IMF Gives Green Light to BERT BUT…

The blogmaster must be honest and admit that the reform and structural changes required to transform the Barbados economy and society will have its negative impact. No austerity program can be rolled out without negatively affecting people. Unless one is rabidly partisan or dishonest it is obvious the work rate of the BLP government is much higher than that of the Stuart led government.  The IMF has given the thumbs up to targets met under the BERT plan. We look forward to the plans to encourage investment to fuel growth.

What the blogmaster will not ignore are decisions that expose the government as engaging in more of the same. A comment posted on another blog by SSS sums it up beautifully.

We know the IMF calling the shots. I have no problem with her BERT plan or the fact that restructuring is necessary. I got a serious issue with her laying off people, and hiring her people; ensuring that her father gets a special gift from her in the form of a Knighthood so he can strut his stuff through immigration officials without check because he is no longer to function as an ordinary citizen;how she did not do enough to ensure the layoff process was fair; how she proposing wire tapping and ensuring that another one of her loyals, Dottin, is not too far from her side when she brings it into fruition. I got a serious problem with the transparency she has shown in writing off tax defaulters millions owed. I want her to publish the names because if you forgiving them and they already sleeping better, you should not have a problem publish names of those who benefited under her tax amnesty – Sunshine Sunny Sunshine (SSS)


IMF Staff Concludes Visit to Barbados

February 12, 2019

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 continues to make good progress in implementing its ambitious and comprehensive economic reform program.
  • All indicative targets for end-December under the EFF have been met.
  • Two key pieces of legislation—the Public Financial Management Act, and the Town and Country Planning Act—were adopted in early 2019.

At the request of the Government of Barbados, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Bert van Selm visited Bridgetown from February 5–8, to discuss implementation of Barbados’ Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) plan, supported by the IMF under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). A concluding meeting was held with Prime Minister Mottley in Washington D.C on February 11, 2019. To summarize the mission’s findings, Mr. van Selm made the following statement:

 

“Barbados continues to make good progress in implementing its ambitious and comprehensive economic reform program.

“All indicative targets for end-December under the EFF have been met. The program target for Net International Reserves was met by a wide margin, as was the target for the Central Bank of Barbados’ Net Domestic Assets (NDA). The target for the primary surplus for end-December 2018 was also met by a wide margin.

“Good progress has been made in implementing end-December 2018 structural benchmarks under the EFF. Two key pieces of legislation—the Public Financial Management Act, and the Town and Country Planning Act—were adopted in early 2019.

“Preparation of the budget for FY2019/20 targeting a primary surplus of 6 percent of GDP is well underway. Full year effects of reforms set in motion during the current (2018/19) fiscal year, including the introduction of several new taxes and ongoing streamlining of public sector work force at state-owned enterprises, should help achieve this target. A detailed assessment of the budget will be made when it is finalized.

“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.

“The team is looking forward to return to Barbados in May to conduct the discussions for the first review under the EFF and would like to thank the authorities and the technical team for their openness and candid discussions.”

IMF Communications Department
MEDIA RELATIONS

PRESS OFFICER: Randa Elnagar

Phone: +1 202 623-7100Email: MEDIA@IMF.org

164 comments

  • WARU, Crazy & Unstable, Hogging the Blog

    BTW…check Caswell for the correct figures of the amount of people laid off by DLP …then give me the correct stats of youth unemployment in the last 5 years…wuh at one time ah could swear that Mia’s then opposition was saying the unemployment figures DLP were promoting are not correct, but suddenly the long distance yardfowl is here trying to convince us that DLP numbers …. they were correct…

    Beware of yardfowls bearing faulty data..

    Like

  • WARU, Crazy & Unstable, Hogging the Blog

    Short memories and 15 second attention spans will do in yardfowls each and every time…lol

    Like

  • WARU, Crazy & Unstable, Hogging the Blog

    Ah must ask though, did Mia give the greenlight for health food stores to sell imported CBD oil that does not work…is that part of the BERT plan……is the legal framework in place, if it is, how come no one knows….and where are the permits for planting and selling in the majority population…..ya would think Mia would need the funds to inflate the treasury…..just asking, the info is accurate by the way.

    Like

  • But where are the jobs for the youth
    How does govt plan to create an environment in helping the youth to get jobs
    Right now all one can hear coming from govt is more plans for laying off
    Given the last estimates and many fiscal cuts one can expect the unemployment to rise to astronomical levels especially when govt has not yet lay out any policies for tackling unemployment
    This govt only focus seems to be a plan of recovering monies out of the people pocket to pay BERT

    Like

  • Also if Tourism continues to flounder one can expect private sector to lay off people as well
    Right now the hint from govenor statictics seems such might be inevitable
    Sooner rather than later this govt would find itself having to retrenched BERT in order to appease a growing number if unemployed
    OSA all but said that this govt is taking barbados down a path which would lead to a cul.de sac

    Like

  • Lawd see wuh I tell wunna, the Salemites and friends have no intention of straying from their narrative. Once the stats don’t support their position, the stats are bogus. Imagine a character that swore Roleric Hinds was the MP for St.Thomas and all other instances of wrong info on the blog talking about faulty data. LMBAO!!! All of a sudden there is concern for youth employment by one but in 1993 it was 44%, 18% in 2007 and 29% in 2017. All yuh see a trend? One of them is raising red herrings about same sex marriages and legalising homosexuality while proud to announce she is a Marketing Manager in the EU, where same-sex unions are legal. Y’all just like the politicians wunna love to cuss, dishonest af.

    Like

  • WARU, Crazy & Unstable, Hogging the Blog

    You could holler as much as you want…

    Mia’s opposition said the unemployment stats were incorrect…

    …Caswell said the unemployment stats were incorrect….all of them live on the island…but you…who don’t is now slithering out to tell us that they are…so…who ya think i will believe…

    Has it occurred to you that world bank got it’s unemployment stats from DLP…whose stats BLP was saying is incorrect…

    #stayinLaLaland

    BTW…the heat is on…..lol

    Like

  • WARU, Crazy & Unstable, Hogging the Blog

    Enuff in Wonderland..ah got one that will really sting, real hard…ah just letting it play out, so don’t cry yet…ya will need the tears..and a hell of a lot of tissues..lol…dont want ya bawling and ya aint got the tears as evidence..

    Ya done know since i have not just come out with it…it’s a real life doozy…lol

    Sorry ah can’t see the expression on ya face when that one unfolds…. ya can post a photo though…..ah wont mind.

    Like

  • Every day that Lorenzo comes here with one “Cockadoodle do.” He has nothing of substance to say. He cannot discuss one issue. Just ‘Cockadoodle do!”

    How does he know that what is being done is good if he cannot even analyze it??????

    Just BLP good, DLP bad?????????

    Like

  • WARU, Crazy & Unstable, Hogging the Blog

    Different year…same fowl…just the flipside of the same record we heard for 10 years….DLP good, BLP bad..

    ….no in betweens..

    But with the same fast approaching drama.

    Like

  • WW&C
    where is your main squeeze Lawson?
    Total silence as pretty boy squirms, changing his story daily. Seems he watches too much of orange boy? JodyRW has him between a big rock and a very hard place.
    Brison, who departed politics to ‘spend more time with his family’, suddenly announces new job with BoM !!!!
    This Octopus seems to have more than 8 tentacles.

    Like

  • I heard a voice clip which was read on local media today by the moderator
    The clip was heartbreaking to listen
    The writer of the letter seem to be having tremendous financial trouble trying to make ends meet
    The last part of the clip reveals a persons who might have reached the end of their rope while desperate thoughs invade their mind

    #####so sad

    Like

  • Is this the same govt when in opposition made a rallying cry not to burden the ” poor” people
    Is this the same govt who made all kinds to promises to put people to work
    Now this govt have the same people by the long and shorts and the scruff of neck sh.iiting bricks

    Like

  • Mariposa spare us the crcodile tears,where were you in 2013 when close to 5000 people were sent home.Tell me these were rich white people?Where was your voice back then hyprocrite?Unfortunately some persons had to be sent home,which the Dems would have done the ssme had bajans been crazy enough to have voted them back in., all because of the Dems mismanagement of the country for ten years resulting in 23 downgrades.As for poor Donna always the victim comes on here regularly joining with Piece and Waru ,taking pot shots at our PM but crying foul when she is attacked well too bad you share licks you will receive licks.Therefore if you cannot handle the heat stay to hell out of the kitchen j/a.Still waiting to hear which country you or the shite know all tag team ever run.

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  • Abigail Williams

    So the stats are so wrong that the true level of youth unemployment is 150% greater than what is reported? Here nuh, 70% of the youth population is MORE than the entire number of persons deemed unemployed. Woman go look for articles to cut and paste and stop making yourself look like a BIGGER ass. Threats about scandals do not bother me. Only this morning I talked about people with no shame. Don’t forget you disappear in the end after causing much bedlam with your false accusations. #dunceinseason#evenwonderlandshecopied

    Like

  • WARU, Crazy & Unstable, Hogging the Blog

    “This Octopus seems to have more than 8 tentacles.”

    NO…i lost track of the happenings, lots of drama…lol

    Lawson must be travelling, he was jumping out of his skin on here recently.

    Enuff 68…stay there and fret.

    Like

  • Lorenzo did you hear the the letter when read on local media
    Lorenzo have a heart and stop trying to use me as a catalyst to make an unesscessary point
    What happened today was an unexpected exposure thrown into the face of this govt of pain and suffering which many barbadians households are going through

    Like

  • Possibly at that resort in the DR, I think that was the location Lawson spoke of, doesn’t have internet?
    Or maybe the Air Transat flight was rerouted, and he is one of the 100+ Canajuns at the resort in Haiti.
    Anyways for a place ranked at #8 on the Corruption Perception Index, I suspect the next few months will shed some light on a plethora of corruption stories, and Canada will tumble as reality refocuses perception.

    Like

  • WARU, Crazy & Unstable, Hogging the Blog

    Lol….maybe too drunk to type, he was so excited recently, ah guess @45 joined him, not seeing him either.

    As long as he ends up in Barbados twice this year i dont think Lawson minds saying in Haiti a while.

    did not realize there was so much tension in Canada, i cut back on reading for a little bit, will start back soon, missing a lot.

    Like

  • WARU, Crazy & Unstable, Hogging the Blog

    Northern…i took a quick read and it appears he will get a lot of heat because of the broken promises, seems they want him to decriminalize coke and heroin due to the opiod epidemic as well..

    The broken promises though, they are real angry, happens when you promise the electorate just to be elected and then renege,….more than enuff reason for the electorate to kick ya ass out of parliament…at the very first opportunity.

    Like

  • What is Vision 20/20? Is it another PR gimmick? Spell it out, what are the objectives, for the nation and for citizens? Let us get the substance.

    Like

  • WARU, Crazy & Unstable, Hogging the Blog

    What we need to know is how much tax dollars is being spent on these 2 palace riffraff for a one day visit and who will tell Prince Tampon how corrupt the old guard in this government is and how much they have all stolen from their own people and still are, hence the reason the island is broke, and is very likely to stay that way…under the same crooks.

    Enuff in LaLa Land..,wuh ya never told me that word is Bitt Inc scam gets 30 million of taxpayers dollars a year to train laid off workers…,what everyone is asking….to do what?…that same money could keep the workers EMPLOYED indefinitely instead…..yall thieves.

    Like

  • Abigail Williams the Salemite aka WARU, a known liar with no credibility. Yet another quiet capitulation disguised as a new breaking story of corruption. You need help. Now for the ignore button. ☢☣🚫🤣🤣

    Like

  • WARU, Crazy & Unstable, Hogging the Blog

    If only ya can ignore me, but ya cant..lol

    And that is only the preamble, ya forgot ya cross.

    Like

  • @WW&C
    nah nah.
    This is about corruption.
    Google Scott Brison, SNC Lavalin, Jody Wilson-Raybold corruption, SNC & campaign contributions and DPA (Deferred Prosecution Agreement)
    The promises relate more to pipelines (and other things) and the Alberta truck convoy on its way to Ottawa. Plus a court case is being heard about the Federal Carbon Tax.
    The PM has his hands full in almost every Province, and seemingly within his own Party.

    Like

  • WARU, Crazy & Unstable, Hogging the Blog

    No good NO…any investigation will capsize him, so he is now walking through a minefield, but he is young so he may survive….the drama will be something to watch though, let’ s see how Canadians handle it. I did notice the mood of the people change on facebook recently and not in his favor..

    Lawson must be convulsing in ecstasy, no wonder he was so hyper and excited recently, outside of the excitement he displays when it’s time for him to hit the Caribbean.

    Like

  • WARU, Crazy & Unstable, Hogging the Blog

    No good NO…it’s looking worse and worse by the minute the more we read……, this is from 6 hours ago..

    “In the week since the SNC-Lavalin story broke, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has changed his talking points several times.

    After the story first hit, Trudeau insisted that the allegation in the Globe and Mail story — that Jody Wilson-Raybould had been pressured by the Prime Minister’s Office while serving as minister of justice to help the Quebec-based engineering firm SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution in a bribery case — was false. He said Wilson-Raybould’s continued presence in cabinet, as minister for Veterans Affairs, spoke for itself.

    Then she quit — and the message changed. Wilson-Raybould, Trudeau said, had never raised with him the suggestion that the PMO was pressuring her to go easy on SNC-Lavalin, and he made it clear to her that any decisions on the file were hers alone to make.

    The SNC-Lavalin crisis seems set to derail the Trudeau governments’ preparations for the upcoming fall election. How does the Prime Minister get the wheels back on track and repair what appears to be a fractured caucus? Chris Hall talks with Minister Carla Qualtrough about the resignation of Jody Wilson-Raybould and the challenge ahead for the government. 10:07
    The shifting nature of Trudeau’s explanations suggests a recognition that the government’s messaging has gotten out of hand and a correction was needed to contain some of the blowback, said one member of former prime minister Paul Martin’s inner circle.

    Scott Reid, who served as the director of communications to Martin during the sponsorship scandal that led to a public inquiry, said that if enough voters conclude that Wilson-Raybould was thrown under the bus, it could leave a stain on the Liberals that would be hard to shed in an election year.

    “If a conclusion was reached that that suggests that the only way to defend the actions and the integrity of the government is to put the boots to a former cabinet minister — who is a woman, who is Indigenous, who is from British Columbia, who’s very sympathetic — then I think that would have brand damage,” he told host Chris Hall on CBC Radio’s The House.

    “And I think that’s why you’ve seen the government shift its tone over the course of the week, because I think it knew it was headed for trouble on that front.”

    Wilson-Raybould has yet to speak publicly on the matter. Reid said the story is so murky at this point it’s at the point where a former Supreme Court justice should do a month-long investigation, and release the conclusion publicly.”

    ©2019 CBC/Radio-Canada. All rights reserved.
    Visitez Radio-Canada.ca

    Like

  • WARU, Crazy & Unstable, Hogging the Blog

    Throwing an indigenous female under the bus in 2019 is indeed political suicide.

    Like

  • WARU, Crazy & Unstable, Hogging the Blog

    Enuf in LaLa Land….things don’t look so rosy yuh….the shit really hit the fan now..lol

    Ah would tell ya what is coming down, but since ya dont believe “liars”…your words not mine…it would be a total waste of my time….right?

    But dont worry…just a little longer now…just a little longer baby….

    Like

  • WARU, Crazy & Unstable, Hogging the Blog

    IMF should have been telling small poor countries lije Barbados this for decades, but no, instead they allowed them to run around with their small island fantasies and backwardd archaic pretences and corruption with a smie……now look….it’s definitely not going to end well.

    “The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has told poor countries to stop using global consultancy firms to write development strategies.

    The fund’s managing director Christine Lagarde singled out inefficient spending on consultants for criticism at an event about funding the sustainable development goals at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

    She even ordered any representatives of “the McKinseys and Boston Consulting Groups” or any other consultancy firms in the room to listen to her as she delivered an uncomfortable message about their work.

    The former French government minister said low-income and emerging-market economies had to raise more revenue themselves domestically and cut white elephant projects and corruption.

    READ MORE: Bono says sustainable development goals sound like a “sexually transmitted disease”

    She argued the private sector had a key role to play if poorer countries were to ever achieve the 17 development goals set by the UN.

    But she warned: “I’m looking around to see whether there are any of the McKinseys and Boston Consulting Groups, and if there are please listen to me.

    “I see many, many low-income countries and emerging-market economies spend millions of dollars commissioning consultants to build their strategy plan. I would recommend some saving be made by taking the 17 principles, the actionable items, and start with that.

    “From there, the consultants can actually do their job of putting it into reality. But don’t reinvent it — it’s right there. So much is wasted. That’s part of the inefficient spending that can actually be saved.”

    READ MORE: Where is Davos? Guide to the ski resort hosting the global elite

    The comments may spark controversy not only in the consultancy industry, but also among critics of the IMF itself.

    The fund has a tarnished reputation in many parts of the world for its heavy-handed promotion of free-market reforms in indebted countries over the past few decades.

    The sight of a senior IMF figure now urging developing countries to cut down on their use of imported private sector expertise may raise eyebrows.”

    Like

  • @Waru
    I am a big fan and supporter,
    But when you drop a nugget like ” Bitt Inc scam gets 30 million of taxpayers dollars a year to train laid off workers” it sends me googling and when I cannot find it I begin to wonder.

    There are a few items/names that I like to follow. Please provide links where possible.

    I need to get on one of these MM train (Mia Motley, mMoney or Mark Maloney). I am on the Mia train, but not getting my share of gravy…

    Like

  • WARU, Crazy & Unstable, Hogging the Blog

    Enuff in Cuckoo Land…ah cant get a fella to help me with this one, but its ok.

    Is this IMF article not really, really embarrassing though….when Mia jumped out with all these consultants and adding more every month, and czars..whatever those are…. and plen this and plen that…all at taxpayer’s expense when we all know none of it is necessary…cause she claimed on the political platform that she knew what to do…now it seems all she is doing is hiring everyone at a high cost to taxpayers…and claiming that they know what they are doing when in reality all they are doing is collecting free money for doing very little to nothing,

    But wait….there is even more embarrassment ahead for Mia…but ah can’t say yet cause ya stop talk to me.

    Like

  • WARU, Crazy & Unstable, Hogging the Blog

    “But when you drop a nugget like ” Bitt Inc scam gets 30 million of taxpayers dollars a year to train laid off workers” it sends me googling and when I cannot find it I begin to wonder.”

    Sorry Theo…i feel your pain, but you will not find everything online..not when this government is staying in character and doing most things in the dark….what i will tell u is…that most of these government scams will have to be walked back….in the dark because neither IMF nor other lending agencies will have any of it.

    There is one particular nasty move that will be exposed shortly…it too was done in the dark…but could not be hidden forever…although we suspected and blogged about it…no transparency whatever…as Piece told us would happen.

    Like

  • WARU, Crazy & Unstable, Hogging the Blog

    Do not stay on Mia’s train…do not go on any of the other runaway trains either…ya dont want to be on any of them WHEN they crash…..trust me on this.

    Like

  • Salemite
    As a wannabe keyboard warrior, you would do well to go watch the Appropriations Bill proceedings to learn, be educated and be informed. Rather than peddle your idiocy on BU. #dunceinseason

    Like

  • WARU, Crazy & Unstable, Hogging the Blog

    lol..ah knew you would miss the main event, way above ya pay grade, just watch for the fallout, the blowback already happened…

    #longdistanceyardfowl.

    Like

  • A shepherd-boy, who watched a flock of sheep near a village, brought out the villagers three or four times by crying out, “Wolf! Wolf!” and when his neighbors came to help him, laughed at them for their pains.

     The Wolf, however, did truly come at last. The Shepherd-boy, now really alarmed, shouted in an agony of terror: "Pray, do come and help me; the Wolf is killing the sheep"; but no one paid any heed to his cries, nor rendered any assistance. The Wolf, having no cause of fear, at his leisure lacerated or destroyed the whole flock.
    

    Like

  • Unfriendly BERT gonna wash away barbadians with more licks
    Coming soon to everyhousehold near You

    Like

  • Shareholder governments of the cash-strapped regional airline, LIAT, were meeting here late into Monday to discuss the financial crisis facing the Antigua-based airline.
    Vincentian Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said that the “urgent meeting” to be attended by the airline’s management and the trade unions representatives, had been mandated by LIAT shareholders at a meeting held here over the last weekend.
    “I have already secured the personal commitment of the three leaders of the main unions including LIALPA (Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association), the pilots’ unions, based in Antigua and Barbuda,” he told Parliament in Kingstown on Monday, adding that the Bridgetown talks were vital for the further progress of the amended restructuring option.
    The Barbados meeting comes as Caribbean countries are being asked to contribute a total of US$5.4 million in emergency funding need to keep the airline in the sky. At the same time, 11 destinations have been given until Friday, March 15, to respond to the airline’s minimal revenue guarantee (MRG) proposals.
    Gonsalves said that countries, including the four major shareholders – Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines – along with Grenada, have agreed to contribute to the US$5.4 million.
    Barbados, which has the 116 weekly departures, the highest by LIAT, is being asked to contribute US$1.614 million, while Antigua and Barbuda, which has 69 departures, will contribute US$960,310.
    Dominica, is being asked to contribute US$347,938 in light of its 25 weekly flights, St. Vincent and the Grenadines with 52 departures per week will contribute US$723,711 while Grenada, which has 35 LIAT departures per week, is being asked to contribute US$487,113.
    Gonsalves told legislators that said these five countries constitute the “A Group” and that while no other government has come forward in the face of the crisis, the shareholder governments are targeting a further three, namely Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Lucia, for contributions of US$292,280, US$389,691, and US$584,536, respectively.
    Gonsalves told lawmakers that LIAT’s shareholder governments have asked the airlines to refine the US$5.4 million request.
    Monday’s ministerial statement came on the heels of the meeting in Kingstown that was attended by Antigua and Barbuda and Barbados prime ministers, Gaston Browne and Mia Mottley.
    Gonsalves told legislators that several other countries serviced by LIAT — including Trinidad and Tobago — are not included in the request because they have opposed, up front, putting in any emergency funding into the ailing airline.
    But Gonsalves said that Caribbean Airlines, the national airline of Trinidad and Tobago, is scheduled to meet with LIAT regarding functional cooperation between both carriers.
    Last month, Port of Spain said it would seek to help the cash-strapped regional airline reduce its financial burden by possibly entering into an agreement with CAL regarding the maintenance of its fleet.
    “I have agreed to allow them to talk with CAL to see whether there is any economic benefit or possibilities for cooperation between CAL and LIAT from that standpoint to even a business cooperation, ‘ Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley told reporters in Port of Spain, adding “LIAT is expected to come to talk to CAL to see whether there’s any possibility of them doing business with CAL…which may relieve them of some of their expenses”.
    Gonsalves said while St Vincent and the Grenadines recorded 52 LIAT departures per week, several of those flights are underperforming, as is the case in every other destination, though some more than others.
    Under the MRG model, it is likely that a few flights may be cut if the Government is not prepared to fund them with a guarantee, Gonsalves told lawmakers.
    For example, two flights from St. Lucia to St. Vincent have average passenger loads of 46 per cent. One of the flights from Trinidad has a 38 per cent average passenger load and Gonsalves said “maybe another air carrier, perhaps a small one registered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, may fill the breach on the St. Lucia-St. Vincent.
    “In short, there are possible, reconfigured options. In this respect, the regulatory authorities are urged to address expeditiously application by other airlines — third-tier airlines — for the various routes in a reconfigured regional air transport industry,” Gonsalves said, adding that theoretically, several countries have no quarrel with the MRG.
    “If a country wants a particular flight and it is not viable financially for LIAT that country pays a guarantee for its operation, just like they do for the international carriers.”
    He said that in the “evolving saga”, among the things that the management of LAIT has done is to send MRG letters to 11 destinations, namely: Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Martin, St. Vincent, Tortola and Trinidad.
    No MRG letters have been sent, as yet, to Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin, and Puerto Rico, Gonsalves said, adding that the MRG would yield an estimated US$16 million annually but will not address LIAT existing debt to the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank.
    The airline has been unable to service that debt and the shareholder governments have had to repay.
    He said the MRG model, may, however, cause a reduction ine flight schedule, adding that he will chair the Barbados meeting.
    Gonsalves said that Mottley on Saturday jokingly called the MRG “Mr Ralph Guarantee” and he told her that the MRGS means, “Mia, Ralph, Gaston and Skerrit” — referring to the four prime ministers of LIAT’s main shareholder nations.
    “But the MRGs require the involvement of all countries served by LIAT,” Gonsalves told Parliament.(Quote)

    I understand Barbados owns 49 per cent of the equity of LIAT. Sell it. Where s BERT/IMF when you need it?

    Like

  • Chung said the US planned to revive its engagement with the region through “Caribbean 2020”, a multi-year strategy to increase security, prosperity, education, energy, diplomacy and the well-being of the people of the US and the Caribbean.
    While noting that the US is an important tourist source market, trade partner and home to a growing Barbadian diaspora, Senator Walcott queried the pace of deepening ties under the Trump administration, as President Barack Obama signed into law the United States-Caribbean Strategic Engagement Act of 2016 (HR 4939).(Quote)

    So this is where the idea of Barbados 20/20 came from. When is t going to be explained to people, other than a year-long party? Or the appalling stupidity of having a Facebook page? Policy Barbados style.

    Like

  • Today

    SOME BUSINESSES OWED millions of dollars by Government, and are prepared to accept 85 per cent of the debt in cash, are in line for payment this month.
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    But in order to access the offer and receive the funds before the financial year ends on March 31, these suppliers of products and services have to notify the Ministry of Finance by filling out and submitting the requisite form by tomorrow.
    Otherwise, payment will be made by the end of September and once businesses accept the offer in writing, they are agreeing to make no further claim on that debt.
    The bad news for those creditors who want all of the money Government owes them is that they might have to wait another four years to get it.
    The “85 cents in the dollar” debt repayment offer was announced by Prime Minister Mia Mottley in a Ministerial Statement in the House of Assembly in December. (Quote)

    Proof, if it were needed, that the government is bankrupt. What is BERT got to say about this? By the way, last week our esteemed chairman mentioned the so-called economic model that has governed Barbados for decades. I am still waiting for an explanation/definition.

    Like

  • Some of us here are still waiting for an explanation on how the suggestion of revoking the citizenship of Barbadians who commit serious crimes will work.

    Like

  • @ Robert Goren,

    Explain yourself.

    Like

  • GUANGZHOU — BYD, China’s largest electric-vehicle maker, temporarily halted operations at its EV bus factory in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, the latest knock-on effect that began when the government earlier this year decreased electric vehicle subsidies by up to 50%.
    BYD and the Guangzhou Automobile Group jointly invested in the factory, which will be stopped through May. In company parlance, the factory “has entered the off-season.”
    Production-related workers as well as employees at the quality unit of Guangzhou GAC BYD New Energy Bus will be put on leave for the duration of the shutdown, which “will not impact sales or business in 2019 as a whole,” BYD said.
    Beijing has driven market growth in the sector with heavy subsidies meant to encourage the development of new energy vehicles such as EVs. However the government started gradually decreasing the subsidies in 2017 and plans to terminate the program by next year.
    Some executives in the Chinese auto industry expect “the market for new energy vehicles to shrink nearly 40%,” one said.
    If the government completely phases out the subsidies as planned in 2020, Chinese EV makers will be put on a level playing field with their Western and Japanese rivals, whose brands make up a minority of the Chinese market.
    The shutdown at China’s largest EV manufacturer suggests that other less competitive players could fall by the wayside.(Quote)

    Is Barbados going to buy China-made electric vehicles?

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  • A well-known local economist is warning Barbadians that unless Government comes up with a growth strategy during this period of austerity, the country will be in for a “foreign exchange” crisis soon.
    According to Michael Howard, Professor Emeritus in Economics at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, “In the context of a serious foreign exchange constraint on growth, Barbados will continue to be a low growth economy and will experience future foreign exchange crises.”
    Howard did not go into detail about the nature of the foreign exchange crisis but his prediction flies in the face of Government’s best assurances that the Barbados dollar is safe.
    The retired economics professor is concerned by what he sees as a lack of Government strategy for structural transformation and economic growth. Howard told Barbados TODAY in an interview that it was simply impossible for growth to occur under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved Barbados Economic Recovery Transformation (BERT) programme.
    “Sustainable growth is important for the future. However, it is almost impossible for Barbados not to experience severe austerity under the present IMF/BERT programme and sustainable economic growth simultaneously, in the present recessionary context. Even though Jamaica has done well under recent IMF programmes, and had a private sector-supported growth strategy, Jamaica’s average growth rate has been a low 0.9 per cent for many years,” he explained.
    He added, “The fundamental problem of restructuring the Barbadian economy is that we lack internationally competitive export growth engines other than tourism, which can earn foreign exchange.”
    The economist argued that with more layoffs certainly on the horizon, resulting in a further dampening of Government’s tax revenues, it was difficult to see Government meeting the IMF target of six per cent primary surplus of GDP.
    “Moving the public finances from a three per cent surplus to a six per cent surplus is a big task requiring further cuts in public expenditure and increases in revenue.(Quote)

    We cannot say the government has not been warned, over and over again, even if they only like tunes that play to their rhythm. Cut out the foreign exchange mantra and concentrate on economic development.

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  • I have been waiting for a mature debate about the Mottley-led BLP latest econo0mic proposal, its Bds$11bn mass investment plan. I am not sure if this has been approved by the IMF, or if the idea came from one of the government’s economic consultants (see the Barbados Today report in full below)
    This idea is economically unsustainable and morally perverse. Let us start with the moral perversity first: the government has just reneged on its obligation to retail bondholders in one of the biggest examples of daylight robbery this side of Tombstone. This is snake oil salesmanship.
    Yet, within weeks, it is inviting Barbadians to take their Bds$11bn in lifesavings in dubious peer-to-peer lending and crowd-funding. This is slaying the ground for theft. Will the investments be underwritten by the government? Who will be the borrowers? Members of the Social Partnership?
    If there are businesses waiting for funding, why cannot the banks fund them? That is what banks are for? Why cannot the government legislate for post office/credit union banks to meet the borrowing needs of households and small enterprises?
    This is but another bogus idea and another reason why BERT will fail. It is badly planned and is bad economics. And it is a further reason why to criticise the government will be seen as treason.
    Government prefers foul-mouthed, vulgar hysteria to reasoned argument.

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  • The Government intends to free up regulations for Barbadians to dip into more than $11 billion of their savings and invest it as equity in entrepreneurs.
    Prime Minister Mia Mottley said a part of her administration’s growth strategy was to “mobilise domestic savings” and support the spread of ownership of assets to all citizens.
    Barbadians hold more than $9 billion on commercial bank accounts and approximately $2 billion in credit unions.
    Mottley has indicated that several avenues were being created for Barbadians to invest their earnings instead of keeping them on bank and credit union accounts.
    One of those measures would involve the Financial Services Commission (FSC) creating a regulatory regime to create new types of investment funds for small investors such as platforms for crowd financing and peer-to-peer lending, she said.
    On the crowd-financing platform, small investors would invest equity in new projects while small investors would lend collectively to borrowers.
    Mottley said’ “We believe we can supplement the work of the banks by ensuring that all Barbadians have the ability to participate, as investors, in these crowd-funding or peer-to-peer lending projects.”
    In the coming weeks, Financial Services Commission (FSC) and the Barbados Stock Exchange (BSE) are to collaborate in creating “an innovation and growth market” for start-up companies with capitalisation of more than $200,000. At least 30 per cent of the ownership of those companies would be made available to investors.
    The Prime Minister also announced that a new programme to allow for the “spreading of government assets” by allowing Barbadians to invest “small denominations” in various hotel projects including the Sam Lord’s Castle Wyndham and the Hilton Resort is to be implemented.
    She said: “The truth is that the junior market has never taken root in this country largely because the rules in the junior market of the Barbados Stock Exchange have been overly restrictive, we need to revisit them.”
    Government is also to introduce “green energy bonds” in an effort to attract individuals to invest and get returns on their investment through a coupon with respect to their electricity bill, she announced.
    This plan, she said, was still in the very early planning stages and her administration would be working with the Barbados Light and Company to iron out the details.
    During the Budget speech, Mottley had announced that a unit trust corporation would be established along the lines of a similar entity in Trinidad and Tobago.
    “Unless we create these opportunities with the capital here and the projects here we will continue to become victims in our own country and tenants in our own country instead of owners of all that we oversee,” She declared.

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  • Are we gong to discuss the government’s money grab?

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  • Barbados Underground Whistleblower

    @ Hal Austin

    What is there to discuss?

    Unless one is a blind man or fool it is MUCH SAFER to keep your local money in the bank or be fleeced under these proposed schemes.

    Didn’t one Banker was recently quoted as saying that they were told if they really expect their money when they loaned a Government who is in such in bad shape.

    Look also at what is happening to small businesses owed by Government they have to take a 15 percent cut to get money anytime soon owed to them.

    In addition those who had Government savings bonds were fleeced as soon as this Government got settled in.

    A FOOL AND HIS MONEY IS EASILY PARTED.

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  • High Debt Hampers Countries’ Response to a Fast-Changing Global Economy

    By Vitor Gaspar, John Ralyea, and Elif Ture

    Economic growth is slowing and public debt remains high across the world. Meanwhile, demographic changes and technological advances are reshaping the global economy.
    Everyone’s opportunities for a good education, along with their job prospects, healthcare, and retirement income depend on the tax and spending choices governments make as they respond to these challenges.
    What should policymakers do?
    In the new Fiscal Monitor, we argue that they can take a long-term view to foster higher and more inclusive growth. This means getting their fiscal houses in order by gradually lowering debt to prepare for the next downturn and upgrading fiscal policy to invest in people’s futures. This requires better allocating spending, creating more room in the budget, and improving tax policy.
    Preparing for the next downturn
    High debt can handicap policymakers’ ability to increase spending or cut taxes to offset weak economic growth, as creditors may be less willing to finance larger budget deficits. Interest payments on debt also crowd out spending on education, health, and infrastructure, which are all investments that help a country grow for many years to come.

    Each country will have to identify an appropriate strategy to make room in its budget to help the economy during the next downturn.
    Countries with high debt will have to increase revenues or curb excessive spending. This is especially relevant where current economic growth exceeds long-run potential growth, as in the United States, or where borrowing costs are high and financing needs are large, such as in Brazil and Italy.
    Yet, these countries should maintain investments in education, health, and infrastructure, either by reprioritizing spending or broadening the tax base, for example, by removing tax exemptions and improving tax administration.
    Where financing is less of a concern, such as in Germany and Korea, policymakers could increase investment in infrastructure or education to support the economy in the near term, and foster inclusive growth over the next few decades.
    Investing in people’s futures
    Fiscal policy must also look beyond preparing for the next economic downturn. The shift in demographics along with new technologies are having a profound impact on economic growth and the distribution of incomes and wealth. These trends also impact public finances.
    For example, in advanced economies, whose populations are rapidly aging, we project that age-related public spending, such as pensions and healthcare, will consume a quarter of GDP by 2050.
    Conversely, emerging market and low-income developing economies’ populations are much younger and growing fast. To make progress toward achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals on infrastructure and public services, these countries will require additional public spending.
    What can countries do to adapt to these global trends and reduce their debt?
    They can pursue smarter and more agile policies to facilitate change. This means upgrading fiscal policy on three fronts.
    Shift spending
    First, countries should shift spending toward growth-enhancing investment in infrastructure, education, and healthcare, while cutting wasteful spending, such as inefficient energy subsidies.
    For example, gradually removing fuel subsidies, while protecting the most vulnerable, could provide up to 4 percent of global GDP in additional resources for countries to invest in people and growth.

    Focusing more on policies that foster lifelong learning and continuous upgrading of skills are also important in a more digital and automated world. For example, Singapore offers training grants to all adults throughout their working lives, and the Netherlands offers tax deductions for workforce training.
    Curbing corruption would also help raise additional resources and reduce waste, as we show in Chapter 2 of the Fiscal Monitor.
    Create more room in the budget
    Second, steps to improve public financial management and raise revenues could create more room in the budget. In advanced economies, better management of government financial assets could yield up to 3 percent of GDP a year in additional revenue, as shown in the October 2018 Fiscal Monitor.
    Emerging market and low-income developing economies should raise their revenue collection. For example, sub-Saharan African countries could raise, on average, 3 to 5 percent of GDP in additional revenue over the next five years if they improve the efficiency of their current tax systems.

    Improve tax policies
    Third, advanced economies should return to more progressive income taxes, which will help reduce inequality. Most also have room to raise revenue significantly from taxing inheritances, land, and real estate.
    Also, governments should cooperate to reform taxation of large multinational corporations, in particular digital ones. This would help raise revenues, including for low-income developing countries, by limiting profit-shifting and global tax competition.
    These actions would help raise long-term economic growth, which is a key ingredient to reduce the burden of high public debt. They would also spread economic benefits more widely within and across countries, and restore the public trust in institutions necessary for economic stability.

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  • Is this biting the hand that feeds you, or simply being ungrateful or is it desperation? Or is it blaming others for your own incompetence?

    Prime Minister Mia Mottley has taken multilateral lenders like the World Bank to task for not doing more to help vulnerable countries like Barbados and the Caribbean’s small island and coastal states prepare for climate change.
    At a panel discussion here on Friday, Mottley argued that the international financial institutions had unfairly categorised some developing countries, shutting them out from accessing concessionary funding for critical projects to aid in their development and protection of the population.
    But the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance used the forum to deliver a broadside against rich nations which have been pressuring hers as they compete for international financial services and business domiciles with low corporate taxes.
    The discussion took place alongside the annual IMF/World Bank Spring meetings the Prime Minister is attending.
    Since the 1990’s the World Bank has considered Barbados a middle-income country, limiting it from accessing concessionary loans.
    She told the audience: “The rules are such that we are precluded from benefiting from concessional funding to fight the vagaries of climate change, to fight the vagaries of alleviating poverty at the very time when you need it more, at the very time when your vulnerability is greater than almost anyone else.
    “Not because of actions you have taken but actions that developed countries and large corporations have taken to increase the likelihood that climate change will have deleterious consequences on your people.”
    Insisting that the World Bank and other multilateral organisations were ignoring the “the reality of small states”, Mottley said they had come up with “a one size fits all approach that bears no relation to risks”.
    The Prime Minister said she feared that Barbados could become a low-income country should it be hit by a natural disaster, though pointing out that the country still had access to funding from the Caribbean Development Bank and the CAF for climate change-related projects.
    She said it was for that reason she is embarking on a planned “roofs to reefs” project, in order to help the country be better able to cope with the effects of natural disasters.
    But she said Barbados needs huge funding for improving its sewerage systems, putting overhead cables underground and for replacement of the piping system for water, among others.
    She said: “If you don’t have access to borrowing to redo some of these large infrastructural things, many of which are related to climate change, you are going to pauperise what was otherwise a middle-income nation.”
    Declaring that she was not advocating a revolution, Mottley predicted that populations around the world would one day rise up and put pressure on their Governments in relation to tackling issues of climate change.
    She also blasted developed countries and groupings for creating various “blacklists and whitelists”, saying it was offensive since the countries being placed on those lists did not have the luxury of considering what was “right or wrong or moral or not”.
    The comments come in the wake of declarations by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Paris-based club of industrialised nations, that Barbados is an uncooperative tax haven.
    Adding that “multilateralism for us is not a luxury, it is a necessity”, Mottley said some groups were doing nothing short of bullying smaller developing nations.
    She said those smaller states were considered “invisible” and “dispensable” by more developed nations and multilateral organisations, adding that the rules based systems fought for over the years now seemed to be at risk.(Quote)

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  • Below is a good example of the DLP failing to learn anything from the drubbing it got in May of last year. Instead of going back to basics and re-learning how to govern, the new leader is coming out with the same, old, tired rhetoric that means nothing.
    First , she must surround herself with a team of young, dynamic spokespeople (learn from the UPP), all with specialist areas of responsibility. Not only will this show the nation that they have a Shadow Cabinet prepared to take over at short notice, but that the mistakes of the Stuart/Sinckler government will not be repeated.
    The leader must also show they understand the issues facing the nation, not with sound bites for an unappreciative press, but in an ongoing conversation with the nation. In short the leader must show that the party has turned a new page. So far they score a three out of ten.

    The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) still isn’t the least bit impressed with BERT (Barbados Economic Transformation Programme).
    President of the party, attorney-at-law Verla De Peiza, says Government’s programme to stabilise Barbados’ economy isn’t working and even international agencies can see it too, based on recent negative assessments within the last eight months.
    She is also calling on the Prime Minister to let the country know what’s next now that Government has missed a very important debt payment deadline.
    “Besides missing crucial payments Barbados has now missed the March 31 deadline to complete the negotiations with our external creditors. We call on the Government, as a matter of urgency to give a progress report on the negotiations and to let the country know what fallout to expect from these failures,” De Peiza demanded. (Quote)

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  • President Donald Trump’s administration is confronting an inescapable economic paradox and it was on full display at the past week’s gathering of international finance chiefs in Washington.

    Even as it urges the rest of the world to do more to boost global growth, the U.S. is doubling down on the “America First’’ trade policies that have become a major drag on demand. For many at the International Monetary Fund spring meetings, those opposing forces highlight Trump’s disruptive presence in the world economy, his desire to blame others for forces he unleashes, and how his propensity for shaking things up gets in the way of some of his own priorities.

    The paradox was laid out in Saturday’s communique from the IMF’s governing body with shareholders nominating “trade tensions” as the top risk for the global economy. While the finance ministers and central bank governors from around the world who make up the body declared they would step in as needed to address any turn for the worse in the global economy they also endorsed “free, fair, and mutually beneficial goods and services trade and investment” as “key engines for growth and job creation.”

    “To this end, we recognize the need to resolve trade tensions,” they said.
    Those tensions have had a primary source over the past year: Tariffs introduced by the U.S. that have yielded a tit-for-tat response from trading partners from China to the EU.
    Lowest Since the Financial Crisis
    The IMF cut its outlook for 2019 global growth to 3.3 percent

    Source: International Monetary Fund

    Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s Treasury secretary, used his statement to the IMF’s council to call on major economies now slowing in Europe and China to do more to bolster growth.

    The U.S., he went on, was doing its part via “its efforts to address restrictive trade practices around the world that are impeding stronger and more balanced U.S. and global growth.’’

    Mnuchin, however, may have been the only policy maker attending last week’s meetings who believes the U.S.’s approach to trade is doing anything to help growth, or that Trump’s tariffs are a tool of trade liberalization.
    The growing uncertainty and slowdowns in investment and global trade that have resulted from Trump’s trade wars were major reasons behind the IMF’s decision to predict the world economy will grow this year at its slowest rate since the global financial crisis a decade ago.
    To Maurice Obstfeld, who retired as the IMF’s chief economist last year, the link between a softer global expansion and Trump’s trade policies has been clear.
    “If you look at the global weakness that we are seeing it is very much centered in manufacturing, industrial output weakness, investment weakness. And if you contrast that with fairly strong labor markets around the world and much better performance in services it’s hard not to believe that the trade tensions are playing a role in all that,’’ Obstfeld said in an interview.
    ‘Stirring the Pot’
    That Trump in recent days has continued “stirring the pot’’ by threatening new tariffs on the European Union and Mexico has only served as a reminder that even if the administration reaches a deal with China in the weeks to come the president’s trade wars are far from over, Obstfeld said.
    The administration’s finger pointing at other major economies is also a hint that going into the 2020 election Trump is lining up scapegoats — from abroad or at the U.S. Federal Reserve — in case the U.S. economy comes down hard from last year’s fiscal sugar rush.
    What happens elsewhere in the world economy may matter more for the U.S. than ever before. A February study by economists at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. estimated a one percentage point decline in growth outside of the U.S. reduces America’s expansion by an average of 0.5 point.

    Economic policy makers from outside the U.S. were not afraid to call out the Trump administration and its trade policies over the past week.
    Don’t Help
    “Protectionist moves don’t help either the U.S. or China,’’ Haruhiko Kuroda, governor of the Bank of Japan, told reporters.

    At an event on the sidelines of the IMF meeting on Thursday, Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, bemoaned the fact that a global economy that just a year ago was in the midst of an upswing driven by robust trade and investment now appeared uncomfortably reliant on consumer spending as a result of the trade tensions.
    “And normally when an expansion is reliant on the consumer you start watching the clock in terms of how much longer it will last,’’ he said.
    While Mnuchin prods other countries do more to boost growth, the reality is that in places like the EU — which Trump last week threatened to hit with new tariffs and called a “brutal trading partner’’ — the easiest way to boost growth may be to simply remove the uncertainty caused by Trump’s trade bombast.
    Significant Drag
    The threat alone of increased trade barriers whether it be within Europe due to Brexit or across the Atlantic, was a significant drag on the euro-area economy, said Francois Villeroy de Galhau, a member of the European Central Bank’s governing council.
    “It’s up to political leaders to lift now these geopolitical uncertainties introduced by trade tensions,’’ he said.
    There were some optimists in Washington last week.

    The world is confronting a manageable “moderation’’ in growth, even in Europe, said Angel Ubide, head of economic research for global fixed income at Citadel. “The conditions are in place for growth to continue at a decent pace,’’ he said.
    The “mood of worry’’ in the air as the IMF downgraded its growth forecasts also seemed overblown, Robin Brooks, chief economist of the Institute of International Finance, told an event organized by the group.

    A newly dovish Fed and signs the U.S. and China might soon reach a trade deal should be reasons for hope. “I’m kind of surprised how bearish people are,’’ Brooks said.

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  • Another example of punching above our weight. Has this been thought through. Foreign direct investors want transparency, clarity, a legal system that works, and speed of execution, none of which exists in contemporary Barbados. Is she also taking advice and ideas from the leading accountancy firms, those that are up to their necks in scandals over auditing? When not separate out accountancy from auditing?

    Barbados is positioning itself to be a global hub for the conduct of commerce, says Prime Minister Mia Mottley.
    In an update on her recent trip to Canada and the United States where she met with key players in the commercial sector, Mottley said they attended meetings in Montreal, Toronto, Washington and Miami.
    Speaking at a media briefing at Government Headquarters on Thursday, the Prime Minister said that in Canada they met with all the major accounting firms, tax executives, and banking officials associated with Canadian banks here and insurance executives.
    Mottley explained that discussions were held with the accounting firms and tax executives to inform them about changes to legislation governing the international business sector last December. (Quote)

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  • For months Beto Marron faced a terrible dilemma: he could pay his rent and rapidly rising utility bills, or he could put enough food on the table for his family of four. He could not afford to do both. The decision was made for him when he was kicked out of his home on the outskirts of Buenos Aires late last year, forcing his family on to the streets. “This is sucking the life out of me. When will this nightmare end?” asked the 37-year-old as he rummaged through an overflowing dustbin in a middle-class district of Argentina’s capital. The same question may haunt President Mauricio Macri, as well as the IMF, which continues to voice its full-throated support for him after its record-breaking $56.3bn Argentine bailout in the thick of a currency crisis last year. Since then, an abrupt jump in inflation has unleashed an alarming rise in poverty that is far greater than officials and markets had expected. This is threatening the re-election prospects of Mr Macri, who once perkily assured voters on the campaign trail that extinguishing inflation would be “easy”. It is also raising questions about the IMF’s innovative austerity programme in Argentina, which has put unprecedented emphasis on “protecting society’s most vulnerable”, and what it could mean for future programmes in other struggling emerging markets such as Ecuador.

    “We’re very conscious, and so are the [Argentine] authorities, that an increase in poverty would pose serious challenges to achieving the objectives of the programme,” says Nigel Chalk, deputy director of the IMF’s western hemisphere department. Inflation, now running at more than 50 per cent annually, played a key role in pushing the poverty level up to 32 per cent of the population by the end of 2018. That is about the same level as when Mr Macri took power in 2015. Although it had fallen to 25.7 per cent by mid-2017, it shot up again last year thanks to the currency crisis. In response this month, the government expanded a controversial programme of price controls to 60 “essential” goods, mostly food, in order to soften the impact of price rises for consumers.The IMF’s programme in Argentina is its first to explicitly include measures that provide a buffer for social spending by allowing the country to exceed the fiscal deficit targets agreed with the fund in order to spend more on social assistance. Indeed, the IMF’s third review of its programme with Argentina published on Friday confirmed that more of these measures will be included, while the cap on social spending will be increased from 0.2 to 0.3 per cent of gross domestic product. But spiralling poverty could yet prompt what Mr Chalk calls “a recalibration of social spending to provide more space for the government to act to protect the poor.”

    The risk, officials recognise, is that if the government fails to cut the deficit enough because of extra social spending, markets could grow anxious that Argentina’s fiscal adjustment is not happening as fast as it believes is necessary. That could force Argentina to seek more foreign debt to cover the fiscal deficit than originally expected — to a point where its debt burden could become unsustainable. “So far, markets have been fairly forgiving [since the peso crisis last year]. They understand the trade-offs. It would be tragic — and more than a little ironic — if Cristina made a comeback because the market was demanding too harsh an adjustment,” says one investor, referring to former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. It may not be all bad. Despite concerns about what would happen with the IMF programme in the event of a victory for Ms Fernández, who is widely expected to run in the elections, her radical former economy minister Axel Kicillof has met secretly with IMF officials recently and assured them that a Fernández government would continue with the programme. Such concerns are far from the minds of many Argentines, given that they are living in the second-most miserable country in the world, according to Steve Hanke, an economist at the Johns Hopkins University who publishes an annual “misery index”, which measures unemployment, inflation and interest rates. Argentina’s poor performance in the ranking of 95 countries, which is only topped by crisis-wracked Venezuela, is a direct result of the inflation caused by last year’s currency crisis, said Mr Hanke. In their defence, officials point out that poverty statistics do not reflect qualitative advances such as improving access to jobs by making social programmes more efficient; new drains for 2.5m people; more schools for children; paving roads in slums; lower homicide rates; and fighting against drug-trafficking. “Sure, the government has done a few things that it maybe doesn’t get enough credit for,” admits Paz Marcano, who cooks at an overcrowded soup kitchen in Buenos Aires. “But when you can’t afford to feed your own children properly, you could be forgiven for forgetting.”

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  • Clifton Hall, St John man is fed up of asking for help with fixing his one bedroom wooden structure which is in dire need of repair.
    The St John resident is asking for help to restore his Clifton Hall home which is falling to pieces.
    Seventy-nine-year-old Percy Howell told Barbados TODAY that he has depended on promises from Members of Parliament and has still not received the help he so desperately needs.(Quote)

    Is there a social element to BERT? Do we have social workers? What about the constituency member of parliament? Does middle class Barbados care? Is Barbados a failed state?

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  • SINGAPORE — ASEAN and its East Asian partners are considering adding the yen and the yuan to their $240 billion currency swap safety net, a move that would reduce the framework’s overreliance on the dollar while increasing China’s economic clout.(Quote)

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  • Galaxy Digital Holding Ltd., billionaire Michael Novogratz’s crypto investment firm, lost $272.7 million during its first year of operations as prices of digital assets collapsed.
    Galaxy had $249.1 million in digital assets and investments as of Dec. 31, down from $323 million at the end of September, the New York-based company said in a statement Monday. The fourth-quarter decrease was primarily a result of $48.7 million of net realized losses on digital assets and $25.0 million of unrealized loss on investments.(quote)

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  • The Central Bank of Barbados must operate as an independent institution working in the best interest of the people, Minister in the Ministry of Finance Ryan Straughn declared in Parliament today.(Quote)

    Very good idea. Let us see how this plays out. Presumably Straughn has made, or will make, this recommendation to Cabinet. Let us see if it gets through.

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  • I repeat, decouple from the Greenback and fix against a basket of currencies and commodities.

    ASEAN members plus China, Japan and South Korea are considering adding the yuan and yen to their multilateral currency swap deal as they seek to alleviate the framework’s reliance on the dollar.
    Finance ministers and central bank governors from the countries agreed Thursday to strengthen the framework amid growing concerns about emerging economies awash in speculative money due to accommodative policies around the world. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations and trio are together known as ASEAN+3.
    Local-currency contributions to the deal “may be one enhancement option,” the countries said in a joint statement, paving the way for the potential addition of the Chinese yuan and the Japanese yen.

    It is important that countries receiving support be able to choose the currency they want, Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso told a news conference.
    China has been active in lobbying for greater international use of the yuan. Introducing local currencies spreads out the risk of relying on one currency, People’s Bank of China Deputy Gov. Chen Yulu said.
    Southeast Asia also shares the desire to reduce foreign exchange risks with the dollar and promote local currencies. ASEAN chair Thailand and Indonesia, which views itself as a major regional player, have promoted the use of Asian currencies along with China.
    The Chiang Mai Initiative was established in 2000 following the Asian financial crisis of 1997 to prop up weakening currencies by letting countries exchange local money for the greenback to prevent capital flight. The framework’s safety net was doubled to $240 billion in 2014.
    Although a swap has never been activated, “it is crucial that the initiative function as insurance,” a Japanese government source said. When Thailand’s currency collapsed in 1997, Singapore and Malaysia also intervened, but the Thai government could not protect the baht after exhausting its foreign reserves.
    “The yen will definitely be adopted before the yuan should Asian currencies be added to the Chiang Mai Initiative,” a Japanese government source said, because it is an easier currency to swap. China will face the dilemma of liberalizing its foreign exchange market should it aim for the yuan’s adoption.
    The countries will also revamp contracts, currently limited to two one-year renewals, in scrapping the three-year maximum on swaps.
    “We reaffirm our commitment to uphold the rules-based multilateral trading system and open regionalism, while resisting all forms of protectionism,” Thursday’s joint statement also said. The statement from December’s Group of 20 summit, which U.S. President Donald Trump attended, did not take such a stand against protectionism.(Quote)

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  • Sandals Resorts ‘operated decades-long tax fraud by charging guests 12% rates but pocketed the cash in secret deal with local Caribbean governments,’ class action lawsuit claims
    Sandals Resorts has been hit with a class action lawsuit in Florida on Tuesday over an alleged tax fraud scheme run at its Caribbean resorts
    The company is accused of charging guests 12% tax rates but instead of handing over the money, the funds are ‘secretly retained by Sandals for its own profit’
    Plantiff Vitali Feldman stayed at a Sandals Resorts in 2017, 2018 and 2019, along with his wife and two children and claims he fell victim to the alleged scheme
    His lawyers claim customers were ‘deceived into paying such tax that was, in fact, being secretly retained by Defendants for their own use, benefit and profit’
    Lawyers claim Sandals Resorts settled with the government of Antigua and Barbuda over unpaid sales tax totaling $37.5M, and paid only 37 cents
    The class action lawsuit is seeking at least $5 million
    Sandals Resorts denied the allegations saying: ‘Our valued guests have never been unlawfully charged for taxes and allegations to the contrary are false’ (Quote)

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  • The prime minister has said she is willing to offer external creditors a ‘sweetener’ in order to settle. In plain English this means the White Oaks talks are not going well. Watch this space.

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  • What about White Oaks? Or have we forgotten? The longer White Oaks draws out this negotiation the more they earn. This is a perverse agreement.

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