Submitted by Douglas Leopold Phillips
Its official, the Owen’s Economic Team [OET] headed by the economic guru Owen Arthur has been dispatched on a world tour to meet with the leaders of the global economy to hammer out solutions to the financial crisis. This sudden trip was prompted by the unprecedented events that unfolded over the last week which the OET believes are as a result of poor economic leadership. They believe that their analysis of the economic outlook is bang on and so they want to share it with the struggling and sagging economies in China, US, UK and Europe.
We have been told that the on the fourth anniversary of the global financial crisis the after effects are still pounding the shorelines of small open economies with little or no clear vision of when recovery will come. One thing for sure is that no right thinking person, no matter how little their understanding of economic matters believe that it is business as usual for the global economy. This is why, we as Barbadians, under a Barbados Labour Party model would be the direct beneficiaries and sole recipients of the formula that would place our economy on a sustainable path of growth. They alone can do what the largest economy in the world has been unable to deflect.
The US Bureau of Statistics indicated in early August 2011 the Government payrolls dropped 37 000 in the month of July, citing nine straight months of job losses. This came as a result of government’s shut down in Minnesota. Of course, in Barbados the OET of the day has not given the Democratic Labour Party any credit for ensuring that we maintain jobs in the public sector. We acknowledge that our unemployment is at 10 percent but it’s nowhere near the 20 percent as predicted by the Opposition at the outset of the crises. As a matter of fact, Senator Darcy Boyce recently made the point “that a 10 per cent rate of unemployment after such a severe economic and financial crisis is significant. He stated that over the last two quarters the rate had fallen from 10.7 per cent which, according to him, was the maximum level the figures had reached.”….. Comparing this rate with the immediate period before and after 9/11 which had an effect on Barbados, Senator Boyce said that in 1998 the rate of unemployment rate was 12.2 per cent. According to him, the rate has not reached 12 per cent since the onset of this crisis.”
We here in Barbados expect the OET team to return with Gold Bars from the US Treasury for the part they played in solving the deficit problem of the United States. We appreciate the 2 trillion dollar cut in expenditure will not sit well with the OET as they scolded local policy makers for developing the Medium Term Fiscal Plan, aimed at repositioning the Barbados economy while protecting the poor and vulnerable. The troubled nations of the Eurozone Greece, Italy , Spain and Portugal which sought International financial help are also on their travel plans to meet with. We have not received any word as yet but we believe a tongue lashing was the order of the day by the Economic team after they met with the G7 Finance Ministers in their emergency conference earlier this week. This meeting according to high level sources looked at the problems engulfing Italy and Spain.
On another leg of their world tour, the Team met with George Osbourne, the Chancellor who had to cut short his holiday in California so he could address the MPs on the state of play in the UK economy yesterday. The slowdown in growth in the UK economy has raised some concerns for the OET as is the case here in Barbados. They are adamant that these problems are home grown and nothing to do with the global financial crises.
This discussion is widely anticipated to include the Prime Minister David Cameron who also addressed the re called Parliament on the issue of riots. After all, the Opposition team has vast experience in dealing with rioters. The incident at the Prison more than prepared them to render the necessary advice. They can be no doubt that the economic squad will do us proud on the world tour in an attempt ”to bring balance to what there are saying about economy.”