98 thoughts on “Review of Barbados' Economic Performance for the First Nine Months of 2012

  1. @ Enuff | October 30, 2012 at 9:49 PM |
    “Didn’t Kellman claimed a 25%increase in manufacturing? Correct if I am wrong.”

    Yes, Kellman recently claimed that manufacturing exports increased by over 20% in 6 months.
    So who is bullshitting and who is lying here? The Governor or Kellman?

    Maybe ac the ace liar can tell us.

  2. I like how the Guvnor aint giving no specifics in that speech though: ‘marginal’, ‘slight’, ‘small’ but not a number amount….lmao

    • It is unfortunate the reporters did not ask the Governor to clarify Mascoll’s suggestion about stimulating economy i.e. about 70% of spend circulate in the domestic economy and has no significant impact on forex outflow.

  3. What a difference 6 months can make!

    ‘slow recovery’

    ‘ 1 per cent growth’

    ‘Four Seasons and Merricks Resort’

    received by email.

  4. @ Miller
    @ Enuff | October 30, 2012 at 9:49 PM |
    “Didn’t Kellman claimed a 25%increase in manufacturing? Correct if I am wrong.”
    YES YES YES,.we have it on BU. But that is not the best revelation unemployment now 12.8% ? Did Govt Stat.Dept not say more like 14% some months ago?Do correct me if I am wrong. Most interesting don’t you think with a ‘bell with tong in bout to swing’…

  5. @david re foreign reserves

    That’s the debate we’ve been having for a while. The current strategy (and its inherent hardships) are supposed to contain forex…yet, every report shows that we are still leaking. The hold and wait pattern can’t work forever. Eventually we’ll run out of gas and depending on 4 seasons et. al technically isn’t a “strategy.”. With tourism misfiring, manufacturing down some sort of urgent, radical and out the box economic thought capitalising the few strengths and advantages we have is needed. Current boldness can lead to future growth, even if there’s an intermittent dip.

    • @Observing

      Sadly we are not hearing any forex generating initiatives coming from the government in waiting either. It seems we continue to look to tourism which is not as robust as years gone. The world has changed since 2008 whether we want to admit it or not. A new kind of thinking is required. The challenge for the government is if they allow domestic spend to get out of hand we expose the parity we have defended so fiercely all these years. A new thinking must emerge. So far the corn beef discussions from the political parties expose the reality that we are bereft of ideas as a nation.

    • An interesting question to ask the Governor at his press conference is what he thinks about the BLP offerings.

  6. The governor said there was lower than estimated output from manufacturing and agriculture. does that trash Mr. Kellman’s claim of 25% increase in manufacturing.

  7. @ Snipes
    Ding dong….25% increase ..WHERRRRE ?…Are we manufacturing widgets, giggets or ‘digits’?…..where let him tell us where such could be possible….

  8. millertheanunnaki

    what you do to Freundel to have him call you a political slug replete with slime at Queens College?

  9. David | October 31, 2012 at 8:26 AM
    “So far the corn beef discussions from the political parties expose the reality that we are bereft of ideas as a nation.”

    If my hearing is still acute then what I am hearing coming out of the Advocate sounds like shocking news to the partisan political system.

    Am I right in saying the Advocate is hauling the DLP administration over the coals for its incompetent management of the international Business sector?

    Has Bryan fallen from grace for his own failure or is he on the way back to the other side jumping ship like a drowning rat?
    Have you heard anything of the sort?

  10. It appears there is a huge gamble that the Winter tourism season is going to be strong in terms of arrival numbers and spend, despite reduced airlift and no sign of the ‘ad’ campaign that was supposed to be launched in September.
    Add the current BTA financial problems and from tomorrow that they will not have a CEO/President.

    I think at this stage I would be trying to guage the forward bookings with tour operators and projected flight loadings.

    Any ‘ad’ campaign unveiled now will have a very limited positive effect for the first half of winter.

    • @Adrian

      Is there any evidence of the strategy which the BTA has used to to drive activity for the Winter? We have not been hearing from Sealy.

  11. millertheanunnaki

    I hear that Freundel also asked the crown whether Kerry the wee-man Symonds still chopping up and cutting up car seats.

  12. @ Blackwell | October 31, 2012 at 9:10 AM |
    “what you do to Freundel to have him call you a political slug replete with slime at Queens College?”

    I disguised Kerrie was sitting next to Leroy Parris his pal and he, Freundel ,being a diabetic experienced a blur in his eyes and mistook Leroy the real slug for me Kerrie the undercover political salt carrier. Kerrie knows of the man’s private tutorial escapades from the Kingmaker Tudor era.

  13. David,

    If there is ANY evidence, then the BTA are not sharing it with the industry.
    I think its a huge mistake that the Minister has not clarified the BTA’s financial position and the Shadow Minister of Tourism comments.
    The silence, in my humble view, reeks of arrogance, when there are so many concerned tourism workers out there. At least the ones that still have a job.

  14. A major reason why reserves are falling despite lower import demand is that the inflow of foreign capital to buy residential property in Barbados has almost dried up as evidenced by all the empty developments completed over the last 3 years. Even worse, a lot of foreigners are now trying to sell their second homes here and if they sell to Barbadians the proceeds come out of the reserves when they remit the funds home. This is probably not a temporary trend in which case the outlook for reserves is bleak.

  15. It is a great hypocrisy that we are expected to manage domestic markets in a way that monitor concentration ie marketshare of business interest but in the global arena high concentration can take place.

  16. @ Blackwell | October 31, 2012 at 9:45 AM |

    We want to know how is he going to keep away the big bad IMF wolf from this country’s economic door given that tourism is now blown out of the water for the coming winter season.
    Barbados is no longer on the “white” list of tourist destinations for the upcoming season especially from the UK. Very few, if any, tour operators and winter season travel promoters are pushing Barbados as a preferred Caribbean destination. Let him deal with the tourism elephant in the room and Kerrie’s little doggie will bark “bow wow, well done!”

  17. Mark my word.The Governor of the CB has begun to distance himself from this administration.He has indicated that he has nothing positive to add that will
    give us any hope that the economy will improve in the foreseeable future.Darcy was a handful but advice from the little man physical deficit?That takes the cake and the Gov will not have it….why,did he not put Christine the guard in her place let alone a short knee crotch lil fella outta sin fillup..

  18. @DAvid 8:26
    The BLP seems to be banking on an reenergised International Business Sector to bring in some forex and offset decreased revenues from teh “giveaways”

    Is “wishing” on a good tourist winter a good move? What has the trend with the winter numbers been for the past 4-5 years?

    @Adrian and David
    When last have we heard from Sealy? Interesting that Worrell pointed out the decreased airlift (you’re vindicated Adrian) as a prime correlation to the fall of.

    my comment means stop looking for plasters. Go bold. Go innovative. Provide tangible support and communicate a long term vision and plan that ties in economic recovery, commercial activity, local manufacturing, education overhaul, labor market diversification, reformed industries, social support, ministerial cooperation towards national development and that taps into our advantages over others in the region and the world. (e.g. alternative energy, internet, technology, research and knowledge based services for export, environmental/heritage/sports tourism and internal agricultural linkages and technological growth since it can’t stand on its own). In the short term it may seem like little is happening and expenses outweigh results, but over the long term with the right planning, execution and accountability the results could be fantastic.

    Just observing my two cents worth of idealism.

  19. It appears the Governor shifted a bit. Optimism has now become tinged by the reality of the situation which confronts the government. Can the BLP do better? They will get their opportunity shortly.

  20. Observing,

    You know that ‘we’ are re-active rather than proactive.
    Next week the MOT will be at WTM in London. He now possibly has his last opportunity to listen to the people that undertstand the industry, rather than rely on friends and party supporters. The decision he takes will certainly greatly influence the chance of re-election. This surely must be a time to put the Nation first.

  21. @ David | October 31, 2012 at 3:00 PM |

    If I were the leader of the Opposition I would be hoping the Bajan electorate would be stupid enough to return the DLP to power. From what the Governor is indirectly telling us this is not an election to win for any political party. OSA might just find himself figuratively shitting his pants at the mess confronting him if the economy continues on this path of significant forex haemorrhaging for another 3 months. This could be exacerbated by foreign own companies seeking to minimize any potential devaluation exposure by remitting profits and management fees within the next 3 months.

    The Governor sounds like a man who is worn out and has given up hope for the Barbados economy.
    It seems Dr. Worrell has been read the IMF riot act despite his public protestations to save face. Devalue or else no foreign loans. Neither should Barbados expect favourable recommendations in the international financial markets involving large FDI projects e.g. Four Seasons restart.

    Barbadian importers can expect a drastic cut in credit days and terms from next year. Exporters will move to reduce their credit exposure. No more 90 days foreign credit but demands to pay for goods in advance or at most 30 days credit at higher costs to cover risk premiums and punitive late payment charges.

  22. @Clone

    Practical view is commendable but it is not what will guide people at the polls. The independent voter will decide to gave the BLP a chance. It is a reality of practising politics in austere times.

  23. Given the devastation in New York and New Jersey Barbados could get a little boost in Tourist.

    Just wishing and hoping.

  24. @ Clone | October 31, 2012 at 4:05 PM |

    How can Bajans be living in a cocoon when our entire economy is dependent on relationships with the international markets for our tourism, international business and massive imports from cars to computers to food and clothing for our very existence?

    Barbadians are well aware of the international goings-on and reverberations. Many of them have access to the Internet and other international media forums and sites. We listen to the BBC World radio.
    Most Bajans have relatives and ongoing connections with the Diaspora in the UK and North America. We also travel to these places or in some cases used to or still live there.
    We are aware and are sensitive to the challenges and economic constraints facing the government and by extension the country.

    What independent thinking Bajans are concerned about is the quality of the management of the crisis locally and the decisions and processes to mitigate the negative effects.

    Many things this government has done have made matters worse for the local economy. The international business sector has been hamstrung and stifled because of the government lethargy; inertia and downright refusal to act in some cases. Even two years of sleeping on the job at the height of the crisis in a modern information and technologically demanding age seem like RIP Van Winkle’s 20 years of slumber in the land of Nod from which a sleeping giant has just awaken.

    We ourselves have contributed to the poor performance in the Tourism industry mainly because we have allowed the plant and infrastructure to run down and look shabby. Our poor housekeeping, poor, insensitive and sometimes vicious treatment of visitors and failure to give value for money when compared to our competitors have also have their negating effects on our once comparative advantage as a premium brand destination.

    The present administration also has to hold itself directly responsible for its diminishing image in the eyes of the electorate. Not because of any international or exogenous economic factors but by its downright arrogance to communicate effectively with the public and its arrant dismissal of the electorate concerns about the much promised Integrity legislation.

    How you, Clone, can expect Bajans to stop living in a cocoon and have an outward looking international perspective on economic matters when you support an administration that blatantly refuses to enact Freedom of Information legislation so that we can know what is going on with our public affairs and money?

    Just stop blaming every problem in this country on the international recession. If you were really in the know you would appreciate that what is happening is not a recession but a long-term correction to the international market abuses and excessive gambling that took place over the last 15 to 20 years.

    Think on these things, Clone, before we burst your bubble and extricate you from your genetically modified cocoon of ignorance and misinformation.

  25. The Hants ( and most BU bloggers) plan to modify and manage the economy of Barbados.

    Starting with the fundamental principle of sustaining life you have to change the Bajan aversion to digging up dirt and growing food.
    More land for more landless.

    Food security is possible and sustainable in Barbados.Conventional farming combined with hydroponics and fish farming can provide 90 % of what you need.

    There must also be a severe restriction on the importation of personal vehicles and an aggressive ramping up of alternative energy to reduce the dependence on follil fuels. Solar and wind power.Obvious.

    Having reduced the need for forex to buy food, forex earned from Tourism and International Business can be used to improve the quality of health care.



    • The tourist industry in Barbados represents a ready made market to fuel agriculture and the supply of products and services supplied by the Arts sector.

      On 31 October 2012 22:58, Barbados Underground

  26. @David
    “The tourist industry in Barbados represents a ready made market to fuel agriculture and the supply of products and services supplied by the Arts sector. ”

    If only the brains would see it so simple.
    The education sector represents a ready made gold mince to fueling new skill sets, training and knowledge resources to drive industry diversification. If only we could hear such AND see movement towards such we might be better off later down.

    Of interest, Worrell bluntly said they were purposely dampening consumer spending to curb the exit of forex. Is there an internal downside to this strategy (other than politics)? Also, is Mascoll’s 70% close to correct?

    Just observing

  27. @ David:

    I am most impressed with the Governor’s repeated reference to and support for the private sector as the engine of growth, earners of foreign exchange and the frontline movers and shakers to pull this country out of recession and to carry it forward to greater development.
    Can we conclude, David, that this is the Guv’s way of preparing the wicket for the inevitable privatization of State enterprises in the coming months to earn some quick fix forex?

    @Ac: No need to butt in at this stage!

  28. @ Clone

    1. The unemployment rate in the UK is falling.
    2. The areas of the UK where the folks with money live i.e. the South, unemployment is around 6%

  29. @ Hants
    Your plan for food security is great, but do you seriously expect Bajans to eat local stuff….? 🙂

    How did you get Bushie involved in your economic planning? The Bushman has a completely different perspective to the “challenges” that we are facing.

    There is not really much to be gained from tidying up the bedding in our little cabin on the SSS Titanic when all around us we can see the effects of the collision with the iceberg. Bushie finds it quite hilarious that B’s and D’s are at each others throats about how we should organize our Bajan cabin, instead of going up to the main deck and seeking a place on the lifeboats.

    ….unfortunately, a very difficult time lies ahead of us all, and New York seems to be starting the ball rolling…

  30. Bushie I don’t believe I will live to see the “end of the world” so in the meanwhile I will focus on worldly solutions even though it may be an exercise in futility.

  31. Now where did Bushie say anything about the end of the world? Do you understand that we can reach a stage where we all will wish and PRAY for the “end of the world”?

  32. Purely, from a tourism perspective, the Govenor makes a good point regarding targeting specific areas of our major majors that have been less effected by the recession, including mid-western Canada. But then WHY would the BTA not renew the contract of the ONLY sales person in that area? It’s as it there is a huge disconnect between the various Government departments and policymakers.

  33. BU remains sympathetic to the Governor’s view that we need to protect our forex reserves at all cost. Mascoll needs to be pressured to support the BLP’s position that releasing more spend by easing fiscal policy will not drain forex. The discussion as the Governor suggests should be to grow forex and fiscal measures can be correlated based on forex performance. We seem to have the cart before the horse.

    The worry for the government is that with a people who have developed a consumption behaviour over the years the BLP carrot will be too tempting to ignore. Especially worrying is the large retail and distributive sectors which make up the domestic economy and is a forex sponge.

  34. @ David | November 1, 2012 at 8:17 AM |

    So we need to earn more or save forex to save our addictive consuming economic souls?
    Couldn’t agree with you more!
    What about recommending some bold initiatives? Here is one to start with.
    What about suspending the importation of all vehicles for domestic or private use for the next 2-3 years?
    Let me hear you on that one, David?

    James Paul in the capacity of CEO of the BAS is very critical of the fast food establishments who refuse to buy more locally grown and produced agricultural and other products. He even went so far as to demand the government to make such a condition of granting licences to operate fast food and restaurants. He keeps forgetting he is part of this administration and if he is being ignored what about the farmers and producers themselves?

  35. @Miller

    Surely you are aware the biggest drain on the forex is oil, food and debt serving. Although there is the opportunity to rational transport improving forex management by banning cars will not do enough.

  36. @ David | November 1, 2012 at 8:41 AM |

    David let us be proactive instead of leading from behind.

    Something must be done and done quickly within the next 2-3 months to save our sorry economic asses.
    If not temporarily banning domestic vehicles (SUV’s and other high performance luxury steel donkeys) what else, David, must be done?

    Name at least one initiative we need to undertake immediately to save or earn forex other than play roulette and hedge our bets on some “Cinderella” Winter Season where forward bookings so far look rather dismal. Are we hoping for the shutdown of the Gulf Stream to cause Britain to freeze over and the Brits fly off to much warmer climes? Do you think Barbados would be top in their choices for the Caribbean?

  37. @Clone

    One may agree with Mascoll to a degree that the agenda of the meeting made no accommodation for discussion from Dr. Worrell. However as a small island state the opportunity to address a burning issue with high profile players present was too good an opportunity to let pass. Perhaps behind the scenes Worrell’s robust intervention may prick some to take a second look at the workings of small island states. BU commends the Governor on his fearlessness in the same way arthur approached the OECD.

    Mascoll needs to support his argument with data ie increasing spend in the economy without adversely affecting forex.

  38. The Governor seems to have missed the point on tourism when he blamed the lower UK arrivals on the cancellation of the second BA flight. That flight was cancelled BECAUSE BA were not selling the seats. UK tourists really need value for money now that they have less to spend and we all know that Barbados cannot compete with lower cost warm climate destinations, many of which also offer more idyllic scenery. At the same time, the importation of foreign currency by foreigners to buy real estate has slowed to a trickle while the international sector is hamstrung by increasing market regulation and huge frustrations over continued departmental delays in granting licences/permits/approvals. The recent haemaorrhaging of our reserves will continue until some tough decisions, and actions, are taken. At this rate we may only have a few months before we can add a foreign exchange crisis to the domestic government debt crisis which is already upon us. It’s tragic that this is all happening at election time when neither party feels able to adopt the unpopular policies which could protect our way of life.

  39. Weston,

    very good point. Not suprisingly, travellers (everywhere) are looking for value-for-money. Operational costs have increased so much on Barbados, its currently almost impossible to deliver this. Government has to take some of the blame. 16.6 per cent increase in VAT plus the windfall for Government created with increased VAT on higher fuel/electricity costs. 50 per cent increase in land taxes. And the extra costs in doing business like waiting over two years for VAT refunds.

  40. @ Weston | November 1, 2012 at 9:31 AM |

    We are singing from the same hymn sheet as far as visitor arrivals out of the UK are concerned. Much of BA’s customers who previously came to Barbados are now looking towards St. Lucia, and Cuba and even Jamaica. For the last 18 months many of BA’s flight to Barbados were suffering from poor load factors with many seats unsold.
    The Governor should stop blaming BA and the IMF and whomsoever he can identify like poor David Ellis at the recent press conference. Many of our problems lie right here with us and are of our own creation.

  41. @DAvid
    “BU remains sympathetic to the Governor’s view that we need to protect our forex reserves at all cost.

    but we are sticking with the strategy and still leaking forex without signs of requisite growth anywhere. That’s my worry. The holding pattern stops the bottom from falling out the bucket, but, over time dry rot will kick in.

    I agree Mascoll needs to show how increasing spend will help the economy while not depleting forex.

  42. @Observing (…)

    Have a fiscal policy which protects forex is agreed.

    The issue of possible forex leakage is another issue which needs to be investigated.

  43. @David

    not possible leakage david, it’s actually happening. Worrell’s explanation is low net capital inflows. The magic question is, what is being done proactively to increase capital inflows? If the answer is “waiting on new tourism projects” what does that mean in the interim as we lose 100 million forex here and 100 million forex there? The trend since 2007 has been downward.

    Another concern is the “only path” comment. Are there no other possibilities or combination of policies???

    Just observing

    • @Observing (…)

      The point the Governor seems to have made is that to increase spend we need to increase forex inflows and or reduce expenditure. This is the theoretically framework decisions have to be made.

  44. k. Understood and agreed. So here comes the magic question.

    what are we doing to increase forex inflows?
    what are we doing to reduce expenditure?

    Just observing

  45. @ David:
    “what are we doing to increase forex inflows?
    what are we doing to reduce expenditure?”

    We are still awaiting your input. What do you have to put on the table other than say oil and food make up the bulk of our imports and the banning of the importation of cars will come to naught?
    So what is sacrosanct and what can be sacrificed to save us in the next 10 weeks of forex cover? October gone so: 14-10 = 10 weeks.

    • @Miller

      These are matters the BU family has discussed many times over. What does any household which encounters difficulty do? All members of the household have to tighten their belts. As a country there continue to be the expectation that lifestyle should not be adjusted. Both political parties continue to fool the people that the government is responsible for the current state, vote out the government and the problem is solved. A listen to Brassacks today confirms. We have to get individuals to appreciate the need to make sacrifices. Is it not Mascoll who preaches that an economy is made up of aggregate demand?

      Let both political parties begin from this position. Can they do it?

  46. @ millertheanunnaki | November 1, 2012 at 3:07 P

    “October gone so: 14-10 = 10 weeks.”
    should read: October gone so: 14-4 = 10 weeks.

  47. Agreed! And leadership must come from examples! So, where has the government tightened its belt…without loosening ints pants lef that is?

    Also, in these times of ignorance, has anyone ever come to we the people and connected what they are doing nationally to what we need to do individually and show how together they would help the policy/economy?

    Just observing

    • Observing (…)

      This is the honest conversation which both political parties must start BUT there is a general election to be fought.

  48. @ David | November 1, 2012 at 3:39 PM |

    Then let the political officials stop lying to the people and come clean. Stop fooling the people that everything is stabled and under control.
    Stop giving the people false hope that things will be OK tomorrow.
    Stop telling the people the government would ensure they have guaranteed jobs in the public sector.
    Why did Kellman lie to us by telling us exports increased by over 20% while the Governor is saying manufacturing did not contribute significantly to our forex earnings?

    When the government start making sacrifices like reducing the size of its Cabinet, curtail discretionary expenditure like futile CoI’s and competing football tournament that could have been paid from the Families First Account and all the eating up and drinking up of taxpayers money then we individuals would follow these exemplary decisions.

    This criticism applies to both political parties.

    So now let us hear what you have to offer in terms of specific proposals to rescue our forex position from pending disaster other than placing the blame on Bajan John Citizen.

    • @Miller

      You understand the point and we are seeing your party continuing the myth by promising VAT rollback, return of allowances which we agree we’re illegal, subsidizing fuel etc.

  49. @ Derick Browne | November 1, 2012 at 4:16 PM |
    “I believe that the younger whites will have to shape up or ship out.”

    And what do you mean by that?
    Why don’t you look beyond your racist blinkers and see that whites except for a few well-known individuals are no longer in economic control of this country?
    This country economic wealth is controlled by transnational corporations, Trinidadians and local people of East Indian descent.

    Get over your plantation mentality and realise that “massa days done” as far as controlling the economic direction of this country. Sugar is dead and the importation and distribution of food and other goods is no longer the province of the local white oligarchy.

    Leave the young whites to their own self-destroying devices some of which you are quite familiar with including interbreeding and skin cancer causing activities. Where would you like them to go? To Ireland or Newcastle? What about the blacks going back to Ghana and Ivory Coast?

  50. @ David | November 1, 2012 at 4:33 PM |

    And we are also witnessing the DLP purposely and deliberately lying to the people that there will be nor privatization or divestment if the DLP is returned to power. That all public sector jobs will be preserved under the DLP but 10,000 will be sent packing under the BLP.
    That the BLP would sell out the rest of the country to foreigners and put it in the hands of the IMF if the people were to elect the BLP.
    So who is fooling whom? Who is driving fear into the people instead of being honest and upfront with them, David?

  51. Amazing to here Ryan Straughn suggesting Barbados needs to ramp up manufacturing and agriculture for exports. Where were these people when Barbados economy was being built out on services?

  52. @david
    Ryan straughn is a convenient economist. Lol. What manufacturing and agriculture for export what. We struggling to provide for and feed ourselves far less gain forex from it. As most things, sounds good but….

    • What about Sir Roy firing his first salvo at privatization and divestment? What is the role of the social partnership? What role will the unions play in the next general election?

      On 1 November 2012 22:06, Barbados Underground

  53. David,

    Dont you think we could look at the possibility of exploring the oil identified off our coast? There was some talk of this during the dying days of the BLP administration.

    • @Prodigal Son

      It appears that the government has no appetite for going in this direction and has placed its focus on building out a clean energy program. Darcy Boyce has been mum on this matter. What are the issues? Given current price levels is drilling in our deep waters not economic at this time? As usual we the people have not a clue given the close communication policy of the government..

      On 1 November 2012 22:26, Barbados Underground

  54. agriculture for exports is a waste of time. Food security and food import substitution is more important.

    Anyone living in major North American cities can tell you that South America is flooding the markets with fresh produce and agricultural products.

    Grow food for local consumption and eliminate middle man called freight.

    • @Hants

      There is the view that Barbadians will NOT buy local which explains the earlier comment about the need for BOTH political parties to have a conversation with the people reading from the same book.

      On 1 November 2012 22:41, Barbados Underground

  55. David when the forex dries up and Super Centre shelves bare then they will be shopping at my favorite spots. Eagle Hall,Spry street, Roebuck street and James street.

    The big shits will be sending duh maids to front fuh dum.

    Blame the DLP for mis management of the economy but there is a harsh reality Barbados must face.

    THERE is no ECONOMIC RECOVERY in North America or Europe.


  56. Folks the ‘plan’ is NOT working. Why are we over analysing the situation? The imposition of those huge tax increases out of panic at the early stages of this government’s tenure has suffocated the economy. Running a government in the 21st century does not only require ‘brightness’, a Cabinet with critical thinkers is what is necessary and I have said repeatedly that this administration’s policies are disjointed and antiquated–a sure sign of poor critical thinking and analysis. Who else would promote as a brilliant idea the establishment of a physical ‘showroom’ for local producers rather than virtual in this the internet age? Who, faced with a traffic nightmare in Warrens, would build a multi-storey government office complex in Warrens?

    I am happy to see that all of a sudden the ‘pundits’are asking the for evidence to back up their proposals. Had they done the same in 2007/08 we may not be in so much doodoo.

  57. “Folks the ‘plan’ is NOT working.”
    LOL at Enuff
    Nothing could be further from the truth. The BIG plan is working EXACTLY as laid out.
    After years of missing the REAL important things of life because we have been distracted with accumulating “things”, we are about to go through a phase when most of these ‘distractions’ will be taken away from us (in an effort to get us to focus on the REAL issues of life).
    Obviously most of us will continue to miss the point….and the boat, …but a few will see the light…..and because of those few, it will ALL be well worthwhile..

    The PLAN is wukking Enuff 🙂 you can trust the bushman.

  58. @david
    That’s the least they could do for him “helping” them to simultaneously take down sandi, turn worker opinion and a 1994 victory. Fair is fair 🙂

  59. @Hants

    You are correct. So far nothing has happened to cause BU to change our election picks. People are just tired of the lack of vision and creativity being demonstrated by both parties. The Barrow model which was changed a little by Adams.

  60. Aside from the loss of the second BA flight, Virgin’s forward bookings for winter are not looking too good either. The outlook among other tour operators from Europe and the UK is not very promising either.

    It’s scary to see the tired, dead and dying tourism plant across Barbados. The question is whether we have passed the tipping point from which we might not be able to recover.

    Likewise for the international business sector.

    I have seen much criticism on this blog about the reliance on these sectors in the past, but I have not seen any credible alternatives put forward. Look at our circumstances and tell me what else we have or can do that would earn the foreign exchange to finance our lifestyle.

    The fact that a lot of our business is moving to St. Lucia suggests that we are doing something wrong. A big part of it is over-taxation, poor service, lack of value for money, governmental bureaucracy and a lack of leadership.

    At this point, I would not wish this economy on my worst enemy. So, I don’t know why Owen would want to be saddled with this basket case at this stage of his life. It would likely take much of the first term even to able to make a dent.

  61. The Rating agencies cite structural issues with the Barbados economy which affect our competitiveness. The BLP supporters on this blog mistakingly suggest that this must be blamed on those who assumed the reins of government in 2008 when our trading partners economies deterioated.
    That is a lie. The BLP rode the world global boom from 1994 when the foreign money was flowing. The sugar industry was not restructured, alternative energy was not addressed, the runaway cost of health care expenditure was not addressed, the size of the public sector was increased- These are the facts – Arthur dropped the ball – ask Clyde Mascoll.

    Privatization will not yield the returns at this stage because if you are selling your house and I know that you are desperate for money, I will hold out for the lowest possible price.
    No private sector entity will take up a public sector entity and keep the wage bill up. People will have to go home. Sinckler is exactly correct.
    The BLP wants people to believe that we can have our cake and eat it too.
    Only an ass cannot see that this is modern day corn beef politics – Why did Arthur not pursue a policy of privatization before when money was flowing?
    Because Arthur lacks vision, is motivated by power and is vastly overrated as an economist.
    The BLP needs to tell the truth and stop these pie in the sky promises which we all can see are just to try to fool people for votes.
    Bajans must reject this backward BLP proposals- Arthur clearly does not have any fresh,visionary ideas.

  62. Observing(…) | November 2, 2012 at 7:50 AM |

    That’s the least they could do for him “helping” them to simultaneously take down sandi, turn worker opinion and a 1994 victory. Fair is fair


  63. If you do not want to see the return of the most overated, vindictive, spiteful and corrupt politician in Barbados, let us come together and declare – “We do not want back Owen Arthur”.
    Arthur has nothing fresh, new or visionary to offer Barbados politics. He is trying to win an election by referring to a time of global boom when Barbados trading partners and our neighbours were growing.
    The world has changed since then and Arthur refuses to be honest with the people of Barbados. Instead , he is throwing “Pie In The Sky Promises” to catch gullible people. Independents will not be fooled as Arthur tries to insult teir intelligence.
    You will not improve Barbados economy by putting back a man who Clyde Mascoll said was a disaster as an economist.
    Back then , Mascoll was free to speak and not driven by the politics of revenge. We do not want back Owen Arthur.


    But if PM Stuart was on the ball…and called it round this time LAST YEAR…Carson would be sitting tight …and not on his rant……its called a strategic endowing…..”but a miss is as good as mile…and no need crying ova spilt milk”…..( I know who would have been on the ball hint Owen Messi)
    opportunity gone a begging Carson…

    • Didn’t Sandi lose a no confidence motion and following took the decision to get a mandate from the people?

      On 3 November 2012 13:09, Barbados Underground

  65. And what vision does the DLP has except of course blaming the last administration, seems we are in a very dire situation

  66. Dr worrell claims he is cutting the spending power of barbadians more or less, but who’s spending power, the middle, poor and underprivileged, cause the man at the top can afford these cuts.

    • In a ‘democratic system’ like ours there will always be groups at the two extremes of the society. It is a reality which to be managed.

      On 3 November 2012 13:14, Barbados Underground

  67. @ We do not want back Owen Arthur | November 3, 2012 at 6:55 AM

    Despite your arguments, the people of Barbados have already made up their minds to rid themselves of the current administration, and will continue to do so in increasing numbers.

    This is not about counting chickens before they have hatched, but more about a people being fed up with government inertia and incompetence resulting in a burden that is too heavy for the country to bear.

    It is also about trust. Owen may have his faults as all of us do, but, rightly or wrongly, people trust him to get the job done because of his experience.

    In criticising Mr. Arthur’s proposals, the Barbados Economic Society lacks credibility because of their prolonged period of silence in the face of the outrageous promises made by the DLP prior to the last election. They have also largely been silent as the economy has declined and people have suffered. They are viewed as a group of academics that lack the practical experience of managing a country and an economy and some of their criticisms seem to have a personal edge to them.

    As to be expected, there is a possible downside to the growth policies announced by Owen Arthur. In the initial stages, for example, there is likely to be considerable pressure on our foreign reserves. But people would rather take on those risks than keeping the status quo of negligible economic growth, skyrocketing prices, rapacious taxation, rapidly declining balance of payments with nothing to show and the overall dreary outlook that is being promoted as the only path forward.

    So unlike you, most people do want back Owen Arthur.

  68. When investors have confidence in an administration, forex will begin to flow again.Way back in the 70’s a landowner cum hospitality entrepreuner who happened to be a dem said, when the dems are in power,investors hold back.The same obtains now.If perchance the bees are returned,a new ball game starts and this economy will grow once again.Fact.

  69. Since the subject of Foreign Exchange always seem to rear its’ head on these blogs could someone analyse the following article published in the Nation on Sept. 27/2010?
    If the Governor of the Central Bank is a creature of the PM why didn’t Arthur exercise this authority by eliminating these controls during his years at the helm? What does “gradually phased controls down” mean? Can I take his comments to mean that Foreign Exchange Controls will be a thing of the past if he gets another mandate?

    MON, SEPTEMBER 27, 2010 – 12:00 PM
    THE CENTRAL BANK OF BARBADOS should start getting rid of the island’s foreign exchange controls – and stop being so dogmatic.
    These suggestions have come from former Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Owen Arthur.
    Arthur told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY that the bank seemed to be holding on to the controls because of the thinking that they protected the exchange rate.
    “I lived in Jamaica in the 1970s and [former prime minister Michael] Manley had exchange controls, but if you increase your deficits at an alarming rate and print money to finance them, there are no exchange controls that can help you,” he argued.
    Exchange controls
    “But what has been our reality? Every major new sector in Barbados that has been created has required the removal of exchange controls for their creation.”
    “In order to get new investments here, you have to remove them, so you may just as well remove them.”
    Arthur made the point that “having exchange controls would not help you maintain your exchange rate if you do other foolish things with the macroeconomy”.
    The way he saw it, “the key is not to have these massive deficits that you finance by printing money”.
    Arthur made the comments after addressing and fielding questions from members of the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) at The Savannah Hotel on Tuesday.
    He complained that the Central Bank had been “asserting itself too dogmatically” in the country’s business and financial affairs.
    He said that the thinking of the Central Bank needed to relate to 21st century challenges.
    “In England, at the time of the war with Napoleon, they had a post called the bell-ringer,” he recalled. “A man was to stand on the Cliffs of Dover and ring a bell if Napoleon’s army approached.
    “That post was abolished in 1945 and the point which I am making is this: that bureaucracies develop and they hold on to purposes long after any justification exists for their survival.”

    Arthur went on: “The Exchange Control Act says that the Minister of Finance is the exchange control authority but he devolves responsibility to the Central Bank.
    “So the Central Bank has created a bureaucracy to deal with the devolved authority long after any justification for it exists.
    “All of our major investments require the removal of exchange controls, so we may just as well remove them in the law.”
    Arthur, who was minister of finance from 1994 to 2008, said his government had “gradually phased [controls] down”.
    “Apart from Belize, we are the only entity in the Caribbean that has maintained exchange controls,” he complained. (TY)

  70. @Gabriel Tackle

    “Way back in the 70′s a landowner cum hospitality entrepreuner who happened to be a dem said, when the dems are in power,investors hold back.”

    Now i know the source of the mantra that I hear from all the DEMs’ supporters. I call it a “political dog whistle” because it really seems to get them going when no one else can grasp what they understand by it.

    But they have the logic backwards. I have had to point out to these fellow citizens that people invest when they have confidence that their investments will be successful. No businessman would hold back investments in order to be spiteful, because quite simply his interest is his pocket. Why would anyone jeopardize his or her own economic interests?

    If people do not invest when the DEMS are in power, it is because they are not managing the economy well. Full stop, end of story.

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