Notes From a Native Son: What Lessons Barbados Can Learn from the Cyprus Debacle

Hal Austin

Hal Austin

As the dark clouds gather over Cyprus, the mini-state which accounts for 0.2 per cent of the eurozone, but which looks as if it is going to unleash the greatest financial bombshell to hit the euro-member states in its history. Cyprus is a classic example of a small island economy trying to punch above its weight (many of us may remember Iceland and even Ireland, part of a small island, as other examples) and which eventually stepped on a financial banana skin.

Basically, ignoring for the time being the German bullying of Southern European states, allowing a single product or service to dominate an economy is highly risky which is more so if those  responsible for monetary policy do not put aside something in the good times for the inevitable rainy days. In the case of Cyprus, the central bank authorities and politicians clearly thought that being an offshore financial centre was enough to build its citizens prosperity. However, offshore banking is not a development model, but rather a quick and easy way of making money with eyes half opened.

For good examples of this, just take a close look at Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar and a number of American states. Given this, it was clear, even to Cypriot banking officials, that the 20000 wealthy Russians who chose to settle in the small, troubled Mediterranean island and bring with them Euros20bn, were not there for the weather. Neither are the Lebanese, Israelis, and numerous Northern European expatriates.

Similarly, in much the same way, account holders using HSBC’s various Latin American branches to deposit millions of dollars in savings were not using the bank because of the sophisticated culture of its Britishness.
In both cases they were using the system because of the ease of laundering money, a fact admitted by HSBC when it agreed to pay the US authorities million in punitive fines.

Equally, in Barbados we have financial regulators and criminal justice authorities who sit idly by and allow banks and shadow banks to fund, or administer funds for some of the most dishonest characters to buy over-valued property for multi-million dollars on the rather dubious grounds that they love the sea and sun. This, I suggest, is an area of business crying out for greater scrutiny from the authorities – regulatory and criminal.

The Cypriot authorities had allowed the Russian oligarchs to colonise Limasol to the extent that it was known as little Moscow. For Limasol, read the West Coast. Russians began to see Cyprus so much as its offshore haven, that traffic, private and official, between the two capitals had become routine. On the other hand, oiled by this largesse, Cypriot banks over-extended themselves with investments in Greek banks, even at the height of the Greek banking tragedy. It was a system waiting for a hard fall.

For all this shadows can be seen in the Barbados economy: an over-dependence on tourism, no Plan B if tourism ran in to trouble, as it has; the best residential areas in the country have been colonised by foreigners in the vain hope that they will make a major contribution to the nation’s economy, which they do not; and banking regulators and ministry of finance officials, so addicted to the false god of foreign reserves, that instead of seeing people with all their vulnerabilities, all they see is foreign earnings.

To some observers, the central bank’s financial stability risk assessment should include a countercyclical capital buffer, sector-specific capital requirements, structure-specific capital requirements (ie branches of overseas banks should be required to have a higher capital placement with the central bank than a subsidiary, which should be regulated as a Barbados-domiciled bank).

The Cyprus Lesson:
Banks have business models which are unlike normal non-financial enterprises in that their assets are far smaller than their liabilities. At the height of the 2002-2007 global excesses, some banks had assets of as low as six per cent of their liabilities, whereas for most non-financial enterprises the average is about 30 per cent assets to liabilities, or even higher.

However, banks take a risk that all (or the majority) of depositors will not demand their savings at the same time, leading to a run on the bank, as happened to Northern Rock and at various times in Argentina, and which is threatened to happen in Cyprus until the government ordered the banks closed for a ten-day period for fear of such a run. It is also pertinent to remind people that at the time of the collapse of Lehman Brothers the giant US bank wholesale bank had assets of US$600bn – more than the GDP of many middle market developing nations, but had massive counterparty liabilities. The basic lesson, for Lehman Brothers as for small family-run businesses, is that cash is king, cash flow is vitally important for many business.

With retail banks the burden of risk should fall rightly on shareholders, the owners of bonds and even the wealthy savers and investors; but, even if a formal deposit insurance scheme is not in place, it is still implied that small savers’ money would be protected. The prevention of bank runs is a fundamental strategy in stabilising the economy, as Douglas Diamond and Philip Dybvig have reminded us (“Bank runs, deposit insurance and liquidity, Journal of Political Economy, 1993). That is a further burden on the public sector balance sheet.

The Cyprus government, under pressure from the European Central Bank, the IMF and the European Commission, the so-called Troika, acting as collectively as agents for Germany, tried to reduce this level of protection to Cypriot depositors with savings of Euro100000 or more, a relatively modest amount, with an average eight per cent haircut. In principle, there is nothing wrong with a government imposing a one-off levy on the wealthy. After all, they too must carry some of the load. Many believed, however, that the real target was the group of super-rich Russians and their Euro20bn savings, which infuriated the Kremlin. The Kremlin believed the Germans were unfairly targeting the Russians, using the ECB as an agent.

The threat to Barbados is not the imposition of such a haircut, since Barbados is not a member of any monetary union and its central bank is independent. The real threat however, apart from a paucity of ideas, comes from the shadowy figures of hedge fund and private equity players who stalk the corridors of international lenders looking for rogue sovereign debt to buy At knock-down prices, then to sue the troubled states in US or European courts, as the Argentinians have found out to their cost.

As the Cyprus government has found out, hiding under the umbrella of a super-state is no option when the guns are trained on the way these small states are managed. Banks are not just any business that can easily be made bankrupt. They are different, they provide a public function through their payments systems, allowing salaries to be paid direct in to accounts, they pay utility bills and standing and direct orders and they provide other essential services to business and the public sector.

Analysis and Conclusion:
The basic lessons for micro and medium states remain prudent management of the macro-economy. Despite regular rhetorical references to economic growth, there is no clear easy path to achieving long-term growth, increased competitiveness or job creation, unless they first start with improving public sector efficiency. To do this, governments, whether Cyprus or Barbados, must implement radical structural reforms, including new policies on labour flexibility, which so far key spokespeople have resisted implementing. However, despite the background noise, there is a risk of over-exaggerating the banking problems in Cyprus and their impact on the global economy, and similar small island states. As Jim O’Neill of Goldman Sachs has reminded us, China produces an economy the size of Cyprus (in GDP terms) every week.

The Cypriot problem will eventually be resolved by the European Central Bank, but for those of us in Barbados, there is no magical solution. Barbados has not got the sophisticated financial architecture to play a central role in the global, or regional, economy. This remains the case even though politicians and policymakers have reached a consensus that our fractured economy should be involved in offshore banking and shadow banking centre. Objectively, this is over ambitious. Capital flight is now the big risk, and as I write this Cypriots are no doubt rushing to their banks to withdraw what little they have saved to hide it away under their beds. They no doubt will reason that what purchasing power they lose in an inflationary environment would be better than an eight per cent levy, even if (for now) it is a one-off.

119 thoughts on “Notes From a Native Son: What Lessons Barbados Can Learn from the Cyprus Debacle

  1. Well Hal,
    I have to hand it to you, very insightful as usual.
    The European project’s goal was to bring all parts of the continent up to a level that would deter the thoughts of wars against neighbours.

    Hence poor states such as Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Ireland saw large improvements in the prosperity of their people not by being drastically more productive but by given a clean license to borrow.

    I was very surprised when Cyprus joined the EU as they were very independent in nature despite the two factions, one wanting Enosis (Union with Greece) and the the other wanting to stay independent and seemingly winning the argument.

    Though they seem to court disaster, they are a resilient people and I expect they’ll survive the current difficulty.

    In the mid 1960’s the Greek Cypriots were virtually at war with the Turkish Cypriots which eventually led to partition of the Island, but that seemed to have made them prosper after the upheaval and massive displacement of citizens – no refugee camps and they settled down to living. All kinds of impressive improvements took place way ahead of the Russians arriving and before they joined the EU – Up to the 1960’sthe journey between Limassol and Nicosia that used to take us 4 1/2 hours along winding roads built by the British – really the traditional British way of building roads along tracks made by animals and humans on foot – now only took 1/2 hour.

    The closing on the banks is a path they have travelled before and came out the other side.
    Mindful of that, in 1968 when the situation looked shaky and after a night of heavy machine gun battles in Limasol, with my good lady and I sleeping on the bathroom floor, I hastily went into Limassol and had my money transferred to my almost empty UK account just in case.

    For most of their time as an independent nation they had been very conscious and sensitive about money movements, allowing only Cyprus £84 in cash to be taken out of the country and Cyprus £10,000 maximum to be transferred.

    Still, I enjoyed my 3 years there and my many visits since and that won’t change.

    Back to Barbados, IMHO governments have been very short sighted or may be blind so they have no long term goals. May be that’s a national affliction.
    In the late 1950’s and 1960’s there was the emigration route to prosperity followed by the significant contribution to the economy by returnees.
    What’s their plan NOW and for the future? Forget Chris Sinkler’s pipe dreams of reparations – Massa Britain is broke! and still borrowing like there is no end while schools, hospitals and everything else seems to be on a closure list whilst large numbers of people have to choose between heat and eat. Taxes and the cost of living are 2 runaway trains.

  2. @ Hal Austin

    What a monument to incoherence. You always seem to represent a misguidance that is imminently representative of the so-called mainstream media.Your articles, taken in totality, always mange to give a pass to the establishment. The rulers of the universe. Give the benefit of doubt to your basis conservative stream. You do this by blaming marginal actors for conditions created by your masters. You do this by lionizing people like Mia Mottley while giving unreasonable prescriptions to a weaken Barbados government. You have still not come to the realization that everything you are, everything you know, everything you represent must be brought into question. Everything thought to you by your masters. You continue to fail in recognizing that NO ONE can fix western capitalism or save it from a catalytic collapse. However, there maybe a small chance if the critical conversation started by Karl Marx about the internal contradictions of capitalism is engaged by westerners. A conversation that has been avoided by those in the west for decades. It is this conversation which is the only point of departure from the possible avoidance of the specter of dystopia that your ilk have delivered to us all.

  3. “Forget Cyprus, will the UK be next?”

    There is high probability the contagion could spread to the UK since it relies heavily on financial services for its sources of income. But France seems the more likely next candidate and then it would certainly spread across the Channel or La Manche.

    It’s a pity the both France and Britain ran away so hastily from their colonies in Africa during the last Century. The Chinese are having a field day having access to cheap resources and burgeoning markets for the export of consumer goods and weapons to Africa.
    One is left to wonder who are the biggest capitalists in the world today.
    BAF, who would you award this title to?

  4. As I am a member of this organization I can only give a few excerpts of discussions on the following discussions just held in Canada…………………the link directly below will help answer some of David’s questions, and be an eye opener for those who maybe unaware.

    • Explore how Ontario, with a population a fraction of the size of California’s, is carrying a debt load almost two thirds larger

    • Learn about how Ontario has the same debt load as Greece in 1984 and is on track to hit 66 per cent of GDP in seven years, three years sooner than it took Greece to hit the same level

    • Learn what steps the provincial government could take if it wants to get its debt under control.

  5. It is my hope that the government currently raping the NIS funds and thinking it will last indefinitely come to realize that countries who trade in the trillions of dollars have clearly seen where in the next seven years they too are in danger of experiencing a Greece/Cyprus scenario, and we can note that these are not tourist dependent countries but metropolises.

  6. Since when Barbados had an Offshore Sector to the magnitutde and MIX of Cyprus? Seems to me that poor little island in all desperation to attract wealthy Neputunes…..solicited the wrong Czars and is suffering now the fallout of a mastermind powerplay to descale the Popov’s and the Urenikie’s…..Have no fear Hal… lil Bubbadoes ent got none a them…nor nuttin like oil or diamonds to attract the attention and burlesque of the world’s Big Sharks

    • @Onions

      What Barbados has is a heavy concentration of Canadian offshore deposits which is now under heavy threat. In other words swap Russia for Canada in the case of Barbados. Go further, listen to the rumblings coming out of Canada of late about the scourge of no tax or low tax jurisdictions like Barbados.

    • @Hal

      Please define assets in the context you have used it below:

      Banks have business models which are unlike normal non-financial enterprises in that their assets are far smaller than their liabilities. At the height of the 2002-2007 global excesses, some banks had assets of as low as six per cent of their liabilities, whereas for most non-financial enterprises the average is about 30 per cent assets to liabilities, or even higher.

    • @Onions

      What Canada has is a rising protectionist sentiment which will lead to a choking of capital outflow, same result.

  7. What exactly is it that wunna people REALLY saying….?
    …that our asses are headed for the grasses?

    …Wuh dat is old news…..

  8. The more I hear from Dr. Delisle Worrell the more impressed I am with the man’s knowledge, sincerity and patriotism. Dr. Worrell is the most believable spokesperson in Barbados on economic affairs. Mascoll is unconvincing and hardly readable. Owen’s credibility has dropped to the point of irrelevancy. Estwick and Sinclker have not acheived Dr. Worrell’s standard. The UWI posse Howard, Straughan et al are confusing to say the least. Strugahn fails to convince. Apocalyptic worst case scenarios are his comfort zone. He sees no hope no matter what strategy is proposed. Howard’s terse sound bites simply puzzles.
    BU run a poll on the most believable public personalities in BIM. The Prime Minister has quickly risen in that category.

  9. @Hal Austin

    Gotta give Jack e jacket excellent article, one minor point the Banks in Barbados are in the main Canadian FI’s and the Banks in Canada have been designated “too big to fail” by the Ministry of Finance and have been ordered to increase their capital ratios .
    You don’t expect BAFBFP to recognize China as the new colonialist in Africa do you? From sugar plantations to mining for Coal, Copper and Rare Earth minerals. While China protects its Pandas, the Tanzanian Gov’t was planning to construct a road through the Serengeti ostensibly to link areas of the country but it is really to facilitate the quick movement of products for Chinese operations in the country.

  10. There are some rumblings, but first they gotta figure out how much money can be made and calculate if it’s profitable or if it would be another Iraq fiasco with devastating financial consequences.

  11. @ David

    These people are in so much trouble that ONLY war can save them. They expect that their debt can be cancelled out by war. They face three (3) fundamental crises or bubbles. There is a bubble of the US dollar as a result of war, the printing of 1 trillion dollars per year and the lack of demand for dollars by nations, especially the BRICS. There is a bubble in the bond market as seen in the high bond prices and concomitant low interest rates. There is a bubble in the stock market. Up to 80% of trades are done by computers. Only 20% of all trades initiated by natural persons. The algorithms are playing with one another. These three (3) represent the holy trinity that portend the passing of an age. Some say Armageddon! We say nuclear war. White people will never let global power be distributed to the majority of people of colour. The pressures for war are great, everywhere.

    • @Hants Here is an article compliments of Moneybrain. Sure he does not mean to scare you and the Canadian posse!

      Is Canada Proposing The Same ‘Bail-In’ Cyprus Just Used?

      The politicians of the western world are coming after your bank accounts. In fact, Cyprus-style “bail-ins” are actually proposed in the new Canadian government budget. When I first heard about this I was quite skeptical, so I went and looked it up for myself. And guess what? It is right there in black and white on pages 144 and 145 of “Economic Action Plan 2013” which the Harper government has already submitted to the House of Commons. What you are about to see absolutely amazed me when I first saw it. The Canadian government is actually proposing that what just happened in Cyprus should be used as a blueprint for future bank failures up in Canada. So if the banks take extreme risks with their money and lose, “certain bank liabilities” (i.e. deposits) will rapidly be converted into “regulatory capital” and the banks will be saved. In other words, the banks will just be allowed to grab money directly out of your bank accounts to recapitalize themselves. That may sound completely and utterly insane to us, but this is how things will now be done all over the western world.
      Continue reading…

  12. @David
    On another note, it the USA standing ready to express its war machinery by gorging on North Korea?
    Not under the current President, but stranger things have happened Kim may just go too far unless he is reined by the Chinese…..

  13. @ Pachamama
    “These people are in so much trouble that ONLY war can save them…..”
    Not only war…….but also natural calamity, major social unrest….any excuse that can be used …except the truth that the SYSTEM has failed.
    The world’s economy has been one big Ponzi scheme just like CLICO. …..and like CLICO, it has reach its inevitable point of collapse. The REAL leaders of this world all know this…. Just like ours KNOW that the CLICO policy holders are up the creek…. But continue to give false hopes….while hanging on for “something” to happen…

    In such circumstances,…. a ‘war’ would be very convenient.

  14. Yes Bushie, yuh right. It’s always best to see all the forces at work even when one concentrats on the particular.

  15. @ Just saying | March 29, 2013 at 10:08 AM |
    “The more I hear from Dr. Delisle Worrell the more impressed I am with the man’s knowledge, sincerity and patriotism. Dr. Worrell is the most believable spokesperson in Barbados on economic affairs”

    As said before the gods- of which you are certainly one- tend to put powerful fools on very high pedestals before removing them (both stool and fool, that is).

    When the same enigmatic Worrell of Dr. Faustus renown comes clean and back his Creator the MoF’s $600 million stimulus package and identify its sources of financing like a real, real banker of last resort to the government then we will listen to your refusal to tell the emperor he has no clothes on.

    We will also await his confirmation whether the soon-ending tourism winter season has been our salvation as projected by him in his last report. And if it was not, what now do we do? Go for a devaluation, but this time externally, since we are currently experiencing a serious downward internal adjustment to our currency’s spending power?
    It’s time for the Governor to come clean with the people of Bim and don’t lead them down a garden path to a landscape equivalent to mini Greece or Cyprus.

  16. How come the deep thinkers in the Eurozone seem to stumble from one crisis to another, if it is Monday there is another Economic/Monetary crisis waiting in the wings in some Euro country. Greece and Cyprus go hand in hand and they didn’t anticipate a problem in Cyprus ? Unless this is being stage managed by Germany to exercise its hegemony in Europe and show who is really boss.

  17. David wrote”listen to the rumblings coming out of Canada.”

    These are not rumblings. Unless the Government changes Canadian companies will have to move their money out of Barbados.

    This move by the Conservatives is about the next election and using former Liberal PM Paul Martin as an example of bad leadership.
    He and Canada Steamship Lines has been stuck in their anti tax haven craw for the last decade.

    I hope the Barbados government will at least remind Harper and Flaherty that Canadian banks have enjoyed decades of making profits in Barbados and the Caribbean.

    Then there is this and I am not sure why the Conservatives would do this since it is a very small amount of money.

  18. @Sargeant

    You may be on to something. The size of Cyprus makes it expendable(?).


    Canadian banks in Barbados making a lot of money – nothing last forever.

  19. Sargeant……………….the deep thinkers in the Eurozone and around the world has been making it up as they go along for nearly 2000 years, it has reached it’s conclusion. The earth’s resources can only stretch that far and no further, and the financial world cannot reign eternally, there is now a shift, the leaders are trying to stabilize that shift, they don’t yet know what the outcome will be.

  20. David I have always thought that the relationship between Canada and Barbados was very good.

    Even if the” low tax regime” ends I hope Canada will offer a “carrot” like better access for Barbados goods in Canadian markets.

  21. And close to home Grenada was downgraded to SD last week. The analysts have started to whisper that there is every possibility of contagion brought on by the systemic risk. It is all beginning to unravel, can we stem the tide? Hell we import everything.

  22. @Hants

    Why do you think the relationship between Barbados and Canada was good?

    Barbados has been the offshore jurisdiction where the most Canadian dollars can be found. If the Canadian government has come to the view that low tax jurisdiction have become a drag on their economy there is no more basis to nurture a friendship.

  23. @ David

    Retail banks are grossly undercapitalised, even under the Basel 111 rules to come in to force in 2019.
    As we have seen in the period leading up to 2007/8, banks prefer risk-weighted debt against increases in normal equity, which shareholders in ordinary non-financial businesses have to do -m an almost insignificant part of their balance sheet.
    You must not forget the tax advantage inherent in commercial debt, a taxpayer subsidy, and, further, the implicit underwriting of bank debt by taxpayers.
    Higher capital obligations on banks would reduce that social cost.
    Banks have also avoided increasing their loss absorbing debt in their structures.
    So, what we see under tier one capital is a capital ratio of about three to four per cent.
    We know that risk weighting analyses by banks have been corrupt in the past. As the world trundled towards crisis in the late 2000s, banks were still telling themselves that their risk perception and the management of that perception was correct. We now know better.
    The answer is simple: if shareholders in banks want to benefit from the profits, then they must take the hit when the bank is bordering on insolvency – not taxpayers.
    Banks are the only commercial businesses with this capital structure. It is plain wrong.

    • @Hal

      If what you are advocating were to occur many if not all of the international banks would pack their bags and leave because the cost of doing business in our small islands would probably not bring the ROI to make wanting to do business in the Caribbean attractive. The indigenous banks would have to fill the breach.

  24. @ David

    Not at all. What we would have is a more diverse banking sector, similar to, if not exactly like the Germans, who have a three pillar system – cooperative banks, local banks and universal banks.
    It is also implicit in the US Community Reinvestment Act, which compels a public service function on US banks.
    I do not have the figures, and our highly competent central bank does not have it on its website, but I will confidently say that our foreign-owned banks have a capitalisation far greater than the nation’s GDP. This is frightening territory.
    I suggest you read the IMF report on the Chicago plan for the 1930s.
    Finally, let me end on a point that is often ignored. Banks create broad money every time they lend a household or business money through their deposit accounts. The central bank creates narrow money.
    Despite what the governor of the central bank might have said previously, foreign-owned banks do not contribute as much to the local economy as our politicians and regulators may wish.
    By the way, Germany has 422 local banks and not a single one needed rescuing over the last five years.
    There must be a lesson there for us.


  25. @ Hal Austin

    I not going to read anymore. You started by repeating the the lies of the propagandists. Retail banks are NOT undercapitalised. Let’s take a simple situation, for the uninitiated. When a bank takes deposits of say 9 billion dollars, immediately their capital is registered at 90 billion, using fractional reserve concept. I don’t know why people steal or do any crime other than starting a bank, because the best way to rob a bank is to own one, smile! This is no joke. This has nothing to do with other multiplier models that bankers employ – like derivatives, for example. If we recall correctly you have previously presented yourself as a financial expert. Well, how come we have to be schooling you about these elementary matters? Because, media propaganda prevents you from thinking for yourself. The question is indeed not undercapitalisation but the wholesale transfer of public assets into private hands. Only a free mind is allowed to come to this conclusion. A conclusion that defies the popular propaganda narrative as given you by the BBC, Financial Times etc.

  26. Thanks Hal, will research this matter although one gets the impression that our market is so close and small to support such diverse banking structures. The ability to absorb market fluctuations etc.

  27. While it is fashionable to believe that there is a level playing, the unrelenting truth, is that all the economies in the Caribbean, were structured on the slavery/plantocracy, then retail. Many of the theories put forward bear no real relevance to our unique economies. In short, we are mere spectators in this game until we come up with our own models of development. We have not had one major export since sugar during slavery We are consumption economies and therefore trade imbalances will always be our plight until we can feed ourselves and turn this region into a relevant economic source for our peoples. For example, if the recent dump fire in St.Thomas had turned into a major environmental disaster, our economy dependent on tourism would, have suddenly crashed ! We can look and pontificate on all the models in the world, it would have not saved us from economic ruin. The pseudo-intellectuals like to hear the sound of their own voices but they are not offering one new idea or creative thought to the process of development. We are now into almost senseless regurgitation.

  28. David wrote “Why do you think the relationship between Barbados and Canada was good?”

    The Canada Barbados low tax regime was considered to be a great idea by former liberal Prime minister Paul Martin. He even registered his own company in Barbados.

    The Conservatives did not object to it probably because a lot of their supporters had money parked in Barbados.
    Our banking system was dominated by Canada long before there was “low tax”.
    The good relationship between Canada and Barbados was well established.

    All I am saying is that there should be a negotiated strategy to replace the low tax situation.

  29. David thatks to you and Moneybrain for the warning although I don’t have enough to worry about.

    Except for Barbados/Utopia, every country in the Western world is in damage control mode.

    Ordinary people living in Canada are beginning to get really concerned about the future.There are a lot of people working in low skilled jobs for minimum wage + 50cents per hour.

    • @Hants

      We are living in dangerous times yet the majority of our people, including our leaders are clueless.

  30. @David 6.16pm Mar 29.
    You have said it,the full unvarnished truth.Neither the majority of bajan people nor our leaders so called, have a clue what a mess we are already in and not a clue how to get out of it.Can you imagine a Minister Boyce saying we have no debt crisis!!What a jackass comment.

  31. @Alvin’Boots’Cummins
    Hants wrote minimum + 50cents an hour.As usual you have on your DLP blinkers…so you would not have seen the + sign

  32. nuff respect Gabriel Tackle. At least you took the time to read what I wrote.

    @Alvin Cummins. I do not at anytime attempt to mislead anyone on BU. I may disagree with people but I will not attempt to mislead anyone.
    Tobesides we have Bushie who knows everything and he would not let me get away with misleading people.

  33. Miller

    Capitalists do NOT drape themselves in flags, but they get those who do to fight their battles for them. I am with Pacha on this.

  34. Hal Austin

    If you are no expert why the hell do you see the need to break wind every flippin’ week with a tenor that suggests that you’re an authority …

  35. @BAFBFP

    Whatever the legitimacy of the Marxian analysis of capitalism, we have to live in the real world. Even the Chinese realise this. There is a third way between market capitalism and state control, which is often abused (see Barbadian civil servants).
    The reality is that we have never had a development model in Barbados – or indeed the English-speaking Caribbean – even though we produced Sir Arthur Lewis, one of the founding fathers of development economics.
    First, we must have a proper public conversation, involving those highly paid policymakers and academics, and politicians must stop pretending they know it all.


  36. Well Well

    Passed Baobab Towers (built with NIS funds) and saw a 100% occupied public service building. How the hell are NIS contributors going to get a return on the investment when public servants are enjoying the luxury of the super modern office facilities and NOT private “paying” tenants? This of not the first time that this has happened of course.

  37. @ Hal Austin

    The higher the monkey goes, the more he shows ‘he’ tail. This writer is not necessarily suggesting a Marxist economic model. In fact, we would suggest that we go beyond Marxism and to a society where work, rewards and power are equitably shared. Beyond Marxism. Something like the credit union model but with liquid structures. Nobody staying in any one job for more than 2 or 3 months and popular committee instead of a focillised control mechanism. But we, in the West, cannot get there until we revisit the trenchant arguments against capitalism that were made by Marx. A conversation we have never really had. After all Keynes’ contribution to capitalism, even that of Arthur Lewis, were partially based on the thinking of Marx.

  38. @ Hal Austin

    While you are wedded to a hierarchical society, we would like to see a society were these artificial divisions are non-existent. Where someone could be a politician today and tomorrow he/she is helping to do less empowering work too, like being the garbage man. Or helping drive a bus or something. Why are a few people to be assigned all the empowering work all the time and others given all the disempowering work all the time? We have never been able to determine the difference in cerebral potential of people. Why should some people have too much work and others remain unemployed? We say all work should be shared. Why should top executives be paid a thousand times the earnings of the average worker? It it possible for that executive to make 1000 times the average contribution, all the time? And rewards, Marx’s criticisms of capitalism centered, amongst other things. on the mal-distribution of rewards. More specifically, that workers were not paid what they are worth and that the ‘extra’ when to shareholders, other stakeholders. Let us first revisit Marx, not to be Marxist, but to find a better way forward.

  39. Sargeant | March 29, 2013 at 2:01 PM |
    How come the deep thinkers in the Eurozone seem to stumble from one crisis to another, if it is Monday there is another Economic/Monetary crisis waiting in the wings in some Euro country. Greece and Cyprus go hand in hand and they didn’t anticipate a problem in Cyprus ? Unless this is being stage managed by Germany to exercise its hegemony in Europe and show who is really boss.

    It has been called by many names..New World Economic Order., Europe United…Last Roman Empire…One World Government….the resultant of the creation of world chaos…. then the emergence of The Leviathan….(not Bushie’s BBE)…wait you guys dont read the New King James Version? …Time you did…

  40. @ Hal Austin

    You talk about the ‘real world’. The real world it the one you masters have created. It look where it has landed us. But you are so misguided you will never see the end of capitalism. Even on its death bed you will still be trying to breathe life into it. And yet you are the first to be critical of those who would like to theorize alternative organizational models. What you call ‘democracy’ came from place not much bigger that Barbados and had a smaller population. Why can’t Barbados seek to imposed an model of governance on the rest of the world? But knowing you this would make this writer uppity or out of place for only white people, in your mind, are to determine these matters.

    Everywhere white people have gone they have destroyed indigenous peoples; polluted the sea, air and land; genetic pollution; introduced more and more deadly weapons of war; increased greed; introduced unsustainable economic systems; heated up the planet; introduced racism; melted the the polar caps; destroyed hundreds of thousands of life forms; and more. You and them have little to be praise for. For this represent the dystopia that you have created.

  41. Baf……………..I am so exhausted from trying to make some understand what is really happening in the world (most of you have been at it longer on this blog, so I truly understand how you must feel) that now we are getting the information of the reality to come in color format and not only black and white ink, maybe the leaders will start to understand the significance of the dangers ahead, maybe.

  42. corruption and greedy govts like cyprus would always come crumbling down. the cyprus govt thought nothing about laws and the transaction of money filtered into that economy by corrupt russian corporations seeking tax havens which help to build cyprus economy the bubble has burst and the their economy would tumble ,meanwhile those corporations would seek out another taxhaven to filter their millions . can it happen in barbados only if we in our haste to build the economy use greed and corruption to be the building blocks,

  43. AC………..understand this, the Barbados governments has for some years now been solely dependent on tax evaders, Barbados is a tax haven, using double taxation treaties just like Cyprus et al, they have been displaying just as much greed, why do you think the economy is in such dire straits like everywhere else, all their eggs have been in the offshore sector basket, as well as the tourism basket, greed and corruption were already the building blocks of both DLP/BLP. You need to start preparing your box of tissues, yes, it’s that bad.

    • @Pacha

      Your coop model has been championed on BU by Bush Tea for many years but hear this: it will only be given a semblance of thought when the traditional system collapses. There are all those affinities which are bred and rooted in the exisiting system which unplugging from is not as easy as you are making out.

  44. And here I was thinking that color illustrations would have been of some help in getting some folks to recognize the problems Bim will face going forward. Guess the only color some are capable of seeing are party colors.

  45. old onion bags | March 30, 2013 at 6:37 AM |
    ..the resultant of the creation of world chaos…. then the emergence of The Leviathan….(not Bushie’s BBE)…wait you guys dont read the New King James Version? …Time you did…

    Rev 13 : 1- 4 KJV
    And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his head blasphemy.
    2. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were as of feet of a bear and his mouth as the mouth of a lion : and the dragon gave HIM HIS GREAT POWER, and his SEAT and great authority.
    3.And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly waound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
    4. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying :Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
    …….verse 5 …even more interesting…
    5.And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

    A parallel read Daniel Chp.7 verse 1 – 28…about this infamous rising beast…He told this to Belshazzar as the interpetation of his uneasy dream many many yrs ago….

  46. What the hell Onions!!! Respect dread….
    You does read those type of things…? 🙂

    @ David
    “… will only be given a semblance of thought when the traditional system collapses.”
    …that will be too late.

    Now perhaps you will understand that ONLY someone with the tenacity, balls and experience at being a REBEL like Caswell could pull off such a coup proactively.
    With all his faults, (perhaps BECAUSE OF all his faults) Caswell is a special gift to Barbados , but it takes a level of wisdom and understanding to appreciate that fact that even Caswell does not have.

    It is a bit late now, but perhaps still worth a shot….

  47. @ Bushie……( you got jokes )

    If Lex protege’ duz read?…….books all bout in hay live vines climbing to D roof outback man…Cawmere days din dun wid C .Pilgrim’s Progress…Boss ah only wish summa DEM in now in dey, dey won mekk sa many mistakes ….if only sum would follow suit….unna duz hear the miller?… he at home readin now….man isa boss…unna see Check-it…D same….if waana wanta learn sumthin…read…and not just sponge bob doa…lol

  48. @ David

    The co-op model has been corrupted and has regressed over the years. As a result its development was not unlike capitalism. We are saying that both capitalism and Marxism have failed and we are to go beyond them. Beyond traditional co-operative practices. Our point is that we cannot wait for the final collaspe of capitalism to start a conversation about how we govern ourselves. We have to have plans right now to implement when the time comes. When we create the circumstances for their implementation. This has always been a big problem for Barbados. Barbados does not know how to develop plans in case a range of scenarios come about. For example, Barbados cannot even think about developing a strtegic plan that assumes the US dollar loses its reserve status, or in case sea level rises by 3 to 5 feets wiping out the tourism infrastructure. The national ethos informs us that we should wait on somebody else to make plans for us or that god is a Bajan so all will be well.

  49. The latest ramifications of this thread ‘Onions’ quoting the Bible, this is where he and Miller part ways; ”Pachamama” promoting a Governmental/societal change hitherto unknown/untried in recorded history dare I say –Utopian-; then “‘David” actually pretending to understand the BS that Bushie is disseminating the majority of which lesser unread mortals like me can’t fathom.

    It’s a beautiful day.

  50. @ Sarge
    You can’t talk Comando Zero…… see the miller..cuz we dont always see to d meniscus level….no need for ur oyez

  51. @ Pacha

    Stop being silly and juvenile and grow up. If you are having a debate, then let us do so with ideas, not silly personal attacks. If you do not lie our social order, and you have a right not to agree, then for the sake of a quality debate then tell us what you want, what is your vision for Barbados.
    Stop playing the man and not the ball. I know it is a Bajan disease – just look at Governor de Lisle Worrell, always telling us what he does not like and what would not work, but never what he prefers and what would work.
    The other silly Bajanisms are: do you have a PhD in the subject? If the answer is no, then you do not know what you are talking about. Or, which party do you support?
    There are other civilised ways of debating without getting personal or party political.

  52. The bilateral tax treaty negotiated with Canada in particular has been a political-football for the government of that country. The treaty was made to allow the profits for IBCs and offshore banking companies to be repatriated to Canada tax-free after paying taxes in Barbados.

    The aim was mainly for companies like the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), and Scotiabank, which (along with Barclays of the United Kingdom), when-combined control a healthy majority of Barbados’ local Commercial Banking sector. In essence the treaty makes the economy of Barbados almost an unofficial part of the Canadian economy.

    It was aimed at allowing Canadian companies to extract profits back to Canada more easily.

    During the Canadian national elections of 2003 and 2006, it was cited that the former Minister of Finance and later Prime Minister Paul Martin had international shipping companies that operated in Barbados’ offshore sector under the bilateral treaty possibly saving his company from higher taxes in Canada.

  53. Because he was economically savvy. It will not work in Canada’s favor anymore given the financial turmoil starting to roll around.

  54. @ Hal Austin

    You have never made contact with our proposal for a participatory society. That is the idea we have put on the table. We guess that any serious, grown up idea must be located within the bounds acceptable to your masters. Under that scenario you want to continue seeing Barbados as a small, helpless, dependent country, no? We do not intend to add one ounce of concrete to prop up a dying system. Or like you, forever tinker with it. We have called for radical transformation. A transformation that will eliminate your conception of normalcy and the existence of your masters. Capitalism has wrecked havoc everywhere and yet the mindless will provide it with a head, a mouth and walk and breathe for it. Your thinking represents the eternal fear of most black people. A fear of cutting the master’s apron string. Be a real man. There is no need to forever parrot the thinking of massa. Let us go beyond that and create the world you want.

    We noticed that while you asked for a genuine debate, on one hand, you found time to join a line of ill-wishers who like to be overly critical of Delisle Worrell, on the other. In a place where in-breeding is rife. A place that creates good christian ‘boys’ like you. Boys who love queen and pound. Boys thought to serve massa exclusively. Delisle Worrrel in some ways better represent the average good Bajan than most. No such critique of OSA – a man who brought a perverse form of capitalism to Barbados by among other things comodifying land. In any event the real reason for present circumstances go beyond Worrell, or Arthur, or anybody else in Barbados. There is where you gun should be pointed not engage in a critique of Worrell that is primarily partisan- political. This crassness cannot best be located in a mind that seek enduring solutions to our problems. You have no distinctive voice of your own. Some say a parrot we say a guard dog. A dog that barks when told to.

  55. @ Pacha

    i am not sure what you mean by a participatory society. I am in favour of democratising our society to the lowest level, where the decision have their greatest impact.
    And, I also favour the restructuring of parilament, both the Senate and House of Assembly, to give voters thre right of recall, the freezing of salaries for the duration of this parliament and thd equalising of parliamentary salaries with the Barbadian average in future.
    I believe in the hypothecating of taxation, so that taxpayers know how their money is being spent; I believe honorary official and parliamentarians should not have defined benefit pensions for serving the people, but instead should be given a resettlement grant, of no more than six months’ pay.
    I believe that Senators should be appointed by the Privy Council for a fixed term of seven months and that should be a one-off appointment. The Senate should also be mandated to review parliamentary proposals with an expertise we do not have in the lower house.
    I believe the age of majority should sbe 16 – given that it was in 1963 we reduced it from 21 to the preent 18.
    I believe that we should reorganise the police, desolve the Defence Force and strengthen the Coastguard.
    I believe that we should reform the civii; service, make teaching a post-graduate profession, gradually increase the education budget to 15 per cent of GDP.
    i also believe that the people should have a right in deciding the kind of society they want, not that dreamed up by dreamers.
    The mission of politics, of post-independence politics in particular, was to increase the lifestyles of ordinary Barbadians.
    At this simple mission we have failed.
    By the way, I am not a Marxist because when Marx’s daughter Laura linked up with the mixed race Cuban Lefargue Marx’s behaviour was frankly racist.
    Read the historty of the Comintern and that of George Padmore, the dynamic Trinidadian-Barbadian who live and worked in Moscow with the Comintern.
    In that he has behave like most Marxists. Check out the history of the Patrice Lumumba university in Moscow and how black people got on there before the Iron Curtains came down; even in China, with its own brand of Marxism, talk to black people who have visited or lived there.
    We need a better society in Barbados, that should keep us all busy.

  56. @ Hal Austin

    Everything you say is still located within the existing paradigm. It is all TINKERING – nothing more. You are trying to make the system better. We are about its total destruction. How much clearer can we be. We can’t tell why your brain can only think that if someone is not a capitalist he/she must be a Marxist, Leninist, Maoist or somewhere in between. Some gradation of socialism. WE ARE SAYING THAT THIS WHOLE ARTIFICIAL CONSTRUCTION IS ANACHRONISTIC. We have to go beyond all of these because they have all failed or are failing.

    You say that people should be able to create the society they want but this has never happen on this earth. The so-called democracy was to deliver that but we ended up with sleek con men like Bernays and Lippmann that were able to engineer consent to do things anathema to public interests. We do not believe that any semblance of imperialism should exist anywhere. So for us the Parliament, Senate and all other manifestation should be erased from the landscape. This is the change we seek.

  57. The russian investors/are the kinds that Miller and onions find appealing. the kinds that offer a “quick fix “for an ailing economy and when hell break loose they leave the govt to fend for itself.

  58. @ Pacha

    Do you want anarchy? Or simply know what you do not want, but not what you want? I am familiar with the tendency to knock down ideas, but an inability to put forward alternatives.
    Tell what what kind of society you will like to see, if none of the existing paradigms, then what? Or is it so secret you cannot debate it?
    Tell us what is this unique way of social organisation that you and your mates have in your heads but are unable to articulate.

  59. Let us say this one more time, permit us to be brief. We have championed the idea of a participatory society, as an alternative. A participatory society, at its centre, calls for the equitable distribution of work, power and rewards. This means an equitable distribution of production, the sharing of power and rewards. We are seeking to constrain or defuse the undue influence of capital. We gave some examples in earlier posts.

  60. @ Paca

    Pachamama you are still incoherent and illogical. What kind of participatory society do you want? A participatory democracy? One on the basic principles of the Paris Commune? Of course, your participatory society will be historically unique, so do explain exactly what you are aiming for.
    One that calls for an equitable distribution of production, the sharing of power and rewards.
    What is the best way of organising such a society? The sharing of power? And rewards?
    Are we going to have workers’ collectives to distribute the means of production? Who is going to decide who are the carpenters, masons, economists, journalists, teachers?
    How are we going to organise power? Through workers’ collectives? Or village communes? Or are we going to redefine the concept of power?
    How are we going to resolve differences of opinion? By votes, or talking until we convince each other?
    What are going to be the rewards for our labour? Money, property, titles, community receptions?
    Pachamama understandably you are unhappy with the chaotic nature of political and social organisation in Barbados, but you have not worked out exactly what kind of society you want in a practical way. Have you though t of the conservative nature of Barbadian society? Do you think they will march behind you?
    Pacha, I was born and reaised in Barbados, I remember it from even before the DLP was created and visit two or three times a year. I can tell you now that there will be no social revolution in Barbados.
    But I still want to learn from you. You may be the next great social theorist.

    • @Hal

      Thanks, BU has been having this ongoing debate with Pacha and Bushie for a while. They want to dismantle as oppose to improve on. It cannot happen unless there is anarchy read rubble. We all understand where they are both coming from but the quantum leap required to get there will only occur if there is some catastrophic experience. Until it occurs it will remain an esoteric debate in the virtual space because no one s having it ship side. Yes all will whisper behind closed doors that the current system is spent, hell even the billionaires like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet say so but until the obvious occurs all will remain in the comfort zone in which they have been socialized.

    • @ David

      It is the kind of politics you get in students unions. I spent my formative years as a member of the National Union of Students, during the years when students used to occupy university offices, march on the US embassy and general indulge in agit prop. But we grow up.
      The great author of those days still shaped my world view. Marcuse, Frantz Fanon, Sartre, Cesaire, et al.
      But I also know that for a micro society like Barbados to move on we cannot indulge in what European or North American students do.
      In fact, Barbadian students are some of the most conservative I have eve seen.
      I want change in Barbados too, but something that is achievable, practical and in the interest of ordinary people.

  61. @ Hal Austin

    We don’t pretend that we have answered all the questions. But we can at least agree on one thing you said about transforming Barbados even though our aims do not consider Barbados alone. We are in many places but Barbados is not one. While Barbados will NEVER accept radical transformation we think it can be ‘adopted’ in many places if a critical mass within the international governing system accepts the need for a new system. That is our target. You can see the BRICS country are trying to forge a different path, no?

    • @Sarge

      One should never be dismissive of ideas just because you don’t agree. Some of the greatest experiences the world has witnessed started because of an idea which only the person who conceived it believed at the time.

  62. @ David

    Your are wrong. For example, we toured a company in Spain recently. A company called Mondragon. An international company that employs nearly 100,000 people that runs on participatory ideas. We can go and on. David one night you when to sleep and wake up next morning to find Communism gone the way of the dodo birds. Why do you seem to find it impossible, after all that is happening, for capitalism to cease to exist?

  63. @ Pachamama

    Are you now championing the Brics? Brazil, do the workers share in that prosperity? Brazil has the biggest population of black people in the world outside Africa, they are not even second class citizens? Is that what you want? A nation ridden with militarism?
    Russia, the nation that gave birth to gangster capitalism? India, the most corrupt, evil so-called democracy in the world? China, still controlled by the communist party but creating more billionaires than any other nation in the world? I wonder how they get so rich?
    Pacha you and your mates have a lot of homework to do. Get reading and discussing your ideas.

  64. @ Sargeant
    “…….lesser unread mortals like me can’t fathom.”
    It is always best to face facts. …a good beginning.
    You may or may not be comforted by the fact that ac is fully on board with you 🙂 …wunna can flock together.

    @ Panchamamma
    You want a participatory government and you are prepared to dismiss the Cooperative model because the “co-op model has been corrupted and has regressed over the years.”

    …so has everything else like community values, national service and the like. …..with enough effort, the best of systems can be misused.

    NOTHING beats the coop model of governance. It values people over assets and presents a perfect framework for the building of true democracy.
    The coop model is so sound that even Bajan brass bowls have been able to make an outstanding success of the one model that they have seriously adopted – credit unions. …. 🙂 – ask Caswell

    ….only problem is that having accumulated over a billion dollars in assets, they have just turned that money over to the foreign banking system to be used by foreigners to buy out the assets of the very Bajan owners…. …all like ac so…. Told you they were brass bowls… LOL

  65. @ Hal Austin

    I have been ignoring your cheeky remarks to concentrate on the real issue at hand but this nonsense about student union discussion shows us that you are not exposed to a wider set of ideas. Ideas that are not encourage in any school known to you. Why would they want to do that? The schools you know do not even want to give students an accurate account of the history of capitalism far less alternative models. You insist on locating these ideas somewhere on the fringe of your normalcy. At the same time you just want to continue tinkering with a bankrupt system forever. This is your comfort zone. Capitalism is therefore a gift from your god and thus cannot be challenged

    • @ Pachamama

      I was not being disrespectful, but just recognising the incoherent nature of your argument. To mention the Brics proved the point. Not one meets your criteria for a participatory society.
      As I said, you are disillusioned with the present nature of Barbadian society, and frustrated with the dominant Anglo-Saxon model; but you have not create a logically coherent social theory on which a new Barbados can be framed.
      You need to go back to the drawing board and work on exactly what you want. Of course, if you want to bounce ideas off me plse do so – in private if necessary.


  66. @ David

    Your are deliberately taking us out of context. We cited the BRICS because there are certain truisms that can no longer be ignored. One body wants to call me an Anarchist and the wants to say we are championing parties. We were merely citing certain movements away for western capitalism. We will ignore all these movements at out peril. A new world is being born. We ignore it and will always be somebody’s colony.

    • @Pacha

      Perhaps we need to take a couple of steps back. How are new models/systems given their genesis and impetus?

    • @ Pachamama

      You are doing your Bajan trick again, asking questions but not putting forward your own ideas.
      Most social theories come out of academic discussions and are later put in to practice by politicians.
      Those of us who believe in praxis – one of my extended essay at college was on the Frankfurt School – the applying of theory and practice.
      This is why the great theorists were also involved in social action: George Padmore, CLR James, Herbert Marcuse, Sartre, Che Guevara, the list is endless.

    • @ Pachamama

      Again you misunderstand. There is no one form of capitalism. US capitalism is different to Western European, which different to Nordic, which is different to Russian, which is different to Baltic, which is different to South Asian, which is different to Chinese.
      I take your point that societies evolve. What you have to do is take a closer sociological look at Barbadian society, unless you are hoping to build a universal theory of society.

  67. @ Bush Tea

    We are generally on the say side of this issue. However, we are prepared to argue that the co-op model still has elements that are anti-democratic. For example, power is not effectively shared. Senior management are allowed to focilise in positions for far to long. It has been unable to properly share work, power and rewards. This power concentration is not dissimilar to capitalism. The co-op movement still run largely by committees, committees that are drawn from a small group of members who play musical cheers and sometimes serve, on various committees, for far too long. And so on …..

    • @ Bush Tea
      You are spot on. The theory and practice of cooperation and trade unionism are totally different. I recently closed a bank account with the Coop Bank because of What I perceived to be dodgy behaviour.
      Also, I remember after Enoch Powell’s speech in in April 1968, the number of trade unionists who marched in his support.
      Many of the dockers became black cabn drivers in London and to this day, generations later, they do not like carrying black people.
      Then there are the Labour Party and the Church of England. When Anglicans first came from the Caribbean believing they were members of the Church of England they had a rude awakening. So with the Labour Party.
      They have now appropriated immigration in order to grab government. No principles as usual.

    • @Pacha

      Accept that germane to any healthy system of government is a willing participation by a nucleus of the people. You can design any system but the people will have to fully participate to achieve the egalitarian behaviour you are searching for. Note that no system can be perfect.

  68. @ David
    We told you before that Barbados cannot be any catalyst for radical transformation. That change would have to be imposed from outside

    • @Pacha

      Explain something. If Barbados were to be the exponent of a new way, whatever it may be – can we do it based on an economy which is 75% domestic? Just asking.

    • @ Pacha

      The answer is yes, but we will have to re-define what we mean by economic growth. People will have to accept a decent level of prosperity ie Norway. We will have to moderate our lifestyle. I am for that, are you?
      If we are addicted to an ever growing GDP, then the answer is no.

  69. @ Hal Austin

    We are surprised that you have accepted that the notion of continued growth cannot be supported by mother earth. It we can use this as a point of departure there can surely be enough space for a real discussion

  70. @ Pachamama

    There is a limit to growth. Just one example: the internal combustion engine was invented just over 100 years ago and in that time it has done more damage to Planet Earth than the previous 10000.
    The world population is expected to growth to over nine billion by 2020, which means that Barbados can expect a population increase of about 150000.
    How are we going to support all those people?

  71. ”Explain something. If Barbados were to be the exponent of a new way, whatever it may be – can we do it based on an economy which is 75% domestic? Just asking”

    @ David
    Given present circumstances that will not be possible especially the international legal architecture. But ideas for a participatory society do not assume that all countries would follow participation ideas.

  72. Any new system devoid of Anglo participation will have to be phased in, particularly concerning the mentality of Bajans who see themselves as totally dependent for their very existence on any system developed by the Anglo society, we are yet to give birth to individuals who would sacrifice everything for radical change and the break away from dependence.

    The same applies to any system developed by the large economic societies, having recognized that they are now at an economic road block changes will have to be introduced gradually, never doubt for one moment that they will not be all on the same page when this event occurs, it will be all in the name of survival.

  73. @David
    I hear you bro but someone has to say that the Emperor is wearing no clothes.

    Don’t be so dismissive of AC, at least she is a tenacious defender of what she believes in, unlike some here who wait until certain people express an opinion and then they dutifully fall in line.

  74. Sargeant | March 30, 2013 at 4:33 PM |
    “Don’t be so dismissive of AC, at least she is a tenacious defender of what she believes in, unlike some here who wait until certain people express an opinion and then they dutifully fall in line.”

    Why shouldn’t we be dismissive of ac’s submissions? After all, they are always laced with yellow partisan rat bait in the same way you dismissed the miller’s early warnings of a possible make believe nuclear conflagration in the Far East starting with the Koreans or even along the Pakistan/Indian border as a way of extracting money from the West.

    Why don’t the Americans do the required thing and print US $20 billion in aid money to the North Koreans to keep the young Emperor and his royal entourage in the lifestyle they have grown accustomed.
    The Yanks could get the Chinese to underwrite the running costs of the bribe money on its production line. Just for the sake of MAD peace!

  75. @Miller
    I think the discussion was about a nuclear conflagration with China not N. Korea unless you see them as surrogates for China. Why would the Chinese want to sidetrack their relentless march to the top of the food train? They want a world that’s still in decent working order not one that’s broken.
    N.Korea on the other hand has pulled this stunt before i.e. making threats to extort economic concessions from the Western powers and then it’s back to BAU. Kim also is a new leader and he has to show all the men in epaulettes around him that he has the cojones to take on the bad old USA and he can’t continue to build Camps 14s to house his under nourished citizens.
    Kim is like the man who is trying to fight another man and someone is holding him back and he pretends to struggle against those holding him, but secretly he wants to be held.
    The Chinese are holding Kim and he wants to be held, plus the Chinese have too much to lose as their millionaires have so much money that they have sunk it into virtual retirement Potemkin cities in China.

  76. so miller you think you got room the Russians to set up some private corporations on the Rock and maybe you think you could talk them into buying up some real estate and while you at it maybe the Trans port Board and the Airport. “anything fuh a quik fix “fuhy an ailing economy. BTW that might solve Pachama problem He could talk them into rewriting the constitution and helping to bring back law and order to the land! Problem solved .

  77. From interviews with senior Bank employees in Cyprus, conducted by the BBC, it all started when a Greek company took over a Cyprus bank and made loans to companies in Greece.
    They saw alarming things taking place but were silenced.

    Greece has always been a very poor country compared to Cyprus but Greek Cypriots have long wished to become part of Greece, the pursuit of which has always always ended in tragedy.

    It’s Greece that has collapsed and taken Cyprus wit it.

  78. It’s been reported that the Cyprus crash was caused by the heavy holdings of Greek bonds and the careless mismanagement by the Bank Of Cyprus.

    As usual they are on the rebound from crisis and they have had many previous ones successfully recovered from.

    Cyprus CPI down in August, up YoY
    05 September, 2013

    The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for August dropped marginally by 0,12 units or 0,10% to 117,92 units compared to 118,04 in July. The decrease is mainly due to drop in the cost of electricity, salaries of foreign housemaids and certain fresh fruit. Increases were recorded in the prices of certain fresh vegetables, petroleum products and charges for medical treatment in government hospitals.
    The rate of inflation for August decreased by -0,9% compared to -0,3% in July and 2,7% in August 2012. The rate of inflation is negative for the fourth time in 2013.
    For the period January-August, the CPI recorded an increase of 0,3% compared to the corresponding period of 2012.


    • What’s the BLP magic? What did they build and with what assets? What would be different under the BLP? Where did the so-called prosperity come from?

      In his last year as PM Arthur complained that there more money was leaving Barbados than coming in.

      Thompson in his last months declared an intention to have a jobs hunter in Embassies and High Commissions with the task of finding jobs abroad for Barbadians on Cruise Ships, etc.

      In a recent issue of the Nation there was a couple pages of the brightest heading off to Universities, almost all studying to become doctors and lawyers, none to study Technological subjects or anything practical that could enhance the core skill sets of a modern economy, nothing that could earn Barbados money from abroad by marketable products and skills.

      Sounds very much like an economy running on empty.

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