1991 Replay

It is obvious the governance system of Barbados serves to frustrate citizens clamouring for change as a result of eight years of declining economic performance. We should add that the social landscape has been changing as well be it crime, road rage and other unbajanlike behaviours. The recent public falling out between former Governor of the Central Bank DeLisle Worrell and Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler clearly highlights the dire state of affairs.  What message does it sent to the domestic and international arenas? With a general election on the horizon it is difficult to fathom where the government will find  the political and financial capital to efficiently implement required and immediate policy changes to lead the economic recovery.

For many the economic and social fortune of the country eight years after the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) was handed the government  has not improved.  The government and the international financial and credit agencies appear to be at odds. Do we have the confidence that home based strategy is working out?

The recent downgrade by S&P Global to CCC+/C on Limited Financing Alternatives and Low International Reserves suggest the government will struggle to access funds on the international capital markets for the foreseeable future. And when in the few cases the opportunity exist to borrow, lenders will attach severe conditions as is the case with the Credit Suisse loan. The flipside to the challenge of being tagged with a poor credit rating is that Barbados becomes unattractive to foreign investors. This is important because the planks upon which the Barbados economy is supported requires inflows from  tourism AND foreign direct investment. Post 2008 Barbados has had to resort to selling profitable state assets- BLP a strategic asset  -to supplement to revenues. One does not have to be read in economics to appreciate that selling profitable state assets is an unsustainable approach to tackling the structural economic problems of Barbados. It also will eventually scare the identity of a nation by leaking assets to others what a people by dint of hard work have been able to acquire.

The protracted economic problems Barbadians have had to suffer has caused our mojo to disappear. No longer is Barbados regarded in the region as the model economy and country. Has the government achieved their mantra of building a society not an economy?

Whether at a personal or state level confidence is required to generate ideas, create projects from the ideas and to efficiently implement read timely. Clearly Barbados continues to suffer from what is commonly described as implementation deficit. Our inability to rollout project after project has affected economic recovery. Without being prolix there is enough evidence to legitimately question the performance of the government. It is important however to register that the structural economic problems of the country existed before 2008 when the DLP took office. It explains why they were booted from office. Successive governments have procrastinated to address the fault lines in the economy. Instead we have lived the easy live on the back of easy access to credit.

The question sensible Barbadians have been asking is how do we forcefully communicate to the political class the need for better representation to address the acute problems facing Barbados. Having to wait for five years to mark an X is not an efficient way to participate in a governance system. It seems ironic that ordinary citizens should have to ask the private sector; the chamber of commerce and other private sector agencies, to join the people to say to the government enough is enough. It is an admission that those with money control the decision making above those with economic authority. We are at that point where the business class must step up if the so called democratic system is to facilitate the change we require.

Anyone who listened to the Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler deliver a presentation at the DLP’s mid term conference were not inspired –at all. The lack of inspiration has nothing to do with the fact the recording was done with a hand held mobile phone.

Can we survive until the next general election? Will important stakeholders be able to save this once proud nation from sinking to a DDD credit rating? Will the Cabinet of Barbados agree to position country over politics? Will the social partnership for once grow  teeth? Will ordinary Barbadians see the wisdom to become immerse in the many activities that are designed to drive our system of government?

The late BU contributor Looking Glass wrote to BU many years ago to ask local UWI, Cave Hill and local academics to come together and in one voice communicate to the country what was required to negotiate a path from the economic. He wanted them to project an independent voice to reflect the high level of investment in education by Barbados. BU acted on his request by emailing a well known Cave Hill academic . We leave it to the BU community to evaluate if his request was acted out in the years since his death .

84 comments

  • YOU GET THE GOV’T
    YOU’VE CHOSEN

    Some say the white man came from above oh oh!
    That is if you believe that supernatural stuff. UFO
    The locals treated him not like a beast
    Like the three wise men from the East

    Like how Columbus founded the West Indies
    Then try to convert the poor Indians! Please!
    When that failed they went buffalo butchering
    Leaving the Red Indians starving and cowering

    Coveting land from humble folks with their flags unfurled
    Settling up their own towns and villages all over the world
    But in their wake they left many in tears day after day
    All over the good land which was never theirs any way

    They maltreated many a people who cried long tears
    Someone got to be punished for we know God cares
    You can sing, and run and jump with all your might
    For karma is bitter sweet when it comes back to bite

    When some countries got their freedom
    Their governments thought they’re dumb
    They too tried to do like the Caucasians
    Who maltreated the local Amerindians

    They built cities and made kingdoms
    Living it up drinking coke and rums
    They lived the good life like the imperial master
    As they too put the little man on the back- burner

    As their own folks live in poverty
    Amidst their masters’ proclivity
    For years the people took it and did nothing
    The doers willfully neglecting them sneering

    The reapers of the ill gotten gains in their castles in a moat
    You take it staying quiet for you don’t want to rock the boat
    Tears have been shed every day many going insane
    And someone has to pay, here comes karma again

    Living the likes of a hog as they shed tears of joy
    As they plot and scheme to carry out their ploy
    Wives, mothers and children became high brows
    Covered from head to toe as their belief allows

    But the poor farmers keep toiling and trod on
    Eking a miserable living to bring in the bacon
    And months became years and fades
    And decades ran into more decades

    Until the people ran out of tears
    They swear and shed their fears
    Their anger reached every man, child and wife
    For all they ask for is just to live a simple life

    Their anger reached a pitch they want to get even
    They were ready to face torture of even an AK47
    The cry for freedom and democracy was in the air
    And every man in South East Asia wanted a share

    And so in Tunisia, one day in a little town called Tunis
    Using a format called Facebook the locals found bliss
    The folks sent messages to one another
    Innocently talking and in serious chatter

    When Muhammad Bouazizi, a farmer doused himself in kerosene
    Which was seen all over the world to show his wrath of that mean
    Ben Ali, dictator who lived like a hog for over 27 years
    As unemployment grew, people die shedding long tears

    All about their welfare and hardship in rage
    Actually, bottom line they wanted a change
    Citizens were called to silent arms and demanded democracy
    Ben Ali trembled in his boots but stuck to his despotic policy

    And when the smoke cleared the dictator was kicked out
    The people rejoiced as they sang tears of joy and shout
    As they pray and hope for a better tomorrow
    But the fires were burning all the way to Cairo

    Hundreds and thousands were alerted who care
    And they all met at the famous Tahrir Square
    And the words that went out were “We have taken up
    Enough of this, we’ve to bring this nonsense to a stop”

    The news spread like wildfire all the way to Benghazi
    But was trampled by tanks, guns of an insane Hosnie
    And Mubaruk refused to budge as the people persevere
    Strengthened by the victory in Tunisia they didn’t care

    T‘was do or die they made up their minds shouted out their demands
    To oust Mubaruk after 30 years of stealing the wealth of their lands
    Eventually he packed up his bags and left after 30years of conniving
    As the Muslim Brotherhood stood silently on the sidelines watching

    The fires had already spread to Libya a kettle of a different brand
    Democracy was a word Muammar Gaddafi could never understand
    As he dined with prostitutes in Cannes in Europe like a leech
    At home he ruled with an iron hand banning even free speech

    Bucket a guh a well everyday, one day
    Eh battam guh lef my Nannie used to say
    As Tripoli seethed and the people protested
    As men women and children were slaughtered

    Using jet fighters, tanks and mercenaries from Africa
    As his own soldiers refused to kill their own in Libya
    Hiding behind his high walls madly raving
    With his two evil sons aiding and abetting

    After 42 years of wallowing in the Libya’s troughs he can
    He said he’d kill any opposer to the last woman and man
    The world is shouting that this is a crime against humanity
    But all words fell on the mad ears of a man bent on insanity

    As the UN and the USA threatened and warned
    That no more innocent Libyans should be harmed
    Gaddafi answered by sending planes to shoot at oil rich
    Brega
    Threatening before he goes he’d burn the oil wells of
    Libya

    I said we get the Gov’t. we’ve chosen
    Sometimes the voters are left frozen
    And they have to put up and abide
    Their time and flow with the tide

    Cause they’re evil forces at work out there
    And the innocent are cornered in dire fear
    Like what happened in the 1960’s in Guyana
    When the British stealthily agree with the USA

    To stifle the PPP and oust Dr.Cheddi of Guyana
    For they thought Guyana would be another Cuba
    History has proved after 28 years Cheddi was not
    But Burnham was and that was what Guyanese got

    In Africa and Europe dictators arose
    All eventually got the peoples’ blows
    Those who don’t have it want it
    But really can they handle it?

    Democracy is what they want
    They shouted give us in any slant
    In the garage we want a good motor
    An oven, a stove and the refrigerator

    A detached home is so so
    A townhouse or a condo
    A job in the bank and money inside
    No matter what they promise to abide

    We see water it’s not a mirage
    We also want a car in the garage.
    Many times we have seen great incorporations
    And the architects ending up in incarcerations

    Look back in History with the great Mahatma
    When he and Jinnah were fighting for one India
    Jinnah caused India to split is a fact
    He was the brains of the Luknow Pact

    Jinnah never wanted an Independent India
    He was too violent even rejected satyagraha
    Every time Gandhi preached cooperation
    It was met with the Lahore Resolution

    The same thing happened in Guyana’s PPP
    When the Muslims rejected the Jagan’s Party
    In that case the CIA’s puppet Mr Langley
    Gave Richard Ishmael $2.08M for perpetuating the 80 day strike
    Also to the Muslims and the Trade Union Council and their like
    The Muslims split the Indian vote and formed a PNC coalition
    Joined with Burnham who later kicked them out in
    jubilation

    Greedy rulers from Stalin  to Mussolini
    From Ben Ali to Mubharak to Gaddafi
    And the others in poor Africa
    Even Burnham from Guyana

    All have one common denominator
    And that is the built in greedy factor
    Their coffers are bare yet they spend much on war
    Their people go hungry as the leaders dine on caviar

    Even the educated started our good then made a mess
    This shows greedy rulers can’t rule I have to confess
    How can these so-called leaders sleep deep at night
    When their people sleep with a bug infested plight

    When they practice the opposite what’s preached in Mecca
    Covering their women from head to toe sheltered by Sharia
    Laws as they defile and use other women like play things
    Paying top dollars for sexy women who party and sings

    They pray 5 times per day pointing towards Mecca
    As they bank the people’s money to be used later
    At the Cayman Islands, Swiss or the country they all hate
    Or just invested it in stocks and bonds and in real estate

    Since the last time we spoke
    Some thought it was a joke
    Since then we saw the fall of the South East Asian Empire
    A dire land of totalitarians and some secular pundits for hire

    Tempered by monastic vows
    Treating their women like cows
    Governing wretched peoples yet who sneered and
    applauded
    Praying to their God when the Twin Towers fell and were
    bombed

    A people who always want the green US dollars
    But funneled the money for domestic owned wars
    And sat and took it decade after decades
    As that part of the world became Hades

    Fast forward to Toronto in Ontario, to live
    With the Liberal Party vs the Conservative
    You would never believe politicians can be so sick
    One would surely think one is in a Banana Republic

    Wasting and covering it up is the order of the day
    And all the poor taxpayers don’t have a darn say
    Billions of dollars wasted to save their party some seats
    As erasing tapes and emails done secretly at their meets

    The fists would fly and guns would be drawn
    But all dumb Ontarians do is smile and yawn
    But really you have to blame it on the naive lesbians
    Pride has voted as a block maybe they got the billions

    When the people put party before sound economics
    It always come back to bite them where it ticks
    Only time would tell in the next few years
    But then it may be too late for long tears

    Like

  • The majority of the political class in or out of Parliament were educated at one of the UWI campuses…….which would suggest to me that the lack of ability to undertake tasks must stem from the common factor…….so why would any one expect UWI to offer solutions…..pun intended.

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  • David

    Who wrote this?

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  • @Pacha

    David (BU)

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  • @ Pachamama

    Why did you ask who wrote this??

    Is your reason based on the application of a metrics of a show called “American Top 40” with Casey Cassum??

    Are you wondering because the topic being submitted is no different from the other recent ones which addressed the same matters nemely (1) Downgrades … 16,17,18, (2) Time to Ring the Bell and (3) Political Birds of a Feather Flock Together! Owen, the DLP and Political Expedience?

    Is it that you are noticing the fact that, based on what finds itself in “Top Posts and Pages”, “new” material, once placed at the top of the lists auto displaces older (and sometimes more controversial material) read contra Mugabe???

    Are you saying that it is noted that the video of Decimals Bond features prominently? hahahahahaha.

    Every one of us is in canvassing mode for our respective political leaders and may the best one win

    “Down with Mugabe”

    (@ David Just a little levity while we are doing what we love….though some here intimated earlier that we are “elderly men with nothing to do” – not calling no names)

    Liked by 1 person

  • fortyacresandamule

    @ David. We were too pretentious talking about the Barbados model. Hiding behind a fixed exchange rate won’t cut it for long. Where are our industries? How many scholars get published in top peer review science journals? How many patents do we registered each year? Having and economy that is built on two industries ( tourism and offshore tax haven) is a bad model.

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  • @fortyacresandamule

    Sadly yes.

    Tourism and IB drives forex inflows and construction fuels domestic activity. This defines the Barbados model.

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  • Both Barbados political Parties, DLP & BLP, have since independence fumbled along generally slowly heading for financial/economic collapse. The latest acceleration to this collapse started in 1994 with the BLP taking power with annual deficit increases of 7% for 13+ years, then the DLP took power in 2008 after the global recession, where annual deficit increases have averaged an additional 5% until 2017. Most people credit the DLP with the countries present dire economic situation, however the BLP to a large extent set the stage for the downfall. Both parties must share the blame for the present economic situation. The blame game must STOP, however whom do we have that has the gonads, training, intelligence to lead this small independent country out of the economic wilderness. This is not a “MAKE BARBADOS GREAT AGAIN” situation, this is a survival situation.

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  • @Wily

    Hopefully we will not have to burn to ash to force change.

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  • @Wily Coyote

    Agreed.

    Since NOTHING is done (“With a general election on the horizon it is difficult to fathom where the government will find the political and financial capital to efficiently implement required and immediate policy changes to lead the economic recovery”), downgrade to D and D-Day (devaluation) are cominger faster then ever.

    The article states: “Can we survive until the next general election?” That is the right question in my opinion. Barbadians still jump up and down, relax, smile, listen to the pastors, politicians, consultans, the very many QCs and Knights, who all talk a lot, but do nothing. Most Barbadians are not aware that no USD means no gas, no electricity, no medical care, but plantation and wild jungle.

    As I see it now, the foreign currency is gone by June/July 2017. Barbados might even lack the means for a next election.

    Bush Tea is right to state that Barbadians should not copy every shit from the North. And what have they done? A microstate, wanting to run the same amount of ministries as states with 100 mio. citizens etc pp. Barbadians did not look properly at other microstates like ANDORRA, LIECHTENSTEIN or SINGAPORE to see how to manage a tiny place, but always wanted to copy USA and UK, wanted to drive the biggest SUVs.

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  • @Pacha

    Thanks for the OSA lecture. Say what you like about the man he expounds on all issues with an ease that must inspire confidence.

    It seems the next general election will be about the economy and privatization. Although Sinckler if we are to believe the ignorance has suggested it will be about morality.

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  • Adding: The Credit Suisse loan was the LAST chance to borrow foreign currency from private banks. This chance passed. The rating is now by far too bad. It would even be a criminal act for Credit Suisse to offer a new deal to Barbados.

    The IMF is now the last resort to access foreign currency.

    In the same moment we are told “we do not need borrowing”, negotiations are already taking place, people are shifting their assets outside Barbados (capital flight).

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  • Tron March 5, 2017 at 7:30 PM

    Will Barbados financially survive until the next general election, I suspect they MIGHT. They now have the ability(New CBB Govorner) to print an additional $1M Barbados dollars which should keep civil servants, pensioners and other related government employees HAPPY and PAID until election time. Will the Foreign Currency Reserves be enough for another year, YES an NO. Yes they will probably run out before a year, however CBB is presently using Commercial Bank Deposits at the Central Bank to support the government. If these run out there will no doubt be shortages of things slowly start to dis/appear on the island which could be tolerated by the populace, however a shortage of fuel for L&P, BWA etc. could cause serious governmental issues.

    As far as the Credit Suisse loan is concerned, I believe Barbados defaulted on this loan and some sort of offshore land block exploration swap was entered into in compensation. I’m open to input on this issue as Barbados Government has been more than normal secretive on this even shutting down BLP queries in parliament.

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  • fortyacresandamule

    @David . We have billions and billions of dollars flowing in and out Barbados offshore financial industry, yet we are scratching for a few millions to shore up the reserve. Why not put a small levy on this transaction flow .

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  • @David “the social landscape has been changing as well be it crime, road rage and other unbajanlike behaviours….With a general election on the horizon it is difficult to fathom where the government will find the political and financial capital to efficiently implement required and immediate policy changes to lead the economic recovery.”

    Not unBajanlike at all David.

    In fact I would say consumately Bajan.

    The DLP government will hold out as long as possible, then call the election, which they will lose…

    then leave the BLP, Mia and Co. to deal with the &*it.

    Real, real Bajan David.

    The most passive aggressive people on the face of the earth.

    Why all of a sudden do others who are not us want to turn us into Jamaicans, or Americans, or Middle Easterners?

    That is NOT who we are.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @fortyacresandamule

    This is true but IBCs are not tied to a domicile. Impose a tax and what do you think will happen?

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  • @Simple Simon

    There was a time when this docile quality was characterized as a desirable quality by others in the region. In a liberalized world its shelf live as expired.

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  • @Tron March 5, 2017 at 7:30 PM “Most Barbadians are not aware that no USD means no gas, no electricity, no medical care…wanted to drive the biggest SUVs.”

    So why do you feel that you know this and most Bajans don’t?

    Do you feel that you are more intelligent that most Bajans?

    Most Bajans including me have lived a good part of our lives without gas, without electricity and without medical care…and this was when Barbados was a “successful” economy.

    When you and your parents, and grandparents and great grandparents have had little or nothing in spite of lifetimes of hard work…then nothing does not seem as scary to us as it does to those of you who have had enjoyed plenty for many, many generations.

    Oh and some of us have never driven an SUV or anything else.

    So no we do not fear losing our SUV, because we never had one. We do not fear not having gas for our cars because we never had a car…even when Barbados was a “successul” economy.

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  • When the British, one of the most “successful” colonial powers of all time ran things “so well” in Barbados they did not see fit to build a hospital for the first 217 years.

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  • @David March 5, 2017 at 8:20 PM “There was a time when this docile quality…”

    Not docile David.

    i did not say docile.

    Bajans are NOT docile.

    I said passive/aggressive.

    Did you notice the aggressive part David?

    We are quite capable of burning down buildings and killing people too.

    We just ain’t ready yet.

    And I know that that our slowness to react with violence makes other people very, very nervous.

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  • @Simple Simon

    I do not want back colonial rule. All I fear is that everything built up the last 50 years will be lost very soon.

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  • @Wily Coyote

    “As far as the Credit Suisse loan is concerned, I believe Barbados defaulted on this loan and some sort of offshore land block exploration swap was entered into in compensation.”

    Thank you vey much for this deep insight!

    Like

  • Simple Simon March 5, 2017 at 8:33 PM #
    When the British, one of the most “successful” colonial powers of all time ran things “so well” in Barbados they did not see fit to build a hospital for the first 217 years.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    Who in those days could have afforded, or being allowed the luxury of confinement in a hospital, except for the rich planter class. Attending a Doctor, for many, had to be done on the non-working day of Sunday. Sick leave was unheard of. Pregnancy was timed with a delivery date during the ”Hard time”.
    But we an Almshouse in every parish.

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  • At one time the Irish ,too , were considered passive/docile /servile, but when backed into a corner by protestant King William of Orange, of the ‘Remember 1690’ fame, they licked their wounds, and came out fighting. And are still fighting to this day.
    Perhaps one day we will have the emergence of a Michael Collins or a Bernadette Devlin.

    Like

  • William Skinner

    @ David

    Please explain what is the Barbados model .

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  • The Prime Minister stated on the weekend that the downgrade by S&P is not a big worry because Barbados is not in the market to borrow. Here is an example of how the downgrade worries the market.

    http://www.guardian.co.tt/business/2017-03-06/fcb-mum-us25m-loan-downgraded-barbados

    The PM’s statement exposes his limited perspective on the matter. It is interesting when Donville Inniss was on the talk show yesterday he was quick to point out that the downgrade is also about how it will influence (negatively) the markets.

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  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

    This is decidely much worse than a 1991 replay when the credit rating is compared to Venezuela….there is great suffering in that country, the only saving grace for Barbados is the size of the island, tiny in comparison to Venezuela,Barbados also has the the tiniest population.., and it’s close proximity to other Caribbean islands…….who grow and export food. The fools in parliament had years to correct the situation.

    “Former minister in the Ministry of Finance in Trinidad and Tobago, Mariano Browne, said with Barbados’ credit rating now comparable to Venezuela’s, measures to correct the situation “at this stage will be slow”.

    Stressing that “this is not a five-year exercise . . . [or] a two-year exercise; this is a ten- to 15-year exercise”, the former chief executive officer of the Bank of Butterfield in Barbados said on Starcom Network’s radio call-in programme Brass Tacks Sunday: “The real problem here is a crisis of leadership. You have to toe the line and that has assured that
    the party has fewer options.” (GE)

    Please read the full story in today’s Daily Nation, or in the eNATION edition.
    – See more at: http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/94273/haul#sthash.b2srL0nI.dpuf

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  • For quite some time now Barbadians listened suspiciously, and taken with a grain of salt the mouthings of Dr Mascoll and Ryan Straughn as accurate as they may have been. This suspicion is rooted in their political leanings. When the same suspicion is trained at certain labor leaders we get a clear picture of as to why we are so passive a people. It is most regrettable that the confidence repose in certain so called trade unionists have been tainted by political greed.

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  • How do we measure the quality of education we boast?

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  • We have heard of the black market…..

    …..how many more came through….

    ….Is this what keeps the Bimmers economy afloat??

    Marijuana found in barrels, two women charged | Barbados Today
    Marijuana found in barrels, two women charged
    Members of the Drug Squad have arrested and charged two women in connection with a number of drug-related offences committed last Thursday and Friday. Sally Anne Smith, 51, of Crusher Site Road, Prospect, St James, was charged with…
    barbadostoday.bb
    https://www.barbadostoday.bb/2017/03/05/marijuana-found-in-barrels-two-women-charged/

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  • @Vincent

    We should differentiate between the black market and the underground economy.

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  • David

    I grew up knowing that the blackmarket was the underground economy,now you are telling me that a difference exists……kindly enlighten this old man.

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  • @Vincent

    If you stay with the strict definition yes. However the nuance to consider is black market conotes illegal vs Underground -informal.

    >

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  • David

    I am dealing with the illegal market and posit that it is that blackmarket keeping Bim afloat.

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  • If by blackmarket you mean informal economy yes it plays an important role. The backyard gardens, raising stocks, keeping extra lessons, sellingselling food by the wayside etc.

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  • @ David
    ‘keeping extra lessons’?
    …Is neglecting to teach effectively in class …and then requiring students to attend paid lessons after school in order to pass exams, part of the ‘informal’, or ‘illegal’ black market…? 🙂

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  • Stressing that “this is not a five-year exercise . . . [or] a two-year exercise; this is a ten- to 15-year exercise”, the former chief executive officer of the Bank of Butterfield in Barbados”…So the BLP will again inherit an empty Treasuary and after 10 -15 years of prudent management and struggling to restore our good name, the people will say that MAM and the BLP imposed too many hardships on them and it is time to pelt them out. In 15 years time many of us who survived will have passed to the other side (like many CLICO investors) and a new look DLP will again ascend to primacy to raid the national coffers with the support of the “young educated class”. Seems like we’ve been here before.

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  • @Bushie

    Yes it is being abused but as you know there is a challenge completing the syllabus during a school year. Extra lessons have always been available, it is not new.

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  • David,
    “…Do we have the confidence that home based strategy is working out?”

    I assume you are the author of the article, and thus the one posing the question. I remember 1991, and beyond. I know we are better off now, than we were then. Our Foreign reserves were lower than than they are now, and the outlook for the next couple of years is better than it was at that time. If we have reached where we are now,coming from where we were, why do you think we do not, or should not, have confidence that our home based strategy is working out? For a long time, since Independence, we have been teaching and stressing the need for finding our own solutions to problems. Prime Minister Sandiford, told the IMF, and the credit rating agencies, that we will find our own solutions, and showed that it could be done. Why should the populace have lost the ability to have self confidence, to the extent that we can tell our suppressors to take a flying leap, “we can and will do it our selves. The Government has obviously taken the decision (admirably, in my opinion) to take the time, and exercise the necessary patience to “ease our hands out of the lion’s mouth”, rather than drag it out, and lose the hand in the exercise. What we require is the necessary patience. I was struck this past weekend by the large number of NEW vehicles in the compounds of Courtesy, and McEarney’s vehicle dealerships, waiting for purchasers. What also struck my consciousness is the fact that everyone of these vehicles will be costing (or would have) the country much needed foreign exchange. Either the Manufacturers of these vehicles, or the managers of these dealerships, have supreme confidence that these can, and will, be sold, or it is an exercise in foolhardiness. This alone should indicate that things cannot be as dire as the pundits; on the other side; whichever side that may be, pontificate on.
    However, it is time that each individual citizen should play his/her part in pulling us out of this quicksand of conspicuous consumption of things inimical to our welfare. It is time the we paid attention to import substitution, to counter our over consumption of imported foods. It is time the we did pay more attention to our home grown solutions, and go on a strict diet of self sufficiency rather than the easy life of “sweet things” that increase our level of “diabetes” of foreign borrowing, and increasing National Debt; as opposed to Government debt, even though WE are the government.
    We MUST have the confidence, because it worked in the past, and it can work now.

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  • Bush Tea March 6, 2017 at 9:56 AM #

    I was reliably informed that is a informal part of the education system even at UWI level.

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  • David March 6, 2017 at 10:01 AM #

    What BT is talking about is teachers/professors deliberately holding back material from students so that they will have to attend lessons given by the same teachers/professors or their colleagues on weekends.

    Like

  • @Bajan in NY

    Understood, admitted there is abuse. Note extra classes are delivered by retired teachers. In fact many teachers are opting to leave the service to do extra classes.

    Like

  • In your facebook post one person said because of the economy there will be a brain drain, maybe that is what the govt wants so it can be in power for another 4 years. Black market or underground economy neither pay taxes shouldnt they

    Like

  • David

    In order that no further doubt exists in my statement….I posit that the importation and sale of illegal drugs are keep the economy of Bim afloat…..capiche.

    Like

  • @Vincent

    What informs your posit besides a feeling?

    Like

  • David

    A posit is a theory a feeling,which is open to evidence based rebuttal.

    Like

  • fortyacresandamule

    @ David. Having a high adult literacy rate is always a plus for any country. But that is basic. A productive, creative, innovative, and highly skilled workforce are educational vale-added that drive any economy. Over-producing social science and humanities graduates is a luxury.

    Like

  • Forty,

    It depends on what you mean by a high literacy and numeracy rate. Just being able to read or count to ten is not literacy or numeracy.
    Take Britain, where the government now offers free courses in functional maths and English to O level standard and an entire academic range for 16-19 yr olds, including ICT courses.
    It is a realisation that if you are to function in a highly numerate and literate world, you must bring your future workers up to speed.
    We can do that in Barbados.

    Like

  • @fortyacresandamule

    Agree, Sir Hilary was helbent on enrolling numbers at any cost because of the payment metric. Should we blame him though? Who is responsible for shaping the ethos to influence subject selection?

    Like

  • fortyacresandamule

    @Hal. No disagreement with that boss. Right on point.

    @David. The educational curriculum must align itself with labour demand in the private sector. And not only locally but globally . Barbad needs new industries or services together with expanding the vale-added of the current ones. In other words, we need to expand the economic base. The offshore legal, medical , accounting, HR processs is one example. We are also MIA in the global supply chain.

    Like

  • @Alvin

    The new “premium” cars you mention wait ages for Barbadian customers. Most are sold to diplomats, expats and so on. There is no drain of foreign currency reserves.

    And even, even if a Barbadian has won the lottery: Do not worry about the price, it does not take much foreign currency. My favourite example: BMW 535d

    official price in BB: 420,000 BBD
    net import price (including shipping, excluding all taxes, duties etc): max. 60,000 EUR = 130,000 BBD
    profit of retailer: ???

    I assume the government gets at least 250,000 BBD taxes, duties etc pp out of this deal.

    Like

  • Is it not worth comment that this Stuart government rubbished the role of the social partnership if we are to go by infrequent meetings. All of a sudden we have seen two sub committees established to submit proposals on a way for forward in the next weeks. We like it so.

    Like

  • The Reports of the Sub-committees of the Social Partnership will treated with the same seriousness as Dr. Estwick’s several and repeated Proposals.

    Like

  • The idiot we have for a PM said to his yardfowls on Saturday that the downgrades do not matter as they do not have to borrow on the world market.

    He further said………(Lord this man pisses me off every time he opens his mouth)………..S&P can only downgrade our credit rating but they cannot downgrade our country. Fumble, that is a mute point…………..everybody knows that.

    What ever happen to the $30 million this government borrowed fron FCIB to invest in a Development Bank in Brazil so that it could borrow more money?

    Like

  • Today we learned yet another third party will be launched this week. The Coalition Action Party (CAP) believe it is called.

    Like

  • Sunshine Sunny Shine

    Heyy!!! Which of the DLP and BLP yardfowls and wobbly ducks give my poster the thumbs down. Tell me who you are..NOW!

    Like

  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

    http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/94301/arthur

    lol…that marriage did not last long at all, selfish people can never get along.

    Arthur thinks he may not be needed
    RANDY BENNETT, randybennett@nationnews.com
    Added 07 March 2017

    OWEN ARTHUR may end up not being Government’s chief financial economic advisor after all.

    Days after confirming that he had been approached by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler to be the new chairman of Government’s Council of Economic Advisors, Arthur has seemingly pulled the plug on any such move.

    His decision stems from a move by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart last Friday, during a meeting of the Full Social Partnership at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, to name a number of persons to two working groups set up to tackle the issues of the country’s declining foreign reserves and a skyrocketing fiscal deficit.

    Like

  • Good morning my Dearest Suzanne

    Let me share a few things with you.

    Two actually.

    You are not going to be liked.

    If you were not making an impact on those swine then they would not leave the Bajan Blog of Barbados Underground and go to the United States of America, AMONG 150 million viewers a month AND GIVE YOU A THUMBS DOWN.

    Now if you mean here on BU heheheheh dat doan count In fact i advise that you disable the stat counter and poll daddy

    Those thumb downs mean that what you are doing is wukking.

    Secondly.

    You are averaging 425 direct views !!!

    425 views for a topic on politics in Barbados is damn good

    That is 1/5 of the size of the average vote that 80% of those people casting votes for a candidate in our constituencies.

    Dem is not going to like that my dearest.

    Not in the least.

    Keep on hitting it dear, keep on hitting it

    Like

  • Sunshine Sunny Shine

    Hello My Sweetie

    The truth is, it does not matter to me one bit. Both the DLP and BLP know that all the cunt they have done over the years have finally reached the boil with the electorate. They think all their secrets are well hidden. They think all their lies have fooled the many. They think their get rich schemes are well protected. HAH! I am not going to attack one and leave out the other. Both have shown their time running the government how wicked and sleazy they can be. Mia Mottley must be called to account to deliver governance, not her style or type of governance. This wicked woman must be forced into changing all the systems that have made it easy for politicians to get free easy money. So my sweet piece does not matter who view or do not view, I am going to push the poster campaign for better governance, because after Shite of Freundel Stuart, you reallly think we want another 4 or 8 years shite leadership coming from the Mottley Crew?

    Like

  • Tron:
    You said:”…There is no drain of foreign currency reserves.” What a crock!
    Every item bought from outside of Barbados impacts on our
    foreign Reserves. The companies that export have to be paid in U.S. Dollars. Since we do not produce U.S. dollars, this has to be through our exporters getting U.S. dollars for our products; sugar for instance, or services, paid for in U.S. dollars, or money brought in by Tourists. How many tourists visiting does it take to provide the amount of FOREIGN EXCHANGE, to pay the manufacturer of a NISSAN X-Trail, or the same BMW 60,000.00 Euro? The taxes and duties collected by government is local and would not impact the foreign exchange required to purchase the vehicle. It is the foreign exchange that has to be found to pay the overseas seller. That is why the drugs trade is another user of forex. It is sold for U.S. dollars (so I am told), , even though the five bag is in B’dos dollars. The dealers have to pay the importers in U.S. Is this where our Forex is going? Is sufficient monitoring of couriers undertaken? Quite a conundrum, running a government, as a certain Trump is now discovering.

    Like

  • Alvin, Alvin, you are a typical DLP supporter.

    First Group: Diplomats do not pay the local importer, but the car manufacturer, since their contract is between them and the manufacturer. The local importer is an agent between diplomat and manufacturer.

    Second group: Lots of expats in Barbados have foreign income. Or do you think they rely on Bim´s broken system? They pay to the local importer, but transfer that money from their foreign accounts to the importer or just use their foreign credit cards. Since the local importer has some profit, more foreign currency comes into Bim than flows out.

    Third group: Native Barbadians without foreign income. OK, they drain the reserves. However, the government gets big local money from every deal. Without the excessive taxes and duties, civil servants would sleep under bridges.

    Like

  • @Alvin

    Do not allow the main point to elude you. It is a matter of which import items impact forex more.

    > >

    Like

  • LOL
    Wunna still arguing with Alvin….?

    It is only matter of time before Bushie is forced to make an assessment of those who persist in arguments with the likes of Alvin….

    …and it is NOT likely to include such attributes as ‘patience’, ‘long-sufferance’ or ‘tolerance’..
    Ha ha ha
    Shirt!!!

    Like

  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

    Alvin…really, stop grasping at straws, between the corrupt, bribetaking government ministers and the little minorty business people…..read their bribers….drained the island of foreign exchange, ya should ask Michael Lashley……ya fraud.

    Like

  • Alvin,

    All overseas companies that we do business with do not have to be paid in US dollars. Companies ae paid in the currency agreed to in the contracts. There are global commodities that price in dollars, such as oil, but there is no reason why we cannot pay Caricom partners in Barbadian dollars. That is what forward contracts are for.
    We can also pay in yuans, euros, pounds or even in gipsy nuggets, if that is what our trading partners want. Caricom is our main trading partner, so why do we pay them in US dollars?
    We are obsessed with foreign reserves because the people who should know better, our academics and business leaders, feed it to us like a sleeping pill. It is group think, an inability to think critically.
    One of our leading academics, from an article in the Nation, does not even know why we have foreign reserves. He thinks it is for something that mysterious people agreed to in the long distant past.
    The problem with our economy is much simpler: if we spend more than we earn, then we are in trouble; jut spend what we earn, we are in a better place; spend less than we earn, and we build up a rainy day pot.
    This is true about households as it is about a small businesses or a government. Stop living above our means; ban the car distributors, banks and credit unions from offering sub-prime loans to buy cars. Prosecute banks who lend people money to go to the Trinidad carnival. Good regulation is what is badly needed.
    By the way, on another matter, all investments carry risks. You may de-risk, but you cannot be risk-free.
    By the way, why doesn’t the government package its NIS obligations and sell them on? De-risking pensions is the bees knees.

    Like

  • evah ting fuh sale.

    “The purchaser, United Caribbean Rum Limited (UCRL), is a Barbados holding company and a wholly owned subsidiary of Compagnie de Bonbonnet SAS (Bonbonnet), a privately held French holding company which owns a number of subsidiaries including Maison Ferrand.

    http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/94311/gel-sell-shares-rum-distillery#sthash.lPqAE4WN.dpuf

    Like

  • Note GEL(Goddards) will keep Cockspur and J&R(my choice).

    Like

  • @Hal

    Exporters to Barbados will have to contract in the currency the monetary authority in their countries prefer.

    Like

  • @Tron March 7, 2017 at 7:33 AM Tron March 7, 2017 at 7:33 AM “Without the excessive taxes and duties, civil servants would sleep under bridges.”

    And do we want the people who immunize our children, clean our water, teach our children, watch over us when we sleep at night, look after us when we are sick, and who look after those who have worked for 40-50-60 years for low wages…do we really, really want those people to sleep under bridges?

    And if we force them to sleep under bridges how long do you think it will be before those civil servants vote with their feet/with the wings of any airliner flying out of Barbados?

    And if the civil servants are not there to keep the bad hombres in check how do we continue to live the sweet, safe life?

    We want to fool ourselves that the civil servants are an unproductive drain on the economy, and that we would be better off without them? But will we?

    All credit to donald trump

    Like

  • It is like those people who see child bearing as an wasteful drain on the economy, forgetting that without reproduction there is no production…who will buy your stuff is there is no reproduction…who will [wo]man the fields, the factories, the hotels, etc?

    Like

  • @Simple Simon

    Use some commonsense here. The ask is for an efficient pubic service, not to do away with it.

    Like

  • LOL @ David
    Why is it, you think, that Bajans ALWAYS take the position that, “if it ain’t working, let us get rid of it”? no one ever seem to take the position of FIXING/ UPDATING/ REPAIRING / ADJUSTING/ MAINTAINING….
    It is always a matter of mash up and then look to build back….

    Whether it is Almond, the BNB, NCF, NCC, Transport Board, Snivil Service, the Globe, Empire, or the NIS Building on Fairchild Street…..

    Everyone seems afraid to default to meritocratic decision making that holds persons ACCOUNTABLE for the results that they produce.

    Bushie just returned from being ‘served’ buy a couple of government workers … three of the public service of which Simple is waxing sanctimoniously…..
    LOTTA SHIITE YUH!!!
    Umm mek Bushie LAUGH …with ‘vexness’..

    Like

  • @Bush Tea

    It is so obvious we need to up our standards maintain those standards. You know what they say about doind the same thing and expect a different result.

    Like

  • Dear David: I was responding to this statement which you did not shoot down:

    @Tron March 7, 2017 at 7:33 AM Tron March 7, 2017 at 7:33 AM “Without the excessive taxes and duties, civil servants would sleep under bridges.”

    @David March 7, 2017 at 1:14 PM “Use some commonsense here. The ask is for an efficient pubic service, not to do away with it.”

    I am all for an efficient public service AND an efficient private sector.

    The question is: Do we have either???

    Like

  • @Simple Simon

    We need a golden middle-path between the present status (large overhead of state agencies, ministries etc pp, public buildings too big for the need of a small island) and a model without public care and outsourcing everything.

    Surely, we need police officers, teacher, but not 51 parlamentarians, 18 ministries with many state secretaries and many consultants. Barbados copies big states instead of looking at other microstates. The purpose of an administration is to serve people, not to remedy unemployment in the private sector caused by overpopulation and lack of productivity.

    I am well aware that some IMF-recommendations are bull…, eg privatization of sanitation, water, healthcare and other goods were there is no competition in a free market possible.

    And last not least, since Barbados has only one major product to offer (namely tourism), public investments should focus to attract more tourists. Sadly enough, I do not see any success in making Barbados more attractive for tourists during the last fifteen years. We get all-inclusive-hotels, which is totally the wrong tirection. Also, the prices are simply by far too high. Barbados became the most expensive tourist destination in the western hemisphere without added value.

    Like

  • An intersting parallel discussion in TnT.

    You got to read this! Stuff you never heard about bank fees, the Central Bank, possible collusion, bank oligarchy, what must be done, and with DATA!

    Finally, the Central Bank must promote bank competition within an appropriate framework of prudential regulation. Local banks have become comfortable, perhaps too comfortable with the sight of long lines of customers winding around their banking halls. Yet these customers are the ones who are literally paying the price for banks’ easy come attitude.

    Competition works well in banking when rival banks vigorously seek and woo one another’s customers with innovative products, lower fees and better service. This is more likely to be the case in Trinidad and Tobago if the Central Bank allows at least two more medium-sized (about $40 billion each in assets) non-Canadian banks to enter our financial market.

    Until more competitive banking conditions take root, the Central Bank should issue prudential guidelines on bank fees and service charges. These prudential guidelines would give the Central Bank authority to evaluate whether existing or new fees are reasonable and fair in relation to the customer, and to approve, modify or reject such fees.

    The Central Bank of Ireland, which is a mega-regulator similar to our Central Bank, provides the appropriate model we can look at for some inspiration on how to bring some fairness and balance to bank fees in Trinidad and Tobago.

    The Irish regulatory framework for bank fees seeks to promote competition and improve consumer protection while enabling banks to price their service costs efficiently. It shows how competition and prudential regulation can coexist comfortably, ensuring a stable banking system that adequately serves small customers, businesses and the economy.

    That was an extract, see the full article here:

    Bank Fees…The Good, The Bad and the Very Ugly

    Bank Fees…The Good, The Bad and the Very Ugly

    Do you know how much you paid your bank last year for the convenience of using its services? Some of us may have…

    http://www.jwalarambarran.com/bank-feesthe-good-the-bad-and-the-very-ugly/

    While you are it, read Michael Harris’ column on the same topic

    In defence of the big bad banks

    Mar. 5, 2017, 9:35 PM AST 0 Comments

    As one of those persons in the forefront of the campaign against the wide-ranging and exorbitant range of fees imposed on their customers by our commercial banks I have tried to pay attention to any articles or statements made in public which attempt to justify or at least explain the rationale for

    Like

  • Tron March 7, 2017 at 5:05 PM “We need a golden middle-path between the present status (large overhead of state agencies, ministries etc pp, public buildings too big for the need of a small island) and a model without public care and outsourcing everything.”

    Ahhh!!! A much more nuanced, more reasonable statement.

    Except for the over population bit. As you know Barbados’ population growth rate is actually significantly below replacement level, even while the population base is large.

    Like

  • @Simple Simon

    If only the politicians would be reasonable too …. 😉

    Like

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