Barbados’ 2017 Six Months Economic Performance Labeled as ‘Uneven’

Acting Governor of the Central Bank, Cleviston Haynes

The Barbados economy registered an uneven performance during the first half of the year. Preliminary data suggest that the expansion in real economic output continued into the second quarter, primarily reflecting sustained growth in tourism activity. The fiscal deficit narrowed moderately in the first quarter of fiscal year (FY) 2017/18, partially the result of the fiscal consolidation measures implemented in the previous fiscal year. However, the stock of international reserves fell below 10 weeks of import cover, owing in part to expected external debt service obligations and the on-going delays in securing planned foreign investment inflows. The context for this outturn is that the Barbados economy has underperformed in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, as evidenced by low growth and significant fiscal and external imbalances. The Government of Barbados has, particularly since 2013, sought to contain the fiscal deficit through a range of tax and expenditure measures, but the fiscal deficit has remained stubbornly high. Over the three preceding fiscal years, the fiscal deficit has been out of line with available financing as access to financing on the domestic and international capital markets weakened, resulting in a sharp increase in accommodation from the Central Bank.

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97 thoughts on “Barbados’ 2017 Six Months Economic Performance Labeled as ‘Uneven’

  1. What was the most telling statement for the NSRL…..was when the MoF stated that the requests of the unions to remove the NSRL could be met if only the private sector would send 60M or even 40M from their overseas accounts to the Central Bank.

  2. Is there a government anywhere that takes on a fight with the private sector especially if it is firmly mired in an economic hole for 7 years? Even Abed was begging Stuart to show some urgency. What was agreed? Reports will be distributed, meetings will be held by September, cabinet and then parliament will deliberate -this will run into the Christmas break, by February 2018 some attempt to make some decisions will be attempted all with a general election on the horizon.

    The idiocy!

  3. Why would central bank allow the private sector to remove so much foreign exchange from Barbados over the years……

    ……why would Sinckler and previous ministers of finance allow that flight of foreign exchange from the island to begin with……knowing it would ultimately disable the island financially,

    They all have been too corrupt for too long., the people should not have to pay for their corruption.

  4. “Is there a government anywhere that takes on a fight with the private sector especially if it is firmly mired in an economic hole for 7 years?”

    Yes. Venezuela.

    As I predicted in March, the guns and the machete are ruling the island now.

  5. The MOF admitted that he is out of options…………hence nothing can be done with the NSRL.

    He said banks are not lending to government, the NIS has told him he cannot get anymore cash as they have investments to make and pensions to pay and the CBB has told him they have reached their limits………..

    The PM wanted this event televised for what reason? Did he want to show up the unions and the private sector?

    I think it was the government who was shown up for presiding over the destruction of the economy and it was clear they do not have a clue how to get out of the black hole they have thrown this country in.

  6. I know next to nothing about economics, finance or running a country. However what is evident from the videos above is that the policies of a Government can either make or break a country regardless of the natural resources the country may possess.

    Barbados is in crisis. Do we follow Venezuela or Peru? I know Barbados is a small island in the Atlantic but there are problems that seem common to those countries and Barbados n.b the problem of printing money.

  7. Are our national planners taking note of developments in Guyana? I am posting one more video on Chile. What is instructive about Chile’s situation is the effect of ideologically driven policy and the effect of isolationist policies on economic development.

  8. The disingenuous nature of this administration is unprecedented where local politics is concerned. The Prime minister and his team sat down this morning knowing full well their predetermined decision. That meeting, carefully orchestrated was made public to drum up support from gullible souls who are too blind to see that once again the heavy lifting is left to the weakest in society. They are fiercely against any coping subsidy, and the dreaded NSRL is going no where. To the trade unions I say this. While the grass is growing, the horse is starving. Exactly wha wanna waiting fah?

  9. I did not hear the MoF speak…..however from Gov Haynes comments, and his focus on “financing”, it suggests the NIS well is almost dry, and he realizes the consequences of printing more money. He is also concerned the deficit reduction strategies, largely collecting additional tax monies and selling public assets, are unlikely to be realized to their fully budgeted extent.
    At 35.54…”restore some kind of rectitude to our public finances”…hmmm…interesting choice of words?

  10. Akani I did wanna call you but my phone ain’t working…..dat one better than “de dog eat my homework “.

  11. The MOF’s back is against the wall…………

    He admitted that the banks which are awash with money are not lending him a cent, the NIS only has enough now to pay pensions and the CBB aint printing any more money.

    So he asked the unions to find someone with foreign accounts to bring back home the money………… this not an admission of failure?

    As I remember this government borrowed 30 million dollars from CIBCFCB and invested in a Brazillian Development bank………..were they ever able to borrow from this source or did they get back the money invested? These are things we need to know.

  12. How wunna expect a sow to purr? When the 1st quarter review came out, many here on BU made clear that prospects for the rest of the financial year were not good. As has been the MO of the government and the previous GoCB, growth is always based on potential sales and projects and for the past 9 years not one has materialised. #worseguvmenthandsdown

  13. Akanni made it very clear yesterday who is at fault. He went into the Warrens supermarket with $100.00 to buy goods for some one he knew and came away with little for the money.

    The merchant class, the private sector who were sitting next to him, mark up their products in their supermarket 500% and more causing hardship in Barbados.

    Yet he was afraid to turn to the private sector sitting next to him and ask them for an ease in their pricing policy. He had the ear of CHARLES HERBERT right RIGHT NEXT TO HIM there and then and he refused to use that golden opportunity to ask for an ease for his BLACK PEOPLE.

    What a sellout.

    • Here is what he should have done: instead of going to the former Warrens Supercentre formerly owned by BS&T (a transaction the late David Thompson promised to stop on gaining office, #ignorance), he should have skipped up the road about a mile and entered Cost-U-Less instead, a company given a wash pan of concessions to consume forex to import food.

  14. Why is it that the Barbados Private sector always has to be headed by someone from the PLANTATION CLASS?

    CHARLES HERBERT’S performance yesterday was dismal to say the least.

    Nothing he said made any sense.

  15. @ Ping Pong
    Leadership is E V E R Y T H I N G.

    Put an idiot in charge of Heaven and in a short while, you will have Hell.
    Put a bushman in charge of Hell… and you end up with Heaven.

  16. Question for you Carson…..if you were not so cowardly hiding behind the moniker Carson Cadogan, would you write the racist shite you do? Do you have any video footage of the $1,000 a plate affair held at Ilaro Court over the weekend of independence? Plantation masters and house niggers like you and Angela….send we de footage na?

  17. David August 12, 2017 at 8:03 AM #

    Believe it or not the T&T Massy has some cheaper stuff than the USA&Bim Cost-u-less.

  18. Carson…I can’t say the government is not getting what it deserves.

    The man in the street is not amused, yall do remember the man in the streets right, the poor ones who have the numbers, over 150,000 of them to vote you sell outs …right out of office right.

    The same poor people whose money you take by the hundreds of million to give away to minority parasites and the mangoste, remember them.

    In the very near ensuing months…yall will see that there are not and will never be enough Bizzys, Cows, Bjerkhams, Maloneys etc to reelect you to parliament…

    ……. but there are sure enough poor people in the streets to vote ya treacherous asses right out of parliament.

  19. David, not so fast. Just the ‘udder’ day CostUless had a calf selling at $557 or something like that.

    However, it so happened that that small cow was cut n wrapped in plastic and mislabeled as 7lbs!

    If I didn’t know better I would actually believe the 500% claim by the political operative but these high prices are certainly not caused by exorbitant markups…

    • @Dee Word

      It was a ‘tongue and cheek’ comment. The reason given by the then government (same DLP) was that Cost U Less presence in the market would disrupt and lead to lower prices.

  20. “Viewsnight: Our addiction to economic growth is killing us
    In this Viewsnight, anthropologist Jason Hickel argues that our addiction to economic growth is killing us and makes the case for “planned de-growth”. Hickel is the author of The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions.”

    Economic growth as created by this system…is unreachable and destructive.


    What was made very clear for Bajans to see yesterday at the Hilton Hotel, was the collusion of two of the social partners against the Govt. CHARLES HERBERT sat there for a whole day talking nothing of any importance . All he did was to try to bash the elected Govt. of Barbados. I was watching and waiting for him to tell Barbados how his private sector would reduce their sky high margins on products in their businesses and help the most vulnerable in the Barbados that he profess to love so much. But that love does not extend to helping BLACK Bajans pockets. The Trade Union movement sat next to CHARLES HERBERT and refused to appeal to him for some ease. What I saw yesterday on TV was two sides of a so called social partnership going all out to brow beat the third side of the social partnership, the Govt.. It was really disgusting to watch.

  22. I noticed that no one in the Private sector or the Labour movement at yesterday’s meeting at the Hilton Hotel were signing the “go to the IMF song” any more. Whatever happen to that agenda, they suddenly don’t want the Govt. to go the IMF?

  23. Carson…they are going to shut down the country and force yall asses out of parliament, Fruendel gave them no choice….hope they do it in grand style.

    So no more feteing, celebrating and wasting taxpayer’s money.


    Yall got a 2% NSRL tax from Sept 1 last year, ya collected millions cause ya still celebrating and feting tourists…

    Ya asked for an additional 8% NSRL tax…cause ya eyes are now much bigger than ya stomachs, ya got greedy, not caring how many families, women and children will suffer, starve and become homeless.

    ..the unions are willing to compromise, ya can get an additional 4% NSRL tax..,1/2 what ya requested, which will bring ya tax intake to 6%… mone…

    ….., but no, ya greedy, ya want everybody to suffer, all at the same time and still vote for you next year, while they suffer, yall partying and celebrating with their money…and give it away to whomever you please…after yall wasted so much money in the last 9 years, taxpayer’s money and pensioners money….oh hell no. it looks like yall still giving away the people’s money and properties to the parasites and mangoste Bjerkham and Maloney……

    … what value are the people, the majority, getting for all yall are taking from them for yaselves and giving away to minorities…where are the benefits to the people.

  24. ..the unions are willing to compromise, ya can get an additional 4% NSRL tax..,1/2 what ya requested, which will bring ya tax intake to 6%… MONEY $$$$$$$$$$$$$.

    MoneyB….where are ya.

    This government got a nerve though, has it occured to them that they can make up their 4% projected NSRL shortfall, when they accept the union compromise, by collecting all the money owed to them for decades by these same business people.

  25. “they are going to shut down the country “”

    That is fine for you to hope for. Someone who is living in another man’s country and don’t have a vote in Barbados.

    We all know that HERBERT wrote to our Prime Minister promising “Social Unrest”.

  26. There is a vice note circulating on WhatsApp that BU will not post promsing untold violence to be unleashed soon on on the Barbados landscape.

  27. Well if that voice note is circulating now, HERBERT promised “”Social Unrest”” a couple weeks ago.

    We will see what we will see.


    “For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.”

  29. or if you prefer this version:

    “For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”

  30. The PM said yesterday that he does not see where there are “these people that are suffering so badly and things being so hard”………………..

    I had to shake my head …………..this man clearly lives in a bubble……..there again how would he see the sufferings of the people when he is asleep most of the time??????????

  31. What was Eddy Abed’s role yesterday?

    Calling for more meetings to sit down for hours like they did yesterday?

    To achieve what?

    The MOF admitted yesterday that he has no other options and he is out of ideas.

    • When all is said and done Abed is a seller of cloth and Sinckler not sure what he was before becoming a minister. What we know is that he has been allowed to ‘cut he teet’ on the Barbados economy for the last 7 years.

  32. Oops…had this on the wrong thread.

    Carson……or is it 5% NRSL the union is offering, which is even more generous, it ups your tax intake to a whopping 7%…..I think it was 5% they said.

    Fruendel and Sinckler are being unreasonable.

    Fruendel and Sinckler are being greedy.

    Abed did not close his store or allow his employees to march, so Fruendel, in true petty form, projected an image of singling out Abed for special consideration of his ideas….which really means more useless talk and no action.

    Carson….shut down the country and social unrest….are two completely different things.

    Shutting down the country paralyzes a government…no unrest necessary. cannot force anyone to work at gunpoint.

    I am yet to see this letter where Herbert said there will be social unrest…if I cant see it, it dont exist.

  33. Yall know ya can’t drag that scam out to election June next year without severe consequences and punishment right….ya have no wiggle room left whatsoever.

    Dont mind me and where I have a vote, worry about the votes yall will not get ever again..

    The biggest worry I have is if I want to drink beer, brandy, wine or water today.

    I am a lady of total leisure.

  34. As I see it, that meeting was only smoke and mirrors.

    The government is playing for time, just kicking the can down the road. Charles Herbert in his wrap up sensed that is what the government is doing and called the morons out.

    The PM and Sinckler clearly did not like it especially as Charles Herbert told them this was no time for all the smiles……….which we clearly saw the Lashleys doing quite often. These people are not serious, they think everything is a joke.

    We can see now that the two resident JA’s were given the talking points…..attack Charles Herbert.

    It does not take an economics degree to understand that if no one is lending this MOF any money…….neither the banks, the NIS nor the CBB…….the MOF has no options left.

    Follow my logic……… have no options, you told the meeting yesterday that you need the increase in the NSRL to help plug the hole for the monthly requirements………how is waiting for September to see how much money is collected going to prove? To see what?

    Are the unions going to fall for this scam? The government is broke, it has no money to give any social allowance far less salary increases. With a pay increase, the total emolluments will naturally increase thus creating more problems……..

    Unions what are you waiting for?

  35. The unions are now holding all the cards.

    If they move wisely, they can make sure Fruendel and his gang never get to pull this nasty stunt again, it will also send a serious warning to any new government…planning to waltz into parliament and waste, waste, waste, while giving away everything to minorities, their friends and families….and willfully neglecting the majority population..

  36. Well Barbados is still standing on its own, given the latest Central bank economic report. Fiscal deficit shrunk, 2% economic growth, falling unemployment; however the foreign reserves continues to be eroded. We have not totally falling through as former PM OSA predicted. Lets hope for continued gains for the rest of 2017 and beyond.

  37. Well Well

    “The unions are now holding all the cards”

    One of these days you will write something sensible.

    Four unions together could not even raise 400 marchers. Then they turned to the Mongoose and beg him for help because they were being made fun of because of the low turnouts of their marches.

    The Mongoose then appealed to its members to pay all their workers a days pay and order them to march or else.

    You are funnier than barrel of monkeys.

    • To borrow from the Governor our foreign reserves are at an uncomfortable level. We need generate forex to pay the bills.

  38. Carson…..not my fault if yall cannot see what is happening.

    It will not be my household crippled.

    Not my fault that yall uppity slaves will be playing right into Herbert”s hands….do you see him with anything to lose.

    …not even the unions can lose at this point.

  39. Did anyone notice that Central Bank Governor had to lump 1st quarter results with 2nd quarter results to make numbers in this combined report more palatable. Obviously presenting 2nd quarter results by itself would have the numbers much more negative. What will future quarters 3 & 4 give when Barbados economy is traditionally SLOW.

    Oh by the way Wiliy just caught the Road Runner, same as Barbados now out of DEBT, ha, ha.

  40. Owen Arthur complimented Toni Moore for her perspicacity and determination in asking the pertinent questions in getting down to the nitty gritty.In other words Toni sought answers which would make the cash register ring,not the bobbing and weaving Stuart and his gang of nothinarians are notorious for and which they laid the groundwork for with Elections around the corner.Not one damn seat for allyuh blindfolded dems.

  41. “Owen Arthur complimented Toni Moore for her perspicacity and determination in asking the pertinent questions in getting down to the nitty gritty”

    Where? When? How? Why?

    • Hal don’t be an idiot, the Governor stated quite clearly yesterday that the deficit and the uncomfortable level of foreign reserves are the two key concerns for the managers of the economy of Barbados at this time. If we don’t earn forex how can we pay for imports? This is Barbados that operates with a soft currency and not the UK.

  42. Carson….Toni made all of you, a whole cabinet, look incompetent yesterday, she asked all the hard questions that none of you could answer…cause yall steeped and marinated in corruption…

    …but when ya finally gone, ya bribers will talk, very few of them have much more use for any of you, ya time left is short…

    we will hear.

  43. David,
    I am used to your economic illiteracy. But trying to prevent people from even debating the issues goes right to the heart of your buffoonery. The obsession with foreign exchange was prominent in 1960s economics. @David, have you ever read a book, far less economic history. You are just using your toy to enforce the ignorance that pervades your little world. That is why what passes for public debate is the regurgitation of old ideas. If you do not know shut up, and go and learn.
    Your parasitic and deferential dependence on what the governor of the central bank has said is all the evidence we need of your economic knowledge. If you do not know just say so, or preferably keep quiet. Don’t open your ‘mouth’ and show you are a buffoon.
    How do most of the world’s leading companies settle their foreign currency obligations? How do companies in manufacturing buy products in advance ie soft drink and beer manufacturers? Do they stockpile US dollars to pay their orders or store them in a big warehouse?
    By the way, don’t call anyone an idiot. You are the classic example of one.

  44. @ David,

    I have been reading BU for years but my memory is not very good.

    I asked the question looking for simple answers.

    I am pessimistic about Barbados because you have no raw materials so creating products for export is extremely difficult and costly.

    You can’t export people because countries don’t want immigrants unless they are bringing cash with them.

    The Financial services industry in Barbados is dying and I have not heard of any plans to replace it.

    As you can tell I have no good ideas so that is why I asked you the question.

    I continue to believe that Barbados must become food secure and stop wasting “forex” to import food.

    Barbados cannot continue to borrow to buy luxury cars, steaks and corn curls.

  45. @Hal Austin August 12, 2017 at 5:49 PM #

    I am really perplexed. What is this new economic theory you know of that state the Barbados economy will do just fine if the foreign reserves are depleted?

  46. Interesting comment by Governor of the Central Bank Cleviston Haynes that the Hyatt project will not impact the fiscal position of the country, the two projects needed to be closed asap are the BNTCL and Hilton.

  47. @ David,

    Where is the $100 million to build the Hyatt coming from ?

    Everything except sand and water has to be imported.

  48. Isn’t the first quarter the period when forex topsup for the rest of the year? If the BNTCL and Hilton sales are delayed what? Even if the sales go through are they not one offs and therefore leaves the country in a position where we have to intiate activities that are sustainable in generating forex?

  49. The reality of the situation is the that the fiscal deficit is one of the main reason why the foreign reserves are decreasing.

    We must take into consideration that Barbados basically earns continuous inflows of foreign exchange from tourism and the offshore financial sectors…….. and NOT from the divestment of state assets. Such sales/divestments are essentially “one off” transactions.”

    Therefore, the anticipated increase in foreign reserves expected from the sale/divestment of the Hilton and BNTCL will be TEMPORARY.

    The Acting Governor admitted that Barbados had a longstanding primary deficit (fiscal deficit – interest payments), which simply means government is borrowing to pay interest on existing debt. Incurring more debt will obviously increase the total debt servicing costs.

    Funds borrowed from the international market have to be repaid using foreign currency. Unfortunately, Barbados’ credit rating downgrades have significantly increased the cost of borrowing (i.e. higher interest rates).

    The obviously conclusion: the more US$ you borrow, you will need more US$ to repay.

    With depleting foreign reserve outflows and inflows, borrowing more money under these conditions may become a medium to long term problem to the economy.

    And what about the much talked about Hyatt project and anticipated inflows of foreign exchange? Assuming US$ is used to invest in the project………… the “inflow” of US$ becomes an “outflow,” because foreign exchange is required to facilitate the importation of equipment and building materials needed for the construction of the hotel.

    We can now better understand how the anticipated inflows of foreign exchange from the sale/divestment of the Hilton and BNTCL, as well as investment in the Hyatt (for example), will be temporary and not solve the long-term economic issues.

  50. @Artax

    Agreed that temporary measures like sales cannot remedy a structural deficit.

    However, closing the financial gap in the budget is not about preserving the financial status quo through higher taxes, since the surplus in revenue would go to the public servants, therefore, would increase demand for foreign currency again. A typical circulus vitiosus. No, closing the financial gap means to shrink the budget, means to release at least 10,000 civil servants and employees of state agencies to the labour market and to stimulate the growth of jobs in tourism and offshore business.

    If the structural deficit remains, the BBD will devalue sooner or later to a level which balances low work efficiency and high demand for foreign goods.

  51. Macroeconomics 101: “The reality of the situation is the that the fiscal deficit is one of the main reason why the foreign reserves are decreasing.”

    John Maynard Keynes got it so wrong. He should have listened to some of the genius macro-economists in Barbados.

  52. Macroeconomics 10: buying securities will solve all of Barbados economic problems.

    All the fathers of economic theory got it wrong. They should have listened to the economic genius and guru Hal Austin.

  53. Hal Austin

    Don’t make me review some of the shiite you contribute to this forum in indicate how you often you are incorrect and contradict yourself.

  54. Artax,

    If only they had listened to me they would know that the fiscal deficit was one of the main reasons why foreign reserves are decreasing.
    Sadly, this is what is considered intelligent contributions by BU regulators, and even moreso as serious public debate.
    Memo to Chris Sinckler: Please give Artax a call; he has some novel macroeconomic ideas for you.

  55. Hal Austin

    Thanks for the recommending me to Sinckler. At least I take comfort that people such as Marla Dukharan shares a similar OPINION, which you obviously interpreted to be “advice.” So who the hell cares if you are sarcastic…. It’s your nature.

    And you call yourself a journalist???

    But, do you consider the RSS overthrowing the RBPF and assuming police duties “intelligent contributions by BU regulators, and even moreso as serious public debate…………….

    …………… or is it to be considered paranoia of an old has been who comes to BU seeking attention by doing a terrible job of PRETENDING to be an intellectual?

    Should it be………… Memo to Acting CoP Tyrone Griffith and AG Adriel Brathwaite: Please give Hal Austin a call, he has some novel intelligence for you…….. apparently the RSS is coming!!!!!!!

    However, it is interesting to note that Hal Austin is MORE INCLINED to INSULT others RATHER than COMMENCE the SERIOUS DEBATE he so often refers to.

    And what does that say about him????

  56. The RBPF has a fully equipped Marine Unit, with speed boats similar to those used by the Barbados Coast Guard.

    This is what Hal Austin considers to be a serious, intelligent contribution:

    Hal Austin August 11, 2017 at 4:03 PM #:………… By bringing back the Harbour Police they will be properly equipped with modern tools – speed boats, drones, etc. Not Harbour Police 1950s style.”

    Wow, Hal……. did you consult with MI5 for that fantastic idea?

    All we have to do is wait for Hal to consult with Scotland Yard and all of RBPF’s CID problems will be solved.

  57. Artax,

    Shifting the debate once again. We were talking about the fiscal deficit being responsible for the depletion in foreign reserves, not about the structure of policing. Is Marla Dukharan the source of your wisdom? You Nobel Laureate you.
    By the way, what is the difference in changing the name of the RBPF’s well-equipped marine unit to the Harbour Police, complete with the same cutting edge equipment?
    Part of the problem is having book-keepers, however respectable, pretending to be macro-economists.

  58. @ Tron August 15, 2017 at 10:52 AM
    “If the structural deficit remains, the BBD will devalue sooner or later to a level which balances low work efficiency and high demand for foreign goods.”

    That is one argument on which we have always been totally congruent.

    All the variables are in a fine matrix of coalescence to ensure such an outcome within a timeframe which can now be specified with a massive degree of accuracy and a 99% confidence level.

    Given the sustained plummeting trajectory of the foreign exchange reserves matched only by similar loss of foreign investor confidence in the Bajan economy there is no way the Bajan dollar can lose the race in its hell-bent drive to become the biggest Mickey mouse currency in the region.

    Not even a politically-contrived announcement of an imaginary find of billions of barrels of hydrocarbon reserves off Barbados can stop the Bajan Bolt economy from finishing with flying colours.

    The Bajan economy must first hit rock bottom before there can be any serious attempts of resuscitation.

    Before any attempts of recovery can be effective, like an alcoholic in need of help, the managers must first not only confess that they are in need of serious help but must also swallow the necessary medicine of making the Bajan dollar seek its true value in the financial world and the people earn their keep by the sweat of their improved productivity brow to pay for their conspicuously opulent unsustainable materialistic lifestyle.

    How in the world of financial tarnation can a Bajan dollar be worth US $0.50 and the good or service on offer to visitors for that 50 greenback cents is worth not even Jamaican $ 20.00?

    Only divine intervention by a financial spectre in the form of the invasive surgeon Dr. IMF can put a stop to the current madness passing for fiscal and monetary management of the Bajan economy.

  59. David,
    You always try to go to the ‘authorities’ to convince your self that you are right. You have a thing about seeking the approval of your betters.
    I will give the example of Euclidian geometry, which ruled mathematics for hundreds of years, until it was over-turned with new ideas. So that you understand @David, a fiscal deficit is caused when the revenue authorities spend more than they earn. Simple.
    Part of our problem is pegging to the Greenback, as I| have said before. We should decouple from the US dollar, and peg to a basket of currencies and commodities.
    For over 15 years, from July 2011 to December 2016, the Greenback (ie the Bajan) appreciated by 35 per cent and our central bank and ministry of finance remained like foxes trapped in lights. They are not the only ones; we have had a professor of economics writing in the Nation who found it difficult explain the primary role of foreign reserves. You could no make it up.
    The IMF itself has said “reducing government debt is likely to raise output, as real interest rates decline and the lighter burden of interest payments permits cuts to distortionary taxes.”
    @David, the IMF has been wrong in the recent past, don’t just follow them: The Washington Consensus, Olivier Blanchard’s mea culpa, over that shift in the intellectual paradigm.
    Have a look at the Plaza Accord and the debate leading up to it; look at post 2007/8 quantitative easing.
    Debate is about ideas: Krugman vs Reinhart/Rogoff, for example. We have just had a lost decade of economic policy because of the almost religious following of market fundamentalism, that the market is always right..
    In Barbados our public economic conversation is dominated by post-war Bretton Woods ideas that have already been rejected by their founders. This became unfashionable decades ago.
    Look at the simple historical chronology and you will see the change: Nixon abandoning the gold standard in 1971 (some of us older people will remember when the British pound was pegged at Bds$4.80 per £. Now it fluctuates); the oil crisis of 1973; the birth of currency derivatives; the 1980s and deregulation; the crisis at the turn of the century; 2007/8 – all these crises led to further shifts in the paradigm.
    When I want to go down memory lane I talk to my 90 yr old uncle, or 93 yr old mother in law. But if you want to run a modern economy (and not the nonsense about a small open economy), you reach for the cutting edge of macro-economics.

  60. @ Hal Austin August 15, 2017 at 2:22 PM
    “Part of the problem is having book-keepers, however respectable, pretending to be macro-economists”

    Cheers, mate! Good analogy there Hal!

    How about one comparing a topnotch investigative crime sleuth journalist with that of a finance-trained reporter attached to the backroom of the Daily Mail as a show of being an UK equal opportunity employer to meet multicultural targets?

    The problem with your analogy is that “book-keepers” record and report on real outcomes in the world of finance and real business whereas “macro-economists” (like you and your “no-need-for-foreign-exchange-reserves” thesis) postulate on imaginary esoteric events like astrologists.

    Maybe you should compare macro-economists to priests who pray to some great healer in the sky for the healing of the sick whereas book-keepers are more like physicians who live in the real world and use ‘science’ and ‘practical’ knowledge to ease the pain of the sick.

  61. Oh Shiite now!!!
    Hal Austin is an economic guru!!!


    Once Bushie was asked to give a lecture to some young children – something the bushman is hesitant to do —cause children don’t mek sport…

    At the VERY outset, a little fellow ask ..point blank …..
    Sir, are you rich?
    …cause otherwise we going back and play cricket….
    we really don’t want to hear any ‘poor talk’ – teacher does that all day long.

    (Wink @ Hants … this is one time the ‘ride’ came in handy… 🙂 )

    Bushie said that to say that – Hal should not be pontificating on matters of wealth or economic management…..
    Bushie going back to play cricket ……

  62. Malcolm X was the LEADING official spokesman for the Nation of Islam from about 1955 to 1966

    The official ideology of the NOI is well known. It is summarized in Wikipedia as follows:

    “The original peoples of the world were black. White people are a race of “devils” created by a scientist named Yakub (the Biblical and Qur’anic Jacob) on the Greek island of Patmos. Whites have a culture of lies and murder that Yakub instituted on the island to ensure the creation of his new people. Yakub established a secret eugenics policy among the ruling class on Patmos. This policy encouraged a general preference for light skin. This process took approximately 600 years to produce a blond-haired, blue-eyed group of people. As they migrated into the mainland, they were greeted and welcomed by the indigenous people wherever they went. This is when the ruling class of the Middle East decided to round up all the troublemakers they could find and march them out, over the hot desert sands, into the caves and hillsides of Europe. The savage ways of white people came from living in the caves and hillsides of Europe for over 2,000 years without divine revelation or knowledge of civilization.The white man is “Yacub’s grafted Devil” and “the Skunk of the planet Earth”.

  63. I wrote ONE of the contributing factors to the depletion of the foreign reserves is the fiscal deficit…. Then I went on to EXPLAIN why I mentioned it.

    Hal Austin took one point, without considering the entire contribution to be senselessly and sarcastically critical. I cannot believe that he was ever a journalist, because he lacks the basic prerequisite of a journalism, which is the ability to read and understand……. i.e. comprehension.

    The new title nowadays for INSURANCE SALESMEN is “FINANCIAL ADVISOR.” Hal Austin was probably an insurance salesman who pursued a few courses in journalism and now calls himself a “financial journalist.” After all, he won the Association of British Insurers’ Lifetime Achievement award in 2008.

    Similarly, “part of the problem is having insurance salesmen, pretending to be financial advisors and macro-economists.”

    I also read a few of Hal Austin’s articles………… and one thing for sure, he is consistently critical of others and very sarcastic. “Big Society, Small Thinking” readily comes to mind, in which he also regurgitates his trade mark: “Since the 1960s, leading economists up until now have been preaching the same thing.”

  64. I had enough information on Hal Austin to continue posting “hard hitting” contributions about him. He is not the type of individual you would immediately become fond of.

    However, after reading information which suggests Hal Austin left Combermere 54 years ago……… in 1963 (before I was born). Assuming he left school at 17 or 18 years old, he has to be about 71 or 72 years old now.

    Although the older folk say: “Age doesn’t make you a man,” I am appalled that a man of his age, who boasts of so many achievements, could EXHIBIT such CHILDISH and DISRESPECTFUL behavior in this forum.

    Old age comes with many fears and perhaps the thought of aging presents Hal Austin with the reality that he may become irrelevant. That’s probably the reason why he uses this forum to “authoritatively demonstrate” to us “lesser mortals” that he “still has it.”

    Read: “Hal Austin August 12, 2017 at 5:49 PM,” in which he was EXTREMELY DISRESPECTFUL to David BU.

    I decided that I should be the one to “man up.”

    My parents taught me to respect my elders………… Hence, because of Hal Austin’s age (NOT his attitude), rather than continuing in a “tit for tat,” I believe I should IGNORE his childish criticisms and endeavour to be a bit more RESPECTFUL towards him in the future.

    And I also suggest that at his age, Hal Austin should be thankful to God, and rather than being sarcastic, arrogant, sanctimonious, condescending, adversarial and exhibiting all the other characteristics symptomatic of narcissism, he should be a bit more tolerant and respectful of others and their opinions, while discussing, in a cordial manner, how they may have erred.

  65. Artax,
    I will ignore your fiction, with one exception. I have never worked for an insurance company as a salesman, driver, clerk or in any position. In manufacturing a story to give the impression you know me, plse take in to consideration those many decent people who work in insurance companies.
    I have been a consumer of insurance products.

  66. Hal Austin

    It is CLEAR you have a problem with COMPREHENSION.

    Could you please indicate where in my comment I made any statement that proves your statement re: “manufacturing a story to give the impression you know me?”

    Let me break it down for you Mr. Pulitzer Prize Journalist: English Language 101:

    “The new title nowadays for INSURANCE SALESMEN is “FINANCIAL ADVISOR.”

    Check with anyone in the insurance industry….. the new title for insurance salesmen is “financial advisor.” Juxtapose your mentioning being a “financial advisor” to the above statement and you would realize the PUN.

    In other words I exploited the different possible meanings of “financial advisor” to make a sarcastic joke.

    “Hal Austin WAS PROBABLY an insurance salesman who pursued a few courses in journalism and now calls himself a financial journalist.”

    By using the phrase “WAS PROBABLY” I was purposely being speculative……. my comment was based on CONJECTURE rather than KNOWLEDGE.

    “After all, he won the Association of British Insurers’ Lifetime Achievement award in 2008.”

    I “thoughte I wolde amenden al the jape” (you may have read Chaucer’s “the Miller’s Tale)”, by including the above statement.

    Hal Austin, as the older folk would say: “you can give, but you can’t take.”

    My 8 year old son behaves more maturely than you.

  67. Artax,

    I am not surprised you are operating under a nom de plume. You made a hypothetical and I clarified it. Your anger and aggression would not intimidate me. I will challenge you at every step at the risk of boring other readers.
    Just to improve your ignorance, an insurance salesman works for the company, a financial adviser works for the client. There is a legal difference, but then again you knew that. As to your knowledge of grammar I leave you to sort that out.

  68. Hal Austin

    There is none other in this forum who exhibits “anger and aggression more than you.” One just has to read all your contributions, which, more often than not, are filled with sarcastic and pejorative statements, rather than information we can learn from. Your responses to David BU are perfect examples.

    And that is all you bring to Barbados Underground…….. sarcasm, anger and aggression.

    Men don’t engage in “having outs” and “holding up theirs skirt to block, cuss and insult their “enemies.” Women usually engage in that activity.

    Hal Austin, based on your behaviour, which cannot be attributed to manhood, my “knowledge of grammar” does not prevent me from suspecting that you are a homosexual.

    You may have the last word.

  69. Artax,
    You are also sexist and homophobic. I am sure I am also a mugger. Next time I will claim that the fiscal deficit is a main cause of the declining foreign reserves and claim Marla Dukharan as my source. You may hide behind your mask to be offensive, but as promised, I am not going to let you get away with a single word. You are a verbal thug. Decent people must stand up to the loud mouths, the Bajan Trumps.

  70. See wuh I tell yuh… you can’t help it… you had to reply because you like uh “having out”… proves my point!!!

    You are a homosexual…. men don’t behave like you.

    I guess you using your “real name” to be offensive make it right.

    As I mentioned, I went on to explain why I stated it….. which you refuse to mention so as to fulfill your stupid agenda.

    You cannot intimidate me………. and I would do likewise to you.

  71. Nice to see you are in the gutter. I am still keen on finding out how the fiscal deficit is mainly responsible for the decline in foreign reserves – or is this a male thing?

  72. The below contribution was written by a man (woman) who accused me of being a “verbal thug.” And I’m sure anyone would agree he went into the gutter.


    Hal Austin August 12, 2017 at 5:49 PM #


    I am used to your economic illiteracy. But trying to prevent people from even debating the issues goes right to the heart of your buffoonery. The obsession with foreign exchange was prominent in 1960s economics.

    @David, have you ever read a book, far less economic history. You are just using your toy to enforce the ignorance that pervades your little world. That is why what passes for public debate is the regurgitation of old ideas. If you do not know shut up, and go and learn.

    Your parasitic and deferential dependence on what the governor of the central bank has said is all the evidence we need of your economic knowledge. If you do not know just say so, or preferably keep quiet. Don’t open your ‘mouth’ and show you are a buffoon.

    How do most of the world’s leading companies settle their foreign currency obligations? How do companies in manufacturing buy products in advance ie soft drink and beer manufacturers? Do they stockpile US dollars to pay their orders or store them in a big warehouse?

    By the way, don’t call anyone an idiot. You are the classic example of one.

  73. And I will maintain my point that ONE of the reasons for the depletion of the foreign reserves is the fiscal deficit.

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