Barbados Government Responds to Professor Michael Howard

Prime Minister Mia Mottley responds in quick time to Professor Michael Howard’s Sunday Sun article – David, blogmaster
Barbados Economic Recovery Team’s responses to the questions posed by Professor Michael Howard on page 26A in the Nation’s Sunday Sun for Sunday, September 9, 2018:

 

Ques: What are the projected dollar cuts for current expenditure over the loan period?

Ans: The loan period is for 4 years, with the last disbursement in May 2022. Projected expenditure cuts over this period amount to $571 million.

Ques: Has fiscal revenue been overestimated, given the fact that the economy is in recession, and large job cuts will occur which will further reduce tax revenue yield?

Ans: The fiscal revenues have not been overestimated. They take into account the economic business cycle and all factors impacting it, including any possible job losses.

Ques: How many workers in the public service and the SOEs are estimated to be sent home?

Ans: The program does not take the draconian and outdated approach by targeting some number for sending home workers. The objective of reform to the SOEs and to Central Government is to make the public sector fit for the challenges of the twenty first century through modernising and improving the efficiency, quality and cost effectiveness of the public sector. This will mean adjustment and rationalisation of SOEs and some Government Departments. It will also mean retooling and empowering, retraining and enfranchising some of the public sector workers to improve effectiveness. There will be job losses in some areas but there will also be employment gains in other areas where deficiencies have long set in. The net effect is likely to be a reduction in public sector employment but the number is also likely to be far smaller than the numbers bandied around and all will be offered some alternative, be it in the modernizing and digitizing program, an extensive training program, early retirement or a job in the private sector.

Ques: Is there any estimated money value of severance payments in relation to job retrenchments?

Ans: This is still being worked out at the level of the Social Partnership.

Ques: Are there any preliminary estimates to show how many SOEs will be merged, shut down or privatised, or the savings to be derived from these actions? Will user fees be charged for certain services, and if so, which ones?

Ans: The SOEs reform process began with what can be considered the most comprehensive consultation in our modern history from the Social Partnership to the leadership to the wider public, to identify potential for efficiency gains, cost recoveries, and enfranchisement through divestment of entities and/or activities. Indeed, almost 5000 persons participated in answering 93 questions in an on-line survey. There is consensus from the consultation process that 29 entities must be transformed with a savings of about $115m by end of 2019/20. It is hoped that around one third of these reductions will be felt by the end of 2018/19 with the balance in the following fiscal year. Additionally, all Government entities will benefit from stronger timelier financial accounting and oversight.

On the issue of user fees, there are currently four entities which provide an essential public service that the private beneficiaries have a capacity to pay for and where they do so in many other countries. These entities are the Vital Statistics of the Supreme Court Registry, the Land Registry, the Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office, and the Financial Services Commission. The process of moving to full cost recovery of these activities through user fees will also involve an initial and ongoing independent review of the potential for greater efficiencies, for example, through the use of new technologies and approaches, to keep these fees to international norms or lower. The Transport Board and Sanitation Services are also entities where increasing user fees are being considered as part of cost-recovery process but these two entities also present opportunities to empower and enfranchise Barbadians, e.g. helping drivers and their teams own their buses and sanitation trucks, bid for work from the Government and commit to minimum standards of public service. As such, any increase in user fees for these two entities be a small part of a larger restructuring effort within these entities.

Ques: Is there an estimated target for the new bus fare?

Ans: No, as any increase will be part of a comprehensive transformation process involving improving efficiencies and reducing cost.

Ques: What are the “conditionalities” or requirements for the IMF loan?

Ans: The conditionalities of the IMF loan are the targets set by Barbados itself under the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation program (BERT). These are: i) achieving a 6 percent primary balance by fiscal year 2019/20 and maintaining it for the next four year; ii) no further accumulation of arrears; iii) reducing transfers to SOEs by no less than the amount identified under the BERT program; iv) any increase in public debt must be consistent with keeping the debt-to-GDP ratio on the downward trajectory to reach 60 percent by 2033; and v) maintain social spending at a level consistent with protecting the most vulnerable in society.

Ques: What will be the nature and perceived impact of debt restructuring?

Ans: The public debt was deemed unsustainable by every possible measure and every international institution (as reflected in the numerous downgrades to the very bottom of the rank of rated countries), including the IMF. Not only the stock of debt but the servicing of the debt was also choking the life out of the economy. Indeed, the gross financing needs of Government reached 41 percent of GDP in 2017 as highlighted in the IMF 2017 Article IV Report on Barbados. As such, the Government announced a comprehensive debt restructuring, including external debt to commercial creditors and treasury bills, on June 1, 2018. Significant progress has been made in discussions with both domestic and external creditors and an exchange offer for Barbados dollar-denominated debt was issued on September 7, and the plan is to table an exchange offer external (US dollar-denominated) debt to commercial creditors shortly. Government debt held by the Central Bank of Barbados and by the NIS will also be restructured. The successful restructuring of the debt will put the debt on a sustainable path to reach 60 percent by 2033 and free up much needed fiscal space for keep infrastructural and development spending.

Ques: Was an increase in public sector salaries and pensions, as well as removal of UWI fees an appropriate economic policy, given that the stated goal of annual IMF briefings, as well as the present programme, is to reduce current expenditure?

Ans: This was absolutely an appropriate policy and one which received zero push back from the IMF. The design of economic policy must not only consider the current circumstances but also what has gone before. In doing so, it is clear that the appropriate policy is an increase in salaries and pension, given that the public workers in Barbados have not had a salary increase in over a decade and because of inflation the cost of living has increased considerably. This (the increase in salaries) then becomes the baseline on which the forwarding looking polices can be designed. Similarly, the imposition of UWI fees had created hardship for many Barbadian students, even more so in an environment of a prolonged economic recession. The removal of fees had to be dealt with immediately and be incorporated in the baseline. The same can be said of the additional expenditures to address the sewage and sanitation problem, which required immediate attention.

Ques: Is the flat tax (a modified poll tax) printed on the water bill an unfair or inequitable levy, which will impact proportionately heavier on the poor than on higher income groups??

Ans: We have protected the poorest and most vulnerable with higher pensions and welfare payments. The adjustment is skewed to the most fortunate in our society by raising the top tax rate and corporate tax rates, but we also believe that we are all in this together and everyone should make a contribution even if it is as small as $1.50 per household per day or 30 cents for everyone in the average-sized household.

Ques: Is the IMF loan of US$290 million too small for an extended Fund programme, given our very low level of reserves, and our extremely high level of debt?

Ans: No it is not too small for an Extended Fund Facility (EFF) as it represents 220 percent of quota and any amount above 100 percent of quota is considered ‘high access’. Yes, Barbados could have benefited from even higher access to build reserves buffers, given our vulnerability to external shocks and natural disasters. However, we must also be mindful that the greatest benefit of the endorsement by the IMF of our economic recovery and transformation program is the catalytic role such an endorsement plays. Our development partners, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank have both pledged significant amounts of financing, approaching BDS$300m for Barbados once our program is approved by the IMF Executive Board, which is likely to be in a few weeks. Together we are likely to receive BDS$1bn of support to our reserve from our multilateral partners as a result of the IMF supporting BERT .

Ques: Is a previous detailed report by the IMF on the SOEs available, which would offer some guidance in our monetary and financial situation, rather than having to depend on a qualitative consumer survey?

Ans: While a report by the IMF on the SOEs is available and can be sourced from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, we opted to rely on the comprehensive survey of the Barbadian public which reflects the wishes and views of Barbadians. Not only is this consistent with the principle of us – Barbadians – developing the Barbados Economic and Transformation program, but all the research show that where the public has a say in the design of economic policy, the implementation of said policy is more likely to be successful.

Ques: Are loans from financial institutions like the Inter-American Development Bank, where we can tap funds, also not subject to conditionalities?

Ans: No and this is because many institutions and institutional investors rely on the IMF endorsement, which is taken to imply that the country’s program is based on a coherent and consistent set of policies that are highly likely to be successfully implemented and with the desired outcome. This is the catalytic role of IMF support we referred to above.

148 comments

  • Crook Lawyers and Ministers got us here! Can these same Crooks get us out while they cover up Massive Land Fraud and PONZI money and Land Laundering even now in September 10th 2018? BFP/CUP

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  • @ David BU

    The indicative and the catalytic values of the home grown recovery and transformation programme is its main contribution to the tasks at hand.

    No definitive answers can be given . It is a map not the territory. One can never remove uncertainty from the equation. It is a step in the right direction . And this view is not based on inside information. The internal consistency most likely will be reviewed by the Executive Board of IMF.

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  • More smoke and mirror answers that does not in any way address the external mitigating factors that can further depress small economies
    The fact being that these policies are being compressed and rolled out on an outdated economic cycle of one glove fits all
    During the boom years of the early eighties not even the IMF was prepared for a global economic meltdown
    In this modern era of technology all it would take for these small islands to be fiscally decimated is a health crisis beyond imagination
    Where in the world under the stress of economic freefall would these small islands find the financial wherewithal to survive
    What this govt is proposing while piggyback riding on the backs of the poor is a strategy to pay down debt but no strategy that is sustainable and effective enough to provide a safety net per chance the inevitable occurs

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  • She aint give no definite answers. Ill wait to October for what the Phase II plans are as things are still in discussion with stakeholders.

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  • peterlawrencethompson

    Ms. Mottley has given us important information by stating that “… conditionalities of the IMF loan are the targets set by Barbados itself under .”

    The BERT document treats them as targets, but if they are in fact conditionalities this is an important distinction. For example if the Barbados economy achieves a 5.9% primary balance in fiscal 2019/20 we could round that up to 6% and pretend that we are basically OK if it’s a target, but if it’s a conditionality we can’t round up and we have breached the condition so the IMF does not have to give us the next tranche of the promised loan.

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  • Mottley did not give answers to the questions Professor Howard asked
    She simply skirted around the issues as if to say wait and see
    It is obvious this govt is unprepared and relatively speaking relying mostly on the dictates of the IMF policies to pull barbados out of the juggernaut of financial collapse.

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  • @ PLT at 8 :53 PM

    The process is not that stringent. If targets are not reached due to unforeseen events or miscalculations, they may not be viewed as breaking a conditionality. Most things are negotiable.
    Social science is not an exact science. I do not think there is such a thing as an exact science.

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  • Negotiate what ! on how many more civil servants to be fired
    Or how many social services need to be cut to meet schedule IMF payments
    The IMF has a strategy
    This govt has none or nothing upon which they can negotiate which would not bring further pain to barbadians household.

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  • I gotta say PM Mottley like the energizer bunny!!
    She all over the place ..
    That last crowd (govt) was sleeping (cost overrun) all that time?

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  • @ac
    Mariposa has clearly outdone ‘ac’ and ‘angela skeete’….
    “The fact being that these policies are being compressed and rolled out on an outdated economic cycle of one glove fits all”…one glove fits all is an economic cycle? or did you mean a bicycle?
    “In this modern era of technology all it would take for these small islands to be fiscally decimated is a health crisis beyond imagination”….and a health crisis hasn’t wiped out significant populations in EVERY era? WTF does modern technology have to do with fiscal decimation by a health crisis?
    You find a copy of that letter yet?

    Liked by 1 person

  • In less than 4,months Mia showing up the DLP clowns as the nincompoops they have been for the past 10 years led by superlative JA’s of the highest order.
    Confidence has returned to country Barbados.IMF backing Mia and the BLP government.CDB backing Mia and the BLP government.Hilton brand backing MIa and the BLP government.Paul Doyle backing Mia and the BLP government.IADB backing Mia and the BLP government.Mia confirm in excess of ONE BILLION DOLLARS will be injected into the Barbados economy in the near future.
    Thank god the bajan electorate kick the corrupt,theifing,witless,clueless,dumbass DLP party to smithereens.#30luvinwunnatail

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  • Yeap Mia got to be all over the place
    Got to keep serving the koolaid to keep the masses enegrize and stay focus on the smoke and mirror plans she has in store for them
    Wuh gosh darn it
    Who would have taught that in 2018 barbadians would have stepped up a notch from corn
    beef and biscuits to koolaid
    drinkers
    Well i ll be dam

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  • Ghee whizz Gabriel it is not like tge world suddenly collapsed because of a 30-0 whopping the dlp receive
    But this i know that the barbados economy finally collapse because of Mia unilateral decision to default on its debt
    Now for a measly 290million barbadians would be severly punished and told to drink more bitter medicine after Mia for ten years promised better

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  • I wish Harold Hoyte was in a better state of health to chronicle this historic defeat that will be the legacy of Freundel Staurt for eons to come.Wunna cuss Mia,call her all kinds of names,accuse the woman of every crime imaginable and what the man in the street and those in the heights,gardens and terraces do.Vote wunna azz to kingdom come.And to add insult to injury,one ex Minister walking bout in Uncle Sam country wearing an ankle bracelet that recording even his trip to the loo and two former bigmouth ministers eating crow working as employees of two foreign masters.How the mighty JA’s have fallen.Effing humptydumpties.

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  • Mia has been cultivating a relationship with Mitchell of Grenada et al. No doubt she will lean on her Caricom counterparts to navigate this IMF journey.

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  • @Kevin

    Hard ears yuh won’t hear?

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  • David how low can u go. Barbados looking to depend on support from neighbours that barbadians once thought were not to their intellectual level
    This economy is Mia to own in so much that she is deserving after ten years of serving the masses a potpourri of having answers to fix and repair all that is broken
    In my humble opinion this economy could not have been better handed but to Mia
    Lol

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  • What we have to agree is that under Stuart a response would not have been contemplated. We have to listen to DLP supporters sticking with the Sinckler plan that selling state assets would have been a better option compared to drawing down on low cost financing. And the triggering of additional financing from other institutions. According to Bushie, our ass is grass.

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  • Good questions, Dr Howard.

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  • When one opposes for opposing sake, such semi-illiterate gems are provided as an argument:

    Modern technology = health crisis? 🤣🤣🤣

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  • @PLT

    Have you ever heard being hanged by your own petard? You exaggerate your application to the IMF in order to secure a loan, then they hold you to it and you cannot deliver. Voila!

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  • Enuff .go back to yuh hiding hole
    Yuh a.rse too dumb to understand how much good as well as evil lies in the hands of those who control technology
    Btw tell you buddy GP that there is technological warfare being waged against him all over social media because his despicable and deceitful actions which attributes him to illegal activities
    Yuh get it

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  • Mariposa,

    “how many more civil servants to be fired”, “how many social services need to be cut to meet schedule IMF payments”

    A tiny island in the ocean which solely relies on tourism cannot afford all these entitelements and many lazy laggards in the civil service.

    If PM MAM had to cut down the civil service more, she would just punish those who are too arrogant for work.

    It is time for you to apply the vaseline for the incoming Hindu-Overlords from Guyana. Wake up and smell the coffee.

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  • They have all the right answers but the problem is the questions are all wrong.
    Questions that should be asked:

    These measures address our current debt situation, which was the result of debt growing at a faster rate than GDP. What plans are there to stimulate the economy? We were heading over Niagara and BERT only gives us two oars, when we need an engine.
    The new slogan seems to be “fit for purpose”. Are there any plans to apply this to the Ministry of Education, which in its current form is unfit for the 21st century and should really be called the Ministry of Academia?

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  • @ Vincent
    Social science is not an exact science. I do not think there is such a thing as an exact science.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    “Social science” is NOT really science.
    All true science is EXACT.
    ..this is essentially the definition of true science….

    Inexact science is just a fiction of modern society’s imagination
    …somewhat like ‘economics’ (whatever the Hell THAT is…)
    LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  • The root issue is behavioural. We wrap all our solutions in what is political.

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  • Can some one explain in what way does borrowing to pay down debt solve debt problem
    Can any one explain to me the value in holding on to an assest that its debt liabilty must be paid at taxpayers expense and is unsustainable
    Does all and sundry understand that the Hilton has a debt profolio of over 127million outstanding which the Hilton cannot pay and for the Hilton to continue to remain open the debt would be passed on to the taxpayers
    This kind of economic borne on mentality that states it is better to keep a libality than to get rid of it surpasses my understanding

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  • Mariposa,

    You may not be an economist, but you are spot on. Borrowing to pay debt obligations is like using a credit card to pay your mortgage. As to the Crane development, we must be mad when a Irishman can come to Barbados, with the only money in his pocket being what he got for the sale of his home, and make a fortune. It shows the entrepreneurial failure of the Barbadian middle class and the willingness of the banks to lend to white people, even to the Irish.
    We have a government that is playing smoke and mirrors with the future of Barbados. But there are important questions about the Crane deal: the asymmetry of information, an issue for the US regulator; does this mean that the Crane will now have an advantage in town and country planning (the prime minister is the responsible minister), there is the question of consumer law (will the timeshare contract be written under Barbados or US law? There are lots of similar questions.

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  • One of the key components of management is the ability to reach out to an informed support adviser with experience and clout to provide practical solutions to problems factual and perceived.Grantley Adams,Errol Barrow in particular,Tom Adams,Owen Arthur and Mia Mottley all reached out to former friends and colleagues as sources of consultation in fashioning the way forward for Barbados.
    If Owen Arthur failed at anything,it was giving in to DLP innuendo and BWU misguided reading of the true state of affairs of the percentage of local worker participation in the 4 Seasons Project at Black Rock that saw a planned temporary halt to the project that has cost and continues to cost this country billions of dollars in lost investment and loss of added value to Barbados economic advancement.

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  • Mariposa, what understanding you have, when the Hilton is sold and part of Hilton debt remain to be paid off

    Liked by 1 person

  • Hal Austin
    What has been your contribution to the social and economic advancement of your Barbadian compatriots in all the years you have been breathing the fresh air that sustains your addled brain.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Actually Bush Tea, Vincent is correct no science is exact.

    Science is about observation and measurement and then analysing
    Observation and measurement are subject to uncertainty and due to this nothing is exact.

    What separates a scientist from an economist or social scientist is the importance placed on quantifying that uncertainty and seeking ways to reduce it and thereby improve confidence in analysis

    Because they refuse to address uncertainty in their methods and analyses
    Political scientists are just historians
    Economists are no better than astrologers
    And social scientists are speculators

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  • Mariposa,

    “Can some one explain in what way does borrowing to pay down debt solve debt problem”

    The exercise is to swap the interest and other modalities from currently 10 % on the CS-loan down to 1%. The DLP-admin paid the interest on the CS-loan using smaller, new loans in USD-currency and (secretly) assets of Canadian banks at Barbados Central Bank.

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  • Hal Austin
    @ 8:06 a.m.

    Go to the top of the class.

    “Borrowing to pay your debt is like a person using a credit card to pay their mortgage”.

    Mariposa kept saying and she is right about the small sum of 290 million dollars to deal with this serious problem.

    This govt kept saying the program home grown,the IMF didn’t give any conditionalities – they accepted all that we say we will do – huh,that sound truthful to you?

    What fees will Barbados have to pay the IMF while they oversee this programme.No one has been told?

    What about that Company that was hired to deal with the IMF negotiations – Is that necessary now?

    Are we still paying them?

    What have they done so far for the money?

    Have you noticed that Mia has no plan for economic growth? She is a like a person who can’t swim floundering in deep waters.Trust me – we are in deep doo doo with that PR Stuntswoman at the helm.She is lost,lost lost – far out to sea.

    What are the plans to diversify the economy?

    What are the plans to reduce our high usage of foreign exchange by for example reducing the food bill

    These press conferences and appearances by that govt spokesman, Kevin Greenidge is laughable.

    What are we getting for paying high salaries to Mascoll and Persaud?What have they contributed so far?

    Is it true that Billie Miller has onset dementia and is extremely forgetful?Why is she there in the Cabinet?

    Lord help us.

    For those who felt putting up the govt’s answers to Prof.Michael Howard questions was a slam dunk thing,- well they only exposed themselves to greater ridicule with those answers.Steupes.

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  • Where was Professor Howard during the ten years plus of DLP mismanagement? Did Professor Howard speak about the seven year LOCAL RECESSION under the DEMS? Do I detect a BIAS?

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  • The company was not hired to deal with the IMF. It was to deal with the creditors for debt restructuring .

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  • You had to stop the economy from it continued 10yrs of economic decline before you can put it on a path of growth

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  • IMF conditionalities so far:

    1.Universary education for my kids – DLP took it away

    5% pay increase- Mia give with one hand and took with another – Chris gave nothing and took with both hands.

    To do just these two things and still get an IMF and others support then MIA not only using smoke and mirrors on the bajan public but also on the international economists.

    A magician or genius?

    One thing for sure the former decimal/fraction was neither and did not have the support of any one including most of their supporters.

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  • There were 2 companies hired:White Oaks and another Company.

    one company was to help with the IMF negotiations and one to deal with the creditors.

    What is the position with the Company to deal with the IMF negotiations.

    Professor Michael Howard please continue to present unbias commentary on what is happening with the Economy.

    The Bees loved you when you were criticizing the last govt for not taking an IMF loan – but their mouth turn now that you are clearly showing how much this current P.M. is out of her depth.

    We are now told that she will lean on the Grenada’s P.M. keith Mitchell lol.

    Its really ‘back to school season’.

    Chris was only a Garrison High school boy – but poor fella he worked hard on his own – he didn’t have to bring in 5 ministers of Finance ,2 consultants and an Ambassador-at-large;

    The said projects that he was trying hard to bring on stream – as only a Garrison boy – now the Queens College girl – can’t rush and embrace them fast enough – for e.g Sandals hotel and the expansion projects,Hyatt Hotel,and soon to be the sale of the Oli Company – you watch and see.

    Under Chris the Garrison High School boy – the Solid Waste tax for 15 months was too much – now you have a Garbage & Sewage tax on your water bill that will go on and on and on – but no problem it is a Queens College alumnus that did that

    You know what you have but you don’t know what you will get.

    What sweet in goat mouth does burn he in he bam bam.

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  • The madness against selling the debt laden Hilton is beyond my comprehension
    In my humble opinion the sale would have secure multiple purposes
    One to pay off the debt which is now owned by taxpayers
    Two as a safety net for barbados to. Improve and secure its creditworthiness in the financial markets
    Three release govt of any further obligations that can impact negatively on barbados economy
    Four improving our decline in reserves
    Giving the people an open market opportunity to become investors
    But what we have going forward is govt holding a basket full of ongoing obligations and debt attributed to the Hilton and placed in the hands of the taxpayers
    Not to mention the revenue collected from the Hilton if sold would be revenue with no draconian strings attached or a call for taxpayers to repay

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  • After ten years of economic rape and madness, international investors have ZERO confidence in any BB investment where they get useless BBD in return. You cannot buy anthing but drugs in Black Rock with one Barrow.

    Even the present gov lost confidence in the BBD. What all of you ignored is the fact that the BB-gov starts to collect taxes in USD, thus confirming that the local BBD is mere toilet paper. Why should any international investor accept payment in BBD if local taxes are partially paid in USD?

    Thank you very much, Big Sinck, thank you very much DLP, for running the island into the ground.

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  • What is mad is you DLP people who just spent 10 years presiding over drift and rot not understanding the effect of 10% interest rate on debt compared to 1% supported by longer maturities. You may recall Sinckler attempted to do the same thing a few years ago by floating a bond issue to address UWI and other creditors. It flopped because the market had zero confidence in taking up Barbados securities.

    #hardsearswunnawonthear

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  • Mariposa, Inniss,

    Since the CS-loan came with 10 % interest (high profit) and the IMF-loan comes with 1 % interest (low profit) the BIG question is:

    Did any decision-maker of the past gov (like Big Sinck or Eastwitch) receive any kick-back in return for the excessive costs of the CS-loan ? That is a legitimate question to ask, given the way decisions are made in countries of the so-called “Third World”.

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  • T. Innis the blp yardfowls are feeling shame they will try to hide this shame by continuing to cuss Sinckler that is there only modus operandi
    There are powerless to do any thing else as the Saviour Mia on which the yardfowls had heavily depended to save the economy has opened her hand and it is EMPTY
    At least past govt had a growth plan
    Yes the Cahill project which was bamboozled by Mia
    The Hyatt projected whipped into submission by Commissiong and his band of devilish conspirators
    Well honurable mention now goes to Sandal a project if the opposition blp had their way would never seen the light of day
    Be that as it may Sandals happened and who else are singing its praises Mia Mottley
    Boy i tell yuh wonders never cease

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  • The very arrogant and greedy members of the DLP claim on BU there was a “constitutional crisis” since they have no chance anymore to rape the taxpayer in Parliament.

    However, why does Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Labour_Party_(Barbados)) display 11 DLP-members in the Senate?

    Is it true that there are 11 very arrogant and selfish DLP-moles in the senate?

    Have they no shame to exploit and to insult the black masses?

    Do said DLP-senators reside in Barbados at all or are they residents (and possibly citizens) of the United States?

    Just asking.

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  • 9% of 290M = 26M
    26 Millions being saved by the tax payers. Could buy the profit making Hilton in 4 years.

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  • Tron,

    It is much worse than you say – and it did not start under the incompetent Stuart/Sinckler regime. When Barbados was preparing for the cricket World Cup, I suggested that although it was a bit late, the nation should use the occasion to introduce our millennial landmark by turning that area of Kensington in to a 24-hour recreational area – from the cricket outfield, to a cricket museum, a cinema, a three star restaurant, coffee shops, and a concert venue, etc, with a public terminal to the front. In other words, it would become an entertainment centre.
    I suggested at the time that the money to finance the project (@PLT, plse read) could have been borrowed from the Japanese capital markets at below one per cent, which would have meant the moment the government signed for the loan and paid it in to its local bank account the money would have been earning more than its cost. At the time The Nation newspaper was kind enough to publish a letter from me making this case. Of course it was ignored.
    The cost of money in the global capital markets is still cheap, so if the IMF offers a loan at 1 per cent, as you say, that is about the cost of money in Europe, the UK and Japan, and slightly more expensive than in the US, where interest rates were recently raised. So, the IMF is not doing Barbados any favours.
    But the loan is to repay debt, which we defaulted on, not for investments; so in 15 years time, we will be back where we started. However, by then prime minister Mottley would be out of politics and some other person, at present unknown, would be blamed for this mess up. Barbadians are not good on history. Our collective memory is badly damaged.
    We need to invest for the future: infrastructure, education, service and manufacturing diversification. To use obsolete jargon, we must think outside the box. We do not like doing that because it is outside our comfort zone. It is better to be hysterical about arty politics. Whatever happened to the Diaspora conference?

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  • Name the company that was dealing with the IMF beside government, central bank and social partners? Name it because – I cannot recall any other.

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  • Hal,

    Buildings like Kensington Oval, Supreme Court or Barbados Water Authority simply reveal what is wrong with Barbados.

    The occupancy rate of Kensington is next to zero, the Supreme Court is as big as the Supreme Courts for countries with 50, 100 or 150 million people and BWA building would be big enough for NYC.

    What a madness.

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  • Tron,

    But Bajans will tell you they are a first world nation. Just Ask Marion Williams.

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  • When Mrs Williams left Central Bank nobody wanted to participate in her farewell party.

    Mrs Williams also told people that Barbados is posher than France and Switzerland.

    Mrs Williams was the architect of a financial policy with high inflation and of an economy where salary hikes exceeded productivity.

    Mrs Williams is just an example how Barbadian education failed.

    Like

  • At the time of the financial crisis, Mrs Williams, myself and someone from Trinidad appeared on the now defunct BBC Caribbean Service talking about the reasons for the crisis and how it would affect the Caribbean economies. She said it would not affect Barbados. I almost collapsed. She was out of this world. I did not know about the France and Switzerland claims, but am not surprised.

    Like

  • Hal
    You are nothing but bluster and fluff.You have no standing in things Barbadian.Based on the lies you profess to write you should have been installed Governor General of Barbados by now.You have all the answers but nobody pays attention to you and those whom you praise to high heaven William Skinner and the braying JA Deliar Worl.All 3 ‘o wunna qualify for goods long past shelf life.Oh and add Atlee Brathwaite.
    Btw what ignorance we hear from a JA cell phone salesman posing as an authority on Water and Waste Management.Who ever hired the idyut should be made to account for that blunder.Imagine Barbados Water Authority with a JA salesman at its head.Its enuff to make people vomit.

    Like

  • None of you clowns could match the scholarship of Marion nor Clyde Williams.Wunna effing jokers.

    Like

  • “The madness against selling the debt laden Hilton is beyond my comprehension
    In my humble opinion the sale would have secure multiple purposes……”

    Mariposa

    Although it is clear the above comment was not written by the original Mariposa…..her ignorance of economical issues and being “economical with the truth” remains.

    Approximately two years ago, the Hilton hotel was valued at $252.8M, and following that valuation $11M in major renovations were carried out.

    According to information received, the sale agreement with British real estate investor, London and Regional Properties would have seen the hotel and its surrounding assets sold at $160M which is $40M below the value Sinckler announced as the target price, during last year’s budget presentation.

    If the hotel was sold for $160M, after deductions were made for payment to the shareholders and outstanding debt, government would have realised a net of $32.9M.

    So…..this yardfowl is suggesting that, with $32.9M, government would….

    ……”pay off the debt which is now owned by taxpayers….” (which would be paid out of the foreign reserves)

    AND STILL HAVE ENOUGH MONEY REMAINING TO:

    ……”improve our decline in reserves……”

    ……provide Barbados with a safety net to “improve and secure it’s creditworthiness in the financial markets… ”

    ……”release govt of any further obligations that can impact negatively on barbados economy…..”

    Only from yard fowls.

    Liked by 2 people

  • @HA
    “there is the question of consumer law (will the timeshare contract be written under Barbados or US law?”
    I assume given your personal timeshare experience, you didn’t buy into the Crane?
    As someone interested in a timeshare, could you outline the potential pitfalls of buying into timeshares, and all the due diligence one should do.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Although refurbishment could have added to. value
    The bottom line per value and price per share cannot be detached from its present liabilities
    Primarly of interest in the investor mind would be liabilties plus cost to keep the Hilton well managed for long term.plus price per share on the open market
    It would be therfore evident that the liabilties as well as tge share value would have been a major stumbling block in getting the preffered value of what govt might have expected on the sale
    Also what might have been Hilton stock value in opened market
    In any event govt attempt to sell the Hilton was a better alternative that a measly 49million starting loan where govt still remains strapped to non performing assests at taxpayers cost

    Like

  • sirfuzzy (i was a sheep some years ago; not a sheep anymore)

    Because they refuse to address uncertainty in their methods and analyses
    Political scientists are just historians
    Economists are no better than astrologers
    And social scientists are speculators

    The PHDs in the respective feild would have u drawn and quartered. But never mind u sure right about economist. As Pres Turman once said. “he is looking forwards to meeting the one-handed economist” lol

    Like

  • Lord come for your world.The DLP azzoles ignorance knows no bounds.There ought to be a law!

    Liked by 2 people

  • So the blp squibble about 33 million being placed in the hand of taxpayers after sale of Hilton is finalised
    However have no qualms in securing a loan with interest attached plus burying the taxpayer with long standing govt debt some of which includes the Hilton and must be paid
    Total madness when one reflect on the long term payment plan it would take to repay barbados debt while incuuring more debt to sustain the economy
    Btw i understand that present govt was printing money to pay debt which include wages
    How convenient after lambasting past govt for doing the same

    Like

  • Blp yardfowls cannot deny that present govt does not have a growth plan on which to place barbados on a safety net for economic sustainability
    There loud noises of blame are becoming hallow as people begin to feel the grip of pain shutting off their economic life line because of Mia empty promises
    Go figure

    Like

  • Northern Observer,

    I have mentioned the moral hazard of insider dealing, one for the SEC.Is that important? I have mentioned the need for consumer protection? Is that important. I have mentioned the legal structure of the contract. Is that important? Ten we can talk about business models, unfair influence on planning applications, etc.

    Like

  • @HA
    what is important is if any journalist is ready for tomorrow to ensure CH is keeping to the terms of his bail.
    And I was more interested in the due diligence required before buying into a timeshare.

    Like

  • TInniss and Mariposa
    Remind us why Sinckler and the Dems borrowed $249M from Credit Suisse, and the reasons for Estwick’s Arab loan pitch?

    Like

  • Enuff go back to your hiding hole diffuse
    What you need to remind self is that your govt relies on not so nice people to be head and tails of writing integrity laws

    Like

  • Stupse–I think I have a stalker. David?

    Like

  • Sirfuzzy at 12 :42 PM

    Are you regressing? You seem to be following an equally incompetent shepherd.

    Like

  • I decided to take a break from posting on BU…. only read and laugh at these DLP losers but the winers have gotten on my nerves.

    I said then that the REDWASH had them going batshit crazy……one would have thought that as time passed that they would retreat to hiding under the rocks as the sordid details of how they mismanaged this country were revealed…………but no….they are getting worse and worse daily.

    I feel wunnah pain………..they bombarded Brasstacks yesterday….so much so David Ellis had to ask one if they had a planning meeting to plot their strategy to bombard Brasstacks.

    Out came the ignoramus James Paul in today’s paper convincing all that he is suffering from the REDWASH derangement syndrome saying ……no one is talking that Barbados will have negative growth…….my man…..you forget the 23 downgrades that put this country in the mess our PM…..a real leader now has to pull this country out of the black hole wunnah left it in?

    Much as I admired the intellect of Michael Howard……I lost all respect for him…..he sat back and hardly offered any criticism while a economic novice literally destroyed our beloved country…….I was “surprised” how fast he was to criticise the BLP’s manifesto but offered praise for the DLP’s which was clearly a botched job………..now this!

    The people of Barbados have reposed great confidence in Mia Amor Mottley and her BLP and she deserves the space to make decisions that she deems fit for Barbados…….she consults….which is great even though the suffferers and haters think it is a bad thing……..
    no wonder wunnah get REDWASHED!

    Liked by 1 person

  • I would advised the president of my political party not to listen to any advise and stay very very far from Peter Wickham.He is the most destructive political commentator in the history of Barbados. When the inevitable happens – the falling out himself and Mia Mottley,please madam president do not entertain him. We do not need him to assist us.

    Like

  • @ Prodigal Son September 11, 2018 8:56 PM

    “Economic novice”? A human hurricane CAT 6 +++ who ruined many lifes!

    He is personally responsible for a very long death toll of people who committed suicide and lots of people had to emigrate.

    Like

  • It all sounds very dejavuish doesn’t it. A party decimated at the polls should want to encourage all feedback.

    Liked by 1 person

  • i’m not a fan of looking back, the fact that we are here should be enough to convince any fool that the policies of the past were failures. but what is the difference in policies of the blp vs the dlp to date? raise taxes, check. send home civil servants, check. borrow money, check. the only difference has been an imf loan at 1% vs a CS loan at loan shark rates, and the blp making the lenders pay for their ignorance. so what did big chris have against the imf? he sent home people anyway. he raised taxes anyway. he shrunk the economy anyway. could it be that imf would require him to hit the targets that he had set? big chris never hit a single target he set himself, either for revenue gain nor expenditure cuts. but what else. the CS loan was all the money up front and put-the-cheque-in-the-mail. no oversight. no audited statements necessary. no chance to really make the boys happy. and that is why we didnt go to the imf, otherwise to date the policies are the same. i again warn that what is also the same to date is no clear plan for growth. big chris didn’t even attempt to articulate one in his eight years, but now we are out of time. im assuming the blp had to 1) work on the imf proposal 2) sort out the local lenders 3) sort out the foreign lenders and now hopefully put their efforts into a well thought out, workable, fair to all bajans growth plan, or we can kiss our ass goodbye.

    Liked by 1 person

  • One gets the impression the government is attempting to stabilize in the initial phases of the economic program, IMF, fiscal measures/mini budget etc. Hopefully the plan is that we will see followup measures to encourage investment as the environment stabilizes, domestic and international market confidence returns. Time will tell if Mia wants her administration to be considered an upgraded model of Stuart.

    Like

  • i agree and expect that they are up to the task. time will tell. they have achieved a lot in a short time, i dont think barbados has every had growth not lead or supported by government spending. the situation is much more difficult during austerity.

    Liked by 1 person

  • A reflection on our private sector? We want to encourage forex earning revenue.

    Like

  • The blp needs to be put on blast for a very long time for their lies and empty promises talking about a 290million loan at 1% gives comfort to a fool and a fool who was promised better and have to endure years of bitter under this govt
    Bitter as in more taxation ..✔ bitter as in higher fuel charges ✔ bitter as in higher consumer spending ✔..bitter as in joblosses ✔
    This govt ran on a platform of putting money in the peoples pocket…✔
    Instead has taken money out ✔

    Like

  • Oh rambam, sticks and stones is getting fancy ✔

    Like

  • Artax, I commend you for your great patience in continually taking the jenny ass, sorry, the horse to the water. You do know she would rather die of thirst than to drink BLP water, right?

    To those who still defend the DLP’s tenure I ask – have you no shame????

    To those who think all will be well under Mia I say – keep your eyes and your mind open.

    Like

  • A reflection on our private sector? We want to encourage forex earning revenue.(Quote)

    Plse give a detailed economic reason for this statement.

    Like

  • love him or hate trump, it is pretty hard to deny america is on full throttle .economy booming lowest employment rate in years major tax cuts. Manufacturing is making a comeback pretty near every sector is seeing growth. Dollars are being repatriated allowing for bonuses and raises people are feeling better about having a decent retirement. Now I am not saying barbados can follow all trumps policies and surge a head to recovery, but one seems to stick out more than others, its seems so simple I cannot understand why it has been overlooked for years…..put a white man in charge

    Like

  • In Barbados Today OSA piss all over Mia taxation initiatives
    The blp yardfowls have drank so much ofbthe koolaid that there brains are flooded
    One can add without a doubt that. Mia unilateral decision to press the default button wavered into the measly fininancial support the IMF gave to barbados giving thought to distrust

    Like

  • Owen Arthur stated in his lecture Monday night that the measly amount given by the IMF was not enough for what needed to be done.

    Arthur’s remarks allowed for very sobering thoughts.

    Like

  • Who gives a shit what Owen Arthur thinks?
    The man is an economist (whatever the hell that is…) who spent 15 years digging the hole into which we are now wallowing..

    He was then followed by two certified jackasses – Froon and Stinkliar, who used jack hammers on full throttle at the bottom of that hole ….in their attempts to mimic the ‘economic genius’ Owen…. borrow and spend…and sell assets.

    The very FACT that Owen opposes what Mia is doing may be our best sign of some faint hope…

    Bushie only hopes that her talk about CSME is just a case of political correctness …rather than any mimicking of Owen’s idiotic escapades into self destruction….

    Like

  • One has to judge the US economy weighted over several quarters.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Budh. Shhh.
    Nobody wants to hear your crap so early
    Guh long do
    Yih a.ss is grass
    The IMF dont give a rats a.ss bout what yuh think ole boar.

    Like

  • @ T.Inniss September 12, 2018 7:28 AM
    “Owen Arthur stated in his lecture Monday night that the measly amount given by the IMF was not enough for what needed to be done.

    Arthur’s remarks allowed for very sobering thoughts.”

    How come the Owen Arthur today is being seen as a light of salvation and guidance to economic recovery?

    But, but T.I., isn’t this the same ‘economist’ who many months ago warned you and your “bunch of wild boys” that the economic strategies and remedies you were proposing and applying to deal with the sick Bajan economy were totally inappropriate?

    Didn’t he also advise you lot that you should have adopted a plan which involved not only going to the IMF for Balance of Payment support but also an opportunity to enter into a programme of economic recovery equivalent to enlisting in an Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) programme for a period ‘drying out’ of your overly conspicuous consumption habits which he himself facilitated?

    Didn’t he also recommend an urgent visit to a fat-reducing farm to curb your fiscally overeating expenditure habits?

    Forget about MAM and deal with what Fumble Stuart did to poor Owen even when he sank so low as to so shamefully debase himself by offering to accept the position of your administration’s chief economic advisor.

    There is one thing former PM OSA can relish about.
    Unlike Fumble Stuart, he would never be at the bottom of the pile when it comes to the ranking of Bajan prime ministers as far as their contributions to national social development and the economic advancement of their people are concerned.

    What a shame for country– once the ‘black’ beacon of a country punching above its economic weight and given its massive investment in education- to endure such a period of national disgrace!

    How could so many Bajan economists, so many with PhD accolades, allow their beloved country become so sick, economically speaking?

    Where were the voices and opposition to the madness being displayed by a ‘drug-dealing garrison boy’ and a nincompoop lawyer from the cane ground of arrogance and managerial incompetence sown in Marchfield?

    How shameful can it be for a country to move from the apex of economic management as exemplified in the previous prime ministers and chancellors of the Exchequer to fall to the nadir of being the laughingstock of Caricom to be the most recent foster child of the IMF?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Are we discussing the same OSA who in 2016 told us we were feeling the IMF pain but with no gain
    https://barbadostoday.bb/2016/11/25/bajans-feeling-imf-pain-but-no-gain-arthur/
    and who a year later in 2017 warned that Barbados was IMF bound?
    https://barbadostoday.bb/2017/03/15/we-are-imf-bound-warns-arthur/
    and now that Barbados has finally taken his advice re the IMF, his criticism is that our loan facility isn’t large enough.

    Cannot wait to hear OSA, when this lot ‘reprofiles’ the local debt, something CS talked about for years but did nothing about. Dr JR (where is he today?) told us something about the cost in ‘political capital’. The problem was, because political capital only gets measured every 4-5 years, JR was assuming there was positive capital there. If only he had known??

    Liked by 1 person

  • Quot homines; tot sententiae. Just as many persons there are ;there are as many opinions.

    The persons with the relevant information , the understanding of why things are the way they are,and how to change them for the better will be the solvers of this malaise in which we find ourselves.
    We all seem to have parts of the anatomy of the elephant and think we have the whole.

    I think Prof. Howard’s questions are for the most part relevant. I think for the most part the answers BERT team gave are part satisficing. The solutions proffered by Mr. OSA could do with some inside information on what the real issues are and the gravity of what the true state of GoB finances and the economy is.
    I get the sense that there is a tendency to deal in comparative statics rather than in adaptive dynamics . That could account for the apparent differences in analyses and the solutions offered.

    The underlying solution is to get the GDP denominator in the fraction to grow :
    1. Through transformation of the economic structure
    2. Expansion in the current output of existing of industries.

    These are both medium term solutions. The points which BERT is making and which seem to elude most commenters.

    Like

  • @ David (BU):
    “Hal Austin September 12, 2018 5:01 AM
    A reflection on our private sector? We want to encourage forex earning revenue.(Quote)
    Plse give a detailed economic reason for this statement.”

    Is this man who suffers from the ‘off-the-black-and-white-draughts-board-but-can-see-all-the-shots’ black Bajan Limey syndrome fuh real?

    This half-breed madman reminds us of the eponymous smart Alec in the first year university class who spends great energy in trying to impress the lecturer how bright he is by asking and answering ‘every’ question.

    How can anyone in his or her right mind and with a modicum of commonsense dismiss the need for the forex lifeblood which flows through more than 80% of the Bajan economy?

    Even the shallow Hal’s arch enemy in economics Owen Arthur recognizes this sine qua non for economic recovery and sustainability for the Bajan economy.

    Hal Austin, your reputation was shot out of the water when you found yourself singing from the same hymn sheet and living in the same ‘Anonymous” house as Mariposa, angela skeete and the original ac all in tandem with the ‘Fractured BLP” now renamed T.Inniss.

    Liked by 1 person

  • From my distance away from the centre of operations it seems as if the immediate issue is a liquidity problem. I hope a flow of funds analysis was done before the budgetary measures were imposed.
    Given the dynamic nature of the economy, will the imposition of new taxes increase revenue? Are these measures spreading the tax burden equitably? Are the persons with the highest tax incidence the net beneficiaries?
    If these factors are not satisfied there will be no increases in the flow of tax revenues. One cannot get blood out of a stone.

    Like

  • The fact is that Mia compound barbados economic problems with a default which might have gave IMF a cause for the measly 290million.
    Also of interest that the stupid monkey survey would not have added any value
    The monkey survey report upon which Mia might have depended to have sway during IMF negotiations as OSA stated could have also given reason for not having a larger financial support since the survey did not adress the economic problems as was suggested in other IMF reports sufficiently

    Like

  • Mia sitting next to Doyle look like a robot

    Like

  • @ Miller the annu at 10:08 and 10 :58 AM

    So it is you who borrowed Bush Tea’s wacker ? Wuh Loss . You are sharing licks like peas.

    Give me a break, yuh hear?

    Like

  • @ Vincent Codrington September 12, 2018 10:34 AM
    Quot homines; tot sententiae. Just as many persons there are ;there are as many opinions.
    The persons with the relevant information , the understanding of why things are the way they are,and how to change them for the better will be the solvers of this malaise in which we find ourselves.
    We all seem to have parts of the anatomy of the elephant and think we have the whole.”

    So why not ask the go(o)dly Prof. Howard -btw, a contemporary of our own omniscient Bush Tea while being forged in the crucible of commonsense at Waterford- if he would recommend throwing the ‘Devaluation’ cat among the many-faceted problem solving pigeons?

    And if he is against the move of introducing the Devaluation referee among the contending traditional de rigueur solutions, what then is his recipe for resolving the current Bajan economic mess?

    Instead of coming up with a litany of questions for the poor unlucky MAM- unlike the lucky devil OSA who inherited an economy already recovering under a Sandiford implemented Dr. IMF programmed-why isn’t the academic Howard a ‘junior’ contemporary of OSA not providing a similar list of answers to and recommendations for the recovery and restructuring of the Bajan economy to which he owes his entire educational, career and now pension existence?

    Like

  • Owen is a good economist and did excellent as PM.
    But for those who think that his word is the bible.
    He was advisor to Grenada which is doing well.
    He was also advisor to Jamaica back in the early day when it went to IMF and smell hell after.
    He also opposed Mia become PM after he had found he good enough to be his Deputy PM.

    In short because Owen said its so does not mean it is gospel

    Like

  • @ Miller A at 11 :33 AM

    Actually OSA and Prof. Howard are exact contemporaries. They are two bright graduates of the Cave Hill campus of UWI. I am very proud of them. There is another of that graduating class who did extremely well.
    Neither OSA nor Mia were handed any pre-rolled easy playing wicket. Nor was Tom Adams .
    They all had an economy to restructure because of changing international economic circumstances. And they did extremely well. We can do it again. So please get off that Pity Party, Excuse-generating Band-wagon.

    Like

  • John 2 at 12 :20 PM

    OSA was not a senior advisor to the Jamaican Government and would not have advised an IMF program for Jamaica.
    He worked in the Economic Planning Unit of Jamaica.
    When he returned to Barbados , he worked in the Finance Ministry. He added value to that ministry. Tom Adams recognized his ability.

    Like

  • Like he recognized the ability of Mia and Mascoll?

    Like

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