The Pot Calling The Kettle Black

Submitted by Looking Glass

Does the Barbados economy have what it takes to fuel growth in the new global economy?

Do not “believe every inspired expression but test the inspired waters”

John 1. 4.1

Some party faithfuls in order to resurrect the phoenix mix fact and fiction. False explanations intended to shift blame and liability blind and mislead unsuspecting souls is quite often self-defeating. It also speaks volumes about the wisdom, competence, integrity and morality of the phoenix and associates.

We continue to delight in creating among other things false, fictitious statistics to prove the case. In so doing we mislead the public and facilitate the path to social unrest and servitude. According to one commenter (Is Barbados A Failed State) “when the DLP came into office in 2008” they found 40% of the population living below the poverty level and reduced it to 20%. According to the IMF 2005 report our poverty level stood at 13% and an illiteracy of 2%, both the lowest in the region. For the commenter to be correct the poverty would have risen by 27% between 2004 and 2008.

Now we are told that “between 2008 and today 18000 Barbadians lost their jobs,” and that the present government is a spectacular failure. (Advocate 15/03/2012). Really Mr. Marshall? Are we to assume that there was full employment prior to 2008? Check the number of the persons in the workforce and the number currently unemployed. Given the amount of unemployment prior to 2008 total unemployment today would exceed 20000 and the place would be, to put it mildly, in a riotous uproar all like now.

As to the present government spectacular failure let us look at what it inherited. After three successive terms (15 years) in office we have no powerful additions with which to fuel development: no non-cyclical job generating industries, no defining force, culture or industrial accomplishment needed to generate employment and a National Debt of around $60bn.

The Inter American Development Bank (IADB) reported that between 1998 and 2002 total debt rose from $45.5bn to $58.7bn and projected to reach $60.6bn in 2006, public guaranteed outstanding debt rose from US $370.4 to $702.1 million, external debt from $15.6bn to 27.5bn, private non-guaranteed debt from $66.7 to $318.9bn. Government revenue fell from 5.9 to 0.1%, the GDP from 5.6 to 2.6%. The 2008 reported that the “macro-imbalances worsened.”

According to the 2005 IMF report between 2000 and 2006 government guaranteed debt rose from 3,789.00 to 5,388.00 million dollars. Active loans by IADB in 2005 amounted to US$142.3 million …..The 2006 IMF Report noted the lack of scope for development, vulnerability to external shocks, large fiscal and external accounts deficits, projected debt at 75% of GDP by 2011, recommended a more “ambitious plan for adjustment and structural reform,” noted the “weaknesses in statistical information and likened the economy to a “breeding ground” for social unrest.

To describe the present government as a “spectacular failure” is at best deceitful, a classic case of the Pot calling the Kettle black. As was stated elsewhere one cannot water the garden with an empty bucket. Given the magnitude of our own ‘economic crisis’ and debt the DLP inherited the situation cannot be reversed, stabilized or corrected in 5 years. At least not in a tourism dependant country importing everything, producing nothing and where people remain reluctant even to grow food. If as was suggested the government had requested a forensic study by theUK you will be singing a different song.

That said I am not defending the current government. I said before (Incompetence Who Is To Blame) the current headman is a bad joke bordering on disaster and should be replaced by another soul in the government not the BLP. His continued presence as PM increases the chances that the BLP will win the next election which, should it happen, will facilitate further socio/economic degeneration. You have already sold the Port, Airport, Gems, The National Bank, the northern hospital etc. There isn’t much left to sell. While privatisation may help you to service debt it does nothing positive for the country.

I suggest you and certain others read the 40 or so articles by Looking Glass all dealing with Bajan economy and related matters. Start with Published Statistics Tell A False Story, Using Economics For Political Ends Can Be Dangerous, and Fallacy In Shoddy Robes

As a professor put it, “You have effectively passed on your servitude to future generations.” The cat now out of the bag hopefully gives those responsible an opening to review and correct the ‘oversight’ and level with the people. Disclosure will not save the day, but it might induce both the people and the government to refrain from “lascivious consumption”, to limit expectations, and to mentally and otherwise prepare for the harsh times ahead. Otherwise many more Bajans will be schooner-bound for the Guyanese hinterland. Their departure will not be enough to prevent inevitable civil and or social unrest.

The limited possibility of substantial debt reduction can be gleaned from the following: There is a direct correlation between public and private debt in a society whose mental set permits profuse consumption, unencumbered government spending and borrowing; moreso when the total Black Net Worth borders on ancient history. Our total net worth is insufficient to finance government spending, new investment and job creation. Inevitably the national debt increases and so too the sale of public and private assets.

Countries, like companies, have to compete in order to produce the most value at the least cost possible. Where the marginal cost of government is non-competitive loss of real and human capital obtains. The latter includes the brain drain which includes atrophy of the mind. National Development is unlikely to occur even if the debt burden is substantially alleviated. With domestic food production in decline and wages and prices out of sync, dealing profitable assets rather than generating new assets and wealth is unlikely to be dynamic. Perhaps the best thing for the BLP will be to loose the next election. In all probability it would enable them to save face and some dignity.

Those who “control” the info to be released fabricate the illusion of success or failure Question the figures……Note the national debt of 62bn….See Published Stats tell a false story debt 64bn ….the shareholders of Bdos national oil co some in cousins name….sale of Gems, port, airport.

Notes for Comments

One soul says government should accommodate local companies to manufacture pharmaceutical products to sell toChina,Chileand elsewhere suggests absence of knowledge and understanding. We will have to import the chemical etc, which along with transportation cost will add significantly to production cost and make the finish product uncompetitive. More importantly we are without the skill manpower resources required.
Some years ago Intel and Donnelly came and departed because there was no skilled manpower. The one Bajan with a doctorate in pharmacology science returned there and departed.
A white BajanUKprofessor did a study of Education there and submitted the findings and recommendations to the government I think in 1982. It is still lying there unnoticed.

0 thoughts on “The Pot Calling The Kettle Black


  1. “The cat now out of the bag hopefully gives those responsible an opening to review and correct the ‘oversight’ and level with the people.”
    Given the “dual failures” as you put it, the real question is then, who is more likely to provide this “oversight” and leveling?


  2. LOOKING GLASS – what a name. Your submission really reflects a looking glass fully obscure by political blindness. Be realistic. Do you feel the unemployment level is around 10% as branded by the finance ministry? If the NIS is stating that unemployment payments increased, how on earth unemployment can decrease. You, like others are still blaming historical behaviour by the former government, but you should awake from your slumber and realise that new owners are in charge. Don’t just blame the PM as you have indicated, but blame his entire entourage of economic miscreants who are playing with figures the same way you play Lotto and hope to win. As long as you concentrate on a society and neglect an economy the whole country will take a nose dive. Do you feel giving free bus rides will create a society? Do you feel giving 2000 homeowners will create a society? Don’t give him a fish, give him implements and a boat to catch more fish. It is the people who going to work that need help. It is the disadvantaged mother/father who really needs a free home, not the privileged middle class that have a home already. BTW, I* realise that all your stats before 2008. Wake up and smell your coffee since the water dry up. Goodnite my friend and please get some Glass cleaner.


  3. I quote from page 10a Sunday Sun dated April 8th… PM Fruendel Stuart @ DLP Independence Galla,Illaro Court ….”I will go to the end of my tether, I will strain every sinew in my body to ensure that the catastrophe that befell Barbados between1994 and 2008 in the month, January does not befall it again.”
    THERE LIES OUR PROBLEM…catastrophe ? What catastrophe my good man ?Those were some of the best and most productive years Barbadians have ever seen…….to say you will go to the last sinew ……to negate these glory days…..you are either a mad man or you are the likes of Kellman and just talking plain down right Sh#te to be an audience pleaser….
    Pot in such instance cannot call kettle black…….more like chalk envying cheese for what he cannot achieve……..
    But you know what, the proof of the puddin lies in the eating….or not… being able to eat in some cases(3 meals a day)….the PEOPLE know what there are occasioning TODAY…..the hardest times in EVERY bajan’s life.Never have we seen such HARD TIMES, in our lives…..everyman can attest.You know what even if you need to go to the “last tether”..or use “your last sinew” to quote you..for we the people to tell you YOU ARE WRONG..and will overwhelmingly prove this to you COME THE DAY ..we answer with an X.
    Come oh come …good day…come soon we pray ! Just desolve Parliment and we will show you ..you were WRONG.


  4. The article is written with clearity and understanding that we reap what we sow hopefully we have learned the lessons from pastmistakes and can capatilise on them for amore productive future


  5. According to one commenter (Is Barbados A Failed State) “when the DLP came into office in 2008” they found 40% of the population living below the poverty level and reduced it to 20%.
    ********************************
    Corr:Tell Hall Austin… he made an error on this one……..40% below poverty line crap……now you see what this article with all its quoting the Bible John 1:4.1 ..sets out to do….the very crux of their argument…..DECEIVE….
    Come now Looking Glass…..not very classy at all….we expected better than this cheap trick of capitalising on an error.


  6. David. I am not concern with the methodology used. I am looking at the increase in unemployment benefits in relation to figures given. Do the BSS check with the many boutiques and small businesses that have closed since 2008? Or, do they look only at big business. remember, the majority of workers also come from small businesses. Looking Glass, do you really belief that poverty in Barbados is half of what it was prior to 2008?


  7. Where in Hal Austin’s article Is Barbados a Failed State ?….did he say

    According to one commenter (Is Barbados A Failed State) “when the DLP came into office in 2008” they found 40% of the population living below the poverty level and reduced it to 20%.

    Hal you have my apoligies…Looking Glass…..messy !


  8. @ Looking at Illusions
    Do not “believe every inspired expression but test the inspired waters”
    *****************************************
    How suited to your cause

    And marshal me to knavery. Let it work;
    For ’tis the sport to have the enginer
    Hoist with his own petard, an’t shall go hard
    But I will delve one yard below their mines
    And blow them at the moon.


  9. @ David
    The statistical information provided in this post is SERIOUSLY FLAWED…and should be asked to be retracted…an apology sent to Hal Austin for erroroeous quoting.Not to mention, the intention to deceive bloggers under the pretence of a maharishi.


  10. If in 2008, 40% of Barbadians were living below the poverty line, it sure must be 80% right now. How stupid do you Dems think Barbadians are?


  11. “…..least not in a tourism dependant country importing everything, producing nothing and where people remain reluctant even to grow food.”

    i agree with everything except that. many people are willing to grow food but for the thieves and the court system that makes light of it


  12. @Tell me Why | April 10, 2012 at 10:04 AM |
    “… Looking Glass, do you really belief that poverty in Barbados is half of what it was prior to 2008?”

    from the amount of able bodied strangers and neighbours who are reduced to begging, we are worse off. i have no problem helping others at all tho but what hurts me is to see how big able bodied people who had their finances etc under control have been reduce to poverty. what makes it worse is that when people would like go to the welfare dept or some agency just to get help out for a month at least, the officers their do everything including scorning and demeaning u for inquiring about it. at the end of the day, u get no help. i know what i am talking about. i cannot understand how working class and middle class people could contribute to a system and yet cannot benefit from it when the need arises. i see people who are determine not to work get welfare, i know of a mechanic who benefits from welfare, would not look for work. i know of a woman around 48 years old with a 10 year old child, applied for welfare and the welfare officer literally made her cry, of course she was denied, all like today, she cannot get a job nor is the system helping her. i know of a security guard who everything single week goes to the Welfare dept on fairchild street and collects food vouchers. now she has a job yet she is getting. my friend has not job, a 10 year old child and was told ‘GO AND LOOK FOR WORK’ as if she was not doing that. i know of people who are working but 3 days after payday, money is gone. they faithfully pay their bills, but when it comes to groceries, the money goes no where.

    i have been in the supermarket and watch sadly as pensioners are reduced to buying junk just to manage. i eat chicken ($15.00) once a week. that chicken must last at least 4 times. after that my meals would be meat less. my telephone bill including internet and just basic service is around $150. electric bill, i have reduced to $150 even tho i am not home until after 6 p.m. and have only energy saving bulbs as well as everything unplug except the fridge. the PS gave himself and those at the top of the civil service an increase retroactive 2009 but he has no heart, those at the bottom got nothing. he could not even give the pensioners at least a $50. increase. i got no salary increase since 2009 but i sure got a reduction in spending, a huge reduction. God is still watching and something have to give in Barbados. my only salvation now is that my children are almost finish there education.

    people need help, the poor run to the Welfare, social care, poverty alleviation etc. there is no help for the middle income people who could borrow and repay at minimal rate. we are much worse off today than when Owen was running but i wish the PM would stop burying his head in the sand and really start to care about us. it hurts terribly to see what has become of Barbados. what have we done to deserve this?


  13. CHOCOLATE CAKE- SEEMS YOU TRYING TO STEAL OLE ONIONS THUNDER. WRITTEN LIKE A TRUE BEE WITHOUT ITS STING.


    • @Onions

      The specific comment has been hyperlinked in the blog.

      It was a commenter and not Hal to whom LG referred.


    • Here is a comment posted earlier which did not update:

      In will be difficult for many to avoid descending into the usual political poppycock. One can support a political party and still bring substantive points. The thrust of Looking Glass’ submission can be found in the paragraph quoted below. Yes Barbados enjoyed a high level of economic prosperity on the back of a global economic boom,  who can deny? The whole world did except those gripped by racial and political tension.
      What LG is saying, even to the mildly discerning, is that during the good times we reinforced the foundation of the economy on tourism, FDI and International Business which are all externally driven. In the global melt down such as we have added to the fact that we are one of the greatest welfare states on the planet, we are bound to suffer. Bear in mind the global economy post-meltdown has not regained and probably never will its original performance.
      Of course we can debate if the government of Barbados made wrong decisions and when last we checked there is no economic rulebook which makes this a black or white issue. So it amuses when we have people speaking in absolutes and using whimsical positions to refute a blogger who has done some research to toss out some trends etc for analysis. Challenge the blogger LG on his assumptions with meaty arguments if you can.

      To describe the present government as a “spectacular failure” is at best deceitful, a classic case of the Pot calling the Kettle black. As was stated elsewhere one cannot water the garden with an empty bucket. Given the magnitude of our own ‘economic crisis’ and debt the DLP inherited the situation cannot be reversed, stabilized or corrected in 5 years. At least not in a tourism dependant country importing everything, producing nothing and where people remain reluctant even to grow food. If as was suggested the government had requested a forensic study by theUK you will be singing a different song.


  14. Anyone going to,the citizen induction ceremony tomorrow. I understand it’s a big event, Sir lloyd is flying all the way from China to attend because it was his idea!!


    • With the decision by PHD to delist from the Barbados Stock Exchange what does it tell us beside the fact Bajans have no interest in investing in local companies? Some may suggest the lack of confidence is well placed given recent developments.


  15. Caswell or Ross

    Please direct me. Is there a Barbados law that says that lawyers must be renumerated a percentage of a loans transaction that is conducted with a bank?


  16. @ David
    It was a commenter and not Hal to whom LG referred.
    *************************
    Who is this bogus commenter giving falsified figures ?
    And what is the connectivity to “Is Barbados a failed state…why should it be hyper-linked ??


  17. @ Choclate City Hussle
    i know what i am talking about. i cannot understand how working class and middle class people could contribute to a system and yet cannot benefit from it when the need arises.
    *******************************************
    Girl i concur and share your pain…Welfare Dept is a travesty. It was never meant to address the middle class but under this DLP administration..more and more of the middle class are being forced to apply in shame …sad that those untrained retards for receptionists and officers go all out to SHAME people who lose their jobs….Shame crying shame.
    Their turn…. (X)… will come someday and there shall be some measure of retribution.


  18. @Phillipian
    He flying in from China pun who money ?? Man all DEM want putting in a cracuss bag and firing down wid all the Sh##E when the gully out…What bout the poor pensioners from CLICO ? Then some people in here( who knows better) would have the audicity to back this trite….knowing full well is watless indifferences to the highest order…But God aint sleeping..retribution is a bitch…..less we forget.


    • @Onions

      Click on the link in the blog and the commenter who made the assertion shall be reveled unto you…lol.


  19. Oh what a deliverance of tit for tat…..I see Barbados Underground has also become a media for political gymnastics now that the “retarded season” is pouncing upon free outflow……………


  20. @ BAF

    Just seen yours. I’m not aware of it but I will try and check. There is a ‘tariff of fees’ in which ‘X’ amount is the standard fare for this and that, eg $3,500 (I think) for a ‘simple’ divorce. And I have it in my head that conveyancing transactions are done on a percentage basis (of the purchase price); and so also, maybe, loan transactons – a percentage of the quantum of the loan. I think I’m right in saying that the ‘tariff’ is more a ‘serious indicator’ than an absolute. In fact, this must be the case else an attorney could never do bro bono work.


  21. @ BAF

    ‘pro bono’…Mind, I’m tickled you even asked me. Grubbing for fees has never been a favourite of mine. Where is Miller? He has been silent for days. But then so has Zoe. Are they ‘death’ and ‘resurrection’ to each other? Or ‘night’ and ‘day’?


  22. @ BAF

    A further thought after some digging….you asked whether the fees were statutory. In a non-contentious matter (like the one you raised) the answer is ‘kinda yes’…the Bar Association makes provision for fees in these matters under section 35 of the Legal Profession Act. It was the BA fees guide (or whatever it’s actually called) which I had in mind when I referred to the ‘tariff of fees’ (an expression better known in relation to fees paid under the Community Legal Services Act in legal aid cases which are all-or-nothing – no discretion – and which are generally below the ‘market’ rate). I’m sure the BA ‘fee guide’ will indicate the standard percentage chargeable on a loan transaction. But on the morrow I will try and find out what it is.


  23. @Onion bags…on we money…it’s a big do….150 to take oath ” a la” USA style. Will become a quarterly event. Can you believe? Look out for the one who insisted on being in the front seat in breach of protocol so the cameras would pick him up…..these politicians sicken me….always trying to tell public officers how to do their job.


  24. @ Phillipian

    Thanks bubby…but stop speakin in tongues doa….come out say what there is to say…..these sh#te days numbered anyway…Here is what I getting..DLP planning a BIG BASH (again) in St.Phillip soon…150 members to take an oath..USA style…chk for who gine B on camera in the front seat……
    When all this going down so we could plan Phillipian ?? Where it gine B so we cud send foot soldiers ?


  25. @ David

    LOL. David you are BAD. It’s a nice idea though. You understand, of course, that I don’t have it; and I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to get into any trouble even on something like this which is certainly in the public interest. Maybe we could do it ad hoc for this and that.


  26. @ David

    Well, I’m told it’s in the public domain anyway – so there would be no problem about posting it if that’s right. Mind – we’re talking about non-contentious matters only. See my note following to BAF.


  27. This so-called Looking Glass writes: “According to one commenter (Is Barbados A Failed State) “when the DLP came into office in 2008” they found 40% of the population living below the poverty level and reduced it to 20%.”

    And writes: “The Inter American Development Bank (IADB) reported that between 1998 and 2002 total debt rose from $45.5bn to $58.7bn and projected to reach $60.6bn in 2006, public guaranteed outstanding debt rose from US $370.4 to $702.1 million, external debt from $15.6bn to 27.5bn, private non-guaranteed debt from $66.7 to $318.9bn.”

    A couple years ago, Mr. Slyvan Greenidge used to castigate this so-called Looking Glass for providing to this BU blog very inaccurate, erroneous and misleading claims which would have had no basis in fact or truth related to the some of the matters that were being dealt with in some of the blogs then.

    Now this same incorrigable Looking Glass is back with his folly and ignorance.

    It is either that he/she learned nothing from Greenidge’s criticisms or he/she does not care about some of the very outlandish horrendous statements that he/she continues to make on this blog.

    Viewing from what this so-called looking glass has been alleging in the two instances cited by us in the above leading article, it seems that this person is continuing in the role of spreading gross and reckless misrepresentations of the truth where otherwise serious matters are concerned.

    PDC


  28. @ BAF

    Well I ‘digged’…the relevant ‘rules’ fall under the Legal Profession Remuneration for Non-Contentious Business Rules. These stipulate the MINIMUM fees which may be charged. If an attorney wants to set a lower figure he must make a case for it to the BA unless he wants to do it pro bono in which case he doesn’t need permission.
    I can’t find anything on bank loans – but then it would be the bank which sets the figure and I have no idea whether banks are similarly regulated. Under the attorney rules I mentioned a mortgagee pays the attorney (as a minimum) – $750 on the first $25000; 1.5% on the next $75000; 1.0% on the next $100.000 and so on.


  29. Ross

    You got me. I am seriously lost. I like everyone else on this blog will like to see Barbados progress and become more efficient. This translated into removing the extraneous (unjustifiable) costs incurred in the process of doing business. In this very competitive environment and going forward, if costs are incurred as a result of elite conventions then they need to be exposed and challenged. If costs are incurred as a result of statutes then the participants in Parliament need to be exposed and the laws challenged. “Kinda yes” does in fact sound like a legal term, reason being it is typically vague …

    I am also in the process of settling a will and I am sure that I am doing the bulk of the investigations and valuations. Why should I be paying these people a percentage of the overall value?

    Seriously Ross, I have just Googled and downloaded the Legal Profession Act (printed in England, my God).

    http://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.barbadosbarassociation.com/components/documents/documents_download.cfm%3FFileID%3D5&sa=U&ei=8ICFT8SAL4bMtgeak7XqBw&ved=0CAYQFjAB&client=internal-uds-cse&usg=AFQjCNEL6pDg-D4DvudgRmpaVZRBcFLzrQ

    Section 35 you say … ? Seriously is there not a conflict of consumers’ interests when lwawyers get together and draft legislation as to how they are to be renuerated …?


  30. @PDC
    A couple years ago, Mr. Slyvan Greenidge used to castigate this so-called Looking Glass for providing to this BU blog very inaccurate, erroneous and misleading claims which would have had no basis in fact or truth related to the some of the matters that were being dealt with in some of the blogs then.
    Now this same incorrigable Looking Glass is back with his folly and ignorance.
    *************************************
    I have drawn this to David’s attention from early in this blog. He has completely ignored me and as an accomplice to the travesty…offered a silly digress. This shows that partisanship runs deep in BU’s ‘directing mind and will” and makes a mockered shamble of the role of Blog Master.


  31. Ross

    Seen your last post … I hey diggin’ now. I am also a client of a quasi Government lending agency and am being forced into this lawyer thing. I wonder if this one of the reasons that lawyers queue up for the chance to “serve” in Parliament.

    Thnx all the same for the help. I hope David picks up on this area of BLATANT inefficiency and “do a’ article, man …”..!


  32. @miller

    You love to test people’s patience don’t you.

    You love to run your mouth don’t you?

    If BU established a means stress or any test on your comments what would be the result?

    Your were advised to click on the link in the blog which LG refers to i.e poverty line and you will read the full text of the comment. Regarding the validity of LG’s numbers feel free to rebut for godsakes.


  33. @ BAF

    on ‘kinda yes’…I thought you would pick me up on that (and if not you then most certainly Miller)..it was a way of saying that a statutory body is empowered under enabling legislation to regulate fees. I thought ‘kinda yes’ was simpler. It was a ‘kinda’ (maybe ‘unkinda’) way of trying to make it all simpler…err….

    Of course I concede your general point about transparency. Mind, I don’t really think that ‘fee scales’ are peculiar to Barbados. I suppose you might want to say that since so many parliamentarians are lawyers, they have a vested interest. But I don’t really think that’s a runner here since the power to set the quantum is vested in another, albeit other lawyers.

    Since you’re on to the Legal Profession Act now yourself, treat yourself to a look at section 44.

    But one thing strikes me forcibly – that is why the fees are set as MINIMUM fees and why anyone should be asked to justify if he wants to charge less. Trying to work it out in my head. ‘A fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work’ comes to mind. A rich lawyer might charge less on a whim; the poor lawyer, virtually unkown, with rent to pay and few clients might not be able to compete – so that a minimum fee for him might be a life-saver. Remember also, that time in meetings with clients about the mortgage or whatever would still have to be factored in. As well as all sorts of delays. I remember a case when a poor fella came to me on a rape charge and said his lawyer would not really listen to him and he badly needed someone to talk to. The lawyer would say ‘Then get a therapist. I’m a technician’ – ie time is money. Another attorney told me she believes listening is also part of the service and on that you can’t put a value. In other words, I think it’s all much more sophisticated than we might imagine.


  34. No again you are wrong .
    David it would be “mission impossible” to try to fix that asimilation of madness and deceitful figures..that even I a mathematician, find incomprehendable .You should be on your guard not to be part of a
    conspiracy. As to the link….the first link underlined is [Is Barbados a Failed state]”… This is where one will attempt to find these figures….not some other .. an attempt again to deceive…..but there again….the whole article is about DECEIT….how apt.

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