure, about CLICO, protect their jobs and policies? or does her comments, put their jobs and policies at risk?

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  • Barnabas Collins

    I know that I may get my phangs removed for saying this but……I have been monitoring this blog shortly before the last elections and one thing is clear as day, when we support any one of these political parties, we put any objectivity and/or common sense thru the window. To my mind, that is so dangerous and I am talking about supporters from both sides.

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  • @ David:

    Prime Minister Thompson showed REAL leadership on this matter, if even by accident in friendship toward CLICO, because he knew the price was way too high.
    I posted here in BU a few weeks ago and quoted Nehemiah 5: 1 – 5; 14 – 16 with these passages of scripture:
    1And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews…..
    15But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable unto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, beside forty shekels of silver; yea, even their servants’ bare rule over the people: but so did not I, because of the fear of God…

    In my opinion saw its relevance, indicated Prime Minister Manning and the T&T government had decided to “Eat its seed” at that time for whatever reason. Political, or personal whatever it be, is living to regret it; (No one took me up on it). Now with your observation as outlined below:

    “BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – As financial demands on CLICO and British American skyrocket to millions of dollars, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago has recommended that the Trinidad and Tobago/ CARICOM Petroleum Fund be made accessible for the CL subsidiaries to pay out cash to their depositors.
    Minister of Finance, International Trade and Commerce Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris informed SKNVibes that “Both companies have millions requested to be paid by their depositors which they may not be prepared to handle. They must be able to give depositors their money upon demand or rumours will get worse and the businesses may go through self-fulfilling prophecy and plunge as demands continue at an abnormal rate.”
    The recommendation to utilise the Petroleum Fund was made last Wednesday (Mar. 4) during an urgent meeting of the Prime Ministers and Ministers of Finance from Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago along with Ministers of Government from the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), when it was realized that the company’s liquidity problems potentially posed great threats to their nations’ depositors.”

    He recognizes the danger of his (their) ways and is now trying to put the genie back in the bottle. This situation could have been handled relatively quiet, but in looking to inflect embarrassment to Mr. Lawrence Duprey because of his support for Mr. Basdeo Panday and his UNC party, this is the result. Again, anyone looking at CL Holdings (the company), has to know its #1 or 2 in the country of T&T a great revenue earner; and way too big to be liquidated in “THIS ENVIRONMENT.”

    Yes, CL Holdings like (AIG here in the US and Worldwide) moved away from its core model and went into the banking sector, got involved in high risk complex derivatives, like Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDO)s, (MBS)s etc. extending itself and has made a net loss of $37.5M BSD on one project as admitted by Chairman Duprey in the FY2007 report on the Wellington Preserve, Palm Beach FL; “equestrian project” should no doubt have been “rap on the knuckles” and be reigned in, not to be made a spectacle of by asking to pay the price he is seemingly asked to pay.

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  • Marhole, anybody in their right mind and that is not guided by political and social biases, would have seen the dangers of this open revelation about CLICO. Everyone of those who called for and agree to the “Outing” of Clico in the manner that it was done has a bias that can be gleemed from their politics, from their background both social and ethnic, and their personal associations, and linkages.

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  • Barnabas Collins // March 9, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    I know that I may get my phangs removed for saying this but……I have been monitoring this blog shortly before the last elections and one thing is clear as day, when we support any one of these political parties, we put any objectivity and/or common sense thru the window. To my mind, that is so dangerous and I am talking about supporters from both sides.
    ===========================

    Not by be. I and I alone have decided that my views are not bias towards any political party. At the same time it is well known that I do not like Mia Mottley, and this has not stop me from supporting her as she led the fight to protect Barbados rights to it’s EEZ, better known as the Fishing dispute. It is a matter of record and i can provide the many comments I made in that regard. When the situation is PRO Barbados then I am for it. When it is personal and at the sametime in my view potentially damaging to Barbados then i will not be for it. I have deemed the Opposition’s approach to CLICO Barbados to be dangerous and reckless and as such can not get my support.

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  • Adrian Hinds wrote: “or does her comments, put their jobs and policies at risk?”

    Should not the question be if the TAXPAYERS are being put at risk?

    and

    “Everyone of those who called for and agree to the “Outing” of Clico in the manner that it was done has a bias that can be gleemed from their politics, from their background both social and ethnic, and their personal associations, and linkages.”

    Really? really? really? You can tell my politics, social and ethnic background and my personal associations and linkages because I believe in knowing the truth.

    What if I told you that my social and ethnic background, and my personal associatins etc. were the same as yours? but that still I disagree with you?

    Would you do a Chris Brown on me?

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  • last question first. I do not hit women as a rule, however anyone who hits me should expect the same in return.

    as for your other question, first i would tell you that you are lying, and i would be correct, and second, I don’t care if your opinion agrees with mine. lol!

    To me you are just another next Doppelgänger. lol!

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  • Barnabas Collins

    @AH

    Point taken.

    BC

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  • Dear Adrian Hinds:

    Let me assure you that J is simply J.

    A singular person.

    My views are entirely my own (can’t you tell?)

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  • If i can’t tell that you are a real person, what surety can I gather, that J’s views are it’s own?

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  • Lovely! Adrian,

    I guess “it” J-walk(ed) into that, and you couldn’t wait to use that line.

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  • @ David, Adrian Hinds and others:

    I warned you the Trinidad & Tobago Government might have acted too swiftly on Clico! Have you seen these stories in today’s Trinidad Express?
    http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/article_news?id=161450218 http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/article_news?id=161450212 http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/article_news?id=161450216 http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/article_news?id=161450200
    Where Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira could have potentially exposed PM Manning and the T&T Government to what can be a lawsuit by having acted prematurely on CLICO Investment Bank (CIB).
    Quote in one article:

    “Documents show that Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira closed two $US accounts with the bank on December 31, 2008, before they were scheduled to mature later this year (09).
    CIB is one of four CL Financial businesses that benefited from a multi-billion-dollar taxpayer bailout approved by the Cabinet last month.
    Nunez-Tesheira said in the Parliament on February 2 that she made the withdrawals from a CIB account that had already matured by December 31, 2008, as she wound up debate on the Central Bank (Amendment) Bill.
    Documents obtained by the Express yesterday show that Nunez-Tesheira paid a “break rate” of 3.5 per cent for closing two accounts at CIB worth a total of US$48,549.91, before they were due to mature on April 30, 2009 and August 13, 2009 respectively.
    She closed one account at US$37,549.45 and the other at US$11,076.34, including interest.
    In Parliament on February 2, Nunez-Tesheira also dismissed claims by Opposition Siparia MP Kamla Persad-Bissessar that she had access to privileged information about CIB, which led to her making withdrawals from her accounts with the bank and Caribbean Money Market Brokers (CMMB), another CL subsidiary, late last year.”

    In my opinion, a massive lawsuit can be in the making against Mrs. Nunez-Tesheira and the T&T Government for what has turned out to be a run on the CL Financial Company.

    After reading the links, your thoughts!

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  • @ David, Adrian Hinds and others:

    I warned you the Trinidad & Tobago Government might have acted too swiftly on Clico! Have you seen these stories in today’s Trinidad Express?
    http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/article_news?id=161450218 http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/article_news?id=161450212 http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/article_news?id=161450216 http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/article_news?id=161450200

    Where Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira could have potentially exposed PM Manning and the T&T Government to what can be a lawsuit by having acted prematurely on CLICO Investment Bank (CIB).
    Quote in one article:

    “Documents show that Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira closed two $US accounts with the bank on December 31, 2008, before they were scheduled to mature later this year (09).
    CIB is one of four CL Financial businesses that benefited from a multi-billion-dollar taxpayer bailout approved by the Cabinet last month.
    Nunez-Tesheira said in the Parliament on February 2 that she made the withdrawals from a CIB account that had already matured by December 31, 2008, as she wound up debate on the Central Bank (Amendment) Bill.
    Documents obtained by the Express yesterday show that Nunez-Tesheira paid a “break rate” of 3.5 per cent for closing two accounts at CIB worth a total of US$48,549.91, before they were due to mature on April 30, 2009 and August 13, 2009 respectively.
    She closed one account at US$37,549.45 and the other at US$11,076.34, including interest.
    In Parliament on February 2, Nunez-Tesheira also dismissed claims by Opposition Siparia MP Kamla Persad-Bissessar that she had access to privileged information about CIB, which led to her making withdrawals from her accounts with the bank and Caribbean Money Market Brokers (CMMB), another CL subsidiary, late last year.”

    In my opinion, a massive lawsuit can be in the making against Mrs. Nunez-Tesheira and the T&T Government for what has turned out to be a run on the CL Financial Company.

    After reading the links, your thoughts!

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  • To me it’s reminiscent of Medes and Persians.

    What say you , AH, about this new disclosure.

    Is it all a Sagicor plot?

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  • Sorry Marhole, a prelimenary read of the articles you provided, does not at this time lead me to the same conclusion you have, with respect to the Ministers action. It is alledged that she broke the law plain and simple, and that would have been the case, had she any other dealing with CL finanacial.

    Now i am not sure which came first in Trinidad. Did the run on CL occur prior to the government’s action? or after? more specifically, did the government’s action, occur as a result of real instances where policies had matured and users wanted to cash out, could not be paid? or persons had wanted to cashed in their policies and annuities, and there was no money? Or was it a case as Mottley tried to do, by way of looking at the statutory fund, realizing a deficit, and then publically moving to correct that requirement, thereby causing the run?

    Now i have heard that the TNT government was intending to punish Duprey for his support of Panday or something to that effect. If such were true then the ministers personal actions would appear much more sinister, however Manning says that there are still existing members of Parliament that have investment and policies with CL. At any rate while Mottley thinks that Barbados should have followed TNT, the results in so doing is becoming clear, that no matter how righteous and right it may be to disclose the wrongs that need to be righted, the consequences something in so doing, have far reaching implications that no one can say is intented, or acceptable. Yes, if there is a fire in the Theatre everyone needs to get out SAFELY, but yelling fire to alert everyone does not allow for a safe exit of everyone. This had been proven time and time again.

    I think the run occurred after the TNT government very public action. Is this why they are now talking about using some “petrolium fund” to cover request or something so?
    set me straight somebody?

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  • Straight talk // March 11, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    To me it’s reminiscent of Medes and Persians.

    What say you , AH, about this new disclosure.

    Is it all a Sagicor plot?
    ————————————————–
    In Trinidad????

    but why you don’t leave me alone?

    @Marlhole, I think Straight Talk might be upset that you use my name and not his, so going forward either strip my name from next to David’s and put ST’s or just state it as followd

    David, Adrian Hinds, Straight talk and others

    Oh better yet.
    David, Straight talk, Adrian Hinds and others.

    lol!

    Honestly I think ST should work on “straightening” out his postings so that there is less conflict between the contents and his label. But that is just my foolish opinion. ha ha ha ha lol!

    But what um is that i said about Sagicor that apparently is objectional to you????

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  • @Marlehole

    BU remains steadfast in the position that CLICO is being dismantled at an unholy pace by respective Caribbean governments. This is a Black owned company which up to 2 months ago was held up as a symbol of a successful Caribbean company. If Prime Minister Thompson is able to get the life insurance sold and keep the other parts of CLICO in tact resulting in protecting jobs and policyholders not only in Barbados but in the EC, history may yet speak very kindly of him. The fact that he had the courage to take a different route from the other Caribbean governments may demonstrate why Barbados is considered a leader in the Caribbean.

    As we have previously stated, the known relationship between Parris and Thompson has made this a sticky affair.

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  • I agree with you David,there is something sinister about the way that the various caribbean governments are all grabbing Clico assets with no justifiable with indecent haste.

    I am deeply saddened by the demise of this company.

    Lawrence Duprey – a rare thing in the caribbean – a true entrepreneur,a visionary with the heart of a lion.

    Like

  • @ ALL: (First, apologies for the double post, when first submitted it did not go through, server might have been busy updating.)

    @ Adrian Hinds: Point on Straight talk is well taken! (LOL); but ST is BIGGER than that and just felt like having you do the heavy lifting. Where is your sense of TEAM. I am not sure if the questions below were directed at me.
    “But what um is that i said about Sagicor that apparently is objectional to you????…”

    A paragraph in link ending #50200 quote: “An examination of the listing of shareholders of CL Financial disclosed that only one minister of government, Only one MP, Mrs. Tesheira, is a shareholder/part owner of CL Financial. No other MP holds shares in the company,” said Persad-Bissessar at a press conference at the Opposition Leader’s office, Port of Spain.”

    You admitted, not having read the links thoroughly, I await your analysis when you do. Here is a paragraph;

    (“Documents show that Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira closed two $US accounts with the bank on December 31, 2008, before they were scheduled to mature later this year (09).”) from a next link ending #50218: which shows prior to the bailout, she made the transaction. From where I sit trading on insider information is a crime. (Ask Martha Stewart!)

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  • @ You, David: You will not get an argument out of me, “On the other Caribbean governments’ dismantling of the assets.” I have in some way predicted that would have happened in other posts here on BU.

    I’ll take your post as a non-response to my four links since I am way past that. The links on what is considered “Breaking News”, “The MOTIVE” that triggered it all. Unless you don’t see there was motive, as indicated by the T&T Opposition MP Persad-Bissessar, at a press conference in the Opposition Leader’s office, Port of Spain.” (March 10, 2009)

    “As we have previously stated, the known relationship between Parris and Thompson has made this a sticky affair.”

    However, I don’t see the Thompson and Parris relationship as a sticky affair. I see it as a PLUS, causing PM Thompson to act prudently which will turn out right, making him look like a genius. I however disagree with you in the selloff of the “Insurance Division.” That is CLICO’s (bread and butter), it’s their core business; what got them there. The Real Estate portion might be the troubled Assets, since up until recently, they were offering 100% financing on mortgages, etc. Which, heavy layoffs and/or a downturn in the economy will issue in defaults, leaving them owning lots of homes clients are unable to service, or a natural disaster in the short term causing heavy claims, hence a run! I’ll drop two words on you. (Risk Management)

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  • @Marlehole
    Following politics from the T&T newspapers can be a risky exercise. The accusations directed at the Minister are not new. We have to wait to see how that scenario plays out.
    Our reference to the relationship between Thompson and Parris being sticky, we stand by it. How the Barbados part of the CLICO Affair eventually turns out will determine if Thompson escapes political fallout as a result of the association.
    Selling the Life insurance maybe the only option at this stage because of the heavy blow dealt to the CLICO brand in Barbados and the region. It is hard to see people in mass buying life insurance, pensions etc at this stage. It is sad to say but CLICO will have to rebrand/reinvent itself at some point.

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  • @ David: Please elaborate on this statement; “Following politics from the T&T newspapers can be a risky exercise. The accusations directed at the Minister are not new. We have to wait to see how that scenario plays out.”

    I hope you are only referring to physical location. I posted and included four links to articles in the established press in the T&T Express, asked you to read and comment, and you responded as outlined above. Unacceptable!

    Why? You may ask, you are a big critic of the “Four Estate” in Barbados, which seem to be working in T&T, and you’ll telling me you have to wait and see how this scenario plays out. What’s different between Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago?

    The Blogs would have jumped all over this story being played out, if it were in Bimshire.

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  • Anonymous:
    “Lawrence Duprey – a rare thing in the caribbean – a true entrepreneur,a visionary with the heart of a lion”.

    It is easy to be a true entrepreneur and visionary with the heart of a lion when you are using other peoples’ money (policyholders) to invest in high risk ventures and enrich yourself at the same time.

    The Caribbean governments are not as you say “grabbing Clico assets with no justifiable(….)? with indecent haste”, but stepping in in a timely manner to ensure the safety of the money of the same policyholders.

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  • What about the people who have their life savings with CLICO and Brittish American??

    I know many and they want to know what is really going on!!

    Why is CLICO Life being sold if things are “OK”?

    Why isn’t there proper government intervention with an independent audit and the financial status reported so that they can rest at ease?

    This being the case because Thompy cannot act without prejudice as he is/was legal council for CLICO and has close personal ties with the CEO.

    The public needs more information!

    Like

  • Here is an update on the CLICO story.

    OECS bails out CL Financial insurance company

    CMC

    Posted: 4/3/2009 1:56:40 PM

    ROSEAU, Dominica – The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is to contribute US$10 million as part of a new rescue package for the cash-strapped British American Insurance Company (BAI), Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has disclosed.

    Skerrit said the decision was taken at a meeting in Antigua this week that was also attended by the Trinidad and Tobago Finance Minister Karen Nunez Tesheira and Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson.

    BAI and its sister company CLICO are part of the CL Financial group that has already received a multi-billion dollar bailout package from the Trinidad and Tobago government.

    The Barbados government has also given a commitment that it will honour the obligations of CLICO (Barbados) Holdings in the Eastern Caribbean.

    “… As a matter of fact they have made available some US$15 million to assist in that regard,” said Skerrit.

    He, however, pointed out that the situation with British American was currently more urgent.

    “The information is we would need to come up with about US$80 million to address some immediate cash flow, liquidity problems that British American is having in the OECS in particular,” he said.

    Of that amount, Skerrit said that Trinidad and Tobago had agreed to make available US$50 million from the Regional Petroleum Fund and “Barbados out of its strong commitment has indicated it will make a contribution of US$5 million.

    “Among the OECS states we have to come up with an amount of US$10 million and we will also engage our developmental partners to seek to raise an additional US$15 million.”

    He said in the event that investments by persons in the OECS had become matured, there should be resources to meet that requirement.

    “So every effort is being made behind the scenes to find a very decent and proper way to address the issue of CLICO and British American and therefore the continued cooperation of policy holders and investors is required,” Skerrit said.

    “Discussions are already underway at the OECS level for the long term solution to this particular challenge which confronts us”.

    The prime minister said that policyholders whose investments were due for maturity should contact his government in advance so that the necessary arrangements could be made to ensure payment.

    “We expect to meet again shortly to continue our discussions and addressing this challenge,” he added.

    The situation facing these key financial entities has sent shockwaves across the region.

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  • Donald Duck, Esq

    why is it that we have not seen the financial results of a leading mortgage and insurance company when the relevant legislation which regulates their operations specifies that the accounts must be published no later than 4 months after their financial year end

    Like

  • Extravagance at the expense of poor policy holder’s:

    “GITA SAKAL, who called it a day on April 30 after 15 years as CL Financial’s general counsel and corporate secretary is claiming termination benefits in excess of US$5 million from the cash-starved conglomerate, now controlled in large part by the Government.

    The Sunday Express understands that Sakal, who received a monthly salary of US$45,000 and a fixed annual bonus of US$2 million handed in her resignation letter on April 21, which advised that Thursday would be her last working day at 41-43 St Vincent Street, Port of Spain.

    Sources say the separation was less than amicable.

    Group Executive Chairman, Lawrence Duprey, in a rare departure from standing practice is reported to have asked Sakal to hand over all of the company-owned assets in her possession, including a black BMW car, laptop and cellphone.

    It is not immediately clear what led to the strained relations between the two but insiders say that she made some waves after demanding that the company meet its contractual obligations and pay out the US$2 million bonus owed to her for last year. ”

    Source: Yesterday’s Trinidad and Tobago Express

    Like

  • Pingback: Is CLICO Being Used As Target Practice? « Barbados Underground

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