8 Years and a Mule

Dr. DeLisle Worrell, Governor of the Central Bank

Dr. DeLisle Worrell, Governor of the Central Bank

The local press carried a story this week titled Worrell advised to meet press that addressed the unbelievable occurrence of the Governor of the Central Bank DeLisle Worrell not having held a press conference since the first quarter of 2014. Instead, he has preferred an orchestrated TV event where individuals were cherrypicked to participate in a moderated Q&A session.

It does not require anyone to be overly endowed with intelligence to expect our key decision makers to be accessible to answer questions from the public during a protracted economic downturn. Surely they understand that it is important to allay concerns and infuse confidence in the citizens by articulating a message of hope – see The King’s Speech. The independent office of Governor of the Central Bank is where the font of hope should be gushing. Unfortunately what we have had to witness for the last six or seven years is a central bank whose reputation has been severely dented by several unusual decisions by Governor Worrell made worse by minister of  finance Chris Sinckler. There was the unusual appointment  of Bjerkham to the Board of the Central Bank. The dividend payout of 25 million from the Housing Credit Fund to an affiliated company of Bjerkham for construction of the GROTTO high rise apartments. And who can forget the decision by the Governor to challenge the state agency responsible for determining the unemployment statistic.

BU agrees with Dr. Clyde Mascoll when he tabled the view in his weekly column that:-

Perhaps, what is more important is the structure of the board that oversees the functioning of the bank itself. The time has truly come to reconsider the governor being the chairman of the board. Furthermore, the composition of the board ought to better recognise the specialised areas of the bank’s activities. No man is an island.

The Central Bank is too important an institution for the idiosyncrasies of an individual to take priority. As if to emphasize that his way is the right way, he disregarded the advice from former bankers Mariano Browne and Jwala Rambarran who are based in Trinidad to meet with the press. He issued another press release to the media with a foreboding message.  Eight years of economic verboseness and still more belt tightening asked of Barbadians. How long is too long …

While BU agree with those calling for the Governor to condescend to meet the local press corp, we are concerned that local ‘journalists’ selected in the past to attend Central Bank economic press briefings have been woefully short of the standard required to deliver on their mandate. Further, there is an important role to be played by financial journalists. Who will disagree that managing a small open economy is a challenging undertaking. It is important we have journalists comfortable in the financial arena to report on the issues to effectively inform citizens. Instead what we have is a dearth of talent in the area of financial reporting that politicians and others in civil society easily exploit.  Even if our media houses were to send senior journalists like a David Ellis, Stetson Babb, Roy Morris, Jewel Brathwaite, Kaymar Jordan et al -these are journalists with a general knowledge of financial reporting. The only competent financial journalist is Patrick Hoyos. Is our investment in education failing us as a nation?

Perhaps the solution is to invite journalists from Trinidad to attend the Central Bank economic review press briefings.

163 thoughts on “8 Years and a Mule


  1. In his budget speech last June, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler said the long-talked-about sale of the Barbados National Terminal Co. Ltd. (BNTCL), which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Government-owned Barbados National Oil Co. Ltd, would soon take place. But he did not say to whom.

    However, the deal had not yet closed by April of this year, as the Central Bank of Barbados reported in its economic press release for the first three months of 2016 that “A special dividend related to the sale of BNTCL was included in the Government’s projected Estimates figures; however this sale is yet to be completed and the dividends declared.”

    The difference between the Estimates and the actual out-turn was $85.1 million, suggesting this was the amount which the Government expected from the sale of BNCTL.

    Read more: http://www.caribbean360.com/business/rubis-pull-one-main-caribbean-markets#ixzz4VAGI2Z7u


    • Read also Steve Stoute’s comment in today’s Sun that a proposed tax on the lottery was not implemented and for that the Barbados Olympic Association is grateful. There is not clarity of purpose to borrow Arthur’s term.


    • According to a June 2016 report the government rejected a bid from Rubis.

      http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/82636/rubis-plea

      Of interest is that in Governor Worrell’s January report he said said while Government was on course to achieving its 2015/2016 financial year target of reducing the fiscal deficit to about four per cent of GDP, it depended on completion of the sale of the BNTCL.

      So where are we today?


  2. Snusmas January 8, 2017 at 6:28 AM #

    ac

    Can you point us to the pubic notice of the bidding for BNTCL? I didn’t think so.

    there are rules of governance which validated the formalities and the legality by which Tenders can be officially advertise and by which order of process govt does not have to advertise ,


  3. ac

    You could only be a clown too. Your crafted response above is and means NOTHING jackrabbit.

    How can a government sell state assets without a formal and transparent process? Not a advertisement was placed in the news papers in Barbados or even on GIS website.

    The boyz did a deal an a man get a whole gas station of of it. He hit a six out of the park and over the roads.


  4. The are no rules that govern the sale of state assets, there are rules for the public procurement of services and products, buying and selling are two different things but the DLP and their knuckleheads would not know the difference.


  5. That cannot be law.
    You have ti advertise or you do not have to advertise.
    I may be a fool or I may not be a fool..


  6. Anonymouse -TheGazer

    ac is trying justify it by reference to Rule 239 which allows ‘special circumstances’ for public procurement such as urgency or where the service or product is easily obtained locally.

    ac is actually trying to justify why a major monopoly asset of the GOB, one which is highly profitable, was sold without even a advertisement in the Newspapers or GIS notifying the public and inviting participation.

    What the hell does that have to do to selling state assets? A BIG FAT NOTHING.


  7. General Provisions

    The Public Procurement Regulatory Commission provides the rules for organizing and conducting the sale of asset disposals by Contracting Authorities.

    1.2 The sale of assets must be conducted by adhering to strict procedures foreseen under these rules and must be managed by the Procurement Department of the Contracting Authority.

    1.3 All public disposal activities shall be conducted in a manner which promotes transparency, accountability and fairness.

    1.4 Detailed operational guidelines and standard forms for Disposal processes shall be produced and made accessible to the public by the Public Procurement Regulatory Commission.

    1.5 If, without any intent to discriminate against or in favour of any person or undertaking, a Contracting Authority determines that:
    the solicited asset disposal can only be performed by a person or undertaking having adequate technical or professional qualifications; or
    there are predetermined conditions of sale e.g. used for citizens sale, or particular organisations sale, end-user restrictions (such as restricted sale of military / police equipment, and certain items that may have export restrictions), and
    Such Contracting Authority will only accept offers from persons or undertakings possessing certain minimum qualifications, the contracting authority shall establish such qualification requirements in a manner that is clear, objective and non-discriminatory and publish all such requirements in the asset disposal notice.


  8. ac

    Where is the Notice and when was it published?

    David can you look for the video(s) of David Estwick on the platform in 2013 stating that only a crazy party would sell a strategic assets such as BNTCL?


    • @Snusmas

      There are several vids featuring Estwick. Like this one from 11 November 2012. He deals with what is required in austere conditions. do you have a date the vid was posted?


  9. Here is a transcript of what David Estwick was saying in 2013 on the political platform.

    Steady as she goes Captain Stuart. Stay the course Captain Stuart

    He is back again with this ‘Owen Model’: In November 2012, he is on record saying that the way forward for the Barbados economy is to put more investment in the Tourism sector. The man is not learning

    On November 4th 2012, while speaking at St Christopher’s Primary school, he told Barbadians that “privatization is the way forward.” Sell the statutory corporations owned by you and me to investors and let the workers have shares in them. He said let them own them and run them. He means the Trinidadians and the rick business class!

    He is not talking about diversifying the economy and making it more competitive by reducing the cost of energy to businesses and the transport sector, while saving foreign exchange. He is not talking about reducing the cost of telecommunications to businesses. He is not talking about improving the trade facilitation capacity of the Bridgetown Port to make it more efficient. He is talking about selling the Bridgetown Port. What a foolish man!

    While we in the DLP are talking about ensuring that when cruise ships are in the Bridgetown Port that cargo ships do not have to bypass Barbados. Owen is talking about selling the port.

    While we in the DLP are talking about creating a new cargo terminal, and a new central container handling facility to increase the efficiency of the new cargo port, Owen is talking about selling the port!

    While we in the DLP are talking about starting construction on a completely new cruise facilities in partnership with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, boasting modern home porting facilities, shopping facilities, hotels, vending facilities, a facility that will make our cruise facilities world class. Owen is talking about selling the port!

    The BLP had 14 years in office, and I want you tell me what changes were made to the facilities of the Bridgetown Port to enhance the efficiency and the esthetics. You tell me! I am calling on all workers in the cruise Industry and workers at the Bridgetown Port to stay with us and allow us to complete these projects in the interest of Barbados. Owen had 14 years to create new cruise facilities and separate cruise business from cargo activity and all he wants to do if he is returned to office, is to sell the port and cruise facility to put your job at risk.

    Remember he said in November 2012, that he was going to take privatization to its greatest extent. You read between the lines.

    Before Owen comes to you, and tells you how he is going to enhance public sector efficiency at the Town and Country Planning Office, the Environmental Protection Department, and the Solicitor General’s Offices so that we can better facilitate business formation, and improve the country’s rating as a place to do business. He is telling you about selling the airport, the sea port, BNOCL, BNTCL, transport Board, CBC and so on. This is not the answer.

    This privatization strategy to reduce government expenditure by reducing expenditure in the category of transfers and subsidies will reduce the size of government but it will lead to very high unemployment and further cost to you for services from these companies.


  10. It is a game for all of these clowns in the DLP. Say one thing to get elected and do something different.

    In 2013 the DLP said they were different that the BLP as they would not sells assets at by 2017 we have yardfowl idiots like ac not only justifying the sale but exposing why the didn’t even have to advertise that sale. Jackasses the bunch of them.


  11. While Barbados does deserve an opposition in Parliament, by rights the entire DLP, every single MP, deserves to be voted out of office.


  12. David

    Check out minute 34 and listen to the DLP rail against selling BNTCL and the implication of such a sale. Ask ac and Danville and Sinckler and Stuart and Estwick if the cabinet has not already been told about a 21% increase in cost of fuel from the sale of BNTCL to SOL??


    • @Snusmas

      Estwick positions all seem to line up with the majority of the BU community yet he stayed in a cabinet that did not execute.


  13. The DLP has not more for the white and non-black business class of Barbados than all previous administrations combined. Put that in your pipe ac and smoke it.

    A bunch of sellouts and louts.


  14. The DLP has Done* more for the white and non-black business class of Barbados than all previous administrations combined. Put that in your pipe ac and smoke it.

    A bunch of sellouts and louts.


  15. @enuff

    Ask Kammie to confirm or deny whether Mark Maloney is the man financing Grenville Philips and Solutions Barbados. Then again poor Kammie might not even know himself.


  16. That’s Grenville and Kammie’s business not mine.
    What I do know, is that government is not a business or a walk in the park, and the idea of a political party with not one single member having political experience or intimate knowledge of how government functions is one driven by ego not patriotism as is being promoted. We are now reaping the rewards of Thompson and his team of inexperienced Ministers. #solutionsaintready


  17. enuff

    Fair is fair, let it be then. They ain’t ready and soon the truth of the IMF will come out and Kammie and Grenville and Maloney & Lynette and Danny and Owen gine get left in the rearview mirror and people bout here see reality and start to panic.


  18. @ Snusmas January 8, 2017 at 8:41 AM #

    “David can you look for the video(s) of David Estwick on the platform in 2013 stating that only a crazy party would sell a strategic assets such as BNTCL?”

    @ Snusmas

    I must apologize for being presumption and going ahead of David to satisfy your request of him.

    However, I assume the following is the video you alluded to:


  19. @ Snusmas January 8, 2017 at 8:41 AM #

    “David can you look for the video(s) of David Estwick on the platform in 2013 stating that only a crazy party would sell a strategic assets such as BNTCL?”

    @ Snusmas

    The following are contributions I posted to BU pertaining to the issue you raised:

    Artaxerxes October 6, 2014 at 2:46 PM #

    I read in today’s Daily Nation that “The Fruendel Stuart Government has decided it wants to sell the $75M Barbados National Terminal Company Limited (BNTCL) in Fairy Valley, Christ Church.”

    On the evening of Saturday January 5, 2013, Dr. David Estwick addressed the gathering in attendance at the launch of the DLP’s St. Joseph’s constituency office for candidate Dennis Holder.

    The following is an excerpt from what Estwick had to say in response to Owen Arthur’s suggestion of privatizing the BNTCL:

    “I question then the logic of attempting to sell the BNOC and the BNTCL. The reason why I’m going to continue to hammer this is because every single country in the world, maintains what yuh call their national strategic reserves of oil…… gasoline….. diesel….. etc. It is… it is owned by the country to protect energy security for all of us. And any… AND ANY PRIME MINISTER THAT IS PREPARED TO GIVE AWAY AND SELL OFF A COMPANY THAT MAINTAINS THE NATIONAL OIL RESERVES OF BARBADOS HAS TO BE HALF A MADMAN.”

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Artaxerxes October 6, 2014 at 3:53 PM #

    This is what else Estwick had to say at the meeting pertaining to the BNTCL privatization issue:
    “You understand….. and what is even more ridiculous about the discussion is this……… right now….. the BNTC imports diesel, kerosene…… we sell any oil that we produce locally….. we send that oil to Petrotrin in Trinidad, and it comes back….. the BNTCL gets a rate of return on investment of 1%……. and that 1%, is so as to keep prices down.
    You tell me any business man in Barbados that is going to take over the BNTCL and get 1% rate of return on his investment. You tell me…. show me any of them…….. right. And what it means is that from the time those companies are put in private sector people hands, that they will be looking for highest returns for their shareholders, and you can rest assured that what would end up happening, is (1) diesel prices gine straight up in the air, as well as gasoline prices, as well as kerosene, etc. And it bothers me that an individual, who is supposed to be an economist, does not seem to understand how inflationary that would be in a small economy that imports majority of its inflation via oil and other products.”

    These politicians think many of us do not remember anything.


  20. So what Minstry is Dr, Estwick in charge of . i believe his robust views or opinions although merited concerns could have been challenged by the Minister in charge of energy after shown or privy to facts and situations concerning BNTCL
    DR. Estwick did put forward a plausible case during the campaign in 2013 but since then facts and other issues relevant to BNTCL in the prevention of BNTCL collapse or failure took precedence
    Such robust discussions on Dr . Estwick part would not be held against him as he believes within himself that the best interest of barbados should be first served , However reality some times makes the final call .


  21. Yall, need to focus on this issue before deliberation and stop denigrating others for advancing a contrary position.


  22. Not going to go through a litany of reasons as to why conclusion was made to sell instead of pursuing a path of failure for BNTCL

    In any case whatever i am smoking is none of your business


  23. ac January 9, 2017 at 7:14 AM #

    “Not going to go through a litany of reasons as to why conclusion was made to sell instead of pursuing a path of failure for BNTCL.”

    @ ac

    The consortium of yard-fowls CONTINUE to prove they do not “have any expertise in financial matters but, (unfortunately), it never stops them from opening up their faucets and spewing all the political garbage.”

    If you read the BNTCL’s annual reports you would not have resorted to “spewing political garbage.” On page 20 of the company’s 2013 Annual Report & audited Financial Statements for the year Ended March 31, 2013, for example, General Manager Winton Gibbs indicated:

    “During the year under review, the Group EARNED a NET INCOME of $29.5 million. This net income is added to retained earnings brought forward of $41.2 million to close with retained earnings of $70.7 million at the end of the current financial year.”

    “This FAVOURABLE RESULT was achieved through the combined efforts of the Group’s upstream and downstream operations, as well as the trading relief which was realised through the pricing mechanism. Despite a reduction in the Company’s working capital, an IMPROVEMENT in its overall FINANCIAL POSITION was REALISED.”

    To suggest government was “pursuing a path of failure for BNTCL,” when the evidence proves contrary to your claim, clearly indicates you are spewing your usual rhetorical political diatribe.

    Additionally, you CANNOT “go through a LITANY of REASONS as to why conclusion was made to sell,” because those “reasons” DO NOT EXIST. They were CREATED by you in an ATTEMPT to SUPPORT and JUSTIFY why this inept DLP administration sold the BNTCL.

    As individuals who are always alluding to “TRUTH” and “FACTS,” why do you continually post lies and generalized statements in an attempt to mislead BU, and then have your stupid cohorts endorse your non-factual comments by giving them multiple “thumbs ups?”


  24. David;
    What makes Hoya “…The only competent financial journalist…”? The fact that he is always critical of the Government, the Governor of the Central Bank, and the Minister of Finance?


    • He has demonstrated he has the brain power to unpack, distill and educate Barbadians on financial issues like no other.


  25. Alvin Cummins January 10, 2017 at 12:54 PM #

    Chuckle………

    Are any of his news items incorrect?…………

    Has he been sued by any one for false statements?……….

    Given the state of the country,its economy,who should he be critcal of?

    The truth hurts…..always.


  26. David
    What was the debt load of BNTCL when the DLP won the election.
    Well Well et al. Did ANY of you interview the gentleman? The chart shows the Domestic Dbt…as distinct from government debt. Charles skeet, read the estimates of expenditure and you will see where the money was spent.


  27. This from BSJ in Aug 2016

    “The Central Bank of Barbados reported in its economic press release for the first three months of 2016 that “A special dividend related to the sale of BNTCL was included in the Government’s projected Estimates figures; however this sale is yet to be completed and the dividends declared.
    The difference between the Estimates and the actual outturn was Bds$85.1 million, suggesting this was the amount which the government expected from the sale of BNCTL.”

    Rubis claimed they had bid for BNTCL, and the firm hired by the GoB to conduct the sale had told them they were not the winning bidder. Rubis assumed that meant it was SOL.

    Has the sale been concluded? The BNTCL still shows on the BNOCL as a subsidiary.


  28. @Alvin Cummins…this from a Jan 8 2017 piece from Hoyos

    “Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados Dr. Delisle Worrell is a brilliant economist whose communication skills, including his down-to-earth, folksy style, always helped a non-economist like me to understand some of the key elements of how an economy works.”

    He isn’t always negative? Though he doesn’t like the GoCB failure to meet the press core again, any more than other journalists.

    The entire article
    http://www.bsjbusiness.com/single-post/2017/01/09/Weary-of-trying-to-reach-those-sunlit-uplands-of-economic-prosperity


  29. Sunshine Sunny Shine January 9, 2017 at 12:38 PM #

    Integrity, Accountability, Transparency, anticorruption and Freedom of Information are not optional. They need to become law, Freedom of information, good governance @@@

    We giving you all here on BU just that for years, It seem most can handle the truth about the lies their DLP and BLP is doing and have done, People on BU seem they want part of the Pie for self and not for all to share, ,, To many people on BU have things to hide ,

    With the CUP they will wake up fast when the rest of the crooks fall before them and these crooks liars and scumbags fall alone,Top Bajan who think they smart is full of it, For they are helping to hide the truth about where all the money went,

    If the governments made, take in, took loans for well over 13 Billion, Why in the hell everyone dont have a place to live, water, farming,roads done right, Hospital happy, police happy, Government workers happy, school and kids happy, Sports happy,

    A full Audit knows ,where and who got all the money , All the Attorney Generals, Lawyers, Ministers, Sirs, Sir C.O Williams and Richard L Cheltenham et Ali, Mia , Owen, MOF and FUMble , Every lawyer who is a Minister is a crook watch them well ,

    NHC and UDC,to start,

    As soon ass November 1966 came these Niggers have been up to no dam good , Acting as spies , Agents for the Crown , NO lawyers need to be in Government for lawyers are Agents for the Queen,. If we are to be Independent , Well that means the Queen , Crown , England need to be out of our business and not Agent spies. Even the American Constitution so,
    No title of Nobility= lawyers

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