Building High-maintenance Tombs

Submitted by Grenville Phillips II, leader of Solutions Barbados

From my experience in working among people in post-hazard environments, I can conclude that a stable house is the most prized possession. I have witnessed the grateful expressions of relief among those whose houses survived the tragic events.  The contrasting near hopeless expressions of misery among those whose houses were destroyed were almost unbearable.

It was after my first deployment to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, that I finally understood that the primary purpose of an elected Government is to protect, as much as possible, the residents from foreseeable harm. It is for this reason why it is absolutely essential for each Government in the hazard prone Caribbean region to regulate the residential construction building industry in their country.

The Government of Barbados took the first step in trying to protect the public from certain post-hazard misery by publishing the Barbados National Building Code in 1993. That was a commendable achievement because at that time, Barbados was experiencing an economic recession and political turmoil. Fortuitously, the national building standard was in place for the unprecedented building boom that would commence one year later, in 1994.

It is a national disgrace that the Government of Barbados, against all expert advice, allowed an entirely unregulated 14-year residential construction building boom with respect to building standards. Of the thousands of houses built, almost all of them are vulnerable to collapse in a major earthquake. It is to Barbados’ tragic misfortune that it would not have cost any additional money to have constructed the life-saving shear walls that the Building Code specified.

By 2010, the legacy of substandard residential construction was firmly established in Barbados. At the start of that year, an earthquake in Haiti had reportedly killed approximately 300,000 people. Near the end of that year, tropical storm Tomas examined Barbados and damaged over 1,500 houses. Following the visit to same damaged houses, our Prime Minister reportedly made the following accurate observation: “I have to confess that I was flabbergasted at the fragility of the housing accommodation in Barbados.” He then reportedly recommended that it was “absolutely necessary to impose building standards in Barbados”, before adding the bewildering idea that a building code was “actively under consideration”.  With such ministerial statements, a strong response was eagerly anticipated.

Approximately two years later, around the 20th anniversary of the initial publication of the National Building Code, the Government of Barbados took the strongest possible action unimaginable. Against expert advice, the Government abolished the only national standard designed to help builders construct a house that could survive earthquakes and hurricanes.

This act of utter stupidity placed Barbados in the unenviable position of being perhaps the only country on the planet that did not provide some type of structural building guidance to its residents. Even in the poorest country in the world, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a homeowner could have found more relevant building standards than in Barbados. It is a national shame to which our apathy only encourages our Government to act more irresponsibly.

It simply does not make any sense – neither logical nor political.  Both political administrations participated in the folly.  Why would the BLP administration allow a 14-year unregulated building boom, despite repeated warnings of the fatal consequences?  Why would the DLP administration, despite acknowledging the fragility of Barbadian houses, then withdraw the only national building standard that could protect Barbadian households, despite repeated warnings of the fatal consequences? Should Barbados experience the inevitable major earthquake tomorrow, then these two actions, in retrospect, would be justifiably deemed unforgivable.

Grenville Phillips II is the founder of Solutions Barbados and can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com

80 comments

  • Why wouldn’t the finance sector including insurance be a strong lobby for enacting a national housing/building code? How about BAPE of which Grenville should be a member and past president?

    Like

  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger.

    Someone is making millions for that building code not to be adopted or enforced and both wicked governments are enabling whoever it is or whoever they are, at the cost of bajan lives, even their own.

    Fruendel is indeed fraudulent, he says one thing and either does the opposite or does nothing at all…kick them all out of parliament, they are repulsive.

    Where are the advocates to put pressure on government to regulate and implement these building codes.

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  • stayed in a real nice place this year every thing to code .railing heights ,smoke detectors windows somebody must be enforcing something. Watching sandals going up there has to be an inspector on site if not from the ministry in house because the work seems pretty good

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  • @Blogmaster, the thrust of your query is spot on n begs a response. It seems counter intuiative that the regulatory authority would remove all building standards …. the author contrasts two different standards thus creating a disingenous premises.

    As you practically state “Why wouldn’t the finance sector including insurance be a strong lobby for enacting a national housing/building code? “.

    Obviously there are standards which must be met otherwise the contractors n builders would be sued if walls n pavements crack, or tiles fall and injure passers-by, as simple examples.

    The author conflates that “Government abolished the only national standard designed to help builders construct a house that could survive earthquakes and hurricanes” with “This act of utter stupidity placed Barbados (as) perhaps the only country on the planet that did not provide some type of structural building guidance to its residents. ”

    His argument that we need the more stringent standards sitting as we do in a hurricane zone is well made but as you highlighted it is the task of the professionals at BAPE, insurers n financiers to demand and to ensure that the investment – the house/building – is constucted properly for longevity.

    Generally a relaxation or aviodance of building codes is all about cutting corners to reduce costs…done by the contractor/engineer to the benefit of the contractor/engineer… why would a govt facilitate that!

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  • David August 22, 2017 at 3:01 AM #

    The financial sector is somewhat reactive in the loan department, they make sure property equity can cover at least 80% of the loan amount, land and buildings. Insurance likes a no building code, gives them hundreds of reasons for non payment of insurance claims.

    Bajan corruption at its best.

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  • Grenville Phillips II was aware that the BLP administration allowed a 14-year unregulated building boom” and “the DLP administration, despite acknowledging the fragility of Barbadian houses, then withdraw the only national building standard that could protect Barbadian households.”

    Having this knowledge for 14 + 9 = 23 years, what did Grenville Phillips II do to rectify the problem?………… “Absolutely nothing.”

    But as the leader of a political party and election time draws nigh, he is prepared to come at this time, mainly for purposes of political expediency and self aggrandizement, to show he cares by highlighting the inadequacies of the BLP & DLP’s policies relative to a building code.

    As an engineer, Grenville Phillips II must also take responsibility for the problem.

    When compared with a national building code, the issues raised by minority groups such as the LGBT and NOW are insignificant, yet these groups have been able to successfully lobby government to address their concerns.

    Similarly to how financial institutions insist that persons seeking mortgage financing should buy property insurance, they could inform the government they are not approving mortgages until a national building code has been enacted.

    And for similar reasons, engineers, architects and building contractors could also inform government that they are prepared to withhold labour.

    Or rather than going about it individually, what was there to prevent the banks, mortgage finance companies and other financial institutions, environmentalist, architects engineers, building contractors, insurance companies and special interest groups from forming an organization to lobby government for the establishment and enforcement a national building code?

    At the end of the day, it’s all about the “Grantley$.”

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  • “Denis Kellman: August 19 at 7:10am • Two years after the BLP left government Tomas damaged about 300 houses in St Lucy, nine years after the DLP was in government the people of St Lucy felt the most of Harvey without any damage.”

    The above comment was taken from Kellman’s facebook page.

    This man is as dangerous as Minister of Housing & Land as constructing property without a building code.

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  • Barbadians have been building concrete houses to resist hurricanes but not EARTHQUAKES.

    It is reasonable to believe that all projects in which Grenville was involved as the Structural engineer were built to withstand hurricanes and EARTHQUAKES.

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  • Grenville and Kellman are cast in the same mold.Blame the BLP for any and every thing that appears to them to be fair game for the whipping boys’ pen.Not one damn seat for SB.

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  • @Wily Coyote

    100% mortgage financing is common in Barbados these days. What equity what!?!

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  • @Hants

    Is this not a draft?

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  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger.

    It appears none of these professionals know exactly what’s going on re building codes, none of those raggedy buildings on Tudor Street has backdoors, or fire exits, or any escapes….

    that right there is the worst violation of building codes……which should be in the draft, if it exists or if any of them can find it.

    Bunch of incompetents..

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  • BAPE was more interested in stopping the ABC highway fly-overs. The then President is now the head of BL&P.

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  • @enuff

    Was BAPE’s position based in science or was it political. Will a BLP government IF elected implement flyovers to address traffic problems?

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  • David

    Ah wuh you asking me about political vs science, or flyovers and traffic? Ask BAPE!

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  • So you don’t have a view?

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  • You asked me about BAPE and the BLP, I am a member of neither. A traffic management strategy requires more than flyovers, the same bicycle idea scorned on BU should be part of it. Not to mention that the exhaust from gas and diesel vehicles is deadlier than plastic bags.

    By the way, there are two things I see as synonymous with Grenville, and one is being an advocate for a Building Code even before SB.

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  • We do not need flyovers on an island 166 sq miles. We need one car per household and better public transport.

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  • NorthernObserver

    GP II is nonetheless correct. Building codes are usually minimum acceptable standards across all building divisions. Barbados should have one. It minimizes the loopholes available to avoid “minimum best practice”.

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  • NorthernObserver

    @Blogmaster

    what ever happened with Ms Riley Fox’s situation?

    I cannot believe lenders/gov’t are lending/allowing mortgages without a minimum down payment. That is suicide.

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  • Check Republic Bank website under mortages where they boldly declare ‘if it is 100% financing you desire, we have that!’. We are not that far away from another sub prime fiasco. The difference is that the housing market in market in Barbados is manufactured.

    Will have to inquire about Ann Riley-Fox.

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  • There is no problem with 100 per cent, interest-only mortgages. In fact it is one of the best ways of redistributing wealth. The only problem is investing to meet repayment obligations at the end of the mortgage. But that can be dealt with in a number of ways: compulsory endowment; current account mortgages; gradually paying on the capital loan, etc.
    In 2008, at the time of the global banking crisis, the UK had over 5000 different mortgages. The sub-prime crisis was caused as Prince said, when the music stopped. Lenders were playing musical chairs with bundling up loans in SPVs and selling them on, with the credit reference agencies giving these piggies in a poke triple A ratings.
    The convenient myth is that lending to people who could not afford to repay caused the problem. Nonsense.
    There is no dynamic housing market in Barbados because of the weakness of financial intermediation. Barbados is ripe for an expansion in home ownership, with three and sometimes four generations of the same family living under the same roof.
    What we need is good retail investment vehicles: REITs, real estate funds, etc, and a body of banks and shadow banks to create a credit market. It is market failure, not 100 per cent mortgages per se.
    As to negative equity, another exaggerated myth. Unless you want to sell within months inflation will wipe out negative equity over the lifetime of the mortgage.

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  • @ David
    Housing, like food, is a basic necessity of life, and provides an excellent business opportunity to provide employment, careers, community development opportunities, and other positive outcomes.

    But like food, it has been converted by the albino-centric devils of this world, into a mechanism for extracting money from the gullible and lazy, and accumulating wealth to those who are already wealthy.

    In the absence of a NATIONAL VISION from sensible leaders, we will continue with serious housing issues, large numbers seeking shelter, growing squatters and homeless … while a few accumulate more than they can even count -by artificially overvaluing basic resources to be out of the reach of the masses.

    You may be too young to recall the days where the whole village came together each weekend to work on somebody’s house – which was usually being ‘moved to another spot’ as they moved up the social ladder.
    Next weekend, that family was at another location helping someone else to set up…

    Rather than VALUE such a community-centric approach – and refine and develop it to a high-tech art form,….we adopted the white people’s “mortgage” shiite…

    As Bushie’s mother used to say “if yuh sell all yuh got, you gotta buy all yuh want”
    … and you KNOW who is setting the prices, the interest rates and the conditions….

    …but brass bowls can only be brass bowls.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Bushie

    Agree with you. Barbados is too small to have an active secondary market in the opinion of the BU household (disclaimer: we are no expert). Despite what Hal posted above which is coming from an open and sophisticate experience of the UK if the basic Cs of credit are not observed i.e. the customer cannot afford the asset comingled with uncertainty of tenure there will be a problem.

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  • BT some bajans cant take good advice.. an employee was admiring the hotel owners car the boss said, set goals , be determined, put your nose to the grindstone…and I could be driving a better one next year.

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  • @nationnews.com
    Added 08 September 2010

    ” CHARTERED structural engineer Grenville Phillips II is disputing claims that the Barbados National Building Code is a draft. Instead, he is adamant that professionals involved in building design and construction are duty-bound to follow the Barbados National Building Code of 1993.

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  • @David
    And that’s where progressive government policy steps in. The Grotto and Coverley epitomise that “albinocentric” ideology Bushie so often talks about scathingly. See a retirement village in Miami and transplant the concept wholesale to Barbados. See a tall Hyatt in Port of Spain, look to build one in Bay Street. Hear ’bout Hard Rock Hotel, look to drop one in Rockley on the road side. Wunna see a trend? Not a fella can defend that travesty at Coverley, where government could have provided a variety of housing solutions including a Bushie 21st century “community-centric” option. Our housing also needs more than a building code for structural soundness…but that’s another topic.😁

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  • GRENVILLE PHILLIPS II,
    Added 14 September 2010

    http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/letters_to_editor/2658/building-code-published-enforced

    Please be advised that a draft national building code was published in 1991 and 1992 for comment, and I visited the Barbados National Standards Institution in Culloden Road and obtained a free copy.
    The current edition of the code is not a draft document, but was published in 1993 for use by building designers, contractors, and Government regulators, including the Barbados Fire Service.
    For the past 17 years, the Barbados National Standards Institution has been selling the current edition of the code for $100.

    Like

  • @Hants

    It boggles the mind there should be indecision whether the Building Code is draft or not.

    Like

  • Bajan Free Party/CUP/.Violet Beckles Plantation Deeds from 1926-2017 land tax bills and no Deeds,BLPand DLP Massive land Fruad and PONZI
  • GRENVILLE PHILLIPS II wrote “It is a national disgrace that the Government of Barbados, against all expert advice, allowed an entirely unregulated 14-year residential construction building boom with respect to building standards.
    Of the thousands of houses built, almost all of them are vulnerable to collapse in a major earthquake. It is to Barbados’ tragic misfortune that it would not have cost any additional money to have constructed the life-saving shear walls that the Building Code specified.”

    We have to hope that no Quakes hit Barbados.

    I doubt any building in Barbados was constructed to withstand an earthquake….. except maybe Dodds.

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  • Dear All:

    Please note that the signs are there for a major earthquake. See recent earthquakes around Barbados.

    https://earthquaketrack.com/p/barbados/biggest

    Best regards,
    Grenville

    Like

  • @ Grenville,

    As an aspiring PM of Barbados can you publish an interim”Solutions Barbados” building code?

    Think of those people who will start building a house next week.

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  • David,
    A secondary market for what?

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  • Are we not discussing mortgages?

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  • David,
    A secondary market for domestic mortgages? How would this operate? SPVs are global.

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  • Secondary market lol isnt that what happened in the states meltdown giving people who cant pay them full mortgages then selling those toxic mortgages around the world.

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  • @ Lawson
    Bushie is still LOLing at your 6.05 PM. where you captured the spirit of albino-centric thinking to a TEE!!

    …now you are looking to expose Hal’s idiotic thinking – a result of 40 years in albino-land sitting on top of a piss-poor basic education in Barbados and a foundation of personal low self-esteem.

    How someone who has barely managed to survive at the personal level, manages to think that they have the ‘solutions’ to these complex global issues – WITHOUT the benefit of a whacker- is completely beyond Bushie.

    Shiite man… Bushie gotta whacker, rich as shiite, lives ‘success’, AND have the solutions …
    and yet is overawed by the slim prospects of ANY KIND of successful implementation….

    Why?

    Because the fight is NOT against flesh and blood… but against SPIRITUAL forces that wunna have NO understanding …or even conceptualisation of….
    Even good, honest, altruistic intentions can, have, and will continue to, …be converted into evil outcomes – UNLESS guided by Godly, righteous spiritual leadership… ( i.e. unless wearing the full armour of God – as the Bible puts it).

    The most intelligent contributions from those who “know not that they know not” right now …. is silence.

    ….and BTW…Parris IS a crook.
    A big nasty, uncouth, albino-centric, widow-robbing, low-life crook.
    He just happens, for the time being, to be operating in the right environment where evil is bliss…
    His day is coming….
    It ALWAYS does.

    Like

  • Lawson,

    You got it spot on.

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  • Instead of trying to research the matter what a secondary mortgage market means for Barbados some of you rush hot and sweaty to impose your preconceived minds on the matter. A lot of work and discussion went on about secondary mortgage market back in the Marion Williams period.

    http://www.centralbank.org.bb/news/article/6795/secondary-mortgage-market

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  • Grenville,

    Although your concern is commendable, am I wrong to suggest that any form of ‘hard structure’ building such as is common in Barbados, in the absence of cushioned, flexible foundation, is subject to cracking and serious damage from an earthquake?

    Will shear walls really protect against this? The bracing of the shear walls will protect against stresses, but if the foundation is firm and hence unyielding, as common to stone buildings in Barbados, the seismic waves will be amplified and not cushioned, thereby causing significant damage.

    Maybe we are talking degrees of damage and I guess that is your point. Maximising design to reduce loss of life.

    Although, under a severe earthquake, due to the mentioned solid foundations that stone houses in Barbados have, likely the damage will be significant in any case.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Royal Bank hikes dividend after posting $2.8B quarterly profit

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/royal-bank-earnings-1.4258513

    Like

  • Grenville wrote “it would not have cost any additional money to have constructed the life-saving shear walls that the Building Code specified.”

    SPREAD THE WORD.

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  • David the secondary mortgage markets are mortgages wrapped up in securities and sold to investors.Sounds a lot like the american problem also certain property management companies that buy up real estate then someone buys shares in the company. The reason of the secondary market is the first market wont touch them so fees are higher and riskier for investors Money can be made but not people like us.

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  • Lawson,
    No better way to cover your ignorance than by claiming that Barbados is unique. @Lawson, you are right, the secondary market for mortgages takes place in wholesale banking and shadow banking. Mortgages (and credit and store cards and any other form of debt) are bundled and sold on in the form of SPVs which is what led to the 2007/8 banking crisis.
    As to Marion Williams, I remember being interviewed on BBC Caribbean at the same time as her and she claiming that the global crisis would not affect Barbados. She was spot on, of course.

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  • Did you even read the document on the link provided to appreciate what is being proposed? Are you aware that TT has a secondary mortgage market? Are you aware how it works? Instead you come with your wholesale definition of what a secondary mortgage market should look like. You may have the last word.

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  • David,
    Your arrogance is amazing. Lawson got it right. He ably describes a secondary market in mortgages. By the way, I am unable to read. I think you need to stop being so deferential to some people and learn to think for yourself.

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  • David are you aware there was a harlequin resort on other islands before they came to barbados, you are willing to gamble on a trickydadian secondary market lol. Wasnt clico from there. Thats why statues shouldnt be taken down because people will forget and repeat the same mistake again. Leave the harlequin building up so everytime you go down the boardwalk you will remember a fool and there money are soon parted.

    Like

  • Against expert advice, the Government abolished the only national standard designed to help builders construct a house that could survive earthquakes and hurricanes.

    Grenville wrote ” When compared with a national building code, the issues raised by minority groups such as the LGBT and NOW are insignificant, yet these groups have been able to successfully lobby government to address their concerns.

    Similarly to how financial institutions insist that persons seeking mortgage financing should buy property insurance, they could inform the government they are not approving mortgages until a national building code has been enacted.

    And for similar reasons, engineers, architects and building contractors could also inform government that they are prepared to withhold labour.”

    Like

  • Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., said late Wednesday evening it had agreed to indirectly acquire up to $400 million of the Toronto-based company’s common shares in two private placements — giving it a 38.39 per cent equity stake, at a steep discount — and provide a new $2 billion line of credit to its subsidiary, Home Trust.

    The deal with Berkshire, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Columbia Insurance Company, gives the alternative mortgage lender a much-needed cheaper funding arrangement. It also serves a major endorsement as Home Capital recently faced eroding market confidence and a partial run on its funding amid allegations of misleading disclosure

    Like

  • 45 Barbados Scholarships / Exhibitions winners.

    How many will be studying ” New technology disciplines” ?

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  • Government could also give scholarships in Industrial Design.

    https://appliedtechnology.humber.ca/programs/bachelor-of-industrial-design.html

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  • @Hants

    A good question, so far it seems many of the traditional disciplines are being pursued.

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  • Hants,

    Most of them will join the brain drain. Our taxpayers are educating doctors and others in Europe and North America.
    Since the 1920s we have been misusing these public funds without a proper audit. How about looking at the social background of the recipients?

    Like

  • That whole ‘scholaship’ thing is a lotta ‘bullarky’.
    What a waste of time and resources.

    A basic review of its history would show that the products of these ‘scholarships’ have mostly been wasted assets…. while CRITICAL societal roles remain unfilled, and semi-literate foreigners are imported to fill others….

    But there is a type of people who keep doing the very same shiite …while expecting different results….

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  • Lawson,
    Be careful. Harlequin owner is facing charges of alleged fraud in London and still the Barbados authorities (and media) have not carried out any serious investigation of his activities. Think Clico.
    This is typical. It is like reading a badly written academic paper on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    Like

  • Hal Austin August 24, 2017 at 12:40 PM #
    Hants,
    Most of them will join the brain drain.

    If they have any basic sense they will. Any young person with education / skills should run like hell and as far away as possible.

    To settle for working in an environment where corruption is rewarded, ‘knowing a man’ comes before skill and job opportunities or opportunities to set up your own thing are confounded by ‘people who are connected’, banks loathe to loan money unless you have two acres as security, certain jobs go to certain people only, who the heck would want to invest their productive lives?

    I made that mistake, only good thing to come out of it was my family, would tell anyone young and educated to run like hell.

    Seriously.

    Like

  • Hal you may not believe this but when fanny mae and freddy mac crashed I bought a few thousand shares on a whim and sold them a day later and tripled my money, then about a year later a bankruptsy trustee sent me a letter wanting the money back for some reason. I ripped the letter up and never heard about it again what a laugh.

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  • Lawson,
    I remember the crash well. In fact, I gave a talk at the Barbados high commission dissecting the nonsense about sub-prime as the cause of the collapse. As I have said, the business model was all wrong.
    We now have a situation in the UK in which none of the bankers has been jailed, one lost his knighthood, and we are back to where we were with the million-pound bonuses being paid out.
    Do you now that you do not have to have any qualifications to be a senior executive of a bank in the UK, ten years after the crisis? What is the situation in Canada?

    Like

  • Hal I have come to realize that most of us will feed on the crumbs that are left us unless we marry into the upper crust or somehow become indispensable to them. So when I see the old fellas at the rum shop enjoying their last days I think why am I trying to get ahead because in the grand scheme of things working hard means dick my joke that bt liked just about sums it up.

    Like

  • @Artax August 22, 2017 at 8:41 AM “Denis Kellman: August 19 at 7:10am • Two years after the BLP left government Tomas damaged about 300 houses in St Lucy, nine years after the DLP was in government the people of St Lucy felt the most of Harvey without any damage.”

    My St. Lucy friends tell me that there was little rain and little wind in St. Lucy during Harvey.

    There was heavy rain in the uplands areas such as Orange Hill and the Whim which led to beach erosion on the west coast and flooding in Speightstown, but little rain in St. Lucy so I don’t know what the Minister is talking about.

    Moreover the hurricane season is not over yet.

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  • @Hal Austin August 22, 2017 at 2:12 PM “We do not need flyovers on an island 166 sq miles. We need one car per household and better public transport.”

    I agree.

    And more and better sidewalks for people like me who do not worship the internal combustion engine.

    And maybe–for dreamers like me—bikelanes?

    Like

  • @Bush Tea August 23, 2017 at 7:03 AM “Parris IS a crook. A big nasty, uncouth, albino-centric, widow-robbing, low-life crook.”

    But, but, but, our Prime Minister Freundel Jerome Stuart said of Leroy Parris “the man is not a leper, he is my friend.”

    So my question to you BT is how can you say that the Prime Minister’s friend is “a crook. A big nasty, uncouth, albino-centric, widow-robbing, low-life crook.”

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  • Lawson,
    You must remember that most of the pensioners on BU are people living out their last days who reflect on lives that could have been. They got jobs in the public sector, for 30 or 40 years, get enough of a pension to survive, and are angry and bitter that people they have convinced themselves they are cleverer than have, in the material sense, accumulated more than they.
    As a little boy I saw them getting paid (in those days on Fridays), come straight to the rum shop and drink and gamble until all their money had gone; then they would go home and beat up their partners.
    Instead, this generation of bitter, deadbeat pensioners come on BU, hide behind nom de plumes, and let their spite out on each other, encouraged by the bandmaster, that is why the music is out of tune.
    But sometimes ignorance can be bliss. Just think of calling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac secondary mortgage markets. Or not understanding where the blame lies for not prosecuting Mr Parris for regulatory infringements, while blaming political interference; or blaming the boys on the block for the crime epidemic, white not even having any sense of so-called white collar crime; or how to sort out the vandalism on the rods in which every day there is a road traffic accident, quite often ending with serious injuries or even death.
    Look at Harlequin et al, the way the Mutual was taken from them, or at the financial institutions (including Clico and BNB/Republic) which lend people money to buy shares. A scandalous in any other society. It is not that politicians, the media and the commentariat take their eyes off the ball, they just do not even recognise the ball.
    @Lawson, a rum, or for the better off, a whisky, is a source of comfort. Plse send a few loonies to pay the bill, keep them happy.

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    Been waiting, but obviously it is unimportant, that Marla Dukharan left RBC for Bitt. I thought it stunning. I do not claim understanding, but the younger brainiacs keep telling me Block Chain is the future.

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    Block Chain is a fleeting obsession of many younger people.

    However, let’s get back to basics.

    Any thing which is used for money but has no intrinsic value cannot last long. Some people say they are immoral.

    And as much as we have encouraged alternative currencies to dethrone the hegemony of the US dollar, in the final analysis, real money will win.

    Currency based in gold, silver and other popularly traded commodities.

    Like

  • @ Grenville

    Regional Code of Practice for the Construction of Houses
    Duration: 1 Semester
    Certificate Issued: Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic Unit Certificate

    Programme Description:

    The course is designed to provide information to residential construction foremen and construction workers in order to allow them to correctly practice and supervise construction and select construction materials and to employ prescribed construction methods to construct homes in the Caribbean that are less vulnerable to natural hazards. The course comprises both classroom and on-site instruction and is designed to be highly interactive in nature.

    http://sjpp.edu.bb/?page_id=403

    Like

  • Lol Hal as if barbados needs more loonies,

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  • @ Crusoe
    ..only good thing to come out of it was my family,
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Name anything better.

    @ Lawson
    my joke that bt liked just about sums it up.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Bushie likes almost all your jokes…. you are talented…. and witty.
    Knock a bit of that albino-centricity out of your donkey ..and you could be a proper bird… 🙂

    @ Simple S
    So my question to you BT is how can you say that the Prime Minister’s friend is “a crook. A big nasty, uncouth, albino-centric, widow-robbing, low-life crook.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Yuh want Bushie to say it another way…?
    Birds of a feather…. !!

    Like

  • Lawson,

    That is unfair. Are you suggesting they are all on BU? There is one man/woman/thing that amuses with his/her/its constant bombarding with abuse and accusations. It is amazing.

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  • @Pacha
    today we associate block chain with crypto-currencies. However, I am told this scratches the surface of its abilities, which actually lie elsewhere.

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  • Isn’t a Pacha a big supporter of crypto currency? Isn’t there a strong lobby for central banks to allocate part of its monetary base to crypto? The world is changing, the fact Marla has made such a move is instructive.

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  • What your govt is going to get away from the klepto-currency thing they have going now.

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  • “The world is changing, the fact Marla has made such a move is instructive.”

    Not really. It simply means she made a career move, presumably in her best interests.

    When governments begin to shift to crypto currency en masse understand that “… when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door”

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  • @David, what is really instructive to me is the ‘crazy’ evolution of this crypto-currency which I personally find it a scary concept – workable of course – but still scary.

    At a time when cyber-terrorism is absolutely transforming and badly affecting our interface to digital data it’s not reassuring – yet – that we are moving to digital currencies, computer driven cars and so on.

    Indeed it’s the Jetson way of the future and whether we like it or not, so shall it be…. but it’s still scary.

    Oh, and to the point heralded by @Hal that it’s the sophisticates (and lax regulation) that cause most of the problems in the financial markets, I do hope folks pay attention to the wild gyrations of the crypto-currency valuations which have made a few people absolutely wealthy.

    As usual the mortar is chock-a-full with a lot more than that the lil pestle…oh gee, conflating the Jetsons and a mortar & pestle is incongruous… but so too should be this ‘digitizing’ of eva-ting !

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  • I wonder why Grenville Phillips II hasn’t yet responded to the important technical questions raised by two posters in this blog, especially the one about fixed massive foundations?

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  • This would be a good time to discuss building codes and hurricane resistant house construction.

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  • @ Grenville Phillips II,

    We await your “policy” on revised building codes re hurricane resistant house construction in Barbados.

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  • @Hants

    Grenville will probably comment that there is a building code that is NOT being enforced.

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