Ten years have elapsed since the 2008 global financial meltdown left Barbados exposed for the open economy we have been taught it is in primary school. Across the Caribbean our little economies find themselves in the same boat with high debt to GDP and rotting infrastructures, rising corruption and a dearth of leadership.
Barbados WAS considered the gem of the Caribbean.
With all of our problems – some of our making – others caused by the vagaries of life’s existence- the blogmaster is concerned that after five months in office no definitive statement has been formally issued by the government about the current and future state of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS).
- Is the NIS fund still marketed as our life line?
- Was it established to provide financial support to citizens in the golden years?
- Is the knowledge that we have a well managed NIS fund an emotional comfort for the citizenry?
It appears from all the talk we have been hearing the NIS Fund is under threat. Given the catastrophic impact a failing fund would have on the Barbados society Prime Minister Mottley would do well to schedule another press briefing to lay the issues on the table and outline, what is the plan to stabilize and rescue the fund after it was used as a lender of last resort to add debt like no other time in modern history. To add to the problem, we have been told the former government didn’t pay 400 million dollars in employee deductions to the fund.
The blogmaster has posted several blogs about the lack of management demonstrated by successive NIS Boards and by extension government. The latest Actuarial Review is late (what is new?). Audited financial statements of the fund have not been laid in parliament to comply with the law for many years. Several projects funded by the NIS and decisions taken have been questionable.
- Prime Minister we need to know when the Actuarial Review due will be completed or if it was completed when will it be made public?
- Prime Minister we want to know when will the audited financial statements be laid in parliament and soon after be made public?
- Prime Minister we want to know on what basis Ian Carrington who was director of the NIS fund during the lost years has been given a leading role in the BERT execution in his current role as Director of Finance?
- Prime Minister we want to know why Dr. Justin Robinson remains active given his leadership role on the important Boards of the Central Bank and NIS Boards.
- Prime Minister we want to know who will be held accountable for the unconscionable squandermania of NIS funds in the last ten years.
In the debt restructure project the IMF document details that:-
NIS: T-bills, treasury notes and debentures. T-bills held by the NIS will be swapped for the new 15-year debenture; and its treasury notes and debentures will be exchanged for a 20- year discount debenture. The debenture will have with a 2-year grace period. Principal will be reduced by 17.5 percent at the issuance of the security; after the 2nd successful review under the proposed EFF-supported program, principal will be reduced by an additional 12.5 percent of the original principal; and after the 4th successful review under the proposed EFF-supported program, principal will be reduced by a final 5 percent of the original principal. Interest will be paid at a rate of 4 percent per annum for the first 3 years, followed by an interest rate of 8 percent per annum for remaining years.
Leading into the last general election the blogmaster had a brief exchange on Facebook with the former Chairman Justin Robinson about when current NIS financial will be laid in parliament- his response did not give hope the matter will be resolved anytime soon.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley you have been a big advocate for transparency AND accountability in government. We waiting to see!
BLOGMASTER raises several revalant issues regarding the PAST/PRESENT NIS management. The BIG QUESTION IS WILL THE GOB PROVIDE ANY REALISTIC INFORMATION other than more optomistic political rhetoric.
How is the Apes Hill NIS loan being handled now that Apes Hill appears to be in recievership.
The Actuarial Report is a scientific and impartial assessment of the state of the fund.
Producing current financials is an up to date snapshot of the health of the fund.
The two together deflate conjecture and inform constructive discussion. In other words we do not have to listen to Kellman!
@ Wily Coyote
Could you do de ole man a favour?
I does regularly admit here dat I ent got much sense.
In fact you could say dat I am one of the class idiots.
There is something that is posted above that I simply do not understand and I’d like you to explain it to me using a Hundred dollar bill
Here is what I dont understand
“…The debenture will have with a 2-year grace period. Principal will be reduced by 17.5 percent at the issuance of the security; after the 2nd successful review under the proposed EFF-supported program, principal will be reduced by an additional 12.5 percent of the original principal; and after the 4th successful review under the proposed EFF-supported program, principal will be reduced by a final 5 percent of the original principal… ”
Now here is de ole man s problem In all
me days about here debentures were purely about interest payments THE PRINCIPAL DID NOT ENTER INTO THE EQUATION BECAUSE IT WAS SECURE.
Do tell de old man dat de Honourable Blogmaster has made a misprint and that my $100 ent being discounted in the manner that is written above?
De grandson going use your response to mek a Stoopid Cartoon for all bajans to understand why going on in this NIS fiasco and would be grateful for your help
@ the Honourable Blogmaster your assistance please with an item for Wily Coyote thank you
Barbados has the highest NIS in the Caribbean if not the world. Businesses will fail while government treats it as a slush fund. Recently Upped NIS by 2% after giving a 5% is 3% net. And they don’t even pay anyway. Meanwhile companies are subjected to the HUGE onerous liability of 23.75% on their valued staff’s salaries.
Debebture is an UNSECURED DEBT based on the credit worthiness of the issuer, not good in GOB case as thier credit worthiness is non existant. To give the holders some limited confidence the credit worthiness of the debentures is tied to BARBADOS CREDIT WORTINESS being tied to IMF performance criteria.
I believe David is correct in that the principle (ie your $100) will indeed be reduced(haircut). The interest rates being proposed are somewhat generous, however the rates will not recover your losses on the $100. Also in the future if GOB defaults on the debt restructered debentures, holders of same will get nothing. This is Wilys take on the new restructuring debentures.
The Actuarial Report is a scientific and impartial assessment of the state of the fund.(Quote)
What appalling ignorance! Actuarial reports are based on assumptions. An assumption is not scientific. David BU plse post anonymously.
‘You are right’. Now that you have taken your obligatory swipe at the blogmaster feel free to comment on the substantive issue.
The new GOB debt restructuring DEBEBTURES can be compared the the Monopoly Game’s ” GET OUT OF JAIL FREE CARD.
This cut is too deep to be called a haircut. Is that a 30% scalping (17.5+12.5+5)?
———————————————Is this madness or nonsense————————————————
This scalping cannot go on in a vacuum.
Will this 30% cut be to Barbados as a whole?
Is it a devaluation?
If you have BDS $285 then you will get back $200.00. In other words BDS $285 will be buy what $200.00 bought?
US $1.00 = BDS$2.85
It does not take inflation of prices into account.. are we heading to 1 to 4???
Have I made a leap into madness and nonsense. Be kind and just say “yes” or “no”.
@TheoGazerts October 21, 2018 10:53 AM
Yes to your calculations,
No to your 1 to 4, likely headed for much larger devaluation, float is not off the table.
“obligatory swipe at the blogmaster”
No one is criticizing, we/they are just trying to understand what is taking place with this LOCAL DEBT Restructuring and the possible consequences. The restructuring as laid out is devastating to both individuals and public investors, significant initial haircut combined with 20 year inflationary devaluation results in no return on investment.
Like Wily says, comparable to Monopolies “GET OUT OF JAIL FREE CARD”
17.5 + 12.5 + 5 = 35
So you are left with $65.
I mussee got dis all wrong. Maybe this is a new kind a investment methodology just beyond my comprehension.
It is alleged that.
Thanks… I reconfigured. Instead of $2.85 its $3.07
… Provide link to full imf document
… Reduce principal may mean pay down principal to reduce the debt
The link was provided, here is it, again.
Yep..a full blown fraud and crook…the first red flag that should have alerted them… why would she want to open a treatment centre for addicts in Barbados when ALL THE ADDICTS are in North America, specifically the US, especially Miami, FL….
All these people would not be able to travel to the Caribbean for treatment AND she made it seem like ALL the addicts ARE in the Caribbean and South America…these fools deserved to be robbed, believing all that crap..lol
Don’t expect anything soon.
The overall numbers do not add up. The issues at the NIS have to be greater than have been imagined.
Within…IMF Country Report No. 18/290, other than the section quoted above within body of this thread.
“By mid-2020…address the medium and long-term challenges for the NIS stemming from the debt restructuring (structural benchmark for end-June 2020).”
“(v) by writing off NIS holdings of government debt in the amount of 7 percent of GDP.” [This 7% of GDP is +/-$700 million]
Pushing it out to 2020 suggests they are unsure of the true financial situation and subsequently no clue how to fix it, but for now, will cut, to make the numbers jive with what they need to show.
Imagine in all those 75 pages of IMF Country Report No. 18/290, plus appendixes, that is all which was said, other than Central Government and SOE’s owed the NIS one potload of money.
You have noted the following extracted from the last NIS Actuarial Report?
thought you would have noticed one of the duped was your buddy PVH, who is also chairman of Sothebys in Bim.
yes. It wasn’t just perchance, the writing was on the wall. And it had been discussed.
NO….Holy crap…I know he is involved in Sotheby’s but am so busy gloating that a bajan lawyer got robbed and running all these names through my head that I hope she robbed big time that it escaped me to think that Vivek also got his ass robbed…..lol
Good for her…there are many people still waiting for their personal injury cases to close and get their compensation, some of them elderly AND badly injured too…hope he remembers that…
So who says there is no Karma..
read p10 of the following where the Board of Needhams REFUSED to accept a newer, and much lower valuation
It would be useful to find out the point or points of difference between the two valuations.
Mia wanted to know, we agree, and are still waiting
All you need to know is the auditors didn’t agree with the higher valuation, hence the note.
Do not trust auditors, sorry.
CLICO financials were signed off by the auditors.
“Dustin Delany, an attorney in Barbados, said many in the island nation were fooled. Jerace portrayed herself as a Palm Beach socialite. She said she was “a trust fund kid,” he said.”
NO…I can only smile, lol, murdahhhhh!!
That is who they love to suck up to, frauds like themselves..lol, ah hope she got away with millions..
I do not trust anybody, far less auditors. But they employ CYA strategies at every turn. Sign off = getting paid, qualifying statements = what we believe to be accurate.
This is what happens when Pension Funds are strip mined by thieves…
neither Cow Williams nor any of the others had any right with their thieving hands in the pension fund, but with weaklings like Robinson, it was inevitable that the pension fund would be ripped off..
… of course this particular thieving of pension money happened in the US and someone will pay.
How Wall Street Drove Public Pensions Into Crisis and Pocketed Billions in Fees
Hedge Fund Dogs
In April 2008, a longtime investment adviser named Chris Tobe was appointed to the board of trustees that oversees the Kentucky Retirement Systems, the pension fund that provides for the state’s firefighters, police, and other government employees. Within a year, his fellow trustees named Tobe to the six-person committee that oversees its investments, becoming the only member of the committee with any actual investment experience. It was an experiment in fiduciary responsibility that ended badly. “I started asking questions when things weren’t sounding right,” Tobe said. “And a secret session was held where they voted to kick me off.”
Several weeks after he was removed, the remaining members of the committee approved a $200 million investment in a hedge fund called Arrowhawk Capital Partners. Tobe, though he remained a trustee, only learned about the deal after the fact, while reading the magazine Pensions & Investments.
In the years since that big Arrowhawk play, Kentucky’s public pensions have descended into financial crisis, a crisis that threatens to have ripple effects across the state. “Poor, rural counties in Kentucky have two major economic drivers,” state Rep. Jim Wayne explained. “One is the school system and the other is the courthouse. Most of them have no other industry.” Of the 120 counties in Kentucky, Wayne said, “government jobs is the No. 1 employer.” By 2016, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s declared Kentucky’s the worst-funded state pension system in the country. At that point, the state was meeting only 37.4 percent of its funding obligation — half the national median of 74.6 percent.”
A dual citizen of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the United States
Pray tell us what actions will you take when your questions are answered with all the elaboration that the public “requires” and in a way that confirms everyone’s worst fears? Will you contribute anything but more instability?
@ Wily Coyote
Thank you very much for the explanation
I am reading it and still cant believe that it is the principal that is being eroded in this aggressive fashion.
This is a most pernicious act by a government.
And then, to add insult to injury, for it to increase salaries for itself one had to see that it is unconscionable and wicked.
Pensioners and investors suffering and they hiring friends and taking raises?
I gathered he had dual US citizenship, he went to an all boys prep school there and he practices in the US and Barbados…at least that is what they say, a lawyer in Barbados..
…1 If we have to pay Mascoll and Persaud, why pay minister salaries to Caddle and Straughan
…2 If we have to pay Greenidge, why pay Haynes
…3 What are the major successes of Caddle, Greenidge, Haynes, Mascoll, Persaud and Straughan – simply not paying your debts does not require much thought – ask the many Xmas hire purchase customers.
2 If we have to pay Greenidge, why pay Haynes
None of them should be on taxpayers payroll and that includes Richard Cheltenham….all of them should be removed..
.. their names are calling in thefts against the people…particularly the elderly, they are all known crooks…are now ALL elderly and decrepit themselves and STILL deceit …with their 1950s style sell out negro mentality and have nothing of value to offer the people and country other than more financial losses.
It cannot end well….Mia has done the people who elected her a great disservice and they will remember come 2023.
@WARU October 21, 2018 1:26 PM “Jerace portrayed herself as a Palm Beach socialite. She said she was “a trust fund kid,” he said.”
I’ve never met a Palm Beach socialite, a trust fund kid, nor a “recovering” addict, so I did not lose anything here either.
I avoid expatriates, and returning nationals.
This type of thing is nothing new. We always open our pockets to anybody who comes in here, especially Caucasians. Many moons ago one was barely surviving but he ended up with a moderately sized apartment building on the south coast.
We berate the public servants and talk about bribes and corruption, while we turn a blind eye to all the deals that go on in especially tourism ventures with the local Caucasians and expatriates. The same banks that enjoy giving black Barbadian entrepreneurs hell, are very accommodating to expatriates.
It was Errol Barriw himself, who once said that one of these days we will wake up and find out that the country is no longer ours.
The more things change the more
Not a failed state yet but……………
“I’ve never met a Palm Beach socialite, a trust fund kid, nor a “recovering” addict, so I did not lose anything here either.
I avoid expatriates.”
They will rob you ya little piece of land and anything else ya got, with the HELP of YOUR dumb governments.
Here is an exchange between former minister in the last government Denis Kellman and VoB Moderators David Ellis and Guy Hewitt.
@David. Nice observation and relevant questions regarding the NIS. With a hefty haicut (35% reduction in principal ) plus an overall lower yield on GOB debenture, it’s not unreasonable to forecast the NIS facing a liquidity crunch down the road. Because over 50% of its asset is invested in the GOB goverment debt.
Jamaica’s two debt restructuring avoided a haicut altogether.They lengthen the time to maturity and reduced the interest rate on certain domestic bonds.
You would have noted in the last actuarial report the point was made (p.5) that the economics of the NIS fund holding large holdings of government debt indicate little difference between raising NIS contributions rates and raising taxes to repay government bonds. Whether government meets its obligations through increasing taxes or defaults on its obligations, forcing the NIS to increase its contribution rate…there is more https://www.barbadosparliament.com/uploads/sittings/attachments/45d07f6aa9c070cb0ce1ce96e11e55d4.pdf
increasing time to maturity and reducing interest rates are all part of a haircut (reduction), not just principal reduction (shave). And ‘over 50%’ is actually 75%, or at least that is what people close to the NIS have admitted thus far. In fact if memory serves me right, Dr JR stated last year that 75% has “always been that way”.
Unless the NIS has enough SURPLUS (where contribution payment outstripped pension payment) forecasted way into the future, such drastic reduction in its investment income is bound to create a deficit.
Unless the NIS has enough SURPLUS (where contribution payment outstripped pension payment) forecasted way into the future, such drastic reduction in its investment income is bound to create a deficit.
@ NothernObserver. Technically you are right plus the analysis doesn’t the time value of money.
David Mr Blogmaster, with such a scandalous remark 🤣 that you “Do not trust auditors, sorry” then you need to start an Auditors Scroll of Shame like wid de lawyers….oh lordie!
But then if you can so boldly state that companies which swear a fiduciary and legal bond to report with complete transparency and are duly duty bound to be accurate and truthful cannot be TRUSTED then how can we bemoan the indifference, dishonesty and gunslinging attitude by the gangster youth!
I remain amazed that we basically accept the gangster behaviour at the top which has been entrenched for eons and after ever spurt of youth violence generate such shock and false christian (small c needed) distress!
BTW,, apart from the dishonest auditors what about the medical professions, engineers, economists etc etc 🤣🤣…the list of deceptive ‘charlatans’ can be quite long!
At least the gun slingers shot you (often) from de front….dis back stabbing death by stealth is really most hateful and spiteful.
The professional class in Barbados is largely unregulated and indiscretions go unpunished more oft than not!
The professional class in Barbados is largely unregulated and indiscretions go unpunished more oft than not!(Quote)
So David BU, does this mean our institutions are not functioning properly? Does this mean Barbados is a failed state?
Based on the last [15th] actuarial report, there has been a current account deficit since 2014 (annual monies OUT are greater than monies IN). At this time, when the CG (Central Government) had fallen behind in its payments to the NIF, it issued T-Bills and Debentures to partially settle this shortfall. The same TBills and Debentures which are now being CUT. The recent IMF report highlighted that as of 2018, the indebtedness of CG and SOE’s to the NIS approached $1 Billion (I say approached because they lumped SOE indebtedness to the Private sector into the numbers).
“The NIS has not issued NIF annual reports since 2009 and has not submitted to the Minister audited financial statements since 2004”. [15th Actuarial Review]
A farmer knows how to feed swill to animals and end up with a valuable product? The swill the NIS has been fed is pieces of paper, IOU’s a.k.a Debentures, T-Bills, loans etc, in exchange for cash from the NIS. The political class are now having trouble explaining to voters, how they managed to turn Grantley’s contributed by them, into pieces of paper of declining value. Don’t be surprised if the next envelope you receive from the NIS contains a T-Bill, because they have cupboards full of them. It seems, with all the accountants in Bim, and elsewhere, they cannot find any capable of explaining what has transpired within the NIS. They are currently seeking David Copperfield. So far they have only found Ian Carrington.
We done know the destruction of Barbados is all because of the corruption, the corrupt ministers and their corrupt friends..someone wrote an article on this.
@NothernObserver. Interesting. If what you highlighted is true, then my follow up question is : Where does the NIS find the cash to lend the goverment if 75% of its asset portfolio is goverment treasury, whose interest income if offset by more debenture instead of cash, plus the secondary market for goverment debt is highly illiquid.?
How do they balance pensioner payments and goverment funding at the same time without compromising one?
@NorthernObserver October 22, 2018 12:12 PM Don’t be surprised if the next envelope you receive from the NIS contains a T-Bill, because they have cupboards full of them.”
As long as Barbados Light and Power, Barbados Water Authority, FLOW, the supermarket, the church, the carpenter, the hairdresser, the gardener, the doctor and the vendors at Q in the Community are willing to accept T-bills then I am cool.
Otherwise this pensioner wants the Grantleys back please. Right away please.
The government, the NIS understands that I have to carry money to the shop.
I “think” the answer is the NIS has been unable to achieve the balance you speak of in recent years. But they have still been getting returns on GoB paper, plus the other 25% of investments. And remittances from employers. So they have money coming IN. They are not going bankrupt this year or the next.
Appreciate when the CG and SOE’s deduct NIS but do not remit it, they are creating a forced loan. That is NIS money they are using to fund other things. We do not know if somebody had a Worrellesque ‘come to Jesus’ moment, and told the GoB “no more”, and the so the GoB decided, we just will not remit. Use an A/P as a loan.
Going forward, the debt restructuring reduces the NIS total investment portfolio, but also their cash flow, how much they get and when.
This is when the financial gurus have to examine predicted inflows and outflows.
they cannot give you what they do not have?
Mine was a tongue-in-cheek comment. For the next few years, unlikely to be any worries.
But, once all get their head around the financial situation at the NIS, they will need more money. The choice is, increase NIS premiums or cut benefits, or a little of both.
The tiefing, crooked pot and abuser/exploiter of the elderly…calling the kettle black.
Your analyses are on target wrt NIF.
If you can see that from as far north as you are, pray tell, how come the local technocrats cannot/did not see it.
Again I repeat fundamental analysis from all perspectives is necessary. Otherwise we will continue to get knee jerk responses. The latter worsen the situation.
@NorthernObserver October 23, 2018 1:20 AM
I expect that I have less than twenty years left, maybe less that ten, so I will let the bright young people sort this one.
a debate already had?
did not/cannot see or were obstructed?
Barbados is a microcosm of the north, both ex-colonies, both with a similar government structure, and both with a political class who primarily operate by borrowing at any cost, the only path they see to re-election (keeping promises they made before they understood anything about funding them). Our debt/capita would have bankrupted Barbados long ago. But we have a God provided abundance of natural resources, and a constant flow of immigrants who can produce, and haven’t yet adopted the entitlement mentality, which takes a generation or two to become entrenched.
wha you worrying bout, don’t you have at least a dual public pension?
because you seem to take public transport more than most….can Barbados operate WITHOUT Transport Board buses?
@NorthernObserver October 23, 2018 12:16 PM “@SS wha you worrying bout, don’t you have at least a dual public pension?”
Long ago I worked for an SOE, but left in March of 1977. Haven’t worked for the GOB nor any of its agencies since then. To tell the truth I am not worried about me, but concerned for others. Family and friends.
@NorthernObserver October 23, 2018 4:10 PM “@SS because you seem to take public transport more than most….can Barbados operate WITHOUT Transport Board buses?”
There is always a but.
But not right now.
Barbados cannot operate without some sort of good public transport. Truthfully I don’t care who owns the rolling stock, or who pays the operators, as long as the system is safe, efficient, clean, and delivered at reasonably cost to all those families who cannot afford private vehicles.
I haven’t kept a private vehicle since 1999. But my old man, bless him, who did not go to any school past the age of 13, advised me in the 1970’s to buy a piece of land within 10 minutes walk of the nearest bus stop, because the time may come when I did not have a car.
When that time came I was able to get to work by public transportation without difficulty, and even now I am able to get my routines done without difficulty. I take the supermarket shuttle for grocery shopping. This is a paid $3 BDS service. I take the occasional taxi, maybe half a dozen times a year typically at less than
$40 BDS per trip,
This works very well for me.
btw I was referring to a Canada pension, you talk about that plenty lol
Pingback: We Must Ring-fence the Central Bank! | Barbados Underground
Clear the air on the NIS Fund??? You must be joking. Does anyone not understand the current state of affairs? You need a map?
It can be summarized in one Bajan phrase.
DEM lick it out.
That explanation enough?
When you here “the NIS coping with claims on a month to month basis”, the logic tends to agree with the above. Crusoe is right, the whole thing gone, not a cent left except the bonds. Vapidora tell you so.
The big issue now is if the NIS accounts will now be brought up to speed. It is already a year late with the latest actuarial report.