IMF Staff Concludes Visit Post BERT

The following IMF report was re;eased today – Barbados Underground

December 7, 2018

End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board. This mission will not result in a Board meeting.

  • Barbados has made an excellent start in implementing its ambitious and comprehensive economic reform program.
  • The rapid completion of the domestic part of the public debt restructuring has been very helpful in reducing uncertainty.
  • The government has engaged in intensive discussions with the social partnership to build public support for its economic reform program.

At the request of the Government of Barbados, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Bert van Selm visited Bridgetown from December 4-7, to discuss implementation of Barbados’ Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) plan, supported by the IMF under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). At the end of the visit, Mr. van Selm made the following statement:

“Barbados has made an excellent start in implementing its ambitious and comprehensive economic reform program. The country’s international reserves, which reached a low of US$220 million (5-6 weeks of import coverage) at end-May 2018, have more than doubled since then, amounting to more than US$500 million in early December. This has helped to rebuild confidence in the country’s macroeconomic framework.

“A comprehensive debt restructuring was announced on June 1, 2018. After intensive discussions, an exchange offer for domestic debt (Barbados dollar-denominated) was launched in early September. On October 15, the government announced reaching agreement with an overwhelming majority of domestic creditors, with support of all commercial banks, general and life insurers, the National Insurance Scheme, the Central Bank of Barbados, and smaller creditors. The domestic debt exchange operation was finalized on November 19. The rapid completion of the domestic part of the debt restructuring has been very helpful in reducing economic uncertainty, and the terms agreed with creditors will help put public debt on a clear downward trajectory. A much-reduced government interest bill will help create much-needed fiscal space for increased social spending and investment in infrastructure.

“Progress being made by the authorities in furthering good-faith discussions with external creditors is welcome. Continuing open dialogue and sharing of information will remain important in concluding an orderly debt restructuring process; completion of the external debt restructuring would help further reduce uncertainty.

“The government reported a primary surplus of 2½ percent of (annual) GDP in the first six months of FY2018/19 (April-September 2018). In October, the authorities launched a program to improve efficiency and reduce the public wage bill by laying off and retraining workers in the central government and public entities. This should help create a leaner, more efficient public sector, geared towards facilitating private sector-led growth. It should also help reduce central government transfers to state-owned enterprises, from a level that had become unsustainably high. In November, the authorities announced plans to modify the corporate income tax (CIT) framework, seeking to unify rates that apply to the international business sector and local enterprises. There are some risks to this reform, including making corporate income tax revenues more dependent on maintaining international competitiveness.

“Barbados has also made good progress towards meeting end-December 2018 structural benchmarks under the EFF. In October, a regulatory sandbox for fintech start-ups was created to allow them to try out new technologies in a well-defined and controlled space. Legislation to facilitate a more efficient process for providing construction permits is underway, as is legislation to support a more efficient budget process, and stronger oversight of SOEs.

“Following IMF Executive Board approval of the EFF on October 1, 2018, both the Caribbean Development Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank approved policy-based loans. These operations, worth US$75 million and U$100 million respectively (a combined 3½ percent of GDP), will help finance the government, rebuild reserves, and support the reform process with policy advice.

“The government has engaged in intensive consultations with the Social Partnership to build public support for its economic reform program. In October, a BERT Monitoring Committee was set up, and tasked to report to the Social Partnership and the public. Strong ownership and broad societal support bode well for successful program implementation and helping Barbados to achieve better living standards for all its citizens.

“The team would like to take this opportunity to thank Barbados’ authorities and the technical team for their openness and candid discussions.”

IMF Communications Department
PRESS OFFICER: Randa Elnagar
Phone: +1 202 623-7100Email:

138 thoughts on “IMF Staff Concludes Visit Post BERT

  1. “with the OECD that pretends to be that of helping barbados out of debt when in fact it has been able to take the power out of govt hands by way of asserting policies to the people that does the people no good.”

    They DESERVE TO LOSE POWER…the same would have happened under the corrupt jokers from DLP….THEY ALL WORKED HARD TO LOSE POWER…they worked OVERTIME…they would not listen….

    None of them DBLP ever genuinely cared about the BLACK MAJORITY population who elected them…they only ever cared about BRIBERY and CORRUPTION….filling their OWN pockets…. inflating their offshore accounts, being seen with the nasty, lowlife thieves in the business community….and helping them ROB THEIR OWN PEOPLE….they DESERVE TO LOSE POWER…they wanted money…they got money..

    If they had even a modicum of intelligence. ..they would be asking themselves….WHO MADE SURE THEY LOST POWER.

  2. People have a right to vote for or against things or people that does not serve their interest
    However in a case where people were mislead and bamboozled their was no choice especially when a big Fat lie was placed in their face
    Which reminds of the story of Adam !Eve!the snake and the apple
    The resistance to a lie was not strong enough to see the difference between right and wrong for Adam and Eve and so is the case for barbadians who bite of the fruit and the result is four long years of punishment

  3. Stop taking shite…yall lied to Bajans just as much and now ya bribemasters Cow, Bizzy, Maloney etc don’t want to SEE, let alone SMELL ya black asses….they got ya fellow slimy fish to FRY.

  4. Before this Government came to power some of the same critics on this forum were saying that the last election was an election to lose and that whoever wins will have to make critical decisions to save the country from total collapse. Well a new Government was installed and they are making critical decisions some like layoffs and and a thirty member cabinet with I do not agree but I will not be on elective trial five years from now so I can sit back and criticise all I like. The point is they are making critical decisions with which we will not all agree but they are making decisions. The semantics from some of us notwithstanding, no matter how the report is worded the IMF has given us a pass much better than the failing grades we have had before.

  5. Let me add this silly note.

    I have traveled elsewhere and take pleasure in observing how organized countries like Denmark and Holland are. As you talk with citizens, they may complain about high taxes but you will get the feeling that they know the standard of living of their average citizen is much higher than that in many other places.

    As you sit in your hotel and reflect on Barbados, you ask yourself “Where did we go wrong?” Our citizens are intelligent and ‘well-educated’ and many of our citizens leave the island and make significant contributions in other countries. “Why couldn’t they make this contribution at home?”

    You come to the conclusion that despite our limitation in size and natural resources our little Barbados had the foundation to be a place to be proud of; and the inevitable question follows “Where did we go wrong?”

    I often like to compare the development of Barbados to that of Singapore and believe that the fault lies in one of two places (1) the leadership or (2) the people.

    The people
    Is it our docility?
    Is it our belief the political class will do what is best for the country despite evidence to the contrary?
    Is it that the population is split into two groups , one of which will be supported by the party in power and the other will suck salt until it is their turn at the wheel?
    Is it that our educational system is not geared toward national development but rather in the pursuit of two or three types careers (doctor, lawyer and engineer)?
    Is it that we inherited an education system geared towards creating ‘colonial officers’ and not toward leading an independent developing nation? A system that cannot and will not adjust to changes in technology …

    I believe that our people can be as creative as those in Singapore, but the ‘sandbox” that they are allowed to play in need to be dismantled and replaced.

    The leadership?
    A colossal failure. I do not have much more to say.
    The islands of the Caribbean became independent around the same time as Singapore. But yet the trajectories of these islands and Singapore are quite different. Indeed as alluded to earlier, this two party system has split in the islands into two large camps and at the end of every five years we go about reinventing the wheel. One can conclude that only in the areas of corruption have we made any advancement.

    Where is our Lee Kuan Yew?

    I remember staying in Trinidad in the early 80’s and hearing the energy of the country humming in the atmosphere. The cry was “Money is no problem”. So vibrant was the country that I felt there was no limit to what Trinidad could achieve. Trinidad, just like Barbados, failed to live up to its promise and Trinidad may just be a richer version of Barbados. Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad, Guyana all can be classified as a failure to launch.

    If Barbados was punching above our weight and this is where we are, can you tell me what is our weight class? We were lulled to sleep and accepted our mediocrity as excellence.

  6. No matter who is in power as select few enjoy the fruits of the land.
    Meanwhile ‘limited range chickens’ who were hungry become fattened and the limited range chickens who were fattened begins to lose weigh.

    COW, BIzzy and Maloney do not lose weight no matter who is in power.
    I wish I had their diet plan.

  7. I hope the Miller is OK…
    His bowling was becoming ineffective, but I hope this did not discourage him.
    Wherever you are Miller, I hope you are doing well.

  8. I do not like to compare Barbados to Singapore. There is no difference in the governance iof Singapore and that of a fascist state or a communist state.Both systems thrive on restricting freedoms of the people in varying ways.

  9. What this govt has done is an extreme policy of making the poor pay for the rich
    A policy so far which has seen the rich benefited while the poor suffer
    A policy so far which has turned over a big chunk of the treasury to the rich in tax waivers and tax cuts while unleashing penalties on the poor
    A policy so far which has increased unemployment a policy which would hurt local businesses and give reason for lay offs in the private sector as the flow of revenue becomes stagnant because of lack of local spend
    The IMF is in the drivers seat and can be happy with the six months of their austerity plans as a foolish and devlish govt unleashed suffering and pain to appease them
    How else can the IMF praise govt except by handing them a word of praises

  10. “Our citizens are intelligent and ‘well-educated’ and many of our citizens leave the island and make significant contributions in other countries. “Why couldn’t they make this contribution at home?”

    They are not ALLOWED to…the same criminals Cow, Bizzy, Maloney et al…MOBILIZE their house negros in parliament and in the bar association…to make sure THAT NEVER HAPPENS..

    And as for your BLACK CREATIVES DOMICILED in Barbados…their work is stolen by the same criminals, they are marginalized, disenfranchised criminalized and sidelined…until they too have to RUN from Barbados…that has been happening for DECADES..

    Ya house negros ARE TOXIC.

    But what house negros dont understand is…WHOSOEVER DIGGETH A PIT…SHALL FALL IN IT…SHALL BURY IN IT.

    ah done spelling out everything.

  11. “If Barbados was punching above our weight and this is where we are, can you tell me what is our weight class?”

    Weight class is DEBT..

    the clowns in parliament continue to live in a fantasy world of their OWN MAKING…give them shite titles and some bribes and they all believe THEY HAVE ARRIVED and are better than those who elected them…mediocrity is their hallmark.

  12. @ WARU
    And as for your BLACK CREATIVES DOMICILED in Barbados…their work is stolen by the same criminals, they are marginalized, disenfranchised criminalized and sidelined…until they too have to RUN from Barbados…that has been happening for DECADES..


  13. @Charles skeete December 9, 2018 10:40 AM

    This is your typical Barbadian response. In fact, one might say it is the global typical middle class response in most places.
    Essentially, be proud we still have fair elections, a bloodless transition of power, and now let those selected do their thing, there are some positives in the initial months.
    Yet is it ‘deja vu all over again’?

  14. Mariposa

    Please tell what the IMF is gaining beside the interest on its loan?

    How is sending home some goverment workers going to profit the IMF ?


    Give me a real good break down

  15. @ TheOGazerts December 9, 2018 11:38 AM
    “I hope the Miller is OK…
    His bowling was becoming ineffective, but I hope this did not discourage him.
    Wherever you are Miller, I hope you are doing well.”

    Thanks for the kind ‘shout-out’, O’Geezer!

    Decided to take a sabbatical to rise above the mundane in order to postpone that date with destiny to eventually meet Bushie’s Big Boss Engineer shining like an eternal ball of fire in the Sky.

    Wouldn’t exactly agree that my ‘bowling’ was becoming “ineffective” but more of a case of being bored.
    Why deliver your best ‘yorkers’ to third rate batters holding the No. 10 & 11 spots?

    Why not leave the intellectual pickings to the small fry like the ‘ecky-becky’ bottom-feeding John who believes in a Trump-like white god that made the universe in 6 days and actually allowed black people to be enslaved for their own ‘development’ by their white Christian masters?

    Why must the miller cross ‘intellectual’ swords with the likes of Lexicon the born-again Dompey aka Mark Fenty whose anal innocence was taken away behind District ‘A’ Station walls many moons ago?

    The scalps of the heavy hitters had already been taken.
    The IMF is now in town as predicted long ago. It has now become the pied piper and banker of last resort to whose tune the government and people of Barbados must march for the next 10 years.

    Thanks to the good connections of MAM the Bajan dollar has been given a stay of execution; at least until the end of the coming winter season.

    Given the recent financial revelations it is crystal clear the Barbados Water Authority being prepped for the privatization block.

    How could a utility be so badly mismanaged- financially and otherwise- with no big ‘heads’ attracting Pachamama’s guillotine-like device? Many other SOE’s will soon follow the path the IMF has already mapped out for them.

    The Mary Jane genie will soon be out of the bottle and every “entrepreneur” will soon be cashing in on the plant called Satan to be apotheosized into a commercial snake called Ophiuchus & Co.

    The question is: Why only medical marijuana to be invited to the money table?
    Who will be the licensed importers and whose foreign exchange would be burnt up in making these commercial killings? The recently negotiated IMF lifelines?

    What about the local growth and production of the same plant? Why not turn the ‘lady-grass’ into a Queen to replace the dying king Sugar?

    Why not decriminalize the whole kit and caboodle to make the mary jane business a legitimate and indigenous-driven commercial enterprise in order to empower economically the ‘black’ section of the society who took the brunt of the penal flak for ‘falling in love’ early with a plant deemed to be the Devil?

    Where are the Reparations for those who have been brutalized in the past (like their enslaved ancestors) by a backward thinking copycat judicial system?

  16. So Miller yuh were part of the doom and gloom brigade for the past ten years
    So now the doom and gloom has engulfed many bajans household as the IMF use it surgical scapel to remove and gut the civil service
    What do you have to say ?
    It notice you went into hiding when the angel of doom and gloom arrived on the barbadian door step but was shamelessly forced out of your hiding hole

  17. maybe when he saw the angel of death appear he sought to get a lamb……..THIS EXPLAINS WHY HE WENT AWOL………….but he was rejected by THE LAMB.

  18. Majority of bitcoin trading is a hoax, new study finds
    Ninety-five percent of spot bitcoin trading volume is faked by unregulated exchanges, according to a study from Bitwise this week.
    The firm analyzed the top 81 crypto exchanges by volume on industry site They report an aggregated $6 billion in average daily bitcoin volume. The study finds that only $273 million of that is legitimate.
    “People looked at cryptocurrency and said this market is a mess; that’s because they were looking at data that was manipulated,” says Matthew Hougan, global head of research at Bitwise.

  19. I see the Bank of Jamaica is advertising all over the world for a new governor. In Barbados we Barbadianise every position, apparently regardless of merit.

  20. Now that the whole world feels poor and debt relief is out of fashion, some countries are left with big debts at high rates

    Medical staff at a cholera centre in Mozambique: the west seems not to be interested in pleas to forgive the country’s debts in the wake of cyclone Idai. Photograph: Mike Hutchings/Reuters
    Austerity is more than just a European response to the 2008 financial crash. It is the common response of indebted countries wherever they may be. And no more so than in Africa.
    Trapped in binding agreements for loans they can ill afford with international investors, most African countries have kept their heads down and trimmed their spending.
    This response stands in sharp contrast to the foot-stamping of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who last week raged against global lenders after a spike in debt interest payments undermined his country’s finances.
    Erdoğan is widely considered to be making his country’s situation worse and for one good reason: the days when a saviour would appear with a lifeboat full of cash are gone.

    During the cold war, countries like Turkey could play the US and Russia off against each other and extract funds for development. Even after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the first Iraq war, there were still geopolitical games in the region that could be leveraged into hard currency.
    Later – in the seemingly golden era of the late 1990s and early 2000s, before countries like the UK understood they were living on borrowed money and borrowed time – the west was susceptible to the argument that writing off developing-world debt was both morally necessary and affordable.
    Tony Blair and Gordon Brown corralled the G7 to agree a huge debt write-off at the Gleneagles summit of 2005. Eighteen of the world’s poorest countries, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa, had their debts to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund wiped out as part of a £30bn deal.
    These days, every rich country feels poor, even the US. The financial crisis knocked the stuffing, and the generosity, out of every country caught up in it.
    Donald Trump’s battles over trade reflect his campaign to convince voters that poverty at home is caused by “unfair” currency manipulators and intellectual property bandits stealing US business ideas.
    Namibia pays 10% on its debt: the UK pays 1.8%. The multiplier effect pushes the former into dangerous territory.
    In Moscow, now that Putin has squandered his roubles on local invasions, foreign policy is devoted to cyber-attacks on other countries’ democratic institutions. Europe has turned in on itself, thinking mostly of its elderly and how to protect their generous retirement plans. Even the UK has turned much of its aid funding into a “buy British” campaign, undermining its hard-won reputation as one of the most generous donors.
    Beijing has plenty of money, but the emphasis is on loans and not gifts. And when countries get into trouble financing a loan, there is a straightforward, if harsh, remedy: the creditor gains charge of any assets purchased with the loaned money.

    It is in this atmosphere that the west has turned away from even the most emotional pleading, such as the calls for Mozambique to be supported with a debt write-off following the devastation left by cyclone Idai. According to the IMF, Mozambique is among six out of 35 low-income countries in the region that are in “debt distress” – in default and unable to service outstanding loans. A further nine are classified as at “high risk of debt distress” after their debt-to-GDP ratios exceeded 50%.

    Namibia’s overarching aim is to stay off the IMF’s list. If last week’s budget – when the finance ministry forecast that its debt-to-GDP level of around 40% in 2017 would rise to almost 50% by 2021 – is anything to go by, it will struggle to achieve this.
    The IMF is worried because while 50% might not seem so high, given that countries like the UK have already exceeded 80%, Namibia pays 10% interest on its debt and the UK pays 1.8%. The multiplier effect pushes the African country into dangerous territory.

    There was hope for countries like Namibia. As with so many of its mining- and commodity-dependent neighbours, it benefited from the enormous spending splurge in 2009-10 by Beijing that effectively saved the global economy from recession.
    Since the Chinese economy began to slow in 2016 and commodity prices consequently slumped, life has been more difficult.
    These days there are plenty of examples of sub-Saharan African countries – with the IMF’s endorsement – passing austerity budgets that discreetly tighten the screw on households and businesses with a mix of higher taxation and lower state spending to keep debt interest payments in check.
    This is a hard road to follow for any country that wants all its citizens to enjoy the fruits of 21st century living. But in sub-Saharan Africa – where the population is expected to rise by one billion before 2050, the amount of arable land available for farming is shrinking and burgeoning cities are havens of poverty – it is a catastrophe.(Quote)

  21. Latin America, Caribbean Received US$88 billion In Remittances For 2018

    The World Bank says remittance flows into Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) grew by 10 per cent to US$88 billion last year supported by a strong United States economy.
    The Washington-based financial institution said Mexico continued to receive the most remittances in the region, posting about US$36 billion in 2018, up 11 per cent over the previous year.
    The bank said that remittances to low- and middle-income countries, such as those in the Caribbean, reached a record high in 2018, estimated at US$529 billion, an increase of 9.6 per cent over the previous record high of US$483 billion in the previous year.
    Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, reached US$689 billion in 2018, up from US$633 billion in 2017, the World Bank added.
    It said that for this year, remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries are expected to reach US$550 billion, to become their largest source of external financing.
    The global average cost of sending US$200 remained high, at around seven per cent in the first quarter of 2019, according to the World Bank’s Remittance Prices Worldwide database.
    Reducing remittance costs to three per cent by 2030 is a global target under the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)
    “Remittances are on track to become the largest source of external financing in developing countries.
    The high costs of money transfers reduce the benefits of migration. Renegotiating exclusive partnerships and letting new players operate through national post offices, banks, and telecommunications companies will increase competition and lower remittance prices,” said Dilip Ratha, lead author of the World Bank report.

  22. Hours after Facebook revealed its plan to launch a new global digital currency called Libra, regulators, central bankers and politicians were ready with their responses. In the US, Maxine Waters, the chair of the House committee on financial services, said Facebook should freeze until regulators have signed off on its plans, given the company’s “troubled past”. France, which has the presidency of the G7 nations, called for a working group of central bankers and IMF officials to study the emergence of “stable coins” such as Libra, which are cryptocurrencies usually pegged to assets such as the US dollar. Here are four big questions that regulators will want Facebook and its partners to answer.1. What is it?“There are really fundamental questions like: is this money? Is it a security? Is Facebook actually taking deposits? Or is it actually a fund?” mused one European central banker.All of those questions have regulatory consequences and will affect which licence Libra will need and which regulator has oversight of the new currency. “Anything that takes in money, invests that money, issues tokens in exchange for that money and promises the holders of those tokens security of value based on that investment, is currently either an investment firm or a bank,” said Simon Gleeson, a partner at Clifford Chance, the law firm. Facebook could persuade regulators to create a new category to avoid the Libra consortium being run as a regulated fund or a bank, he added. “But the question is: Why should they?”

            Libra could be classed as a security, because it will be underpinned by a basket of currencies and assets, but this would be anathema to Facebook and its partners. “It would bring with it a whole heap of regulatory requirements and scrutiny, particularly in the United States and Europe,” said Peter Chapman, another partner at Clifford Chance. These could include the EU’s Mifid II rules and oversight by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The question of whether digital coins are a security, rather than vouchers to be exchanged within a limited community is determined by a Supreme Court evaluation dating back to 1946 called the Howey test, which analyses whether investors are purchasing some kind of promise with an expectation of profit. If so, issuers have to comply with rules on registration, transparency and investor marketing that the SEC oversees.2. Will new rules be needed or can existing regulations be applied?“The cryptocurrency market currently lacks a clear regulatory framework to provide strong protections for investors, consumers, and the economy,” Ms Waters said in a statement on Tuesday, as she called on regulators to “get serious”. Until now, regulators have shied away from creating new rules for crypto assets, arguing that existing consumer protection rules or securities laws can be applied if necessary. But the size of Facebook and the scale of its ambition may be the catalyst for new rules on how to deal with Big Tech as it begins to step into financial services and payments. Olivier Guersent, the EU official in charge of financial stability said ahead of Libra’s unveiling that it was Facebook’s potential concentration of both personal and financial data that needed attention from regulators. 3. What is the balance between risk and opportunity with Libra?Policymakers have been careful to calibrate their response to Facebook’s claims that Libra will help the 1.7bn “unbanked”, cut transaction costs and shake up traditional financial services. Mark Carney, the Bank of England governor, said the UK central bank was keeping an “open mind” on the plans but would grant “no open door”. Some regulators appreciate the potential for Libra to introduce more competition into the banking sector. 

    Central bankers and regulators have been phlegmatic until now about crypto assets, which have remained a niche class. But if Facebook’s heft results in widespread adoption, that may change. “There is always the potential that when a company this big introduces something new that it could quickly become something that central banks should keep a close eye on,” said one eurozone official. The impact of stable coins on financial stability will be assessed by the G7, with the first report due in about a month. Mr Carney said on Tuesday that if Facebook succeeded in its aims “it would instantly become systemic and will have to be subject to the highest standards of regulation”. That raises further questions: Who is responsible if money is lost? Who steps in if Calibra, Facebook’s digital wallet, is hacked? 4. Will it be used for financial crime?Libra brings with it a range of financial-crime concerns, from hacking to tax evasion.But at the top of the list is money laundering. Before traditional lenders open accounts for customers, they must undertake rigorous background checks to ensure funds are not ill-gotten gains. Facebook’s plans allow for “pseudonymous” users able to create multiple accounts not based on their real-life identity. “This approach is familiar to many users, developers, and regulators,” its official documents read.One UK official remarked: “This is particularly weasel-worded. We may be familiar with it but that doesn’t make us comfortable with it.” No bank appeared among the roster of companies partnering with Facebook. In part, banks have been reluctant to sign up because of concerns around anti-money-laundering obligations, suggested a central banker. New EU regulations on money laundering that take effect in January also apply to crypto exchanges and wallet providers. “There is incredulity among the banks that Facebook may somehow get around these obligations,” the central banker said.(Quote)

  23. Where is the meat? Cut out the talk and implement policies.

    Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has challenged the United Nations on climate change, telling the world that enough loss of life has occurred in recent decades.

    Speaking in New York earlier this week on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States, she declared: “The science is clear and the evidence is even clearer, that the lives of our people have been lost and properties abandoned, and these tell the story far better than any speech we can make in this great hall.”
    Mottley said the Alliance has to keep temperature increases in that global community to less than 1.5 degrees annually to stay alive.
    “In other words, two degrees needs to be taken off the table once and for all,” she added.
    The Prime Minister suggested that an increase by one degree in temperature had already brought small island states to where there were today, accompanied by unacceptably high levels of catastrophic damage and loss of life.
    “Within less than a decade or two, it will be virtually impossible to contain the temperature increases to 1.5 degrees unless we act now, and with absolute dispatch. Make no mistake, there will be mass migration by climate refugees that will destabilise the countries of the world that are not on the front line of this climate crisis.
    “No country can stand up to it alone. For us, our best practice traditionally was to share the risks before disaster strikes. And just over a decade ago, we established a Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility. But the devastation of Hurricane Dorian this month marks a new chapter for us.”
    The Barbadian leader told UN delegates that the current mechanisms to reduce climate change had not worked.
    “We have as well to look at how best we can blend our public resources and to that extent, our country has introduced natural disaster clauses in our bonds as have other countries in the region. For interested leaders at the national and state levels of independent nations and dependent territories, we need to confront what we believe will be a growing crisis with respect to the affordability of insurance in our countries. We believe that the real solution is for us not to keep asking people to make commitments that are small in the hope that we reach there.”
    She said the global community must accept that it “is within our power to halt and reverse climate change. If the world can make it possible to have driverless cars, then we surely can find it possible to be able to find the technology to halt and reverse this climate crisis”.
    Mottley, in her three-minute address, revealed that each Alliance member had committed to submitting aggressive indices by 2020, and also to the long-term goal of net zero emissions by 2050.
    “We are fully, and have always been, committed to the Paris Agreement. In our own case in Barbados, we will lead by example. First, we have set the goal of becoming a fossil fuel-free country by 2030. We have to change all of our transport systems and how we generate electricity. But this is a mammoth undertaking because the cost of electric buses is almost more than double what the costs of diesel buses are.”
    She also said the transition to clean renewable energy for electricity would require significant investments in solar and wind which Barbados was planning. (Quote)

  24. Barbados must expand berthing facilities at the Bridgetown Port to be in a position to accommodate today’s large cruise ships.

    The observation was made by Captain Marco Quartesan when the mega ship Norwegian Epic sailed into the Bridgetown Port Christmas Eve, bringing over 4 700 passengers on its inaugural call.
    Also in port were the Vision Of The Seas with 2 347 passengers, the MSC Preziosa with 4 258 and the smaller Viking Sea with 2 305.
    Quartesan, who had brought smaller ships here of another cruise line many years ago, said it was exciting to be back in Barbados, though he found the berthing a tight fit with the other ships in port. (Quote)

    Nonsense. Talk to people in Cayman Island and Falmouth in Jamaica. If these super ships cannot berth, then let them pass Barbados by.

  25. The People’s Bank is a regional bank currently in development in the north-east of England. The Bank will be ​‘mutually-owned’, meaning that it will be owned by its customers: individuals and small and medium businesses based in the region.
    The People’s Bank has been driven by Jamie Driscoll, mayor of the North of Tyne, and the North of Tyne Combined Authority. In August 2019 the combined authority signed off £35,000 in funding for a due diligence study for the proposed bank.
    The bank will have an explicit remit to do business only with people and organisations in the north-east. Profits will be reinvested back into the region. The plan is for the Bank to offer current accounts, mortgage lending and business banking, with physical branches and 24-hour automated services. The Bank also plans to be an employer which pays the Real Living Wage, with the highest-paid worker paid no more than 10 times the amount of the lowest-paid worker, and no gender pay gap.
    If the feasibility study goes well, then the next step is to apply for a banking license. There are already plans in place for regional banks in other areas of the UK: Wales, the north-west, the south-west and Greater London.
    “We will be keeping money here,” says Jamie Driscoll, North of Tyne mayor. ​“At the moment, if someone buys a house then all of their interest payments disappear off into the financial system. This keeps them here, supporting our people.”

  26. Five years ago this email was sent to a we known Barbadian economist. The arguments are still on the table. How is the coronavirus going to impact on the economy?

    A happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to you. Times have changed and we, even little islanders, must change with the times. There is nothing wrong with opening your mind to new ideas.
    In reply to Don Marshall, printing money – literally or electronically – does not pose any real insurmountable danger, as the latest theories have confirmed.
    We are in a low interest environment because we have learned to manage inflation, the major threat from the additional supply of liquidity.
    We can manage the over supply by removing some of the liquidity from the retail banks and managing bank lending or/and managing interest rates. I prefer a prices and incomes policy so that asset prices will not necessarily inflate, leading to demands for wage increases.
    That is the lesson of monetary policy globally – France, Australia, US, UK, eurozone, Japan, and other major economies.
    As to the warehousing of foreign reserves, we can best manage this through futures contracts and credit default swaps freeing up money to invest in local industry and infrastructure.(Quote)


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