Acting Governor Cleviston Haynes to Deliver 2017 Six Month Economic Review


Cleviston Haynes, Acting Governor of the Central Bank

Acting Governor Cleviston Haynes is expected to share with the public this week the six month economic review of the Barbados economy. It will be his first major public outing since being elevated to the post of governor of the Central Bank of Barbados.


The controversial circumstances surrounding his appointment continues to be a concern for right thinking Barbadians who have always been encouraged in the perception that the Central Bank of Barbados is an independent institution -until the recent stewardship under Dr. DeLisle Worrell.

Governor Haynes’ task will be to dispassionately deliver information and interpret data on the current state of the economy and in the process help to retrieve the reputation the Central Bank has earned since it was established in 1972.

The BU household continues to be somewhat cynical when we have to refer to the Central Bank of Barbados as an independent institution stoked by the knowledge that the appointment of the Governor is made by elected politicians. In this case the minister of finance.

Governor Haynes will have to demonstrate integrity and communication skills of a high order to convince the cynics among us that he is not unduly being influenced by the political headwinds gusting across the land as a general election approaches.   How will he explain the routine printing of money by the central bank against the best advice from local, regional and international financial analysts? What about the concomitant effect it continues to have on the  foreign exchange reserves? Then there is the questioning by the International Bank of the integrity of the data collection process that informs analysis and forecast. Will he be in a position to share information on the ongoing and protracted restructuring at the central bank that has dogged his predecessor?  Several other questions can be asked although BU anticipate he will plead the fifth and try to stick to a script for his first time in the spotlight.

Finally, it is being reported the acting governor will revert to the practice of allowing the media to participate in the session, what will be the makeup of the media players who attend the press briefing. Will the media houses see this as an important event and see their ‘heavy weights’ in attendance? The media is one of the key watchdogs in a democracy. On this occasion we wait to see if they squander the opportunity to represent the public it has a mandate to serve.


  • William Skinner

    @ millertheanunnaki May
    I said his work has been in the interest of small economies such as ours. I never said anything about working wonders for the Bajan economy
    Yes Worrell castigated Christine Lagarde, it does not mean he sees no benefit in an IMF program
    I am one of those who believe that the IMF medicine does more harm than good because of the austerity measures the fund demands. It does not mean that I do not understand why governments seek their assistance
    I do not think that there is anything about the Bajan economy that I know that is not common knowledge


  • David,
    You can be concerned about what you like. My argument, and no one has challenged it yet, is that the consensus on foreign reserves is out of date. It is 1960s economics. We do not have to warehouse foreign reserves when that money could be better used. Our problem is out of date economic policy.
    Printing money is not a problem, it is printing money to pay civil servants salaries, as we have discussed before.
    In good financial journalism, whether you agree or not, the point is to have a proper debate. I am prepared to write again, against my better judgement, putting the case for playing the futures market and using the foreign reserves to establish a balance sheet bank and a sovereign wealth fund (along with ring-fencing the NIS and introducing a new compulsory saving scheme).
    Sometimes if you do not understand the argument it is better to remain silent.


  • fortyacresandamule May 2, 2017 at 10:57 PM #

    “The two biggest economic data I view with a lot of scepticism is:GDP and unemployment figures.”

    @ fortyacresandamule

    Interesting comments.


  • @William

    You are reminded of Worrell’s public position regarding the IMF and devaluation for Barbados. This is an integrity matter.


  • NorthernObserver

    the challenge for Dr.W is he was complicit.
    There were several areas as GoCB that he need not have made any comment, but he did.
    He suffered from the same arrogance as ‘tweedle dum and tweedle dee’, albeit he is far more intelligent, and that becomes his downfall. More was expected from him.
    When relative idiots like myself, could see the path Bim’s public finances were on and meanwhile he was towing a political line, then he gets tarred with the same brush.
    It is why in an earlier comment, I suggest act Gov Haynes keep his mouth out of comments on the GoB’s Fiscal Policy moves. Or even suggest ways to decrease public expenditure.
    The public do not interpret “job cuts in the public service” as reducing public expenditure, they interpret it as job loss. Cutting pay, job sharing or any other of many combinations achieve the same goal. But it is not for the GoCB to decide what needs to be cut, only that reductions must be made.


  • Hal to pay debt and when international lending agencies see those reserves falljng nervous excitement takes over sending signals to govr and people that those reserves must not be touched or else
    The “or else” being measures would or must be taken to preserve them
    The sheeplie falls in line and sings from. The imf hyman book at their own peril


  • @Hal

    Please list one country with a fixed exchange rate that manages its foreign reserves as you suggest.


  • There may not be anything wrong with economic data. It is for purposes of political expediency which dictate how that data is manipulated and presented to the public.

    Recall at the end of 2015, the international reserves were recorded at $926.8M, equaling 14 weeks of imports, which exceeded the internationally accepted 12 weeks of imports benchmark.

    The CBB projected a rebound in construction activity during the ensuing 5 years, based primarily on the tourism projects often alluded to, which, as indicated by Sinckler and Worrell, would be a welcomed boost to the fx reserves.

    However, it was “QUIETLY” estimated that these projects would require $1.3B in fx.

    Economic growth was projected at 1.0% for 2015. Unfortunately, with the exception of tourism, no other sector recorded any significant levels of economic activity. For example, during the year, while no international banks were licensed, 2 closed; total exports and construction declined by 7% and 3% respectively.

    Additionally, the high levels of taxation prevented the private sector from making any significant investment in the economy, through an expansion of existing businesses or the establishment of new businesses.

    Obviously, these developments would have negatively impacted the fx reserves and economic growth.


    Hal Austin May 3, 2017 at 11:31 AM #

    “I am prepared to write again, against my better judgement, putting the case for playing the futures market and using the foreign reserves to establish a balance sheet bank and a sovereign wealth fund (along with ring-fencing the NIS and introducing a new compulsory saving scheme).”

    @ Hal Austin

    Perhaps you should “write again,” as I am interested in reading and understanding how your suggestion, especially taking into consideration the risks involved in the futures market.


  • @ Miller

    If one compares, for example, Dr. Worrell’s analysis in his working paper # 85: “Policies for Stabilization and Growth in Small Very Open Economies,” with many of his pronouncements as GoCBB, on issues relative to monetary policy, foreign exchange rate and debt management, two diametrically opposed viewpoints are evident.

    Hence, criticisms of his tenure as GoCBB are justified.


    David May 3, 2017 at 11:43 AM #

    “Please list one country with a fixed exchange rate that manages its foreign reserves as you suggest.”

    @ David

    Excellent question!!!


  • NorthernObserver

    how does that become an “integrity” matter?
    The IMF is full of EX-politicians, who forget they are no longer politicians.


  • William Skinner

    @ David
    “A transcript of the meeting, showed a vigorous debate between Worrell and Lagarde, a former French minister of finance, over the merits of devaluation, and how economic growth could be achieved.”

    You may want to point out the integrity issue. I don’t see it. Like I said, I am totally opposed to IMF programs for small economies such as ours.


  • millertheanunnaki

    @ William Skinner May 3, 2017 at 11:28 AM
    “I am one of those who believe that the IMF medicine does more harm than good because of the austerity measures the fund demands. It does not mean that I do not understand why governments seek their assistance
    I do not think that there is anything about the Bajan economy that I know that is not common knowledge..”

    The problem with your position is that you oppose Worrell’s IMF proposal without proffering an alternative other than your sterile anti-IMF fervour. If not the IMF what, WS?

    Hasn’t the same administration (which Worrell once backed to the hilt) been fiddling around since 2013 with non-IMF alternatives?

    What have been the benefits of those measures other than an obvious deterioration of the social services and a crumbling infrastructure?

    Which you think is more competent to extract your bad tooth? Your mother with a pliers or a trained dentist with some painkillers called structural adjustment loans?

    It’s time Bajans bite the bullet and start living within their economic means.
    The first order of the new day is to stop the printing of money to keep unproductive people on the payroll to spend the fast dwindling forex.

    Printing money by this administration is like giving crack to an addict to cure his habit.
    Let the country go cold turkey for its own good.


  • Let the country go cold turkey . Tell that to the unions who belivies that economic prosperity lays in the hands of govt funding every or else they the Unions would dispense their own form of austerity measures on the country


  • @William

    The point is Worrell was warned months ago about the outcomes we are currently battling.


  • William Skinner

    @ David
    I find it strange that you don’t know
    the difference between what you consider
    not taking warning and integrity. That has
    always been your problem. You can’t deem
    somebody a liar or lacking integrity
    simply because you believe they screwed.
    If that were so many children teachers
    and priests would have no integrity.
    Even so if a person was following a
    a particular path and then changed after
    further analysis or experience that in
    itself does not denote integrity.


  • William Skinner

    @ Miller
    You are wrong yo say I have not offered
    alternatives. A few weeks ago I wrote
    my position right her on BU. I suggested
    putting the public servants on a four day
    week; transforming the polytechnic, Commuinty Coolegeand UWI into modern
    vocational centers, investing in fisheries,
    a road highway program stretching 15 years
    at a cost of one billion dollars etc
    Please try and read it.


  • David,

    I am repeating myself. I have said before in BU that we should decouple from the Greenback, fix against a basket of currencies and commodities; use some of the foreign reserves to re-establish a domiciled balance sheet bank, which was destroyed by Arthur because he failed to understand the role of banks in financial intermediation.
    I would also reform the NIS, ring-fencing the current liabilities and using the rest to establish a Sovereign Wealth Fund.
    At the same time I would tightly regulate the funds of 22 existing insurance companies, including how they invest policyholders money.

    @ Artax,

    Economics have moved on since the 1960s, the period that dominated our teaching at UWI. In fact, there were significant changes in the 1970s, again in the 1980s and, as we all know, since 2008.
    In fact, fifty years ago the IMF created the SDR specifically to replace the Greenback as the global reserve currency, it is still on track. It can be used for bond issuance, trade payments and loans.
    Between 1980 and 2007, the global crash, growth in developed economies averaged 2.9 per cent, by contrast the developing and emerging worlds out paced this and are expected to grow by 4.6 per cent in 2017/8, about twice the rate of the develop economies, with China at 6.4 per cent, India at 7.5 per cent, Latin America at 1.5 per cent.
    This is not all, there has been a fundamental shift in global trade, a decoupling from the Greenback, which the decision makers in Barbados seem not to understand.
    From 1980 to 2007, advanced economies accounted for 59 per cent of global GDP in purchasing power parity; while developing and emerging economies accounted for 41 per cent.
    By 2018, this is now expected to shift, with developed economies accounting for 41 per cent and the developing and emerging economies accounting for 59 per cent.
    In short, not wanting to bore you with numbers, the world has changed over the last decade and Barbados is out of tune with what is going on.
    We have been under-performing the global, and regional economies for decades, under both BLP and DLP governments, while households rack up extraordinary and apparently uncontrollable debt.

    @ Artax,
    I am willing to debate these issues with our public intellectuals and public economists at any time. We still fail to understand that the old political certainties are over, this is a new
    ball game.


  • It is hard for us to understand how a highly ‘educated’ man like Worrell could claim integrity when duopoly politics, not his training nor natural talents, guided professional actions for 8 years.

    Or others claim it in his name.

    More deeply, integrity has no such limited meaning and must come with other things, such as courage, decency, truthfulness.

    Integrity cannot live on a deserted island.

    But courage only appeared once there was a political disagreement.


  • CUP.Violet Beckles Plantation Deeds from 1926-2017 land tax bills and no Deeds,BLPand DLP Massive land Fruad and PONZI

    angela Skeete May 3, 2017 at 12:53 PM # @@

    Why would you want to blame the Unions when its the fault of the DLP and BLP and the DBLp government, When they lies catch up with them they want us all to pay, The Union members are still working , Who has walk out?

    We need not go near the IMF, Maybe better for the Government take the 24 Billion in the Banks and pay the people accouts back at 5% as you may get from the CB printing crooks!


  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

    Barbados has way too many economists who obviously dont know what they are doing, an economy that small should have people intelligent enough to keep it on track instead of every econkmist having a different idea and none that actually works.

    I could just see the disaster all these economists would create in large economies with populations in the millions, hundreds of millions, or billions, for christ sake the island barely has 280,000 people, one hospital, one college, one university, one transportation system, no national bank, one government controlled central bank and is tiny as hell, managing such an economy should not seem or sound like rocket science,


  • millertheanunnaki

    @ William Skinner May 3, 2017 at 1:58 PM

    Those are not foreign exchange earning ventures.

    And why would the Chinese sponsor any fisheries business to put at further competitive risks their own investments in fish canning businesses in South East Asia?

    It sounds like you have just made out a much stronger case than your mentor Worrell to go to the IMF for the much needed funds to undertake your proposed structural adjustment programme.

    Now from where would the current beleaguered administration get $ 1 billion unless it employs its Mickey mouse money printing press?


  • “Now from where would the current beleaguered administration get $ 1 billion unless it employs its Mickey mouse money printing press?”
    Serious as a judge now Miller …. (a real-real judge …not like bout hay….)

    You have a way of putting these things that can only be described as….
    Sweet as shiite!!!!



  • William Skinner

    @ Miller
    1billion over 15 years to upgrade highways: relocation employment better highways/roads, increased productivity. Do the math/arithmetic.
    I dont see why improving our fisheries has to be financed by Chinese. I never mentioned Chinese.
    As for the IMF , I can’t convince you and you cannot convince me. We would have to leave it at that. You could be right !
    Furthermore I never said current administration. I was talking about a comprehensive road/highway improvement over fifteen years to bring our network into the 21st century. I see development beyond petty political nit picking.
    I see Barbados, not BLPDLP.


  • Hall, “the world has changed over the last decade and Barbados is out of tune with what is going on”. Indeed. The same politics as in the 1960s.


  • Vincent Haynes

    millertheanunnaki May 3, 2017 at 2:47 PM #

    Hmmmmm…..we could be following Trump ,he has indicated shutting down the country in September…..our govt will most likely be in that position around the same time…..must be a plan of great minds thinking alike.

    We need money in the short term to turn this country around,the sort of money only an IMF program can facilitate(I have left out China&UAE) that.

    ….can the IMF objectors state where else we can get this money from?

    …..note from june on,we have massive debts to service are we going to default on them or restructure them at absorbitant rates?


  • Tron,

    I can remember George Ferguson coming in to my mother’s shop buying rum and corned beef and biscuits to get votes. Some things have not changed.
    I have said before, we need a new kind of politics.


  • @ Hal Austin

    Firstly, you cannot bore me with numbers, because dealing with numbers is how I make a living.

    Secondly, although I understand the reasons of your references to “growth in developed economies averaged 2.9 per cent, by contrast the developing and emerging worlds outpaced this and are expected to grow by 4.6 per cent in 2017/8, about twice the rate of the develop economies, with China at 6.4 per cent, India at 7.5 per cent, Latin America at 1.5 per cent,” I do not believe it is fair to compare the Barbados economy with developed economies of countries such as the USA, European Union, China or Latin America, unless such comparison is made under circumstances where Barbados is included, for example, in a “United Caribbean” or CSME model, where the collective economies are viewed as one.

    Additionally, despite presenting some very impressive statistics, you did not provided any evidence to suggest if the traditional “1960s economic models” or “modern economic policies” were responsible for the growth experienced by the countries you referred to.

    As a small open economy, Barbados is vulnerable to economic and political shocks, (which usually have immediate impacts) and economic activity does not influence the world interest rate. Hence, the island’s economic indicators would be affected by events occurring in international economy. This is one of the reasons why countries with different levels economic development were affected differently by the recent global economic crisis.

    You stated: “We have been under-performing the global and regional economies for decades.” To mitigate or avoid negative impacts from economic and political shocks in the international economy, one obvious recommendation would be to influence sustainable growth of industries and production capacity, thereby reducing the dependence on imports and increasing production capacity to create more employment.

    You must bear in mind that large scale manufacturing, sugar and agricultural industries are no longer viable; construction activity is on the decline; and the international financial sector has seen the closure of 2 banks and no licenses issued to establish new ones.

    The manufacturing, wholesale and retail sectors of Barbados and many of the other Caribbean islands are controlled by the Trinidadians. Therefore, they can benefit from generous concessions as determined by CSME, import Trinidadian products, through their shipping agencies, to their wholesale companies to be subsequently sold by their supermarkets. As such, Stag and Carib beer can be sold in cheaper in Barbados than the local Banks or Deputy.

    However, on the other hand, Barbadian exports are subjected to various stipulations and tariffs, which present some difficulties for products such as Pine Hill Dairy milks and juices, for example, to be competitive in regional markets. Then there is the anomaly where I can pay much less for a Pine Hill juice in St. Vincent than from Jordan’s Supermarket.

    Basic economics says because resources (land, capital, entrepreneurship) are scarce, an economy is faced with three questions: what to produce, how to produce and for whom to produce.

    What can Barbados produce to become competitive and make the economy more independent?


  • Artax
    Casinos might still play the role Tom Adams had envisaged during his tenure but it would be a very bold step to take.


  • angela Skeete

    IMF is another bowl in hand strategy. The Imf has been touting Jamaica IMF program as being succesful. Jamaica had been in an IMF program for low many years and those who have seen the social pitfalls and downslide of Jamaica social enviroment hold their noses and ask what sucess


  • @William

    And your problem is shying away from holding our officials accountable. You can t have your cake and eat it too. Worrell was warned that his rubber stamping of government’s policies would come back to bite us in the ass. He sat as Chair of an economic council as well as Governor of the central bank where he presided over an economic model of rampant consumption based on debt. We make no apology for questioning his role in the mess we find ourselves. He was a key decision maker; Sinckler is no Tom Adams or Owen Artur.


  • @Hal

    Be specific, which currencies do you suggest qualify for your basket of currencies?

    What foreign reserves are you referring? The less than 10 weeks that likely includes SDRs?

    You are aware the leading insurance players in Barbados what play in the life and pension space are AM Best rates?


  • William Skinner

    @ David
    If you think that in terms of Ministers
    of Finance, that there is all that difference
    between Tom Adams, Arthur and Sinkler
    it shows your that you have a completely
    different view from mine.Perhaps you can
    show me the significant differences in their
    economic management. Where are the
    REAL differences in economic policy?
    Note I asked REAL not STYLE..
    Please note also that I am not defending


  • Omg,

    Fumbles said yesterday that bajans must be prepared to carry more of the weight…… tonight on DLPTV, UWI fees are going up come August.

    Well………….there goes university education for the thousands leaving school in a few months.


  • fortyacresandamule

    @Artax. John K. Galbraith once said : ” The only function of ECONOMIC FORECASTING is to make ASTROLOGY look respectable”. He is still right on the money today.


  • William Skinner seem to be of the opinion that the NDP was the political party that Barbados needed since the 90’s.Besides being a persistent defender of his friend and village compatriot Dr Worrell who every bajan knows sold his soul to the numerically challenged current MoF one Sinckler for a mess of pottage and who turned around and some would say ungratefully fired the same Dr Worrell,who every bajan knows sold his soul for a mess of pottage,this guy Skinner dares to suggest that there is little difference between this man Sinckler and the two scholars who were former prime ministers and successful ministers of finanace of the sovereign state of Barbados.For William’s information the one outing your party figure had in a Barrow administration to show his prowess in that ministry of Finance resulted in such disaster starting with taxing carrots and yams in his budget,made promises to the electorate that all medical expenses would be tax deductible,that insurance policies would be tax deductible,that all home maintenance would be tax deductible,all of which were subsequently withdrawn,arranged a bullet loan that had such a high rate of interest it led to Barrow’s untimely passing and when Sandy read the riot act to him,he picked up his stumps and walked off the field and formed his own party and managing to lose every seat except his own and made the treasury richer by forfeiting nearly every deposit.That is the kind of economic oversight Skinner would have us believe would have been the panacea for this country in the 90’s and beyond,except that the electorate would have none of it.
    To dare to seek to compare one Sinckler,a poppet,a disaster in the ministry of finance,to compare that man with the brilliant and outstanding scholar and MoF Adams and the equally outstanding and brilliant scholar and MoF Arthur is unworthy of comment.


  • fortyacresandamule

    @Hal. I agree with your point about printing money in a control manner and using it to increase productivity enhancing investment. However, it requires strict discipline and laser-like focus.

    Your other point about the reserve management, I beg to disagree. The only countries in the world that can build huge national wealth funds are those who continuously have a positive current account balances and the governments of those nation own a sizable chunk of the assets that are generating these huge foreign currency surpluses. Eg Gulf oil nations, Norway, Singapore etc. Barbados reserve is mostly build on volatile FDI inflows and borrow funds.


  • Puerto Rico has declared bankruptcy. At least Puerto Ricans can go to the US and look for work. Where will Bajans go when we declare bankruptcy?


  • William Skinner

    @ Gabriel
    Like I said, I see our country beyond the
    BLPDLP, and if that is unclear to you, I
    also saw it beyond the NDP. You need to
    explain the SIGNIFiCANT differences.
    Do you believe we got here because of
    Sinkler alone. He is just the latest . Under
    Adams:IMF; Under Sandiford :IMF;
    Under Arthur we also had downgrades. You
    are talking about degrees of achievement,
    none of which corrected the structural
    problems or fundamentally shifted the
    economy in terms of distribution of
    wealth and land reform. Let us discuss
    serious issues. The BLPDLP have
    managed and won every single election
    since independence and pray tell where
    are we NOW. Talk about Substance
    not style.


  • William
    If you would take off your political blinkers and see today’s newspaper with those kids enjoying swimming in various pools celebrating post 11 plus exams.When I took the equivalent,it was just another day at the races.Now the average bajan is having pool parties and we are not talking colour nor class.Everyone has moved up in Barbados.Stop whining and recognize the general movement in the standard of living.My beef is the money we have spent should have seen every bajan living comfortably in their own home with the usual creature comforts. $7million spent on non sensical celebrations is more like the Sinckler economics that need exposing.Barbados is better off than it ever was but there are a lot of opportunities that have been lost because of poor or no decision making by a government without leadership and without a vision but obsessed with the wrong idea of what governance is or should be.


  • @ Gabriel
    Stinkliar is is a special class all by himself when it comes to idiocy….

    Shiite boss…. when a man could impose a shiite tax to raise money to hand to Bizzy for collecting garbage – which another businessman was PAYING us to collect, we should have realised that this was UWI-level idiocy.

    When he imposed the tipping fee, Bushie COULD NOT BELIEVE that someone could be so foolish… Even Carl Moore could have predicted the outcome … namely that garbage would be dumped in every possible gully, gap and field … which the same shiite government then has to clean up ….and take to the dump FREE of tipping fees…

    But the crowning glory was his plan to buy an abandoned hotel (Almond)
    Pay millions to demolish it
    Borrow hundreds of millions to rebuild the same shiite hotel
    …and then hand it over to a foreigner, who is best know for pissing in Paradise….

    It really should be no surprise that Stinkliar and company decided to build the temple to Satan on the damn Garrison…. with the pitchfork dominating the landscape….
    Only demonic possession can explain such levels of complete and stark idiocy.


  • William Skinner

    @ Gabriel
    As I have said on many occasions, the
    BLPDLP have done equally well and
    equally badly. If you want to attribute
    all the problems we are having to one
    party, you are free to believe that!
    I have long concluded that they have
    both outlived their usefulness. I assure
    you that unless the BLPDLP change
    course, we will be still here , with the
    same problems and the same solutions,
    10, 15, or 20 years from now.
    We may still have the 11 plus and the
    children will still be in pools after the
    exam. And all will be as well as it is now.
    So be it, my friend.


  • fortyacres,

    Thanks for agreeing with me on something. But your idea of a massive sovereign wealth fund is your idea, not mine. I said we should have a sovereign wealth fund whose purpose would be to manage national investments. In fact, one of the global experts on SWFs is a Barbadian. Get him in and talk to him.
    I do not expect it to match that of Norway, or the Saudis or Singapore; however, over time, with proper professional management – and kept at a distance from amateur politicians – it will grow. Given a mandate, of the base rate plus a minimum of 100 basis points, that would be achievable.
    Further, it is generally accepted all over the world, except in Cave Hill and Bay Street, that investing heavily in foreign reserves means the country invests less in infrastructure, education, health, housing, security, etc all of which will make a greater contribution to long-term economic growth.
    By ploughing our foreign reserves in to US treasuries we are making the Greenback (the fixed rate Bajan) stronger, thereby undermining our own economy and contributing to global economic imbalances.
    The reality is that the US economy is living on borrowed time and our politicians, policy makers and academics seem to be oblivious to this.
    My explanation for this is the lack of a wide public debate. While at it, we also need to think about the role of the media in a developing society. As long as the press, radio and television see themselves as party-political (phone-in radio is a cheap hoax, for which we must blame the Australians, who invented it in order to talk to the outback) there will be no advance in public knowledge.
    A good example of this is the politics of Barbados Today, which often abandons its responsibility to readers in order to plug its favourite politicians and public intellectuals, thereby reinforcing the death lock that the economic consensus has on public economic thinking – no matter how wrong.


  • angela Skeete

    Hal it is not a matter of small island nations not utilizing methods of investing in foreign reserves. Small island govts has little or no choice but to set aside foreign reserves as it is a prerequisite which guarantees that the borrower would have sufficient funds to pay back the loan.
    In part the borower has little or no choice but agreed to that in order to get the loan a fund must be set up as a guarantee of repayment
    Since small islands have little or no tangible goods or services upon which they can used as gurantees against the loan for repayment setting aside foreign reserves is the only systematic and simplistic way of doing so
    Larger countries that have higher productivity levels and growth margins might not be as handtied to the strigent rule of having foreign reserves at a specific level as their econmies are better balanced and positioned for growth and not solely dependable on one source of income and therefor can take a gamble in floating their fiances into other areas of their economie
    Unfortunately small island nations cannot match or does not have the luxury of doing so because of their limited resources


  • Steupsss…
    Foreign reserves are, to a country, what a savings account is to a family. It represents the accumulated surplus of income over expenses, and is typically held in some ‘foreign’ (outside of the family) institution – such as a bank.
    The amount of such an account provides a good indication of the extent to which such a family can afford to incur further investment, debt, etc …. or indeed, if that family should be cutting back on expenses and/or seeking urgently to increase income.

    Enter the shiite hounds called ‘economists’ (whatever the hell those are), …and a simple concept is contaminated by albino-centric avarice.

    Our savings account is at bank A.

    What we have done is borrow money from bank B to deposit into our savings account in bank A; got loans to build infrastructure – and deposit the LOANS into the savings account at Bank A; ….Then we go around bragging that our ‘savings account’ is so many billions of dollars…. and we keep spending as if it was really so…

    When Bank B’s loan comes due, we borrowed from Bank C to pay bank B their money…PLUS interest.
    When bank C’s loan became due, we had to pull out the credit card – at ridiculous interest rates, to pay off bank C….

    Mind you (as Caswell would say) ….all the while, we are living like people who have excess income over expenses in the billions yuh….

    Now our ass is grass….. cause when current loans come due, our ‘savings account’ will be shown to be VERY negative – and bank A will start extracting its pound of flesh…. and THEY are the REAL albino-centric vultures….

    All because our brilliant ‘economists’ invented some shiite term called ‘FOREX’ and contaminated a simple concept ….one that ANY basic housewife understands, and uses to manage the affairs of her family….



  • @Bush Tea

    At the core of our problem is the system of FIAT, consumer behaviour fueled by rampant conspicuous consumption, lack of productivity (business facilitation) and global competitiveness.


  • @ David
    The core of the problem is our (natural but stupid) propensity to be greedy and self-centred.
    We want, want, want and want….. for ourselves…. and we try to get, get, get …at ANY COST.

    Basically we have a government that is empowered to create its own credit card, justified with flawed economic jargon, and to splurge like there is no tomorrow …or grand children….

    But because we have enjoyed the scratch grain falling from their splurging over the years, we have gone along, like yardfowls, with the charade…

    Guess who’s necks will be on the line when the piper starts playing the tune….?


  • Vincent Haynes

    Biologist David Sloan Wilson: “Free markets will ensure that society benefits as a result – this narrative makes it seem reasonable to eliminate social controls…
    See more
    How Norway Proves Laissez-faire Economics Is Not Just Wrong, It’s Toxic.
    A surprisingly simple solution to the conflict between self-interest and mutual benefits at all hierarchical levels|By Evonomics: The Next Evolution of Economics


  • The abundance of ignorance being peddled on the talk show today is frankly an embarrassment to educated Barbadians.


  • @David May 5, 2017 at 11:29 AM “The abundance of ignorance being peddled on the talk show today is frankly an embarrassment to educated Barbadians.”

    Which talk show David? Can you provide a link?


  • I heard people on Brasstacks talking about how they are being ripped off by the banks. Do the regulators listen to these shows?


  • Do the regulators listen to these shows?
    Ha ha ha
    What regulators?

    When a foreign man is controlling your money,
    setting your rates and fees,
    deciding on your loans… your mortgage…

    What regulate what??!!

    That is yet another brass bowl fallacy being propagated to fool the masses that they have retained some level of control…
    All it does is allow us to put in the vaseline ourselves before they do what they have to do.
    In this albino-centric culture, the ‘golden rule’ applies…

    He who has the gold, …MAKES the rules….


  • de pedantic Dribbler

    @Bush Tea, where is the “… flawed economic jargon” that is either new or which has been used as a justification for the insane overspending and consumption??

    This continued comparison of a national economy to a household’s balanced cheque book is simplistic and amusingly disingenuous.

    But it sounds sweet…just as sweet as the palaver that a good businessman should make a good politician…and is just as irrational.

    Frankly, it’s shocking that with all these prudent households who maintain a balanced chequing a/c that we can’t find a few good house-wives (or house-husbands) to manage the national affairs better.

    How scandalous!


  • When joseph kennedy got a stock tip from an elevator operator he new it was time to get out of the market saving him from the crash ; the way bushy is talking of all the people being ripped off leads me to conclude….if all people have money …govt must be printing to much paper…better get money into hard currency’s.


  • Gabriel:
    “… $7million spent on non sensical celebrations is more like the Sinckler economics that need exposing”
    Was the money spent on Mars, or was it paid to Bajans in Barbados? If it had been put into any other project; filling pot holes, buying dressings, paying bonuses to civil servants, it would still have been a cost to government. The money paid Bajans. Open your eyes and see the bigger picture. Look at the U.S. economy; what is the size of their National Debt, what steps are they taking to pay it down? People like Miller need to take their foreign exchange and convert it into local currency and invest it in local projects, instead of waiting and hoping for a devaluation. The Private sector need to adopt a Barbados First attitude, and everyone needs to pull their own weight.
    The proprietors in Bay Gardens need to get together, each contribute toward the costs of replacing the benches, and hire a few carpenters to replace the worn out benches. Why do they have to wait for government to replace them. Instead of buying cheap plastic chairs that are dangerous, the benches can be manufactured right there, it does not take genius to do that. the same benches can be used as templates too make a number of new ones. The vendors are too lazy.They are the ones making money from the people who visit Ousting. Why can’t the vendors in the Bay Gardens get together, form a cooperative, form their own maintenance teaM, HIRE CHERRY, or any other garbage removal unit AND contract on their own for FOR THEIR OWN DRAIN CLEANERS. Stop this dependence on the nipples of government.


  • LAWSON ” lawson May 5, 2017 at 5:33 PM #

    When joseph kennedy got a stock tip from an elevator operator he new it was time to get out of the market saving him from the crash”

    I have been pondering the hugely inflated real estate values in major cities, which has oft been attributed to investment of funds from overseas wealthy, such as the Far East.

    Probably some of this is true, however, when you look at the sheer level of the inflation of the real estate values, the question that springs to mind is whether this is the only reason.

    If you take the view that it cannot be the only reason, due to the sheer magnitude of recent increases, the existence of another significant reason makes sense.

    That some are transferring serious funds into ‘hard’ capital, such as real estate, because they see the stock market crashing in the near future.

    With the US, China, UK, all having very high debt levels (and no, this does not excuse ours but that is another story), logically some reset must come due at some point.

    This question is particularly relevant, as the stock market has itself gone very high in the past few years, but based on what?


  • So, posting this here under ‘economic review’. Today’s Nation re Bandleaders complaints. One is the 17.5% VAT.

    What? So, every other business deals with VAT, what makes them special?

    Bear in mind, VAT is a value added tax. Which means that they only pay 17.5 % on the value they have added i.e. revenue over costs.

    Are they saying that their value add , excess of revenue over their costs, are so high as to cause them harm if they have to pay 17.5 % of that over to BRA?

    This is what is screwing up the country.

    No one wants to pay their fair share of taxes.


  • Sinckler has rejected the proposals from all comers. It is being reported that the Governor will release his review tomorrow.

    Sinckler rejects Worrell’s IMF prescription

    Added by Davandra Babb on May 8, 2017.

    Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler says though the Barbados economy is definitely not well at the moment, he is yet to see the logic of those clamouring for Government to immediately put it into the hands of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

    In rejecting out of hand the economic prescription issued last week by the recently dismissed Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados Dr DeLisle Worrell, Sinckler warned on Sunday that even if the Freundel Stuart administration were to decide to go to the IMF tomorrow, it was unlikely that any tangible benefits would be realized from that move within the next six months.

    And while at pains to point out that the economic problems the country was facing could not be fixed overnight, he further cautioned that a short term fix was more than desirable at this stage.

    “We know the deficit is high, we know the Government is relying overly on the Central Bank, and that needs to be brought under a serious level of discipline and that we are going to do, but we have to do that in a responsible fashion,” Sinckler told reporters on the sidelines of his annual picnic at Bath, St John for senior citizens in his St Michael North West constituency.

    “We didn’t get there overnight and I don’t think we are going to be able to unravel it overnight by the waving of a magic wand, or going and doing an IMF programme and so on.

    “If we were to say, ‘let’s go to the IMF tomorrow’, it takes between six to eight months to negotiate and complete and have approved by an executive board at the IMF. But if you have an immediate problem that needs to be dealt with now you can’t wait six to eight months negotiating with anyone to get that done. And in any case, the IMF can say, ‘I want to see prior measures. Demonstrate to me that you are going to be serious about x, y or z.’

    “It’s not as simplistic as people make it out to be. These are options, but governance is real time,” the Minister of Finance stressed.

    STILL AT ODDS: Ex-Central Bank Governor Dr DeLisle Worrell and Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler.

    However, Worrell is among leading economists who have been calling on Government to bite the bullet and get help from the Washington-based IMF “in designing the reform process to increase efficiency through the employment of higher levels of skill and the appropriate use of new technology, with no permanent diminution in the quality of public services”.

    In the first of a series of personal economic letters issued last Tuesday, Worrell, who was fired by Sinckler back in February at the height of their bitter public disagreement over monetary and administrative policy, suggested that in addition to cutting the size of the public service, Government would be “well advised” to seek the assistance of the IMF “without delay” in a bid to safeguard the Barbados dollar.

    Worrell’s call came against the backdrop of a worrying economic situation highlighted by dwindling foreign exchange reserves, which fell precariously from $1.4 billion in 2012 to $681 million by the end of last year. Government is also struggling to service its already high debt of over 100 per cent of gross domestic product that requires servicing to the tune of over $300 million annually and the ex-Governor is concerned that the situation will negatively affect Barbados’ currency.

    However, while acknowledging that the economy is not yet out of the woods, Sinckler remains buoyed by the fact that it “continues to grow”.

    And though very dismissive of Worrell and others, including former Prime Minister Owen Arthur, who have been seeking to push the Government down the IMF road to recovery, Sinckler said on Sunday he was looking forward to this week’s economic review by the Acting Governor of the Central Bank Cleviston Haynes of the island’s first quarter economic performance.

    “We wait to hear the acting Governor of the Central Bank’s report and we would have a better idea of what it is and what has happened for last year and for the first three months of this year,” he said, adding that “based on what we are seeing there and what projections we are expecting we would finalize the rest of the fiscal measures to be introduced,” he said.

    The Minister of Finance, who is yet to give a precise date for his much-anticipated National Budget, said Barbadians could expect it around the middle of this month.

    “We are just finalizing the measures, but as people in Barbados know we have issues to deal with, the deficit is still a bit too high. We have projected a deficit this year on the base line of 4.4 [per cent of the Gross Domestic Product] – that’s in the Estimates. That’s still too high, we have to bring that down by two per cent or below two per cent.

    “We would like to go to a balanced budget, but to do that in the remaining period of the financial year, might be a little to steep a hill to climb, but we will see how it goes,” he said.

    And while keeping his actual Budget announcements close to his chest, Sinckler said Government was focused on reducing its costs and increasing its earnings.

    “We have to look at our expenditures and our revenue collection,” he said.

    When asked if the country was in danger of another downgrade from the ratings agencies, the Minister of Finance said he could not run an economy worrying about rating agencies.

    “We can’t run an economy worrying about what S&P or Moody’s is going to do next week. What you do is you check and do what you deem to be best for the country and the economy and hopefully that comports what they may want to see. Sometimes it doesn’t but when you are governing, you have to make decisions that are real time and what you believe are in the best decision of the people,” he stressed.


  • Sinckler is reported to have said ” you have to make decisions that are real time”

    He is correct but……….

    The immediacy of the decisions is irrelevant if the decisions are wrong.


  • @Hants

    The pertinent question we need to discuss- why is Sinckler and government correct in their policy measures and the many technocrats et al wrong.


  • David,
    ‘The public do not interpret “job cuts in the public service” as reducing public expenditure, they interpret it as job loss”
    Whether it is a job loss or a reduction in public expenditure, the salient point is that something has to give. the demand for social services is incessant, and has to be attended to, especially in small open economies like ours. When you compare this demand with the demands in big economies you see that in large economies, the trade off is always in deference to the rich who can pay for these social services. In economies like ours it is government that has to fulfill these demands. Look at the debacle in health care in the U.S. now that the Republicans have taken over. The cries of the poor and disadvantaged are ignored, and the tax breaks to the rich keep increasing. the “trickle down” economics do not work. Barbados does quite nicely, despite what the “conservatives; like Bushie, Miller, Artax, Frustrated, and those others who decry the “printing” of money “to pay civil servants>” At least it is all local and homegrown, taken from our own bank, and not doled out as a “loan” from a foreign entity, with onerous conditions, and which have to be paid with foreign exchange.With a “loan” from our own bank, we set the terms and get repaid from our own.
    You are wrong. Going to a “slot machine” like the IMF, is like going to any Casino up here. Whether you press the button or pull the handle to set the wheels rolling, the result is the same. The “house” ALWAYS wins.


  • @Boots Cummins

    Have not spotted you recently patrolling Broad Street with your trademark sandals and short pants!


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