Middleclass Caught Between the FSC and Sagicor

Sir Frank Alleyne, Chairman of the FSC

A report prepared by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that reviewed the robustness of the operations of the Financial Services Commission (FSC)- specifically as it pertains to the supervision of Sagicor-  has triggered alarm bells in the local and regional financial market.   Although there is no evidence based on any public reporting Sagicor is not a well run company, the findings of the IMF report, commissioned by the FSC- supports the view that oversight body cannot conclusively give the green light to the good health of the Sagicor operations because it is under-resourced and therefore unable to execute a quality full scope review.

Based on recent reporting many have focused on the lack of adequate supervision of the insurance sector by the FSC, however, the BU household is acutely aware that the FSC ALSO has oversight for Credit Unions, Securities and Mutual Funds AND Pensions – see FSC website.

BU is very interested in the integrity of the pension slice of the market at a time when the National Insurance Scheme is ALSO under the microscope. It is no secret NIS expense will exceed revenue in the near future and necessitate drawdown on investments and possibly the need to extend the pensionable age to 70+ in the near future. Barbadians until recently were encouraged through tax breaks to open Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) to supplement government pension in order to sustain a reasonable standard of living and create peace of mind in the golden years.

Relevant Link: IMF FSC Confidential Report

The catastrophic regulatory failure of another pan Caribbean insurance company is still fresh in the minds of a CLICO fatigued public. The findings contained in the IMF report leaked by Barbados Today should be the cause of worry for people of the region. It reveals that Barbados through its agent the FSC has not been aggressive in the  post CLICO period to strengthen the oversight framework to efficiently mitigate risk in the sectors it has responsibility to supervise.

There is a large middleclass in Barbados with a significant number holding RRSPs with Sagicor AND the employer’s pension is ALSO managed by Sagicor. If there was a financial failure by Sagicor the impact on Barbados and Caribbean economies would eradicate personal wealth by greater than 50% in BU’s estimation. The fact that the CLICO meltdown occurred in 2008 and the quality of supervision continues to be deficient suggest heads need to roll.

The FSC and government owe it to the people they serve to be as strategic, efficient and transparent as practicable in this matter. BU appreciates this is a confidence sensitive issue, however, the regulator must publicly demonstrate that it has a grip on the issue. Given the deep penetration of regional markets by Sagicor and high contribution to GDPs, a catastrophic event must not occur because of weak supervision.   Surely we learned from the CLICO mess?

By the way, why is June Fowler commenting on the matter? Does she possess the expertise or competency to comment with any certainty regarding the integrity of the regulatory framework?

79 comments

  • I have been interacting with the FSC from its inception as a member and also as a member of the supervisory committees of two credit unions. My personal experience causes me to be concerned about anything on which the FSC puts its hands.

    I have only encountered bluffers pretending that understand the complexities of credit unions. I make bold to say that if any credit union fails, it would be as a result of the FSC.

    Like

  • bluffersretending that they …

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  • Middle classe between? Ha, it is lost anyway: crime, devaluation, nepotism, inefficient administration, delaying courts.

    We do not need any Sagicore to ruin Barbados. We already have the ruling black elite and their white donors. The two form an irresistible combination of doom and gloom.

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  • My worse fears were realised the day Sagicor acquired Life of Barbados. I had investments in both companies as I never wanted to have all my eggs in one basket and I was so distraught when Sagicor got their hands on LOB………..which I preferred.

    Now I dont know what will happen……….the time is really coming when we have to go back to keeping our money in the “mattress” as look now my bank is not paying any interest at all!

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  • Prodigal, better invest your money in US tech companies, Lockheed Martin, CHF currency and Daimler shares.

    Then you will profit from Donville´s business, the coming American-Chinese war, Barbadian offshore accounts in the alps and the local obsession to drive expensive cars which frequently brake down.

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  • I begin at “There is a large middleclass in Barbados”….apart from being a wonderfully inclusive statement echoed by politicians everywhere…effin ya aint in the top 1%, and ya aint below the poverty line, then you in the middle? I would expect a failure by a large financial services outfit, would catspraddle everybody?

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  • Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service

    After Alleyne’s initial huffing at puffing at being exposed by IMF and barbadpstoday as being totally ineffective, incompetent and basically useless in regulating, investigating or even checking all insurance companies….he is still to address the problems at FSC and tell policyholders and those with investments in these fly by night companies what he will do to protect them from any eminent collapse…..or from the known criminals in the industry.

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  • @NorthernObserver

    Of course all would be affected but those who had accumulate wealth are more at risk?

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  • David December 28, 2017 at 6:57 AM #
    @NorthernObserver

    Of course all would be affected but those who had accumulate wealth are more at risk?

    The number of middle class Barbadians with so-called accumulated wealth is very small. Most middle class Barbadians (doctors, lawyers, civil servants, small business people) are just one pay day, two at the most, away from penury and homelessness.
    Most middle class Barbadians live from and to mouth, that is why household debt is so high. That is why they need proper personal financial advice, starting with protection insurance – life cover, payment protection, income protection.
    We are seriously under-insured that is why loss of a job can be so painful. It is also ignorance of the role of insurance in family protection.

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  • As usual you hitch your argument to a unifocal position. What about the link made to the fact middleclass pension funds of the employer are with Sagicor? The issue is bigger than personal wealth. Also many middleclass families opened RRSP’s because of the tax break recently which was discontinued. The BU household is not prepared to be associated with your generalization.

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  • As Hal contributes his usual BS,I recall the collapse of Lloyds of London,classified as strong as the rock of Gibraltar,and the pain it caused a friend who was not short of a penny but who took a heavy,heavy hit from which he is yet to recover.I take hints like that and now I am not gloating but when one’s confidence is so shattered by the most incompetent Prime Minister Barbados has ever had I took a decision about three years ago with an old investment for which Sagicor assumed oversight and ran like hell from Belleville and from dem.I had another five year fund with an offshoot of a regal bank and ended up losing money on that investment.Talk of confidence?Not with this joker of a Prime Minister.He should have stuck to explaining the pedagogy of the oppressed and why some of those same oppressed oppress their own kind at the expense and glorification of the 1% which Errol Barrow invited to go to sea in a barge and at the appropriate distance from the island,pull the plug and get lost.

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  • You just do not understand finance – personal or institutional – and continue to fluff about as if you do. Occupational pensions form part of personal finance on an individual level and institutional finance on a collective level. And, bought from Sagicor naturally includes a higher risk than normal for all the reasons highlighted by the IMF report.
    Further, given the collapse of Clico, another institution systemically central to Caribbean economies, and poor regulation, that is an even greater risk.
    Just look at the number of annuitants who bought Clico annuities – a contract for life – and who are now desperately wondering what will happen to their investments? What a short life.
    If you do know about finance, then it is well hidden. But, you are not the type to keep quiet and learn.
    By the way, in normal financial circles, occupational pensions do not count as accumulated wealth, unless you are in the process of a divorce, when it forms part of the marital assets, or are over the scheme retirement age..

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  • Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service

    Should read…imminent.

    “im·mi·nent
    ˈimənənt/Submit
    adjective
    1.
    about to happen.
    “they were in imminent danger of being swept away”
    synonyms: impending, close (at hand), near, (fast) approaching, coming, forthcoming, on the way, in the offing, in the pipeline, on the horizon, in the air, just around the corner, coming down the pike, expected, anticipated, brewing, looming, threatening, menacing; informalin the cards
    “a ceasefire was imminent”

    As usual they will all sit their lazy, slothful tails down preening at their false, pretentious titles and wait for a collapse or several simultaneous collapses…and ONLY THEN..pretend to act…a la the filthy shit stench between Worthing and Hastings with poop leaking into the streets, a relative of mine had no choice but to be at Accra hotel to a meeting yesterday and was appalled at the stench along the way.

    They are so comfortable being complacent, accepting house negros, they have no clue how to do or be anything else but to assume the house negro status and do nothing, resigned to their useless state, status and fate….it has become cyclical and embedded in the culture.

    I would be pleasantly surprised to see FSC clamp down very hard on everyone of those thieving insurance companies…and bring them to swift justice.

    And reduce insurance companies encroaching on the lives of the population with their thieving scams.

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  • Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service

    And SIGNIFICANTLY reduce insurance companies encroaching on the lives of the population with their thieving scams.

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  • Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service

    All like now FSC should be preparing documents that will ultimately see criminal charges laid against Leroy Leper Parris, his sidekick from CGI Insurance Harris and his business partners and several other crooks running insurance scams on the island.

    If Alleyne had the balls.

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  • Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service

    I am even giving the path to follow for free….with certain info to find the evidence, particularly on CGI Insurance, FSC cant say they do not have proof OR evidence, not with all the personal injury cases….THAT SHOULD HAVE ALL ALREADY BEEN CLOSED, SETTLED AND DISPENSED WITH…..sitting in the Supreme Court, steeped in unnecessary, deliberately manipulated delays..

    Alleyne cannot say he does not have access to proof against any of these criminal insurance companies, if he really wanted the evidence, he can access it easily enough….if I can get it, so can he as insurance regulator.

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  • @ David
    What is considered middle class ? Are we
    talking about income or profession?

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  • You are a jackass of a stratospheric order. How can you divorce pension funds from personal financial consideration of the middle class. If Sagicor were to collapse tomorrow employees pension funds will be negatively impacted, RRSPs etc. You may have the last word, JA!

    Liked by 1 person

  • @William

    Both!

    Teachers, public servants, knowledge workers at al.

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  • It MUST have been obvious to anyone (but for Hal and ac probably) that the ongoing FAILURE of the FSC to deal with the thieving Leper and his other Board members of CLICO (was Alleyne not one?) would have attracted the attention of the IMF.

    You mean these idiots expected that they could just
    ..IGNORE such clear ROBBERY;
    ..remove a regulator on full pay;
    ..tie the whole mess up in a shiite court;
    ..deposit the illegal funds in the damn CENTRAL BANK
    ….. and that the international community would then give a passing grade to the FSC?

    Besides, it is clear to Bushie that the jokers at Sagicor are about as competent as Froon and his bunch.

    Bajans seem to be even bigger brass bowls than Bushie has been promulgating….

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  • David

    You said if. Maybe it should be when. When there is a financial collapse at the SG.

    When there is a financial collapse at NIS

    When there is a financial collapse of the credit unions, cooperatives more generally.

    We have been trying to alarm readers here and elsewhere about the perilous state of economy.

    We have argued that fundamentally, radical changes have taken place.

    Those changes do not rest on reliable metrics, unlike the old Keynesian economic model.

    For example we have a series of economic bubbles destined to burst within months, two years at most.

    The stock market (NYSE) was about 7000 in 2007/8. Without the addition of any old economy jobs, bricks and mortar infrastructure, financialization has driven that exchange up to 24000, just under four times as much within a decade.

    Come on, even a fool should know that something beyond established understandings is happening.

    We live in an age where computer algorithms, on their own, can so distort real economy. And now we see that algorithms are developing even more robust algorithms in furtherance of financialization.

    What is this nonsense about depending of so-called ‘bright’ people when mainframe computers, 70 years ago, were doing 24,000 calculations per second. Can any of our staid bright people compete?

    Closer to the point

    Sagicor had real problems in dealing with the old ways of doing business. It was not constructed for this new age where a single company (actor) could so manipulate markets, create such value out of thin air, change ways of doing business in the short run. 90% of trades do not involve brokers, humans.

    And when you have a culture where people are unaccustomed to developing plans for a range of possibilities what else can be expected but doom.

    More generally, nobody in Barbados really wants to abandon the established ways of thinking, doing business.

    They are sitting back expecting the old times will return, even after 10 years of austerity.

    This is not merely about economy, We are facing an existential threat, from all sides!

    And it is about time that the rassssssssssouls 11-plus slave boys wake up, forget every fuck they think they know and smell the coffee brewing.

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  • Much food for thought Pacha. We are trapped in the old ways you are so right. As a region how can we not have learned from the CL Financial CLICO mess?

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  • @Bush Tea

    The leaked report from all reports was commissioned by the FSC, to be fair. Likely Jeff get on!

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  • David

    BTW

    Wanted to draw to your attention the before Christmas turmoil in the crypto-currencies markets.

    The correction was so steep that trading had to be halted to prevent decimation.

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  • Sagicor is an advertiser at VoB, let us hope this does not constrain station manager of VoB David Ellis from venting this issue. Any failure, partial or total if this is possible, will decimate regional economies. Should we remind some here that economists represent the sum of individual activities?

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  • @Pacha

    Yes, observed the correction, hopefully you bought short?

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  • David

    Yes, shorting is where the real players are.

    Ellis can be expected to shield the company from serious, sustained critique

    So is your ‘resident actuary’

    In Barbados you can get more criticism for spelling some word ’round’

    Than a company lost at sea in a hurricane none of its highly-paid executes understand

    Even Miller is known to have privately expressed disappointment in several of his lieutenants

    But these are our brightest scholars, they say!

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  • I propse Alleyne to become the next GG. Since we get now a notorious backlogger as GG, Alleyne would serve best as her successor.

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  • @David,
    Sometime ago I suggested you should be the impartial referee on the blog and stop expressing opinions. By so doing it means out of politeness people will be forced to agree with you, keep quiet, or some of us will point out you are wrong.
    Again, you do not know anything about finance, and in particular pensions. Let me give you a basic lesson: pensions are legally defined as deferred payments, which become payable on or after the member has reached the scheme retirement age. This may coincide with the state retirement age or may be earlier.
    The accumulated pension pot does not count as personal wealth until it has been accessed by the member and, in some schemes, the member can take the benefit or transfer the entire pot out of the scheme. On premature death, the entire pot does not become part of the deceased person’s assets, but the surviving partner and dependant children may get a vastly reduced benefit. That is a gratuity, not an entitlement.
    The only intervention pre-benefits in this is in the process of divorce, when the courts can order that a proportion of the pension be transferred to the partner.
    Until then, all occupational pensions are treated collectively – and are one of the key cornerstones of institutional investments (along with insurance, charitable investments and family wealth).
    Middle class wealth is principally household wealth and comes from the familiar sources: salaries, property, inherited wealth, investments, and (and only then) on retirement. Some lucky people win the lottery.
    The personal financial advice middle class people get are also familiar: save for a rainy day; monthly payment of mortgage or rent; food; utilities; travel to and from work; protection insurance; and, if there is further disposal income, clothing, providing for leisure and extra-curricular activities for the children, holidays etc.
    Personally, I believe that middle class professional, two-income families should aim to save at least about 20 per cent of their take home pay.
    Personal financial advice is not something that should be learned by Googling or reading a badly written article in a newspaper, or shouting in a blog, that is why independent financial advisers in the US, UK and the rest of Europe are defined by law and are tightly regulated. It is to keep out fools and charlatans.
    To change the subject, I am glad the prime minister has confirmed that the Queen has appointed the new governor general, on the advice of ministers. Another example of being badly informed.

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  • millertheanunnaki

    @ Pachamama December 28, 2017 at 8:35 AM

    Wow!

    What a dystopian view of the financial and economic future of Barbados! Not even our Cassandra Bush Tea could be so predictably spot on.

    But what can you expect to become of Barbados when Bushie’s Devil has ‘planted’ his pitchfork in a country where his aides Froon and Stinkliar are in charge of proceedings.
    Now what do Bajans expect from the FSC headed by a man who has ‘effectively’ advised the current administration during its management of an economy which has experienced 20 plus downgrades and constant evaporation of its foreign reserves.

    Do you think such a academic pimp would have the guts to expose what’s going on at Sagicor?

    Shouldn’t Bajans be warned in advance in the same way they were warned about the pending collapse of the South Coast sewage system but who failed to heed the warnings? Now look and see what a shitty mess they have on their hands.

    Why not ask who are the external auditors for Sagicor so we can pose a few questions which could not be posed to CLICO’s?

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  • Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service

    Miller….ya can pose the CLICO questions to Alleyne, he claims he was on the oversight committe for clico….along with the thieving, dishonest board of directors and all the other crooks…

    I was surprised he admitted to being part of the gang who helped the clico collapse….and got the nerve to believe he could requisition an inquiry into FSC’s function in the last 6 years from creation to present… and not get a shitty, damning report from IMF…lol

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  • @Miller

    The external auditors PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Familiar?

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  • @ David
    Have you any idea what is a middle class
    income ? I am hearing a lot about the
    middle class but nobody to date has
    clearly explained it.
    I know of beach vendors who earn
    more than teachers and some lawyers.

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  • @William

    There will be outliers, always. Do you have a perfect definition? For the purpose of the discussion the groups and related mentioned will suffice.

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  • @ William Skinner,

    the middle class in Barbados is likely defined by “profession”….Doctors Lawyers,Teachers,Bank managers etc.

    There are others like Beach vendors,Fishermen, small farmers and the “middle men who buy from them and sell to hawkers. They earn middle class income.

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  • Thanks Hants, the definition can change based on the issue being discussed.

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  • William Skinner December 28, 2017 at 10:18 AM #

    “Have you any idea what is a middle class income? I am hearing a lot about the middle class but nobody to date has clearly explained it. I know of beach vendors who earn more than teachers and some lawyers.”

    @ William Skinner

    You asked a very good question.

    It seems as though the “middle class” is characterized by people living in suburban areas, with specific types of professions and earning incomes between the “working and upper classes”……..

    ………………….as demonstrated by Hal Austin’s December 28, 2017 at 7:06 AM contribution in which described “Most middle class Barbadians (doctors, lawyers, civil servants, small business people).”

    He went on to state that “Most middle class Barbadians live from hand to mouth, that is why household debt is so high” and they “are just one pay day, two at the most, away from penury and homelessness.”

    Essentially, your comment re: “I know of beach vendors who earn more than teachers and some lawyers,” CLEARLY and CORRECTLY DISMISSES Hal Austin’s statements as RUBBISH.

    I know, from my EXPERIENCE preparing income tax returns and financial statements, they are artisans (masons, carpenters, plumbers, joiners, tillers), welders, mechanics, “body work men,” butchers and freighters in Barbados, for example, that are often categorized as the “working class”………..

    ……….. but they EARN much MORE than those who are perceived to be “middle class,” yet these individuals DO NOT “live hand to mouth” or are they in any significant amount of debt.

    As it relates to debt and “living from pay day to pay day,” this is a RESULT of “bad management” of one’s financial resources. In other words, many people LIVE ABOVE THEIR MEANS, which obviously INCURS debt.

    However, I believe the “middle class” is an “ARTIFICIAL characterization.”

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Artax who wrote “” this is a RESULT of “bad management” of one’s financial resources.”

    Nuff said.

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  • Notions about a ‘middle class’ are at best quaint.

    We are headed towards a neo-feudalism

    In those circumstances middle classes will disappear as a thing of the past

    There will be a few rich people and all the rest of us will be poor.

    Can’t we see how wealth is being consolidated, globally

    How this formation is dominant in Barbados

    This is a perennial problem with the Bajan mind

    Instead of looking at the future

    The past, the present dominates thinking

    We just now waiting for the IMF to tell us how to be

    Well, the IMF is saying we shall have a feudal economy, society, again

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  • So true, private healthcare owned by one man. One billion dollars in government contracts to one man…

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  • “Most middle class Barbadians (doctors, lawyers, civil servants, small business people) are just one pay day, two at the most, away from penury and homelessness.” (Hal)

    So true. Most neighbours invest all their income into upgrading their villas and gardens, refurbishing their Miele kitchen, pimping their BMW and Mercedes, running their swimming pools, having lavish Christmas holiday in New York or Zurich and paying their many maids and their most trusted politicians.

    After all these payments, nothing is left. We need a better social net for most needy people on this island who sit behind high walls and barbed wire and have no contact to the clueless masses.

    Minister Blackett, get to work!

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  • Essentially, your comment re: “I know of beach vendors who earn more than teachers and some lawyers,” CLEARLY and CORRECTLY DISMISSES Hal Austin’s statements as RUBBISH.(Quote)

    So income determines the ‘middle class’? So the sociological definition of class means nothing? What does working class mean? What does upper class/aristocracy mean? What does lumpen proletariat mean?
    So the sociology of class is a misnomer? So Karl Marx, writing about the working class, wasted all his time in he British Library? Is it correct to describe the professional class as middle class?

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  • David Mr Blogmaster, it is amusingly annoying that we get lost in semantics rather than deal squarely with the substance of the debate.

    You have raised the very important issue of the financial security of the many Bajans invested in or insured by Sagicor so its rather amusing and annoying that the debate can get lost in such theoretical BS as ‘what is middle class’.

    As you said above “there will be outliers, always” and “the definition can change based on the issue being discussed”…that’s perfectly accurate.

    @Artax, you provided good details to reinforce the earlier well made point. However, in the broader picture I would offer that ‘middle class’ really is no more artificial than let’s say is an acid test ratio or an ROI metric which affirm aspects of how best to examine the entity that is a corporation.

    Obviously the latter descriptors are analytical markers but the fact is that they DESCRIBE the state of affairs based on terms coined over the years but must still be seen within context despite the analytical rigor.

    Same as “middle class” MUST be seen in context. It is merely a marker between ‘lower’ and ‘top’ and economically has ALWAYS meant vastly different things across countries and even moreso across regions within countries.

    In places like Germany or US workers in times past at big car factories for example were considered middle-class because they had solid long-term jobs at decent union wages with awesome pension plans and so on. Of course that changed drastically.

    And all during that time till today those artisans and skilled workers you spoke above (we can add cabinet makers and other home repair skill workers) worked for lots more money than ‘ambulance chasing lawyers’, for example.

    Which minibus owner would we have considered as “middle class” yet we know well that those who worked hard and moved from one to three or four units are very wealthy and in fact are truly upper class in terms of wealth.

    Middle class in a Bajan context has always been about ‘snob appeal’ thus @Hal’s definition is less ‘rubbish’ than it is …well just ‘snobbish’! 🙂

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  • Aha @Hal. That 1:17 PM ‘s a more apropos post on the question of class. I was being a ‘bit’ facetious calling your earlier note snobbish…but not too much….as your last post goes to the heart of that snob appeal.

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  • AS Hal contributes his usual BS,I recall the collapse of Lloyds of London, classified as strong as the rock of Gibraltar,and the pain it caused a friend who was not short of a penny but who took a heavy,heavy hit from which he is yet to recover. (Quote)

    Do you know this for a fact, or is this what your friend told you? Did he claim to have bought shares in Lloyds of London? More important, do you know anything about Lloyds and what it does?
    I suggest your friend is being economical with the truth. In any case, the first lesson in investing is|: do not invest more than you can afford to lose. Get your friend some good financial advice. I will bet he is a local so-called professional?

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  • @Dee Word

    Exactly!

    The middleclass discussion makes for good side commentary however the main issue is the quality of the oversight framework by the FSC and staving off catastrophic failure by the behemoth.

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  • William Skinner EXPOSED your “December 28, 2017 at 7:06 AM contribution” as shiite.

    Now, in a futile effort to “save face,” you are referring to social classes as defined by Karl Marx during the 19th century, and under circumstances where Marx’s observations of classes were during the period of the industrial revolution and the introduction of management theory and there have been significant changes between the social classes of the 19th and 21st centuries.

    It is obvious that you do not understand the writings of Karl Marx, but referred to him in an attempt to impress BU.

    Additionally, why should we accept a definition of social classes from a man who has been dead since 1883, yet you are always saying economic theory is out dated?

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  • The headline of this contribution is Middle Class Caught Between FSC and Sagicor, making it perfectly acceptable to discuss the concept of middle class. It is in the headline, not a side commentary.
    Had the main issue been the quality of oversight by the FSC it should have been made clear. In short, the quality of quality of financial oversight in Barbados is appalling; the FSC does not have any clear idea about regulation: what is its approved persons regime? What is the role of the audit committee and has it done its job? Is there a Scheme Actuary (not just any actuary) and does s/he sit on the board? Does the FSC have to approve new products, including design and actuarial assumptions? Is there scrutiny of investment policy? Is there any audit of policy values? I can go on.
    What about policyholders’ reasonable expectations, the very least of which is the expectation of good management, a function delegated to the insurance regulator and supervisor? I would seriously question the regulation and supervision of any insurance company in Barbados over the last 25 years.
    The insurance supervisor should have constant awareness of the internal controls and risk management of the company. Can we say this of the regulation and supervision of any insurance company in Barbados?
    A measure of the ineffectiveness of the FSC is that nearly ten years after he crisis at Clico not a single individual has been barred from being a director of a Barbados registered company.

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  • Miller

    We are sorry that our estimates are always so dire, not getting any better either

    But you yourself have provided unquestionable evidence, over 10 years, which supports that thesis, proves it.

    One of these days we will try to be as positive as possible. That would be the hardest job of all, a lie!

    We’ll try to see what it would take for the masses of the people, everywhere, to wake up and say ‘no more’

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  • “Most middle class Barbadians (doctors, lawyers, civil servants, small business people) are just one pay day, two at the most, away from penury and homelessness. Most middle class Barbadians live from hand to mouth, that is why household debt is so high.”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    The above comment is MORE shiite.

    Do you have the relevant statistics to substantiate your claim that “most middle class Barbadians live from hand to mouth, that is why household debt is so high,” or was it a speculative conclusion?

    Or, “Do you know this for a fact, or is this what your friend told you?”

    If the middle class is defined by one’s profession ONLY………….. then please define a scenario where a doctor resides in a $600,000 house in Millennium Heights and his next door neighbour, who is a “container truck” freighter, built a $650,000 house without a mortgage?

    As I mentioned in a previous contribution, “living hand to mouth” or “from pay day to pay day” and accumulating debt, is a result of mismanaging one’s financial resources and living above one’s means.

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  • Social class:-
    Upper Middle Class are those in high managerial or administrative positions or top drawer professionals
    Middle class are those in an intermediate managerial,administrative or professional positions.
    Lower Middle class are those in junior management,administrative,professional or supervisory and senior clerical positions.
    A Skilled Working Class as pointed out,plumbers,electricians etc could easily fit into the Lower Middle Class group

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  • If the middle class is defined by one’s profession ONLY………….. then please define a scenario where a doctor resides in a $600,000 house in Millennium Heights and his next door neighbour, who is a “container truck” freighter, built a $650,000 house without a mortgage? (quote)

    A Barbadian home of any value should be appreciated. But we must also be realistic. A Bds$60000 home is the equivalent of US$300000 or £200000. The average home in London is valued at £500000.
    A mortgage of more than 3.5 yo 5 per cent of annual salary is too high. A permanent secretary earns about Bds$150000 a year and some government positions for lawyer are advertised at Bds$70000(£24000) a year. The average UK salary is £27000.
    No one is disparaging of Barbadian standards of living, but we must keep our feet on the ground.
    By the way, certainly in contemporary Britain, I would rather be a plumber than a journalist, lecturer or lawyer.

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  • Artax, Hal,

    You both insult Bizzy the Great and the realm of expats, ex-ministers, diplomats, CEOs etc pp. The houses in MH are by far more expensive. Renting MH 23 Phase 2 alone is 8,000 USD/month.

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  • @Tron

    Affordability, dear boy, affordability.

    Like

  • Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service

    Cant let the knee grow know that they are black people who work for THEMSELVES and who can afford a 650,000 to 1.5 million dollar house in millineum heights and all required maintenance…the knee grow might alert MI6.

    Like

  • “A Barbadian home of any value should be appreciated. But we must also be realistic. A Bds$60000 home is the equivalent of US$300000 or £200000. The average home in London is valued at £500000.”

    “You both insult Bizzy the Great and the realm of expats, ex-ministers, diplomats, CEOs etc pp. The houses in MH are by far more expensive. Renting MH 23 Phase 2 alone is 8,000 USD/month.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Wow………. talk about being petty………….

    Perhaps if I had mentioned houses worth between $1M and $7M………….built in Fairfield, Black Rock…………I would probably avoided the “forensic analysis” of my example.

    What does converting BDS$ to US$ or £…………. or lessons in the intricacies of renting a house in Millennium Heights proves or have to do with the example?

    Like

  • Possibly we should be congratulating the FSC for being pro-active. Sagicor is not a Bajan company, the CEO and Sir Hilary are the only Bajan diwrekkers, and foreign shareholders outnumber Bajans, likely by 4 to 1 or more. It is prudent for the FSC to make all aware, of their limitations.

    Like

  • Bernard Codrington

    @ NorthernObserver at 5: 48 PM

    I concur. It is always prudent to get a third party evaluation of one’s work. One should also choose the evaluator very carefully.

    Like

  • millertheanunnaki

    @ Tron December 28, 2017 at 3:37 PM

    All of this talk about who or what makes up the middleclass will soon dissipate like hot air when the blast of the wind marked “Devaluation” comes a calling.

    The so-called middleclass designation whether based on job status or financial standing would worth not even a 100 dollar bill that would be needed to buy a roll of toilet paper. Ask any who lived large on the Red Hills of the 1970’s Jamaica.

    Then the ‘no-class’ Bajans would be in a better position to know how it feels to be a Jamaican or Guyanese having to ‘scrunt’ or hustle for a living with no easy access to foreign exchange to live off other people’s money.

    Like

  • @ BU

    Harry Russell’s “Wild Coot” column, entitled: “You Were Told,” in the Monday, December 25, 2017 edition of the Daily Nation is a “must read.”

    “Wild Coot” began his column reminding readers he “called for the scrapping of the FSC a couple of week ago and before the publishing of the IMF report,”………… because the Commission’s “extent of the supervision only mirrored what had been done by the Central bank” and “the FSC was merely coasting along at the expense of the taxpayers.”

    Russell also wrote: “In a previous article, the Wild Coot said: “To the extent that financial services cover a wide range of activities, expect that the Financial Services Commission will eventually be a huge organisation, since the financial services “per se” represent a major sector of economic activity. Therefore, the requirement should involve many and various skills.”

    The IMF stated that this was not the case in Barbados. It stated: “Supervisory by the FSC was absent from the regulatory and supervisory framework which is considered a major weakness with the expectations” of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors. It went on to say that the FSC had not implemented formal or informal procedures with regard to a number of areas that are critical for effective financial supervision.”

    Like

  • Artax December 28, 2017 at 5:41 PM

    …. please define a scenario where a doctor resides in a $600,000 house in Millennium Heights and his next door neighbour, who is a “container truck” freighter, built a $650,000 house without a mortgage? (Quote)

    We are talking about value, an issue you first raised or is this a Bajan cognitive disorder?.

    Like

  • @millertheanunnaki December 28, 2017 at 6:27 PM #

    Right. As soon as the exchange rate of the Mickey Mouse dollar with all the chaps on it is history, we will have those with hard currency and the locals with accounts full (or not) of useless Mickey Mouse dollars.

    Suum cuique tribuere – everybody

    Like

  • Clueless and devalued Haynes confirmed as Governor – another national disgrace after Mason.

    What job is left for appointment? The DPP?

    It seems to me that all intelligent Barbadians with some kind of integrity and work ethic have left the island or are in hiding.

    Like

  • The DLP is the governing party.

    They expect to win the next election.

    The appointment of a new Governor of the Central Bank is a good political decision.

    Like

  • Hal Austin December 28, 2017 at 6:48 PM #

    “We are talking about value, an issue you first raised or is this a Bajan cognitive disorder?”
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    Hal Austin, YOU ARE A LIAR…….. I NEVER raised the issue about value.

    The INITIAL “discussion” was about the “MIDDLE CLASS”………… and INCOME was SUBSEQUENTLY introduced.

    My intention was to corroborate William’s Skinner’s comments re: “I know of beach vendors who EARN more than teachers and some LAWYERS,” by providing a simple example to illustrate a comparison between the middle class, (which YOU described as “doctors, LAWYERS, civil servants, small business people)” and the so called “working class.”

    As such, I referred to scenario where a lawyer and a freighter, DESPITE the perceived DIFFERENCES in their social classes…………… could AFFORD to live in houses of a similar value in the same residential area.

    Instead, you CONVENIENTLY OVERLOOKED the intended meaning to be derived from the example, to PURPOSELY make the VALUE of the house and CONVERTING BDS$ to US$ and £ the MAIN issues, while being “arrogantly sarcastic,” (i.e. your sarcastic comment re: “Bajan cognitive disorder”).

    In other words, rather than deal with the substantive points or context of a contribution, you prefer to always focus on irrelevant issues for reasons of self aggrandizement.

    My friend, you have serious problems…… you seem to believe that everyone in this forum is beneath you and the only opinion that has worth is that of Hal Austin.

    You gain more respect admitting when you’re wrong that trying to insult your way out.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Tron
    No they have not left the island.They are waiting for the bell to ring to usher them in with all the brain power and strategies to return Buhbaydus to profitability.

    Like

  • The FSC also regulates companies traded on the Barbados Stock Exchange. The FSC’s performance regarding the current Cable & Wireless matter has been

    Like

  • Gabriel,

    Hope you are right!

    Like

  • Northern

    We see no fundamental differences in the way the SG behaves, its corporate culture, the make-up of the boards.

    When it was a mutual society it behaved as if closely held.

    Now it’s a publicly traded company it still behaves as if closely held. Choosing to sell large blacks to specific shareholders thus being in the same relative position to determine who has which voting shares. Giving a small number of people the informal power to determine the make-up of the boards of directors.

    In these circumstances it is unlikely that a hostile takeover bid could be successful because of the informal control over the free trading shares. Such an attempt could require a minimum of about 13% of the total outstanding shares.

    This type of behavior is normally seen as illegal in the USA and other jurisdictions, or bordering thereon.

    The structure has changed but the more it became public the more it remains private.

    What is clear however it that both ownership and control resides outside of Barbados. The Association tried in vain to prevent these kinds of externalization as sought by a revised Deed of Settlement.

    A study of the share price since demutualization may show it was at its highest immediately thereafter, then stagnation for long periods.

    Like

  • The problem we have is the lack of proper statistics and definitions. By now we should have known what income qualifies as middle class. We should also have a clear definition of what is a small business. This lack of important analysis is one of our major problems. We have allowed people to create wealth without paying taxes because we looked down on them socially and ignored their economic worth.

    Like

  • Hants December 28, 2017 at 7:23 PM #
    “The DLP is the governing party. They expect to win the next election. The appointment of a new Governor of the Central Bank is a good political decision.”

    It is not inconceivable that the DLP will have no more than one or two seats after the next election. It is therefore wise for them to have at least a handful of their faithful followers in influential positions.

    Like

  • Hal Austin, YOU ARE A LIAR…….. I NEVER raised the issue about value.

    Then what is this:

    ……..please define a scenario where a doctor resides in a $600,000 house in Millennium Heights and his next door neighbour, who is a “container truck” freighter, built a $650,000 house without a mortgage? (Quote)

    So what is that above, if not the value of property? Who wrote it? Maybe as a book keeper you do not understand value. I may be a liar, but I won’t degrade myself by lying in an insignificant discussion about who owns and can afford property in Barbados. Not something I have the slightest interest in.
    I translated your local value in to other international currencies; I could have done it in Zimbabwean dollars.

    Like

  • @Pacha
    I am unsure of your point?
    Sagicor is publicly traded on several exchanges, and I am unaware of any single entity who owns >5%. It likely trades well below any ‘takeover’ value per share, which is now, somewhat standard within the Caribbean regional exchanges. I do not follow it closely, so am unaware of any large blocks of treasury shares which are sold and to whom.
    It is difficult to view today’s BoD as the ‘old boys club’ associated with it prior to demutualization.
    What changes in structure would please you?

    Like

  • There you go again……… trying to be sarcastic by describing me as a “book-keeper.”

    The initial “discussion” focused on people who are perceived as the “middle class”…………. and William Skinner mentioned he knew beach vendors who earned more than some lawyers.

    I gave an example to substantiate William’s claim…….. but as usual, you focused on an irrelevant issue, re: the VALUE of the house, to make that the MAIN issue.

    Only an IDIOT would interpret an example comparing two different social classes on the basis of value of a house……… and for reason of self aggrandizement.

    And my friend, you CONSISTENTLY EXHIBIT your IDIOCY in this forum.

    I may be a “book-keeper”…………… but with the LEVEL of your comprehension skills, I’m sure everyone in this forum would agree you should be CHARGED for IMPERSONATING a journalist.

    Like

  • “…………but I won’t degrade myself by lying in an insignificant discussion about who owns and can afford property in Barbados.”

    ++++++++++++++++++++

    Let me tell you a secret………… (you are consistent in degrading yourself in this forum, because 99.7% of your contributions are shiite).

    You are just an ordinary primary school composition writer trying your best to convince people you are a journalist.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Very peculiar if the FSC commissioned the IMF to do a review of Sagicor.

    Considering that there are insurance companies in Barbados that have never had a review, in over twenty five years of operation.

    Could it be that someone has an agenda?

    Like

  • @ Crusoe
    Did they review Sagicor or the FSC?

    Like

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