Dr. Brian Francis, Economic Advisor To Leader Of The Opposition

Dr Brian Francis: Photo Credit Nation

BU has led the call for academics on the ‘Hill’ to speak out on the many issues which are at play in our society. The challenge it seems is that many of them can be tarred by a political brush if we are to judge by their public offerings. What purpose is learning if it cannot be shared dispassionately to enrich the human space we occupy?

Recently Dr. Brian Francis, a lecturer at Cave Hill, UWI, generated a furious debate triggered by a post-Budget discussion, when he ‘knocked’ the recent budget delivered by Minister of Finance Sinckler. Again BU was forced to ask – was Francis providing analysis as an economist or a partisan leaning academic?

The attached document titled The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Departmental Reports 2009 – 2010 on  page 148 lists Dr. Brian Francis as a Member,  Economic Advisory Team to the Leader of the Opposition, Barbados. Readers are free to draw their own conclusions when perusing or listening to Dr. Francis’ analyses. All the public require is transparency.

0 thoughts on “Dr. Brian Francis, Economic Advisor To Leader Of The Opposition


  1. If Dr. Franciis wants to cry to the press let him come clean on what is on his resume.

     http://www.nationnews.com/articles/view/uwi-lecturer-under-fire/ 
    Sat, September 10, 2011 – 12:05 AM
    A UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES (UWI) lecturer says he has become the victim of several personal attacks since he gave a “thumbs down” to this year’s Budget presented by Government.
    Dr Brian Francis, a lecturer in economics at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill Campus, in a post-Budget discussion last month criticized Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler’s  financial proposals, calling the presentation “a huge mistake that is going to hurt the economy very badly in the long run”.
    Francis says from then he has “become the target of senseless attacks and abuse by politicians and assumed supporters of the ruling Democratic Labour Party who did not share my perspectives”.
    He also said some of the attacks levelled at him were heavily influenced by the fact that he was not born in Barbados.
    Full story in today’s SATURDAY SUN.


  2. page 148 lists Dr. Brian Francis as a Member, Economic Advisory Team to the Leader of the Opposition, Barbados.

    An de man doan expect licks from de party he opposing?


  3. i have to comment because some of the views on this forum never cease to amaze me.dr justin robinson is a known supporter of the democratic labour party. his views are always slanted in favour of the party he supports’ yet he is not demonised on this forum, he is respected even though his views are obviously pro-dlp.


  4. And there in lies the problem in this country, everything done or said has the under current of some form of partisan politics.
    I hope one day the media in this country will have the intestinal fortitude to let the public know the political leaning of these so called commentators / experts / know all.


    • @spratt

      Who is Francis Charles?

      Let us discussed the leanings and affinities of our professionals.

      Let the transparency begin.

      It is not enough to say it happens over there so it is fine.


  5. The man came out with full blown criticism of the budget and then admitted he hadn’t read the document. Then it turns out his position isn’t so independent after all, he is an Economic Advisor to the Leader of the Opposition.

    He can’t be in Church and Synagogue too.


  6. Brian Francis is patently a jackass he criticizes but dont expect to be criticized. Jesus Our Lord was criticised in fact crucified and you are not Jesus you come across as a joke.

    You advising Arthur but you want Sinckler and the Dees to give you a free pass.

    You attack Sinclker without even reading the man’s budget then you have the temerity to say no one challenged what you said.

    Now thats an untruth we have said you are talking garbage for starters get your facts right Barbados does not have an embassy in Thailand. Arthur in dire straits if he taking advice from you. Mia will take care of you and the short drunkard. Dont fret up yourself you are not that important.


  7. My question was a genuine one, David. The headline refers to a Dr Francis Charles, the text to a Dr Brian Francis. Are they one and the same?


  8. What I find disturbing about Dr.Francis is that he like most other Caribbean persons wants to make Barbadians feel so guilty about defending Barbados.
    His mouthing’s sound just like Owen Arthur, that we must the the only country that must bow down to make the CSME work.
    As a UWI economist what are your thoughts on the Jamaican economy? Why only criticize the Barbados government budgetary proposals.
    Barbadians are demonized in the Caribbean every time we have to defend Barbados.
    What kind of economist is he who cannot see that the US and UK economies our major tourist markets are stagnating. His solution to our problem is that he wants the government to do things that would be political suicide at this time? He wants the government TO CUT EXPPENDITURE drastically WHICH TECHNICALLY MEAN TO LAY OFF MANY GOVERNMENT WORKERS that Owen appointed before he left office.
    The world economic forum just voted Barbados the highest in the Caribbean in terms of places to invest. How come we are so bad Dr.Francis? Do you have any comments on St. Lucia economy? Why can’t you go back to St. Lucia and advise Stephenson King.
    Why are Owen Arthur and his economic gang preaching such gloom and doom for a country that should be worst off because of what is happening in the world.


  9. In January we had a non Barbadian contesting a seat in our Parliament. We heard how “un-Caribbean” we were, how rude and selfish we were to dare oppose the lady.

    Fast forward a few months and a non Barbadian dares to offer an opinion on a budget and you get the same people who lambasted those who had a problem with a non Barbadian entering our Parliament, lambasting a non Barbadian for daring to disagree with the budget. So what if he advises the Opposition leader? Every body has to support the nonsense this DLP is doing?

    Last year the same Chamber invited Justin Robinson a non Barbadian who praise the budget to the hill, no problems with that though, he supports the DLP.

    How small minded we have become!


  10. As a lowly (partisan DLP supporting) contributor to BU who happens to live in Canada please allow me to regurgitate recent news from The Star.

    “Investors mulled over a weaker-than-expected jobs report in Canada, a may-not-be-strong-enough jobs creation package from U.S. president Barack Obama, and stern warnings over the lingering debt crisis in Europe.”

    “Canada’s economy shed jobs for the first time in five months in August, pushing the unemployment rate up a notch to 7.3 per cent, according to a report from Statistics Canada.

    Economists warn the rate could edge higher by year’s end, as consumers slow their spending and a lack of business confidence weighs on hiring.”


  11. @Prodigal Son,

    When you get in the political arena you will share licks and get licks.

    You an Owen are welcome to continue spittin your venom on the DLP.
    That is your right as the OPPOSITION.

    BU is an equal opportunity snake pit where Democracy thrives.


  12. DO you call harrassment and threats from YARDFOWLS most of whom are of the female species -criticism in an academic kind of way ????


  13. Hants,

    I have been staying off this blog for a while because of the fear of attacks from the likes of you. I got tired of the personal attacks. Dont you see what this kinda of thing is doing to US politics?

    You live in Canada and must have your say on everything that goes on here but I who live here must not voice my opinion? I wont be going in any snake pit with the likes of any Dem, rest assured.

    Be fair, man.


  14. David the blog master said on September 10, 2011 at 6:37 PM “If Dr. Franciis wants to cry to the press let him come clean on what is on his resume.”

    But David since Dr. Francis’ resume is in the public domain it can scarcely be said that he needs to come clean. He is clean. He has stated in a public document that he is a Member, Economic Advisory Team to the Leader of the Opposition, Barbados. Nothing wrong wid’ a fella advising the Leader of the Opposition, nothing wrong wid’ advising the Minister of Finance either. All sensible politicians know that they do not know all, and sensibly choose some intelligent, well educated advisers. Nothing at all wrong with that.

    Nothing wrong with Dr. Francis having to take some political and verbal licks either. It seems to me that the Doc is a big, big fella who must be prepared to take his [political and verbal] licks like a real real man once he engage heself in we politics.


  15. But Justin it ‘in na point saying “looka me crosses”

    You did unpick ya teet last year about the budget. Didn’t you?


  16. @Justin Robinson

    Maybe you should do so, your words appear to be taken without much fanfare. But tell me something my learned friend, if the 2010 budget was okay and you said so, does your silence on the 2011 budget indicate a different measurement? Just asking because as you know, I am caught between a rock and a hard place.


  17. It is always invigorating when members of the academic community provide their objective perspective on national issues. I believe the motive behind the Barbados Chamber of Commerce inviting Dr. Francis to speak was for him to put forward his objective view of the Budget. However, it’s humanly impossible for him to remain impartial when he is secretly advising the Leader of the Opposition on economic matters. In light of his actions, he is fair game in politics. If he don’t like the heat stay out the kitchen.


  18. The BLP will not win the government by saying the government did a bad job in managing the economy. In fact they are doing a good enough job in keeping the economy from doing what Owen Arthur, Clyde Mascoll and Dr.Francis (as Owen advisor) were predicting that the economy would have crashed in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
    By the way how comes Owen crying to have Mascoll in parliament. Mascoll contested against Chris and loss in St. Michael North West. If Owen is saying that the feeling on the ground is to return the BLP to government why did he not send Mascoll back to where he is the home town boy? Maybe he is not hearing well and wants Mascoll in a safe seat for other reasons beside economics. I even have a feeling that a safe seat for Mascoll may not be a safe seat after all. Let’s wait and see.


  19. @David

    Thanks for posting the UWI document, as an aside I noticed that two of the Deans attended the school that overlooks the Bay in Oistins. I also saw another Professor listed who attended the same school, there may have been more but time did not permit a complete review. Our master plan is on track, first the PM and now the CJ we had a minor set back when a top Civil Servant retired …. We are biding our time but we are slowly taking over……


  20. @Prodigal Son wrote “You live in Canada and must have your say on everything that goes on here”

    Until the properties I own in Barbados are sold and I renounce my Barbadian citizenship, everything about Barbados concerns me and I will voice my opinion on anything I choose.

    You are free to do the same.

    I will make a concerted effort to avoid commenting on anything you write.


  21. The crooked Barbados Labour Party is in severe disarray. Expect anything and everything from its members and supporters. Including economic Bush Doctor, Brian Francis.

    The latest cockup from within the BLP.

    From the Nationnewspaper:-

    MIA AMOR MOTTLEY speaking.

    Questions have been raised since an August 27 newspaper ad, promoting a BLP St Andrew branch meeting, described speaker Dr Jerome Walcott as “incoming chairman”.

    Mottley, who announced in May that she would throw her hat into the ring, told the SUNDAY SUN she was unsure how such a declaration could have been made when nominations for positions within the party remain open until later this week.

    “No one has asked me if I’ve withdrawn, and to the best of my knowledge I’m still in the race . . . . So I really am not sure where that came from,” she said
    Nation Newspaper.

    Forbes magazine, and with good reason, just named Jamaica the fifth worst economy IN THE WORLD, not just in the Caribbean but in the entire WORLD.

    Forbes’s top 10 worst economies in the world are: 1. Madagascar, 2. Armenia, 3. Guinea, 4.Ukraine, 5. Jamaica, 6. Venezuela, 7. Kyrgystan, 8. Swaziland, 9. Nicaragua, 10. Iran.

    The latest demonic occurance in Jamaica is the beheading of Jamaicans by other Jamaicans.

    The private sector in Jamaica is saying that the rampant crime in Jamaica is having a great negative impact on the Jamaican economy.

    Why is no one talking about these things but They only care to point fingers at Barbados?


  22. Carson C. Cadogan, please go back to sleep.

    Jamaicans ain’t cutting off one another heads because of demons. They doing it when their heads are full of marijuana, and they are fighting with other drug dealers over MONEY, plain and simple, nothing demonic about it.

    And contrary to what Minister Jones said Bajan boy children are NOT misbehaving because they are possessed by demons. Bajan boy children are misbehaving because their fathers have abandoned them, and their mother’s boyfriends hate them. And too often the heads of the boys, their fathers and their stepfathers (and their mothers too) are full of marijuana If I had to live without my father, and with a step father who mistreated me (and my mother) I’d behave like I was demon possessed too.

    But before we come up with SENSIBLE policies to deal with family dysfunction and drug about we sit on our assess and talk foolishness about demon possession.

    But as a Christian this morning I must be the devil’s advocate (lawyer) and ask you and Jones to stop blaming my client (the devil) for men’s selfishness and cruelty to the boys of this country (and no doubt Jamaican boys as well)

    I know what I speak of, my own brother is one of those selfish stepfathers who can’t stand his wife’s son. He is my brother and I do love him but he certainly could not live in my house and treat my children so. But too many women put up with damn foolishness from too many men as though there is anybody on the face of the earth with 3 balls.

    Stupseeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  23. Central Bank of Barbados
    BOARD OF DIRECTORS

    Dr. R. DeLisle Worrell. Ph. D, Chairman
    Grantley W. Smith, Esq., B.C.H., D.P.A., B.A. (Hons.)
    Mr. Cecil McCarthy LL. B, (UWI) L.E.C.
    Ms. Onika Stewart LL. B (UWI) LL. M (Lond) L.E.C.
    Justin Robinson B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph. D
    Mr. Ashley Toppin JP, FCCA
    Mr. Harold Hoyte, G.C.M
    Mr. Elson A. Gaskin, LLB. (UWI) L.E.C. Legal Counsel / Secretary to the Board

    People grow up!!!


  24. Sep 10, 2011 (Caribbean News Now – McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) — KINGSTOWN, St Vincent — If US diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks are to be believed, the policewoman, who in 2008 accused St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves of rape, was offered US$185,000 in cash, a low-income house, and an opportunity to study abroad to drop the charge.

    St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves

    However, a source close to the alleged victim said, “She is vehement that she never got paid off.” “Further, I know of a regional attorney who works with the officer who says that she swears not to have received money,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    “I know that this officer is still harassed by police high command. Recently she won a scholarship to go to a university to study and was turned down. These actions do not indicate a person with whom the state has made peace,” the source said.

    However, four cables from the US Embassy in Bridgetown to Washington detail the alleged covert manoeuvres as lawyers sought justice for the cop, who claimed Gonsalves sexually assaulted her on January 3, 2008 while she was on duty at his official residence in Kingstown.

    According to the documents, attorneys Kay Bacchus-Browne and Nicole Sylvester asked US officials to intervene and Sylvester claimed to have smuggled the woman’s police uniform to Trinidad for DNA testing.

    However, according to the cables, Bacchus-Browne and Sylvester’s effort were brought to naught when “an insurance company executive with ties to the Gonsalves government” likely struck a deal that reportedly led to the woman settling the case out of court.

    The negotiator is said to have been “on the ULP’s short list to contest one of the constituencies held by the opposition” and chaired a statutory corporation. Further, an individual close to the cop, “no longer able to handle the stress and weakened by the entire ordeal, played a large role in convincing [her] to sell out,” the leaked documents allege.

    “The cash portion of the payoff was deposited into [a] bank account in Canada,” the cables said.

    The cables purport to document the developments that led to the policewoman on September 12 retaining as her new lawyer Jaundy Martin of the firm Marks, Martin and Associates, the same firm of which former ULP senator Ronald Marks is a member.

    The cop changed lawyers without consulting or informing Bacchus-Browne or Sylvester and while Sylvester was overseas. The new lawyer filed on September 15 the relevant court documents discontinuing all of the claims against Gonsalves.

    Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said that he is innocent and the charge was politically motivated.

    On February 1, 2008, Gonsalves called a press conference declaring himself innocent of the sexual assault charge filed as a private criminal complaint against him on behalf of the female cop.

    The charges stemmed from an alleged sexual encounter between Gonsalves and the female member of his security detail at his official residence at Kingstown on January 3, 2008.


  25. 1.Justin Robinson | September 10, 2011 at 10:24 PM | Had no real problems with the budget. I liked some of the initiatives, and would have liked to see more in terms of divestment of aspects of government.

    Dr. R, which entity(ies) would you recommend be divested at this time and would your recommendation be to sell to the public, along with simultaneous listing on the BSE, or to a private group?


  26. @Prodical Son ……..re sep.10th. your comparison is one of apples to oranges.If it were not for this forum many would have accepted the goodly Doctor’s comments as objective criticism.Take for example the lashes thrown in the health Minister by one Sandra Husbands some months ago.It took B U, not Nation Views that brought the actual story to tell us that she is going to be his opponent next election.Do you not see where and how such shabby journalism can be construed as deliberate attempts to mislead the public? If you do not see that surely you cannot miss the fact that outside residence is in no way a divestment of hometown interest.


  27. Random Thoughts

    “Jamaicans ain’t cutting off one another heads because of demons. They doing it when their heads are full of marijuana, and they are fighting with other drug dealers over MONEY, plain and simple”

    The first two people who were beheaded, was (1) a law abiding mother and (2) her 18 yr. old daughter two Christians for over a decade. The Daughter was due to start a course at the University Of the West Indies in Sept. 2011. Upright citizens of Jamaica.

    With all these problems plaguing Jamaica, people including Jamaicans can still find the time to belittle the Govt. of Barbados who is doing a wonderful job keeping the country afloat.

    The others were not drug dealers either. So get your facts right.


  28. Where in Barbados can Clyde Mascoll win a seat in parliament? Lets take them at their word that all is well in “de hive”.That takes St.Thomas off of the table of choices.Dugid’s replacement has already been named.Where else can Owen cram him down people’s throats?There is a school of thought in de hive that Richard Sealy is weak as a candidate.Perhaps Owen can show some spunk and try St.Michael South Central.Belmont Funeral Home does a great job with duppies.Politically thats what Clyde Mascoll is to Bajans.


  29. @Enuff

    what you havnt said is better than what u said. Please bring some reasoning to the table, there is a differnce between an advisor to the leader of rhe opposition and someone merely sitting on a board to deal with broad policy of an enity.


  30. I am thinking more along the philosophical lines raised by Ms. Mottley in her Chamber of Commerce speech.

    Clearly there is a lot of devil in the details and some may not be feasible but:

    Maybe in the case of school meals the employees could be facilitated to form catering type businesses that can sell the same servcies to the state.

    Maybe in the case of sanitation drivers and some employees could be faciliated to form businesses that can sell the same services to the state.

    The state still pays for the services but it can be delivered in a way that may well promote greater effciency and accountability, as well as create a new class of entrepreneurs and hopefully new wealth.

    Who knows!


  31. @Hant

    Do not let anybody on this site, and I meany anybody prevent you from giving your perspective on any subject that appeals to you. You are a Barbaian and is entitled to comment on anything happening here.

    Peace and love.


  32. @Dr. Robinson

    You are off tract on this occasion, can the private sector provise meals at ten cents a day to the poor children. Wouldnt we then have to give a subsidy to the same catering companies. How is the arrangement between the tranport board an ucal woking out. hope i got the name correctly.

    How many private schools are there now and dont govt assist them in paying for some of the teachers. Most pf the private secondary and private schools cater to the middle class who can afford the high school fees, the two private schools which cater to the lower class are struggling to survive.

    I await your response


  33. Obediant | September 11, 2011 at 11:31 AM
    I think Dr. R is saying that the GOB will still incur the expense, but, hopefully, the private sector will produce the meals more efficiently than the GOB was able to, thereby reducing the expense incurred by the GOB when it purchases the meals from the private sector. In short, the private sector employees are expected to be more productive that the public sector employees. The NCC will also fit into this category.


  34. There would be savings for sure.

    One simply has to read the Auditor General Reports through the years to understand the ‘tieffin’ which is prevalent by the School Meals Department and vendors while entering the procurement process.


  35. Quoting Carson C. Cadogan “The first two people who were beheaded, was (1) a law abiding mother and (2) her 18 yr. old daughter two Christians for over a decade.”

    And the beheaders were…???


  36. Quoting David the blog-master “One simply has to read the Auditor General Reports through the years to understand the ‘tieffin’ which is prevalent by the School Meals Department and vendors ”

    But David [and Dr. Robinson too] do you have any evidence that the private sector is less t’eifing than the public sector???

    After all aren’t private sector t’iefs raised in the same homes, schooled in the same schools and churched in the same churches as their private sector counterparts?


  37. @david

    what happens to awardee getting inflated contracts for kick back. that is thiefing too. by the way the gov is not bouned by the higest or lowest bidder.

    thiefing is institutionalised in the private and public sector..pur private sector is very inefficient and because most service sector companies are interrelatedt there could be collusion in inflating cost.


  38. what about the opportunity to empower the workers and possibly create a new class of entrepreneurs while still providing the service to the users such as the school children etc. at no direct cost to them?

    I am not ideological about the efficiency of private versus public providers, and as a worker who is paid by the government myself I cast no aspersions on the work ethic of such. However, if people are the owners of a company providing a service, they probably will have very different incentives than if they are employees.

    My broad perspective is, can we find ways to keep the social protections we have, while finding ways to deliver them more efficiently, and possibly create new opportunities. If the school meals providers are faciliated to form catering companies for example, they will not only have the school meals contracts, but they can do other jobs as well.

    For me these are thoughts floating around.


  39. obediant | September 11, 2011 at 1:58 PM | thiefing is institutionalised in the private and public sector..pur private sector is very inefficient and because most service sector companies are interrelatedt there could be collusion in inflating cost.

    Notwithstanding Dr. R’s subsequent response, the cost of the internal controls, or lack thereof, then becomes an issue for the private sector operation, not the GOB, if the proposals are properly scrutinized and assessed.


  40. I see small independent contractors cutting grass, in residential areas, in the midday sun, while it has been reported that the NCC employees curtail their activities around mid-morning. With a privatized NCC, the GOB would not pay a full day’s pay for three hours of work. The private sector investors would put controls in place to get a full day’s work from the employees – the private sector investors are not seeking votes.


  41. @alien

    but the private sector finance political campaigns dont you think that a return on investment is what rhey are looking for? get real and that how they get inflated contracts


  42. @alien

    the contractors are their own bosses and not employees, pay tem by the day like how we pay wormen and see what output. you need to undrestand the psycological thinking of workers and managers who draw big salaries and leave thir work place to concentrate on their businesses or go socialising.


  43. !@alien

    you are living in utopia, who will assess their cost, not the auditors, it wont work , have you remembered how the private contractors fleeced the american govr, including halliburton hope i got the name correct, look at mdicare and welfare in ebgland.


  44. @alien

    i am competent enough to say what i mean, so dont you suggest why i mean. i write wgat i mean. and mean what i write.

    @justin

    yhe next time i see u i will have a good laugh


  45. @ David and Obediant
    Am I to believe that a government that fired CLERICAL OFFICERS for perceived support of the BLP appointed a Director of the Central Bank without knowing who he supported politically?

    The two lecturers are BOTH politically aligned, and trying to differentiate on the basis of advisory versus a broad policy making role is to insult the public’s intelligence. Just like the DLP supporters would like us to believe that the Governor of the Central Bank and the new Chief Justice are apolitical. What we need is the experts to be transparent about their political leanings without fear of being victimised, and then we can have more robust debate. Why shouldn’t CBC have two political analysts representing the views of both parties or even three since there is also PEP?
    Interestingly, here is the Nation’s reporting on the 2010 version of the Chamber of Commerce post-Budget meeting:

    The other panellists were Gloria Eduardo, tax partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers and Dr Justin Robinson, an economist with the University of the West Indies. For economist Robinson, it was an interesting Budget. It seems to me that the overriding priority of the Budget was to really begin to restore fiscal sustainability in Barbados and also to begin to restore Barbados’ good name internationally in terms of its fiscal prudence, Robinson said. There had been a dramatic worsening of Barbados’ public finances in the last three years and Robinson argued that was not a sustainable path for Barbados.

    Any mention of Dr. Robinson’s directorship at the Central Bank? Was he not there in his capacity as UWI lecturer just like Dr. Francis this year?


  46. @enuff

    dont have a washing machine, but have a brain which is not partisan and functioning better than yours. you might need a brain transplant thats not done here yet, but you might be the first patientt


  47. On The Theory of Arugmentative reasoning” PATRICIA COHEN wrote

    ….For centuries thinkers have assumed that the uniquely human capacity for reasoning has existed to let people reach beyond mere perception and reflex in the search for truth. Rationality allowed a solitary thinker to blaze a path to philosophical, moral and scientific enlightenment.

    Now some researchers are suggesting that reason evolved for a completely different purpose: to win arguments. Rationality, by this yardstick (and irrationality too,) is nothing more or less than a servant of the hard-wired compulsion to triumph in the debating arena. According to this view, bias, lack of logic and other supposed flaws that pollute the stream of reason are instead social adaptations that enable one group to persuade (and defeat) another. Certitude works, however sharply it may depart from the truth.

    Brian Francis decided that becoming familiar with the contents of the last budget -which he did not read-was not needed to comment negatively on it; likewise, he believes that he can ignore the context and ideas behind the statement “Barbados is more than an economy, and lead us in an intellectualize “beatdown” by “reasoning” that there is no society without an economy. We all know of Adam Smith and we all know that the study of economics was once called political economy and for good reason; but to pretend that the debates between the political parties, where accusations of overt attention to business at the expense of people led to the distinction and seperation of focus on economics and society, is impossible or a non-issue is just plain silly and dishonest.

    Brian Francis public service listing in the UWI document demonstrate that bias is not a flaw, but a deliberate social adaptation.


    • If this were the USA or the UK the media would quote Dr. Francis and tagged it ‘ and Dr. Francis is a member of the Advisory Team to the Leader of the Opposition. The people then can get reason with his comments however they see fit.

      The matter is about transparency.

      Because a few of us can peep at a UWI departmental document which list the information does not satisfy the argument.


  48. @ David

    I agree just like they should have tagged Dr. Robinson as a Director of the government appointed Central Bank board. The same Board that said CL FINANCIAL was sound then ‘loan’ $10m to their mortgage subsidiary which was in turn bought by BPWCCU with another government loan.

    @ Obediant
    Bless.


  49. How do you compare sitting on Central Bank board with being an advsor to Owen? Harold Hoyte sits on Central bank Board is he a DLP or Leroy Parris henchman?. Didnt igrunt Parris withdraw every penny of Clico advertising money from the Nation when Hoyte was bossman?


  50. I think that instead of focusing on issues, we seem to be heading towards character assassination. One individual is certainly not an entire board! ‘At the head of the Central Bank is the Board of Directors which is appointed by the Minister of Finance. It is responsible for the policy and general administration of the Bank.’ Don’t see anything here about being psychic…What evidence is there to show that due diligence was not practiced?

    I see no problem with persons being ‘tagged’ as David put it. It will arm the public with the necessary information to interpret what they read and hear…


  51. @ Fragile
    What character assassination? I am simply stating that there is no difference between Dr. Francis and Dr. Robinson–both are politically aligned.

    @ Messenger
    They are BOTH political appointments!!!!


  52. @Enuff
    Where is Robinson’s negative or postive commentary/opinion on some fiscal document that he is known not to have read? Also produce some other comments of his where he ignores very real activity both economic and social, only to wax virtually on what is to be found in a book.


  53. @ Adrian Hinds

    ” Based on what I have seen I am not sure that the Minister of Finance has done that.”

    The Barbados Advocate
    Timing of proposed measures all wrong
    8/18/2011

    By Nadia Brancker

    THERE are some measures in the recent Budget which are not likely to succeed in creating any serious impact on the fiscal side and growth in the economy. Dr. Brian Francis, Economist at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus made this candid remark at the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) post-budget breakfast discussion yesterday at the Hilton.

    He explained that the difference between the 1990s and now is that Barbados in 2011 is facing a financial crisis that is unprecedented. “The problem is that the fiscal crisis we face is structural in nature. Any budgetary proposal in 2011 has to deal seriously with the fiscal situation that the country finds itself in,” said the UWI lecturer.

    “It is a clear that there is no problem on the revenue side, which was why it was surprising that the Minister went the way of increasing VAT last year. The problem is within your own personal financial management, where you have to match your spending with your income,” according to him.

    He said that Barbados is faced with the problem that the fiscal deficit is huge and continues to rise despite Government’s best efforts. “Therefore to address the problem and to present proposals that make sense in 2011, we have to take serious measures to deal with the fiscal crisis. Based on what I have seen, I am not sure that the Minister of Finance has done that,” Francis reasoned. In fact, the Minister has glossed over the problems on the expenditure side, he told businessmen.

    The economist maintained that Barbados and the Caribbean cannot tax our their way out of a financial problem.“The only root to solve fiscal problems – particularly if you need to raise revenue – is to grow the economy. To grow the economy, we need to provide incentives to productive sectors so they could expand, hire more people and invest more,” according to him.

    He admitted that while the Budget made some attempts to do that, the measures do not go far enough. “I can understand the problem the Minister faces on the expenditure side, because the bulk of expenditure goes to wages and salaries, transfers and subsidies. Therefore, any meaningful attempt to reduce spending will have to see cuts in wages and salaries and see cuts in transfers and subsidies and those cuts would have to be intense,” he stated.

    “However, given the experience of the 1990s, I could see why the Minister is reluctant to go that route; so instead, he prefers to rely on the issue of efficiencies. Unless there is something the Minister knows that I don’t, I can’t point to a single country where any such measures have worked and in the case of Barbados, given the extent of our problems, those measures – if they have any impact at all – the impact would be very minimal.”

    Therefore, Francis indicated, “ You are still left after the 2011 budget with the very same problem you began with. The question is ‘What has the budget proposal resolved?’ “In economic circles, timing is key. There are times when policies are implemented, they are not bad policies; they are well-conceptualized but the timing is bad. Once again, we have bad timing by the Minister of Finance.

    “In this economic environment, every effort should be made to boost individual confidence, business confidence and to boost investor confidence and I don’t know how the imposition of further penalties in relation to any tax could help this economy at this point of time. It may be a necessary evil but the timing is bad.”

    Francis reiterated, “The continuous focus on revenue is a huge mistake that is going to hurt the economy badly in the long run, as Barbados’ problem is not the revenue side, the problem lies on the expenditure side. Therefore, the idea of implementing ad hoc measures to deal with the expenditure and not addressing it in a systematic way is going down a very dangerous road.

    “If the Government is interested in raising revenue, they need to do this by providing incentives to stimulate growth in the economy and a tremendous amount of effort in that regard has to be placed on attracting foreign direct investment. “The local private sector does not have the capacity to increase investment to the level that is desired to turn this economy around. Our investment climate needs to be addressed with urgency.”

    In a summary of the performance, he pointed out: “In Barbados, we are in a fiscal crisis and not yet in an economic crisis, but if the fiscal crisis continues, we are sure to end up in economic problems later on,” he cautioned. “Therefore, any budgetary proposals at this time need to place tremendous emphasis on the fiscal side and I am not satisfied with the measures that are proposed and the extent that they will create a dent in the fiscal crisis to give me the confidence that this economy can rebound and hold its own in the future,” he added.

    Tell the blog WHAT is with the man’s statements and WHY since you read the Budget also highlight where his statements are au contree to what was presented and indicate that he clearly DID NOT read the Budget document.

    Listen to whether he read it or not:
    http://vob929.ocmnet.net/Files/Files11/Audio/Brasstax/brasstax1_august17.mp3


  54. enuff it is everyone’s right to support the political party of their choice but what i want to know is if both mr francis and mr robinson are aligned- why curse and demonise non-national francis and warm up to non-national robinson.am i to understand that dlp supporters demonise their critics and blp suporters don’t.


  55. @ balance

    That is my position too.

    With reference to nationality I asked the same question some time ago. However, not only Dr. Robinson but more significantly the current MP for the safest seat in Barbados!! What about the many economists/spokespersons from the S&P, Moodys, IMF and the IADB who frequently comment on our economy (even dictate some say) who are not even residents far less naturalised citizens? Why the hypocrisy?

    Our politics need to mature to a point where these issues are irrelevant.


    • @enuff

      The issue here is not nationality and you know it.

      Francis is a stated advisor of the Opposition and he should expect to come under fire if he is critical of the government’s policy in the tone he has delivered.

      This is about transparency on every front.

      Dr. Robinson has been accused as being pro-government in position so too Dr Howard pro-BLP. Why should Francis get a pass?


  56. @David

    You are on the ball. If you cant stand the heat stay out of the kitchen.

    @Enuff

    when you are drowning, you will catch at a straw. Dr. Franics should have given a studied and reasoned approach instead of shoot from the hip. So go come again with another feeble attempt.


  57. @ David
    Truth be told it was about nationality initially, and individuals accused the man of being jealous of Barbados’ success. With regards to “coming under fire” that is not my bone of contention. I raised my opposition to the suggestion that in the type of politics practiced in Barbados being an advisor to the Opposition leader is different to a Directorship on the board of the Central Bank; and further that at last year’s Chamber of Commerce event Dr. Robinson was reported in the press as UWI Economist with no mention of his Central bank ties. It is, however, possible that he did indicate such during the meeting.
    The real problem though is that we continue to treat one’s affiliation with a political party like a ‘scarlet letter’. If it were not so, the Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Francis and Dr. Robinson would all have been able to exhibit the level of transparency you are demanding.


  58. First we try to attack people’s credibility… Then when that does not seem to work , we jump on nationality. What next?
    Some persons seem to be too insular in their outlook…
    What is the point of all this at the end of the day?


  59. i raised dr robinson’s purported affiliation after dr francis was attackedbecause pro-dlp’s attack and demonise anyone even their own party faithfuls if they do not toe the party line’ cast your mind back to the all of a sdden attacks on mr estwick when it seemed he was not going to accept the post of minister of agriculture and i could mention the destruction of other ardent dlp faithfuls who dared to step out of line.mr frank alleyne was under fire for sometime for what some faithfuls perceived as too cosy with the blp having been publicly praised by mr arthur in a reply to a budget presentation..now he seems to be crawling back into the fold. i am 100% sure that if dr francis” according to you david non- reasoned, non-studied approach to the budget was favourable to the dlp; then he would not have been attacked but given a pass like mr robinson.


    • @balance

      We are all sharing opinions* on the matter. It suits you to jump on positions which are pro-government and ignore other positions which are pro-opposition.

      It was interesting to listen to David Ellis yesterday who moderated that breakfast meeting with Francis et al expressing disgust at him going public about being attacked for his views.


  60. like you david, ellis tries to appear to be non-partisan but frequent listeners to brasstacks especially leading up to the last elections wouls have perceived mr ellis’ obvious bias. i read dr francis speech verbatim and there is nothing to warrant the vicious attacks which he had to endure for his erudite comments si i see no need for disgust by ellis,i am awarethat my balanced views would as a consequence perceive me to be aligned but from the ouitset on this forum, i indicated that my intention was to set the record straight and balance the facts.


  61. Francis is an advisor to the leader of the opposition party.
    Any comments he makes on the economy must be taken in that context.

    Advise a political party expect licks from the opposing party. Yhat is politics in a democracy.

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