Sinckler Says It Is Time To Leverage The NIS Fund To Benefit Barbadians

Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance

It is a sad day when our politicians should be ‘arguing’ about how to spend/invest NIS Funds. Both political parties have borrowed from the NIS Fund. What is in dispute concerns whether the government has been investing NIS Funds in a manner which will NOT compromise minimum yield expectations. Government’s defence to the charge has been that local banks are paying 2.5% on deposits and therefore it is cheaper for the government to use the fund to develop Barbados while paying the fund 7.5%. A win-win situation. Minister Sincker promised that ‘very soon’ he will be outlining how the NIS fund is to be used to develop Barbados.

BU links the rising debate of government’s use of NIS funds to a declining economic performance and the need to maintain public sector employment along with a high level of spend on social services. It is ironic that the debate in parliament today was about a vote for 30 million to prop up the Transport Board. It is a pity the debate was not about the need to make the Transport Board more efficient rather than government’s social obligation to finance public transport.

Barbadians are becoming more concerned by the day about how the NIS should be invested. In a period which leads into a general election, it is inevitable the issue will become immersed in political rhetoric. There is merit  to the suggestion by independents that the NIS Fund should be managed with a measure of separation from central government. Perhaps using the Central Bank as a model?

The importance of the NIS Fund to the financial well being of Barbadians should be reflected in national discourse. It is unfortunate former Chairman Tony Marshall has made the decision to be silent about the non renewal of his contract to serve on the NIS Board. Then again he probably has his personal battle to wage. Like Ronald Toppin and many others in senior roles at the Fair Training Commission for example who resigned without explanation, the secrecy continues. The people are the ones who are shafted in a system which promotes lack of transparency.

What sums it it for many is the fact that in 2012 up to date financials of the Fund remains outstanding. A problem which has straddled both administrations.

0 thoughts on “Sinckler Says It Is Time To Leverage The NIS Fund To Benefit Barbadians

  1. You did ever mekking bakes and run outta flour?
    You did ever mekking swank and run outta sugar?
    And if you don’t want Pearlie to know you bizness, wuh you gine duh?
    You a’int gine keep you mout shut and scrape the bottom of the barrel?
    And the next day when she ask you how the famblee and if everything good?
    You ain’t gine skin you teet and tell she everything good and everybody awrite?

  2. Government needs to keep its hands off the NIS Fund. It is obvious that the Minister of Finance does not understand what he is talking about when he speaks of NIS surpluses.

    If the NIS is in surplus then that is a clear indication that the contribution rates are too high and should be lowered: it does not mean that Government now has a slush fund to balance the budget. If they see the need to raise taxes then they should do so rather than place a disproportionate burden on lower income earners.

    People who earn less than $4090 per month, I think it is, pay 10.10% of their total earnings to NIS. The higher your income goes after that point the rate of contribution as a percentage of total earnings go down. This reverse Robin Hood nonsense by successive Governments must stop..

  3. this is a hard one for me david on one hand i hate gvt dipping their hands into the public purse. then their is the matter of buying money in the international markets at high prices and the probability of having the taxpayers in the event times get harder necessary belt tightening in order to avoid default, then anther question how the money from the nis is being managed and the capabilities and trustworthiness of the managers keeping in mind that govt change too many unanswered questions and as they say once the horse has bolted the rest is history,

  4. Sinckler clearly came over tonight as a man out of his depth. He does not have a clue of what he was talking. I said to a friend today, I would bet you that they have spent this money already. Low and behold you know it was confirmed by John Boyce tonight. They done spent the NIS money and now come to Parliament to validate it.

    This is the government that promised transparency and a new way of doing business. But what has the government done with the money from the sale of the Light and Power shares and from the sale of the BNB share? Were they not supposed to buy back the shares that were sold? The dead king said so but then again we cannot believe a word out of his mouth, he was such a bold faced liar. Were these shares sold to help out CLICO again seeing that CLICO in Trinidad owns Republic Bank? Where is the transparency?

    We just had Estimates and a Budget. Were funds not allocated in the Estimates for the Transport Board? If so, has the allocated funds been spent already? It is only four months into the Financial Year. How much more of NIS monies will they have to go back for? By trying all their political tricks, meaning the free bus fares, they worsened the Transport Board situation and being so incompetent, they do not have a clue how to fix the mess. John Boyce, a terminal failure at every thing he ever did, threw up his hands in despair tonight!

    May God help this country!

  5. Perhaps David the NIS fund is not really a national fund for the insurance of workers, but a fund for the insurance of the Nation.

    Certainly on a family basis, if Bushie had put aside some savings for retirement, sickness etc and then lost the little pick, the Bushman would without doubt use these funds rather than borrow from neighbors (done know that the bank would have downgraded Bushie to junk status once the job is gone 🙂 ), HOWEVER this needs to be a collective family decision, and only used for critical purposes.

    Four Seasons is NOT a critical purpose from the national perspective at this stage, …it may be critical for the investors, but not for beneficiaries of the NIS.
    The Transport Board is a different issue. What would poor Bajans do without the ability to move around at a low cost? HOWEVER step number one must be transparency and efficiency improvements in that operation.

    How these funds can continue to be administered without up to date audited financial reports is amazing. This more than anything shows the ineptness and unprofessional nature of those in charge of these affairs over the years. NO WONDER WE ARE DOOMED AND NOW BEING FORCED TO LIVE OFF OUR SAVINGS FOR A RAINY DAY….

    Bottom line is that we have lost our national job and are now living off the savings that we happen (wisely) to have established some time ago, and by selling family silver to Trinidad.

    It is only a matter of time that the silver and the savings will run out…

  6. “What would poor Bajans do without the ability to move around at a low cost? ”
    For some time now, i have been at a loss to determine what can be conceptualised as ‘A POOR BAJAN’ and whether these poor bajans are in the majority; and the reason for my consternation is that from time to time, i have come across persons so categorised by the HammieLas and Patrick Todds for their own ends but these socalled poor bajans are loathe to dress in inexpensive clothes and do not miss out on the most expensive shows . I know of some who hire cars to attend these shows to create the right/wrong impression. Yes, we do have honest and hardworking people in Barbados who still struggle to make ends meet but there are those on low paying salaries but through thrift and focussed living eke out a comfortable existence for their families and do not rely on state support and there are those who just simply do not want to work and there are those who live above their means to their own detriment.. yes, there is poverty in Barbados but it is not endemic. What is ‘A POOR BAJAN’.

  7. @Caswell”If the NIS is in surplus then that is a clear indication that the contribution rates are too high and should be lowered: it does not mean that Government now has a slush fund to balance the budget. If they see the need to raise taxes then they should do so rather than place a disproportionate burden on lower income earners”

    Bingo. Further, NIS deductions are compulsory. Increasing VAT to say 20% (I do NOT believe in raising direct tax, it is inflationary and disincentive), allows people to spend according to their needs.

    But, how can the fund be in surplus, when a couple of years ago, the actuaries recommended an increase in retirement age?

    Nonsense. I have given up any thought that I will be able to retire on government pension.

    I just hope the Almighty enables me to keep my faculties working so that I can work into old age. Even if only part time.

    • Crusoe

      You are so right. A few short years ago, the actuaries determined that the NIS pension fund would go broke by 2035 if something was not done. Out of an abundance of caution or panic, Government did a number of things to correct the situation, some including me might say overkill: the contribution rates were increased; the pension age was increased; the dollar value of the pensions for new pensioners was decreased by approximately 10%; and without announcing it they have started on a campaign of removing deserving pensioner from its rolls using the flimsiest pretext. As soon as these measures started to generate some savings, this money grabbing government calls it a surplus and started delve into it.

      They are making much of the fact that Government would be paying 7.5% interest on the money that it seized from NIS, but they should remember that both CLICO and Trade Confirmers were paying higher rates. You should also recall that some investors put all their available money in those entities, and in the case of Trade Confirmers at least one investor ended up at the Psychiatric Hospital.

      NIS must diversify its investment portfolio: it cannot put too much money in any one investor not even the Government. If they have no solutions my advice is lead, follow or get out of the way.

  8. The NIS Fund primary purpose is to provide Social Benefits and Pensions to Barbadians.Over the years the fund has grown to the extent there is monies available to be reinvested. An investment and management committee team, comprising of the most prudent financial managers following conservative Accounting Principles,with the objective of maintaining modest returns, normally is up to overseer the Fund. Lending eligibility is accomplished by considering only those investment that meet a preset (IRR) internal rate of return, set for the investments portfolio.There must be constant financial management and actuarial supervision aided abetted by timely financial reporting to monitor the Fund.There is even a special area of accounting ( Pension Fund Accounting) and specialists to handle this highly diverse and intricate area..

    The question being asked is the NIS Fund meeting this criteria?

  9. ”There is even a special area of accounting ( Pension Fund Accounting) and specialists to handle this highly diverse and intricate area..

    The question being asked is the NIS Fund meeting this criteria?”

    Onions, by the process of taking money from the fund i.e. by Government’s prerogative and NOT the investment committee, that question is moot or at least confirmed in the negative.

    Iif it was properly handled, we would be told that the investment committee drove decisions and had come to governement to invest.

    N’est pas?

    • The point here which is being missed is that the NIS needs to generate investment income to fund the expense of a rapidly aging population. If the NIS Board leaves most of its investment opportunities to the local banking system it is guaranteed 2.5-3% which does not match government’s 7.5%. One can argue that there are risk factors to consider. The bottomline is that if as a country we want to maintain our level of entitlements a la Greece we have to change how we are doing business. The world has changed. The massive FDI we witnessed in the 90s and 20s will probably not return in our lifetime.

      What we need to be discussing is how to make the TB more efficient. Both parties have allowed inefficiency to become indemnic. We need to become a lean mean machine. If we have to kick the unions to do so then do it.

    • By the way Crusoe did you read the CALC Report which speaks to rising poverty which the BLP has used to good effect in arguments against the government? We can’t have it both ways.

  10. @ David

    Will the NIS funds be used to finance
    a) Deacons Community Centre
    b) The Villages at Coverley
    c) NHC High Rise Residential Buildings
    d) Pierhead Marina Design
    e) SSA New Headquarters
    f) West Coast Sewerage Project

    Pray the PM calls elections before the MOF gets his greasy hands on the NIS funds.

    By the way dindn’t the PM remove the NIS from under the responsibility of MOF when he had the last Caninet reshuffle?

    The final pieces of the plan where put in place last weekend at the DLP conference when Sinckler was made a Vice President along with John Boyce and George Pilgrim as Secetery General.

    Getting close now, the rope is around his neck and the gang of five have already declared that PM neck must pop before elections.

    • The NIS Scheme reports to Byer-Suckoo but financial transactions must be signed of by the MoF. Byer is only a figure head anyway.

    • @Miller

      Let us bring the same rigour of discussion to discussing how we make our government departments and agencies more efficient.

      BOTH governments have been guilty of using public spend to pad popularity and frankly the chickens have come home to roost.

      A little surprise you would play partisan on this point miller, no one government can be blamed for the nonsense of public splurging we have witness for the last 20 years.

  11. @ David:
    “What sums it up for many is the fact that in 2012 up to date financials of the Fund remains outstanding. A problem which has straddled both administrations.”

    What is the political point that is being made here? For what year were the financials last published? Was it 2007?
    This current administration has had more than ample time to clean up any mess left by the previous administration even if suspicions or evidence of fraud is used as an alibi for the excessive delay. The NIS has seen in the last 4 ½ yrs too many chairmen come and go with the present one touted as the “Moses” to clean up and deliver the financials given his much vaunted credentials and previous PR incursions on BU while hiding behind a veil of pseudo professionalism and academia.

    What has become of this once verbally prolific and much touted maverick called Dr. J R? Has he now been silenced after being given the opportunity to sit in the chair and eat at the table where the fatted calf is being carved up? Isn’t the NIS required to obtain collateral or written guarantees before disbursing loans? I write under correction but isn’t the $30 million now being guaranteed in Parliament for the TB’s operations for the period ended March 31, 2011? What has happened for the year ended March 31 2012 and subsequent months? This sleight of hand off balance sheet financing will not only further push up the level of government debt but also will not impress the rating agencies and will certainly be reflected in the IMF future country assessment reports.

    Dr. JR why are you breaching your professional ethics and selling your integrity to the political devil by allowing this administration to ride rough shod over the regulations of the NIS loan disbursement policies? This can be expected of the likes of Jepter the physical deficit man and even the phoney marshall whose credibility has sunk to the lowest level.

    Do some good and distance yourself from the shenanigans of this current administration which is using the NIS like a Ponzi scheme. Making decisions without validated reliable financial data and without proper and legal authorization to make loan disbursements to entities not assessed as investment vehicles is a sure way to financial hell. This financial strategy of taking from the NIS to prop up terminally ill statutory agencies on life support is similar to the one disastrously employed by CLICO.

    Where is this advice coming from? A legacy of the phoney marshall a former CLICO director who oversaw the skullduggery in that ponzi organization as identified in the forensic report? Moving money from the life insurance cash cow to finance the high living and fraudulent activities of the other non-performing associates in the CLICO Empire was employed by Leroy P and Terrence T at the behest of Lawrence D with stunning financial wizardry.

    The Transport Board needs to be divested from government’s woefully inefficient politically corrupt hands. It ought to be owned and managed by a consortium of private sector entities (including the credit unions) with an annual subvention from the Treasury to cover the social and welfare component of its operations; i.e. subsidized travel for school children and the senior citizens on NIS pensions only; with some regulated welfare recipients e.g. .the disabled. A transport levy collected via the NIS PAYE system could be re-introduced or increased but paid over to the Treasury and ring fenced for the new transport system which would not include the ZRs as presently configured. Dennis Kellman could talk what he likes as he usually does but the reality of the transport situation is that the government cannot continue with this financial millstone and managerial nightmare.

    • @Miller

      Why do you think it is a political point? It is a point, period.

      If you have doubts about the rigour with which financials of statutory and quasi have been processed by successive governments read the damn Auditor General’s Report whom we have dubbed the toothless tiger.

  12. @ Crusoe
    When Mr. “Brass Tacks” Marshall who suitably falls well in the ambit of ona those prudent financial managers…is no longer re-appointed to the Board… most definitely a sign for reflection. Why Uncle Jasper, who willy wee proports to be from Wall st. (and not Looney Toons) should know all this ….and should be in a position to so advise…..The question beckons.. Should the batsman, who seemly was caught on the back foot… and had to save face thru Umpire Jasper…..should have been given out long time LBW….not jeopardizing the whole W I future….. Moody Aussie can be most harsh n unforgiving .

  13. @ David
    “Sitting Bull was a Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux holy man who led his people as a tribal chief during years of resistance to United States government policies.”
    See ur email

  14. Who is BURTON WARD and why does the BWA want to give him a contract for some non-sense called the SAINT PHILIP WATER AUGMENTATION PROJECT worth bds$80.0 million in 20 years to extract water from the government water wells in St. Philip? Portable Water Suppliers Inc, a brand new company recently incorporated getting another perverted contract to supply 14, 000 CUBIC METRES of water to BWA at $1.23 a cubic metre.

  15. This practice of spending NIS money and then coming to Parliament to approve after does not bode well for transparency. Actually it stinks.

    David, you are right on efficiency, but this would have to stretch across the entire public service. the TB is a big leaker of money but there are numerous small leaks around that are a collective gush.

    Byer-Suckoo is a figure. I’d leave off the head.

    NIS is too critical to be randomly tossed about (4 Seasons, BTA, TB) without at least a debate or discussion on it, the ventures it finances or the benefit to the public in years to come. the GoCB says the downgrade isn’t affecting us but one now has to wonder if this is totally true….

    Just observing.

  16. @ Observing (..)
    S& P boys don’t overlook these assured. Just Because GoCB and who ever else says what ever…sensible minded financial peeps know better. NIS Fund is being abused. It is time to stop the shenanigan.

  17. millertheanunnaki | August 22, 2012 at 7:07 AM |


    Your spleen is showing !

    You are trying to attack Dr. J R because he has brought a different approach to the use of NIS funds.

    The funds have to be invested .

  18. @ David | August 22, 2012 at 7:18 AM |
    “A little surprise you would play partisan on this point miller, no one government can be blamed for the nonsense of public splurging we have witness for the last 20 years.”

    So the chickens have come home to roost. What do we do? Keep looking over the slate and blaming ad nauseam the last administration like ac and friends? This administration is behaving like a woman (or man) who blames everything going wrong with her or his current relationship-sexual or otherwise- on the previous “no-good cheating” man or woman she or he was involved with.
    My perceived partisan position is born out of total disappointment with the current DLP administration which seems not to know its elbow from its arse as recently demonstrated by the PM regarding the alleged stealing of the CLICO forensic audit report. First it was a case of not reading it now his justification for further inaction is that the report has been stolen.
    This administration was elected on a wave of goodwill (including mine) promising to clean up the BLP mess. But what are we getting? Just an exacerbation of the situation and a piling up more crap and more un-repayable debt to boot.

    Many of the measures needed to clean up the mess (especially that caused by the BLP) in the management of our public affairs have absolutely nothing to do with the international economic recession or the fiscal bind we are in. What is required is a dose of honesty, integrity (with its much promised legal backing) and political will and guts to bite the bullet and tell Bajans that the party is over and the house cleaning must now be done. That is why we elect the DLP for change and to make a difference not to carry on wit the same old sh**te. If you want me to identify some of these measures, I will. But you get my drift.

  19. @Observing

    Agree with you we need to keep the spotlight on the fund. What is a fact is that the NIS is known to be the largest investor in the financial system in Barbados. If the market is reported to be liquid and there paying low rates the NIS Fund managers must become creative in maximising return on investments. What we must not do is to convert the debate to be so partisan that all constructive feedback is lost and as important the public loses confidence in the one institution which represents long term security.

    When the government borrows from the fund is it not in actuality borrowing from itself? How can should we interpret debt to gdp in this context. It seems that the credit rating agencies are penalising the government for borrowing from itself.

  20. @ Unrepentant BLPite | August 22, 2012 at 8:06 AM |
    “The funds have to be invested”

    Invested in what? Useless paper lower than junk bond status? Who will pay it back? The Transport Board or the UWI? Are these money making entities? How can a business with an annual deficit of over $60 million ever repay a loan? How can a government with an annual rising deficit- hardly able to meet its day-to-day operations without borrowings- ever repay a loan without generating much more income through additional taxes and increases in user charges and fees? The fiscal and monetary management of the government is like a man who has lost his job and with no or very little savings continuing to live the big life using his credit card with a maximum spending limit based on his previous large salary.

    Get real man, the party is over. The government is using the NIS like a credit card being maxed out. There will come a day very soon when the credit card will be eaten by the IMF ATM.

  21. @ David
    There is a popular prejudice against leverage rooted in the views that governments who borrow a lot of money often end up badly. But the issue here is these admins. are not leveraging anything, they’re borrowing money for consumption.
    In finance, the general practice is to borrow money to buy an asset with a higher return than the interest on the debt.That at least might work out. People who consistently spend more than they make have a problem, but it’s overspending (or underearning), NOT LEVERAGE. The same point is more controversial for governments. The problem is not being solved, but we are living on grand dad’s thrift…..time we face reality.

  22. @miller

    Agree that the PM has to deal with political fallout which surrounds CLICO. He needs to take on board the political dimension, one must assume he knows something which is not in the public domain. His reference to a stolen report was made to give context to calls for him to comment as PM. We need to be clear in our analysis.

    About the NIS the culture in the public service is pervasive. The BLP tried public sector reform, a PR exercise. We have become too divisive about ALL issues, it needs to stop. Regrettably we are told this is what Westminster politics is about.

  23. @ David | August 22, 2012 at 8:19 AM |
    “When the government borrows from the fund is it not in actuality borrowing from itself? How can should we interpret debt to gdp in this context. It seems that the credit rating agencies are penalising the government for borrowing from itself.”

    And the credit rating agencies are correct to see it as financial madness.

    It’s like taking money from the right pocket and putting in the left pocket to pay your own household bills. The government either needs to earn more income or cut back on living expenditures and the high standard of living, subsidies and transfers.

    No business can borrow from itself unless it is involved in a ponzi type scheme which will eventually come crashing down like CLICO.

  24. Point taken David and Sitting

    Using your own money to drive your development and provide returns to yourself is a no brainer…

    but…that development and its benefits need to be seen, the decision needs to be transparent to those who the money belongs to and your point about the debt to GDP is important.

    IF government passes its debt to the NIS under the policy of investment, development and returns…then it should be honest enough to report this debt not just as a NIS-overall debt ratio, but in terms of actual % decrease in the GDP-debt ratio as a result so we can fully understand where we actually are, and what it may mean 10-15 years from now….considering that this is THE major plank of the MTFS.

    If ever there was a time for open debate and discussion it’s now.

    btw. Sinckler usually seems out of his depth when the financial/economic discussion gets critical and clinical.

    measures that may help are antithetical to DLP philosophy and the path they have taken. Biting the bullet is not something people relish doing.

  25. @Caswell

    It is fine to say diversify but in what? The scope to invest in Barbados is limited. What should the government do? Leave the money in the banking system earning 3%? Borrow at rates higher than 7.5% when it can leverage the fund? Whether we leverage the fund or borrow from commercial banks the government suffers the liability not so? Our problem is government’s commitment to maintain public sector staff strength and fund social services (entitlements).

    As pension funds go based on running expenditure surpluses will be created. If the government believes those surpluses should be used by central government instead of reducing the contribution, it becomes a philosophical position.

    • NIS cannot put all it’s eggs in one basket, not even if it is the Government’s basket. Do you recall that Government had a considerable sum in BL&P which was earning far more than 2.5% and it chose to liquidate the shares by selling to Emera and banking the money at 2.5%. Government is really not making any sense.

      Someone said that Chris Sinckler is out of his depth on financial matters. That statement is only partly true: have you found an area where Chris is able to keep his feet on the ground. He is out of his depth in all areas.

  26. @ David | August 22, 2012 at 8:35 AM |
    His reference to a stolen report was made to give context to calls for him to comment as PM. We need to be clear in our analysis.

    It is the PM who needs to be clear in his communication and forthright in his actions.
    What does he mean by a report being stolen? Stolen by whom? Then call in the police or take the same steps he is taking to find the FBI report that Arthur had, it is alleged, in his possession.
    These are all red herrings drawn by a fisherman who can’t swim.
    He must let the aggrieved policyholders (to whom promises and indeed guarantees were made) know what is happening if he wants to be an effective leader. Kicking the can down the street would not get rid of the dent of distrust in this administration. And to have the gumption to engage Parris as a consultant takes this administration’s arrogance and dismissal of the public to a new level of disgust.

  27. @ Observin(..)
    IF government passes its debt to the NIS under the policy of investment, development and returns…then it should be honest enough to report this debt not just as a NIS-overall debt ratio, but in terms of actual % decrease in the GDP-debt ratio as a result so we can fully understand where we actually are, and what it may mean 10-15 years from now….considering that this is THE major plank of the MTFS.
    You have hit the nail OBF (off balance sheet financing) right on its cloaky head…I remember scolding a Pro.Prasaud of Four Seasons fame, for his recommendation.Enron’s demise was a prime example of where OBF can lead if not fully understood and managed (risk acceptance) to the nth.
    Sarbanes and Oxley..two financial experts speaks well on this….Why all a sudden novices taking up chain saws with little knowledge…. and spewing wood chips in unsuspecting bajans’ eye beats the hell out my tippe’

  28. are you picking up now?you have to watch the whole movie to see that we have the technology so that ever person in this world can be comfortable.without any oil.barbados banks use this practice.
    we are in slaved to the banks and the government .for ever.
    most of you idiots ignore it that is why it is how it is.

    don’t forget to pay your tax and interest ya hereeeeeee.
    now with these comments still coming fast and the movie being 2 hours long i see you have put your government blinders on.proceed discussing what is
    all a lie.your decision.!!!!!!!zeitgeist addendum. .

  29. The reality we must confront is that we have built a society on consumption. The BLP – the architect of it in the boom years – now say grow revenue in a global slow down, plant food etc or cut expenditure, the DLP facing the spectre of a sequel from 1993(8%) refuses to make draconian decisions on the expenditure side because it must inevitably result in sending home civil servants.

    With an election on the horizon we don’t have to ask why the DLP will not move from its position.

    Do we go draconian recognising that by sending home people it has implications for government’s tax base as well as spending in the private sector.

  30. @ Observing (…) | August 22, 2012 at 8:49 AM |
    “measures that may help are antithetical to DLP philosophy and the path they have taken. Biting the bullet is not something people relish doing.”

    The Greeks were saying the same thing early last year.

    It seems that there is an overpopulation of rats in our fiscal and financial environment.
    The local leaders are unable to agree on how to proceed to control the vermin in order to prevent a serious outbreak of the plague.
    So let us call in the Pied Piper dressed in an IMF suit with the brand name “Restructuring” and blowing a bitter and harsh sounding bagpipe called “Devaluation”.

  31. For those more eagerly interested…..kennied even.
    Financial leverage refers to the use of debt to acquire additional assets. Financial leverage may decrease or increase (ROE) return on equity in different conditions. Financial over-leveraging means incurring a huge debt by borrowing funds at a lower rate of interest and using the excess funds in high risk investments in order to maximize returns.
    Using OBF can obscure or “present a better than really is ” picture to a less than prudent scrutineer (not S&P)…. in the end we are only fooling ourselves, it is what it is.
    “Buried debt must be retrieved one day.”
    Pro. Sadus Odemudea

  32. Is Sinckler crazy? Foes he know what a pension fund is for? I suggest that the government should get professional advice – not just listen to local opinion – before making any crass decisions.
    A pension fund is there to provide a retirement income for contributors in their retirement.
    What the government should do is establish a Sovereign Wealth Fund to manage national investments.
    At least we have a world-class expert living in Barbados.
    But please do not make the NIS a political football.

  33. Corporate finance

    Degree of Operating Leverage (DOL)= (EBIT + Fixed costs) / EBIT

    Degree of Financial Leverage (DFL)= EBIT / ( EBIT – Total Interest expense )

    Degree of Combined Leverage (DCL)= DOL * DFL

    Accounting leverage has the same definition as in investments.Tell Gen. Custer time to stop giving natives fire water and whispering sweet nuttings in their ears…..Leverage what…you loading peace pipe with gunpowder..

  34. What’s amazing is that a policy for the use of NIS funds is being developed and coming out AFTER the funds have been used for all manner of purposes (UWI, 4 Seasons, TB, BTA and God knows what else). This is the cart before the horse madness that plagues us. We are operating in less than ideal economic circumstances globally and locally. If S &P had a problem with the NIS at the point of downgrade, I wonder what they will think now.

    Things aren’t going to get better. Clear policy and rationale are needed in order to justify how things go and where we go from here.

    Future generations of policy makers and and a nation are depending on the decisions made at this exact moment and how they are made.

  35. @Caswell, Hal et al

    If the government leaves the money in the local banks is there risk?

    If the government invest in global investments in the prevailing climate what is the return?

    If the government sends home people are we prepared to accept the consequences? Afterall it is one of the ways to significantly reduce public expenditure.

    Do we accept Sinckler’s view that the fund is no more exposed than under the BLP i.e 70%

  36. @Observing

    To reiterate the point, what is happening here is what successive governments are guilty of. High tide has receded so that we are now able to view swimmers were always naked.

    We have to make a shift in thinking if we are serious.

  37. let us not get carried away by political biases and political retoric

    NIS money is not the governments money, it is the Workers money controled alledgly by the government , the unions and the private sector. it is truely a 3rd world event when one group of directors speak on behalf of all three.

    if the fund is overflowing with money then the contributions should not havwe been raised notr the retirement age increased. the age is now 67 and the original plan was and will be in the future to raise it to 70. Taking into account that the average life expectancy in barbados is 72 then there is not much pension to get at all.

    politicians like most persons that see alot of money sitting in one place find ways to spend it in ways they think is better spent than what it was put there for

    would you or they treat their personal retirement savings in such a way? investing in project that have more of a social/ Political benifit than financial.


    • Tedd

      You asked a very good question. Would they use their personal pension funds in this manner? The answer would be, NO, since the Occupational Pensions Benefit Act makes it illegal to do so. Government made it illegal to protect us from ourselves but, who will protect us from this Government of dolts.

  38. I have written about this on numerous occasions and do not want to go into detail again. Without being rude, Sinckler does not understand pensions nor investments.
    He is right that when the DLP came to power the NIS had 70 per cent of its investments in Barbados. It is now 65 per cent. So, in real terms, it is more or less the same.
    Investment theory tells you that a fund should be diversified across geographies, asset classes and styles.
    The primary and fundamental objective of the fund is to provide incomes for beneficiaries in retirement, so this is secured by investing in gilts – across geographies ie Barbados, Caricom and developed economies.
    It is also necessary to go for growth, therefor investments in equities, including a relatively small sum in high risk products; some should be invested in property, and held in cash.
    I also believe that the obligations the NIS has to Barbados, since it is Barbadian taxpayers who contribute, is to create jobs, thus setting aside a proportion of the fund to use as venture capital. There is no other investment obligation.
    What the government has failed to do is to establish a Sovereign Wealth Fund to management all state investments, in which the NIS could be a partner.
    They could also roll the Housing Corporation, the Student Revolving Fund, its investments in BNB (Republic), LIAT, etc in to the fund and managed it professionally. In other words, keep the politicians and civil servants away from the fund.
    Why have they not launched a post office bank, given we have 18 post offices, better geographically distributed than any retail bank throughout the country?
    This looks like a pre-election gimmick and future generations will pay the price, long after I and Sinckler have left this earth.

  39. @ David | August 22, 2012 at 10:26 AM |
    “Do we accept Sinckler’s view that the fund is no more exposed than under the BLP i.e 70%”

    How can we in the absence of reliable financials to confirm his political verbal emissions? Let us see the financials to support any objective analysis.
    It is almost 8 months into 2012 and we still can’t get the 2010 financials out of this incompetent NIS Board which is totally in breach of the Act.

  40. @ Miller
    Statement prepared by an independent auditor or the Govt Audit General ?
    Big difference if you see where I am at…anyway that won’t happen….while for such a fund….. IT SHOULD.

  41. @miller

    Yes we need to have dated financials a problem which is endemic to the government (see Auditor General Reports from way back). We however should not forget why governments are borrowing or investing NIS funds and attracting criticism. Our country is built on entitlements which has to be financed, we have built a country on consumption behaviour, we have accommodated rampant inefficiency in government and quasi government agencies. In light of the foregoing we need to address these issues first!

  42. @miller

    Yes we need to have dated financials a problem which is endemic to the government (see Auditor General Reports from way back). We however should not forget why governments are borrowing or investing NIS funds and attracting criticism. Our country is built on entitlements which has to be financed, we have built a country on consumption behaviour, we have accommodated rampant inefficiency in government and quasi government agencies.

    In light of the foregoing we need to address these issues first!

  43. Accounting for pension funds is no run of the mill. Question is to what degree of competency and stewardship is this fund being addressed? Here are some of the problems in managing such funds.

    Three things make pension fund accounting complicated. First, the benefit obligation is a series of payments that must be made to retirees far into the future. Actuaries do their best to make estimates about the retiree population, salary increases and other factors in order to discount the future stream of estimated payments into a single present value. This first complication is unavoidable.

    Second, the application of accrual accounting means that actual cash flows are not counted each year. Rather, the computation of the annual pension expense is based on rules that attempt to capture changing assumptions about the future.

    Third, the rules require companies to smooth the year-to-year fluctuations in investment returns and actuarial assumptions so that pension fund accounts are not dramatically over- (or under-) stated when their investments produce a single year of above- (or below-) average performance. Although well-intentioned, smoothing makes it even harder for us to see the true economic position of a pension fund at any given point in time.
    Excess……or turnabouts…we need to be sure ?

    • David

      The General Secretaries of both BWU and NUPW are members of the NIS Board.

      Oh, by the way, do you remember one of my post which pointed out that these people get duty free cars despite law to the contrary. Now ask yourself, which Minister of Government approves the duty free status for these gentlemen. I am not casting any aspersions, I am merely reporting the facts.

  44. @David
    “We have to make a shift in thinking if we are serious”

    That’s why the current swimmers need to invest in a pair of swim trunks first before inviting the sunbathers into the beach for the pool party. Pretending that there’s no breeze blowing thorough the dangling balls isn’t going to work.

  45. If I’ve been reading the past(last 4 years) information correctly then I suspect that 80 to 85% of the NIS funds have already been expended, only some 15 to 20% remains to pay social benefits. The government saying that it’s giving the fund 7.5% return rather than the banks 2.5% for using the NIS monies, is like the dot COM vaporware scenario. When the NIS fund is depleted and Barbados has to go to the open market to borrow money, with a S&P Junk rating, 7.5% interest would be a bargain, more realistically the loan rate will be 12% plus.
    Operating a country effectively takes skill and knowledge, both of which Barbadian politicians are sorely lacking.

  46. @ David | August 22, 2012 at 11:15 AM
    “.. In light of the foregoing we need to address these issues first!”

    So how are we going to go about addressing “these issues”? By constantly engaging in verbal diarrhea both inside and outside of Parliament? The only person who makes any sense in Parliament is an independent member of the Upper House, Senator Chandler. You might want to argue she can afford to speak her mind because she is not a representative of any political party or has no riding or constituency to appease.
    So what do we do about these ‘entitlements’? Keep on borrowing and begging? We have already sold our family silver business enterprises and land. Are we going to resort like a paro to stealing to maintain our addiction to entitlements? But from whom? Ourselves?
    From what is being played out regarding these entitlements (from which we are certainly NOT getting any concomitant benefits or returns) the country must follow the same path as Greece and have these ‘adjustments’ forced down our stomachs to digest life’s current economic realities.

  47. “The reality we must confront is that we have built a society on consumption.The BLP- the architect of it in the boom years”
    NO, No, No Mr David. illadvised consumption patterns have nothing to do with the purported boom years ascribed to the Mr Arthur and his then team. Since the late sixties and early seventies,such was the subject of disparaging remarks from Mr Errol Barrow who often described such patterns as ‘conspicuos’ or ‘having champagne tastes with mauby pockets.

  48. @miller…….What has become of this once verbally prolific and much touted maverick called Dr. J R? Has he now been silenced after being given the opportunity to sit in the chair and eat at the table where the fatted calf is being carved up?…………………………..

    miller, he must be busy working on the next DLP manifesto, elections are just around the corner, you know. One of my contacts in the academia world told me that this same “non partisan” doc from up on the hill was a major architect of the 2008 manifesto!

  49. In this whole affair The Voice of Labour is not being heard on matters pertaining to workers and their money.But Why?
    Tell me then ,if this new NIS Bank is accountable to is shareholders?

    Are the directors of the New NIS Bank accountable to the shareholders?
    Are the shareholders Rights Guaranteed under the New rules and regulations? Is being governed by the Central Bank of Barbados?

    If a few of these big million dollar loans borrowers fail to repay some of these big loans who is going to pay back the shareholders?

    Will the share holders or their chosen reps be invited to be a part of the decision making commitments?

    Just looking at things down the line in view of all the worst recession talk in history, cause it is better to know for sure rather than to be cocksure.

  50. I read with much interest the various views/opinions submitted with respect to Mr Sinckler’s statement on the NIS Funds. Allow me to share with you selective contents which emerged from a Meeting of Experts of Social Security Funds in developing countries to look at – Methods of financing social security schemes in the context of a developing economy, with particular reference to the accumulation of capital and its investment-

    Review of national experiences with respect to investment regulations/rules/management/constraints/results achieved
    The most effective way of organising the investment of social security reserve funds in developing countries.
    The conference was considered to be timely in view of the importance of social security reserve funds as sources of domestic capital in developing countries, either now or in the future and if so, how these funds should be invested in order to meet the technical requirements of the social security schemes and at the same time contribute to national, social and economic development.

    Considerations arising out of the conference are as follows and I quote-
    “Aspects relating to the investment of social security funds in developing countries included the situation of declining or static rates of capital accumulation which the more mature social security schemes faced; the paradoxical situation which occurred in some developing countries which were short of domestic capital for investment but where, instead of unlimited investment opportunities, the opportunities for investment were restricted due sometimes to limitations on investment of public funds; and the tendency in some countries toignore the maintenance of an appropriate level of reserves in order to meet future social security liablilites and give priority to expedient solutions to a current shortage of capital.’

    ‘It was noted that those persons who were responsible for managing social security funds had a fiduciary responsiblilty to the scheme members. ‘

    There were also other arguments in favour of accumulating funds through social security in a developing country, based on the fact that developing countries generally did not have sufficient capital for ecconomic growth and neither taxes and nor savings contributed enough to capital formation. Pension contributions collected in excess of current requirements would therefore be an additonal source of capital which could be directed itno productive investments or investments of economic and social value.

    In order to try to meet the need for funding and at the same time ensure the safety and yield of the investment the ILO recommended that the principal of the accumulated funds was not used to cover current expenditure, but only the income from investment of the funds was used. (This was the system used by the Governments of Barbados from the inception of the scheme up until 1990 to the best of my knowledge.)

    It was suggested that an ideal arrangement whenever teh reserve funds reached a substantial amount would be to deposit them with the central bank which would in turn guarantee a positive ‘real’ rate of interest and be responsible for investing the funds in accordance with the Government’s economic and social policies.’

    ‘Government has had the tendency to consider the reserve funds as one of the sources for financing its national development budget, and with growing needs over the years, it has tended to raise the contributions form the public in order to raise additonal money.’

    ‘It was nevertheless agreed that soical security pension surpluses should be protected against excessive demands and claims for funding projects of doubtful safety or utility or for transfers to treasuries without guarantee that they will be used for productive purposes (rather than to cover administration expenditure).’

    ‘The experts were accordingly aware of the importance of the regulatory framework (legislation, rugulations, rules) governing the investment policy of social security institutions in developing countries. While being specific enough to provide effective investment guide-lines, the body of relevant legal provisions should allow for delegation of authority to competent and specialised advisory and management bodies capable fo drawing up suitable investment plans and adjusting them rapidly whenever the situation changed. Effective participation of workers’ and employers’ representatives in investment decisions was considered essential. An effective auditing on investment operation and performance was equally essential and this was primarily a government responsibility.’

    The meeting was held in Geneva in November of 1983and was attended by 9 members of the ILO Panel of experts on Actuarial Social security.

    • The following comment was received by email:

      Hal Austin @ August 22, 2012 9:41 am


      To whom are you referring to as a Sovereign Wealth Fund world class expert resident in Barbados? Are you referring to Professor Avinash Persaud who failed to use his “skills” as mandated by the late PM David Thompson to bring in new investors to rescue the project at Black Rock known as the Four Seasons Project? Just how many times were we as Barbadians told that it would start in 3 months time… Senator Frances Chandler said it best, perhaps if we had used his salary to get the project restarted, there could have been a villa or two built by now

      I am curious, what is the last start date that was espoused by the honorable gentleman known as Professor Avinash Persaud?

      Caswell Franklyn @ August 22, 2012 9:31 am

      Am in agreement with your sentiment. The deeper question is why was the sale of the BL&P shares so rigorously pursued? Was the sale of the BL&P shares in any way related to the poor state of the foreign reserves at the height of the winter tourist season in 2011 and the need to boost declining reserves to make the international reserves appear larger than they actually were (due to poor performance of the tourism sector) and keep S&P and Moody’s at bay

      Hopeless Joker @ August 22, 2012 7:46 am

      If what you are saying is correct, then someone needs to investigate all this bobol going on at the BWA. Perhaps the particular items you refer to were not included in the Special Audit commissioned by the Minister of Finance into BWA operations post March 2008.

  51. @ David | August 22, 2012 at 6:06 PM |
    “… Just how many times were we as Barbadians told that it would start in 3 months time… Senator Frances Chandler said it best, perhaps if we had used his salary to get the project restarted, there could have been a villa or two built by now.. ”

    Yes, David, tell us the delay is due to sorting out of legal documents. Yes Sir, in this day of digital communication and standard legal documentation across jurisdictions we are still having this long delay in getting the legal documents surrounding the financing of the restart of the Four Seasons project finalised. All that can be said, mate, is that “while the grass growing the horse starving”.

    @ Hal Austin: Please let us know if this Sovereign Wealth Fund management guru is Avinash Persaud. Because if you really see him as an expert then your reputation will certainly come under the microscope. For there is much more in the 4 seasons mortar than just the persaud pestle.

  52. @ Miller
    Pale face with in European suits spells bad medicine. Recommended Govt pursue OBF strategy too.Could not even get visiting Duke to buy no one share in Four Seasons for all the tons of Bds $ he gets paid. Chaaaaw.

  53. @ Sittin Bull | August 22, 2012 at 6:43 PM |

    That right, Kemo Sabe!

    What about inviting Prince Harry down to buy villa to hold private orgies and gamble at hotel casino?

  54. @ Miller
    BTW India his home land ( not mine)just made an economic turn-a-round, you mean poppet Jasper could not see sense in asking why Prafraud was not able to attract at least ONE investor from the IT rich moguls in India….Chawwww again.

    • @Onions

      You may recall when PRT was in Barbados how management viewed the local talent. India’s success is built on software design and call centres operated by cheap labour.

  55. @ Sittin Bull | August 22, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    What about your cousins with slant eyes from other large mainland? Kung fu man has largest foreign reserves in world, no? Now even own most treasury paper of your decimated ancestral home land stolen by pale skin. Chink cousin very smart. Exports many trinkets to Barbados through embassy here known as one-wayTrade Mission. Has to be careful that Mission don’t relocate to St. Lucia since Bim no longer has clout despite early recognition by Tom Adams of Chinaman economic and geopolitical potential.

  56. @ Miller
    Cousin Meow Lin just houseup like it or lump it and a rose by a different name down pack.Trade is one sided, cuz snarlin tiger cannot compete wid chinaman,not even with road tennis.Meow Lin way smarter than snarlin tiger,he keeps doors open for slant eye prisoners to come plant chinese cabbages and build buildings cheap in exchange for refuge. Can’t beat that with today’s prices. Better deal too than india cousin.

  57. @ BAFBFP | August 22, 2012 at 7:40 PM |

    Chinaman now number one in World. Got even the once mighty superpower in financial pocket. The same way you have both Dennis and Pat in your Brass tacks pockets eating from your productive and not servile hands. Velly impressive, yes?

  58. As long as Meow Lin remain conquistador by trade(only)…Oh great Bam regime will continue to play hidden tiger. The day Meow Lin over steps this balance and gets too big for her boots Bamsie, will read the riot act and wake up the Sioux ordnance…..

  59. @ Sittin Bull | August 22, 2012 at 8:01 PM |

    Forget that great Bam regime no longer dominated by WASP. Descendants of conquistadors mixed wit Inca & Aztec growing in numerical, economic and political importance unlike African man who let pale skin food and drugs destroy him. Pale skin no breed sufficient to keep numbers up. Army very weak with pale skin losing control. Might want to start war with brothers in Europe against rest of world to protect Evil Roman Empire.

  60. @ Miller

    The only disappointment is that BAFBFP promoted HammieLa as an Independent MP extraordinaire, and there and then cast serious questions on his idea of independents ruling the parliament in Barbados.

  61. One interesting development to come out of all this is that Mr Carrington was in charge of the NIS, which has been failing the auditor general’s audits for a number of years.
    Yet, in its wisdom, this government has appointed him to head the Financial Services Comission.
    Somebody is taking us for a ride. Mr Carrington should have been sacked ages ago.
    He is obviously a poor manager and incapable, to my mind, of holding a senior public sector management position..

    • Oh Hal! You know the man. Right now he is in the process of trying to destroy the credit union movement.

      Recently, when a matter involving James Paul was reported to the Financial Services Commission and Carrington refused to take the appropriate action. Thankfully, when Paul’s behaviour was reported to the members of the credit union at the Annual General Meeting he was sent packing.

      By the way, Member of Parliament, James Paul was the president of COB. MP or no MP the members dealt with him for his conduct. Paul’s demise at COB should send a signal to his colleagues that the electorate is not willing to stand for bad behaviour from those that are elected to high office.

    • David

      The members of the Executive of COB following the elections are:

      Board of Directors
      Lynette Holder – President
      Lindell Earle – Vice President
      Adlai Stevenson – Treasurer
      Christopher Oliver – Secretary
      Peter Earle – Director
      Eldridge Dixon – Director

      Supervisory Committee

      Bernard Thompson – Chairman
      Karene Harris – Vice Chairman
      Rhondda Walcott – Secretary
      Shawn Babb – Member

      Credit Committee

      Glyne Pilgrim – Chairman
      Audley Grimes – Vice Chairman
      Celeste Foster – Secretary
      Cyrilene Wilkie – Member
      Maurice Mason – Member

  62. @ Hal Austin | August 23, 2012 at 3:01 AM |

    What makes it even more appalling is that the man is supposed to be an accountant by training. What a tragedy! This is how serious the politicians see these important financial institutions and regulatory bodies. Put square pegs in round holes and sycophantic idiots at the top so that politicians can manipulate and abuse the system to their narrow political objectives.

    Why put a man with such a poor track record (He was once Supervisor of Insurance and with known political ties to a party accused of originally responsible for the lax regulatory environment leading to the CLICO ponzi scheme) in charge of such an important regulatory body? The FSC was touted as the surgeon needed to identify and root out policies and practices in the non-banking financial services sector that are anathema to the interest investors and which could lead to other CLICO type financial improprieties.
    Why not transfer him to some senior administrative position like special project Straughn or the PS in some ministry or head of some department where tax payers’ money or people’s savings and investments are not at risk of abuse or misappropriation by lying politicians and their pals like sam pooky greenverbs.

    “Them politicians laughing at we”!

    • @Miller

      Now you are beginning that the solution to our problems is not in the politician but in the people taking a more active part in government.

    • Another point, the technicians who manage the fund will feedback if they had invested the fund based on best practice a significant % of that investment would have been

      destroyed pot-2008.

  63. @ David | August 23, 2012 at 7:12 AM |

    I have never had any faith or place any confidence in politicians (except one, of course).
    I know them too well to be led down any political garden path, like ac.
    What I find puerile and politically immature is the constant bashing of a former leader and a party that the electorate has already punished and put out to pasture. The BLP is not in charge of the administration of affairs of this country. So, therefore, infelicities, protracted inertia in making decisions on problems of vitally urgent importance and poor judgments in policy options and allocation of human resources must be placed squarely on this present administration which promised so much but delivered so little. Please don’t use the alibi of the international economic recession for these shortcomings like appointing a misfit to head up the FSC or the failure to pass through Parliament the ten year in the making Cultural Industries Bill or the FoI and Integrity legislation last promised by Mr. “I” himself.
    BTW, David do you know what is the position on the Empire Theatre eyesore and rat breeding colony? Maybe the rats are putting on their own variety concerts mimicking what is taking place at the Ax Inquiry.

  64. “He is obviously a poor manager and incapable, to my mind, of holding a senior public sector management position.”

    He is one of those who fits the bill alluded to in my post who have more than the requisite certification but are square pegs in round holes. Full of fluff but little substance having been catapulted to the top by virtue of an accounting qualification which is knocking dog now; but i think it would be a little harsh to lay all of the blame for the woes presently plaguing the National Insurance Scheme at his doorstep.The situation with the Financials date back to the imposition of the levies in 1982 which were immediately implemented out of Budgetary Proposals without all the relevant systems in place to capture the accounting transactions.What has been more disturbing under his watch is the undue delays sometimes over four years in having Tribunal matters settled.

  65. I do not have a qualification fetish, but always find it rather interesting that most people from developing nations always put more emphasis on qualifications than ability.
    I know of one young Barbadian woman at university in the US had a job secure3d before she even graduated; another walked out of the LSE with a MA and straight in to a government job. She obviously failed because she lacked experience.
    An accountant’s qualification does not qualify one to be CEO of a national insurance fund, or indeed to head up a financial services regulatory. It takes more than that.
    Accountants are qualified to look at numbers in businesses, not to work in regulation.
    Who mentioned square pegs in round holes. Who interviewed Carrington for his positions? I think he is an impostor.

  66. Heard the Guv of the Central Bank in one of his propaganda speechifying exercises claiming that the rating agencies have it all wrong regarding the government accounting for its fiscal position.
    He argues that S&P’s claims of government still engaging in off balance sheet financing (borrowing) strategies with these creative accounting transactions not reflected in the reported fiscal position are all false and out of order. Well if the government fiscal accounts are a true and fair view of the country’s fiscal position the Governor needs to confirm that the following items have been brought to book:

    The Al Barrack liability. It is no longer contingent but established by the Court under the Laws of Barbados.

    The recent numerous loans from the NIS to government owned or funded agencies and institutions (e.g. the Transport Board, UWI) whether disbursed or committed.

    If these have been reflected in the fiscal accounting exercise then S&P is indeed out of place.

    Let us know, Guv! Given your track record of substituting officially established unemployment statistics with your own massaged numbers, one would not be surprised if the Al Barrack expanding debt is thoughtfully omitted for reasons best known to you.
    BTW, have you offered an apology to the BSS after being slapped down by the IMF?

  67. @ Caswell
    Now that is established…..when Sioux indian friendly send Sleepy Sparrow for big time loan for corn meal money to make dumplin for my people ..I hope Lynette doan present Big Chief wid no shite…..cuz it wud be dynamite…ah


    Please take warning of the coming skyrocketing increases and possible shortages in imported foods and animal feeds.
    Instead of putting the NIS money in the leaky financial tank of the gas guzzling Transport Board and in an Ivory Tower UWI of expanding buildings PLEASE USE some of the NIS money to establish a fund to help the agricultural sector to retool and revamp to meet the challenges of the pending food crisis. After all, Carmetta Fraser’s motto still holds true today even more than ever:

  69. @ millertheanunnaki | August 23, 2012 at 10:24 AM |
    Should read:
    After all, Carmetta Fraser’s motto still holds true today even more than ever:

  70. First let me start by saying this submission is going to be deemed “sexist commentary” because of its content so i expect to be crucified by the female BU population.

    You testosterone brothers remember your first car? Remember tinkering with parts which you did not understand how they worked but because they were in you car, you wanted to touch and feel?

    Remember how the uninitiated, de fellows wid bicycles, in trying to keep up wid your popularity as the single fellow in your group of friends wid a car, used to join in the conversation and try to impress the girls by making inane comments like “de clutch of de Datsun in de middle?”

    Dis is how i liken Sinckler management of this NIS tingy, de fellow dat din had no car an wanting to gine de group.

    But you really can blame de fellow for trying a ting doah. The fact that the Ministry of Finance practicing a sophisticated Bingo game while chanting de words to the population “if you dont have a ticket you en got a chance” is only because the other fellows, de 14 other bicycle owners, who we give dem ministries, en got a clue bout a car neider.

    When has it ever happened in de history of Babadus that the Ministry which is tasked with managing the coffers of finance for Barbados, has to try a ting pun interest arbitrage?

    All dis “Sinckler lotto economics” just because the other forex earning ministries, led by the bicycle owners, de Ministry of Industry, dat for International Trade and de res uh dem.

    I reserve special mention for de greatest of the forex earning ministries run by dat spaced out looking fellow from de Ministry of Tourism, who elocution teacher tell he dat when he talking to de public dat he must fix he gaze at a spot two feet above de head of de tallest body in de room, to de right of all de people in de room, like if he pun drugs or sumting, (and to be trufful, de sh**e dat he does be talking does mek me tink dat he still smoking marijuana)

    The miracle of water being turned to wine seems to permeate the minds of all the Bajan electorate/populace.

    We seem to expect that because “GOD is a Bajan” that these sons of Barbados, by osmosis, will become “high science men”, in 5 years, balance de budget, using dese monkey economics, and mek we country become self sufficient overnight.

    All Hail, Mr. Sinckler or “Mr. Try-A-Ting” (and i en referring to dat young ting dat ..)

  71. The Government’s focus, in relation to offshore companies operating here, seems to be mainly on business development. More attention to matters of compliance is immediately needed, to avoid possible embarrassment. Your immediate actions should be to: establish a whistleblower hotline for employees within the industry, with appropriate protection for the employees, to facilitate tips regarding illicit transactions; and establish a program of compliance audits throughout the industry, to monitor the compliance, with applicable laws, of these companies on an ongoing basis. I trust that you will be guided by your wisdom.

  72. What the F_ _ K, Barbados UnderGround now editing posts. My previous post on this topic is no longer available, who got to The Underground DLP, BLP or has corruption come to the BLOG?

  73. @Wily Coyote

    To repeat, BU has NOT deleted any comment.

    It is interesting to note that as we are discussing the financial haemorrhaging at the Transport Board (TB), approx $100 million dollars, the GM at the TB Sandra Forde was elected to the post of Treasurer of the DLP at the last Conference. Her experience at the TB may be seen as prepping her for the job. Interesting trivia for what it is worth :-).

  74. I would have thought that if one has such a high profile political job, one would refrain from taking a party position. That is alright once it is the Dems doing it. She was pictured in the newspaper at some party excursion sporting her DLP T-shirt, so to take a position is quite OK and that is said with sarcasm.

    And to boot, the Transport Board has gone way down under her leadership. Typical Dem. It is five months into the FY and the Transport Board is broke!

  75. “Who interviewed Carrington for his positions? I think he is an impostor.”

  76. Chris Sinckler has been a colossal failure from Day 1. Estwick did a much better job but because of egos the DLP is afraid to accept it. Chris is like a poodle, alot of mouth but very little action. On the other hand, The Pitbull is the Pitbull, rough talking and getting something done. Time longer than twine Estwick. tek it light.

  77. @enuff

    Let us accept that like the BLP partisans are usually appointed to these positions. Forde had retired from banking when she took up the position.

    • @enuff

      There was nothing wrong with Arthur reaching across the division for people who can contribute, it is done elsewhere. However in Barbados there is the view one must change stripes/colours to make a contribution. Many believe that Arthur’s politics of inclusion contributed to the DLP’s poor showing for many years.

  78. @ David
    And the Dems’ politics of non-inclusion is now contributing to their poor showing for the last four years. Jepter Ince from Chairman of NIS to Senate making way for Sandra Forde who then left and went to the TB to be replaced by Tony Marshall replaced by Justin Robinson who is also Deputy Chair of Central Bank

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