Foreign Reserves Continue to Fall

Barbados foreign exchange reserves at June 2017

It is the silly season and if we are to judge from debates of the past leading up to a general election, it is unlikely such an important issue will take place devoid of political claptrap. All indicators about the health of the foreign reserves confirm that this government has been unable to change the downward trend. At his last utterance the minister of finance confirmed that Barbados’ foreign reserves are holding at 8 weeks of import cover.

It feels like déjà vu to some of us who experienced the period of the early 90s presided over by Erskine Sandiford. There was flight of foreign exchange and pleas had to be made by the government to the Barbados Mutual Assurance Society and other companies that enjoyed permission to invest a percentage of pension funds overseas to assist the country by transferring to the Central Bank of Barbados. While addressing an ICAB session this week minister of finance Chris Sinckler issued a similar plea to the private sector- to return forex to the country to bolster the foreign reserves. Was there a hint of distrust to be gleaned from the minister’s tone that the private sector is hoarding forex?

Another interesting observation arising from the minister’s address was the obvious impatience directed at the Commissioners of the Fair Trade Commission as it relates to the pending application for the sale of BNTC to Simpsons Oil. It is unusual for a minister of finance to be blatantly critical of a regulator. What if minister of commerce Donville Inniss were to criticize the Central Bank for example?  Surely the minister of finance- given his lofty position in government- should be aware of the reason why the FTC decision is pending? Is this an attempt to intimidate the Commissioners of the FTC? An element of desperation perhaps?

The greater concern about the depleted foreign reserves is not that Sinckler hinted that the government can compulsorily acquire forex held by commercial banks if the forex situation continue to deteriorate. We can only speculate what the principals of the Canadian banks are plotting in reaction to the recent decision by the Central Bank of Barbados to increase the reserve requirement and now the veil threat by the minister of finance to access forex held by commercial banks. BU cannot find a single case where a so called third world country intimidated an international bank.

What minister Sinckler and the government must appreciate is that the current state and his mouthing will not inspire confidence in the market. In fact, it is clear the private sector has lost confidence in the government. One only has to listen to head of the Barbados Private Sector Association Charles Herbert who represents that sector. One has to listen to Eddie Abed who represents the Barbados Chamber of Commerce. One has to listen to Dean Straker who is head of the Barbados Small Business Association. This is not an exhaustive list.

If we analyze the graph there is the obvious conclusion to be made that the government has been unable to implement policies to earn adequate amounts of foreign exchange. The policy of selling the family silver- analogous to when another DLP government in the 90s sold C&W shares- is not sustainable. If the FTC approves the BNTCL deal all it does is to kick the foreign exchange can down the road. There is a hole in the bucket dear Lila, dear Lila.


114 thoughts on “Foreign Reserves Continue to Fall

  1. David

    Look 👀 in the mirror

    You are the one who is just NOT …….CREDIBLE !

    By the way , what are you & your buddy , Dr. George Belle up to these days ?????

    Any more plans for assaulting UWI , project funding ??????

    • Belle is retired unlike Michael Carrington. How would John Griffiths refer to Carrington?

      On Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 9:11 PM, Barbados Underground wrote:


  2. What does it say of the state of the DLP when a sitting member string them out and did not even bother to tell the leadership that she aint running with them again………she told the newspaper.

    That tells us that she was totally fed up with dem, she could not get a road fixed in St John and just think that the dems begged that woman to run in 2010……..deemed her a queen.

    Wow, time really reveals the truth!

  3. This government has very little to show especially when it comes to capital works only if you call Valery and the Grotto capital works……contracts they gave to one man to build.

    These dems were adamantly opposed to the rebuilding of the Hilton and now have the gall to sell it?

    These morons have hot sticky fingers and believe me……..that 100 million will not last as long as a snow cone in a desert………by the time it hits the Central Bank …….it is gone and so would our best asset…….and to think that the pretend leader said in 2013, no privitisation under his watch………..what liars!

    The people, we the taxpayers to whom the Hilton belongs need to be told who came up with that 100 million dollar price tag. Was a valuation done and by whom and for how much. I hope not another 1.5 million for any lackey.

    We deserve to know as we cannot trust these dems, they have worn out their welcome and would not call the election for the people to kick their arses out!

  4. Prodigirl

    Fret not thyself !

    In 2013 you BLPites call for elections ……the day February 21, 2013 came …….on that said night you cried in DEFEAT !!!!

    Major cause for your defeat that time : The little note 📝 that Owen gave to PM Stuart …..” Oh pleaseeeee tek Mia off muh hand ”

    That moment truly showed that the Bees were truly DIVIDED !!

    You all on the same war cry 😭 again !!!

    But looka your PROBLEMS this time around :

    • Edmund Hinkson called George Psyne a CROOK right after the general election defeat in 2013…,,,so George Payne filed a DEFAMATION suit in the High Court ….,,,which still remains before the Court today !

    • Mia Mottley cannot find her LEC ……when she ought to have possessed one !

    • Maria Agard have Mia and the BLP in Court for unfair dismal !

    • Three political parties that formed after the 2013 general elections…..are all made up of DISGRUNTLED ……BLPites !!

    So the above scenarios clearly shows you that the BLP cannot UNITE its own membership because it is a party made up of CROOKS !!!!

    If you doubt that. – go back to the mouthing of Lynnette Eastmond, David Gill , Edmund Hinkson, Wendell Callender , Maria Agard and the beat goes on …. ….

    So keep calling fuh elections………Prodigirl

    Yuh gine eat yuh $hit …..

    The campaign ain’t start yet ……

  5. Prodigal

    How does “Edmund Hinkson calling George Payne a CROOK right after the general election defeat in 2013…,,,so George Payne filed a DEFAMATION suit in the High Court ….,,,which still remains before the Court today!”……………..

    ……… COMPARE WITH…………..

    ………………a VULNERABLE, WHEEL CHAIR BOUND, SENIOR CITIZEN & PENSIONER, John Griffiths, CALLING his former attorney and Speaker of the House, Michael Carrington a CROOK after he (Carrington) ILLEGALLY WITH-HELD funds he received from the sale of Griffiths’ property …….. and after Carrington REPEATEDLY IGNORED REQUESTS for SETTLEMENT, Griffiths subsequently filed a CIVIL suit in the High Court against the DISHONEST Carrington, who had to be ORDERED by the court to pay his former client?

    And after Carrington’s DISHONOURABLE deed, how could DEMS feel PROUD calling this crook, “HIS HONOUR?”

  6. Prodigal

    How could Owen Arthur passing a note to Stuart asking him “Oh pleaseeeee tek Mia off muh hand,” (a scenario involving TWO members of a party………. Arthur & Mottley), indicates an ENTIRE party is DIVIDED…………….

    …………… when compared with……..

    ………….ELEVEN (11) DISSATISFIED Members of Parliament (MPs) comprising of 8 ministers and 3 backbenchers, who were seeking an “urgent audience” with Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, to discuss matters of “grave concern” pertaining to his LEADERSHIP STYLE?

    Or with………the DLP REJECTING Dr. David Estwick’s alternative economic policies, after he BEGGED for an audience to discuss them with his Cabinet colleagues?

    Or with……… Donville Inniss not towing the DLP line?

    Based on this compelling evidence, perhaps “Fractured BLP” should RENAME herself “Fractured DLP.”

    • Artax

      It is obvious that the DLP’s understanding of honour and honourable is different from the concept that most right-thinking understand.

      Sent from my iPad

  7. BLP and DLP are the political elite of Barbados. They have the same common interest.

    Shady Lane, Port Gorge Hites, trips ova sees, shingle malt, pokey but not in,money an mo money and betta cars than the one I have in Canada.

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