What is Barbadians NOT Being Told about the External Debt Restructuring Agreement?

The following was posted as a comment to the Central Bank of Barbados Review of the Economy: January to September 2019 blog by Walter Blackman, Actuary and son of the soil in reply to the following by the blogmaster:

@John A, Walter, Northern Observer et al, You guys read this document?”
https://barbadosunderground.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/launch-press-release-.pdf


So far, we have been provided information on the external debt restructuring exercise from three sources:

First, the press release from the Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs & Investment mentioned 5 bonds:

7.8% bond, maturing in 2019
Floating rate loan maturing in 2019
7.25% Note maturing in 2021
7.00% Note maturing in 2022
6.625% Note maturing in 2035
The following points should be noted:
Maturity date given is 2029.
New interest rate is 6.500%.
No Face Values are given.
No specific mention is made of the Credit Suisse loan.

Second, an article from Barbados Today, dated October 24, 2019, lists the following 4 loans:

150M due 2021
220 M due 2022
119M due 2035
225M Credit Suisse Loan

The following points should be noted:

No Maturity dates are given.
No “old” or renegotiated interest rates are given.
We are given Face Values of the loans for the first time.
Specific mention is made of the Credit Suisse loan for the first time, but we are only told the Face Value is 225M.

Third, another Press Release made by the Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs & Investment (you provided a link above) dated November 5, 2019 lists the same 4 loans mentioned by Barbados Today on October 24, 2019:
150M @ 7.25% due 2021 (Face Value Agrees with Barbados Today)
200M @ 7.00% due 2022 (Barbados Today said 220M)
190M @ 6.625% due 2035 (Barbados Today said 119M)
225M Credit Suisse Loan

The following points should be noted:

Excluding the Credit Suisse Loan, the total Face Value of the other 3 loans amount to 540M. Is this the “renegotiated” value? if so, what were the original face values that existed before the restructuring?

If these are the original Face Values, what are the new negotiated values?
What was the total value of the external debt payments that the Government of Barbados refused to pay after May 2018?

How was the Credit Suisse Loan repackaged?

Conclusively, I do not believe that press releases from the Ministry of Finance, and articles from the media have given members of the public enough information to determine the amount of savings that accrued to Barbados from the external debt restructuring exercise.

44 comments

  • I do not believe the Credit Suisse loan, $225M is included in the negotiated $540M figure. The government of Barbados is trying to re-negotiate the Credit Suisse loan using the other agreed bond settlement as a baseline, except the Credit Suisse loan has some other liability clauses not included to the other re-negotiated bonds. The Credit Suisse $225M is a LOAN and is not backed with bonds. In addition to the Credit Suisse loan there are also outstanding loans from CDB, Canadian development loan to BWA and numerious other organizations etc. in amounts of several hundred million US$.

    Like

  • Walter Blackman
    “Excluding the Credit Suisse Loan, the total Face Value of the other 3 loans amount to 540M.”

    Wily Coyote
    November 10, 2019 8:10 PM
    “I do not believe the Credit Suisse loan, $225M is included in the negotiated $540M figure.”

    Wily Coyote,
    Do you agree that no one is asking you to believe that the “$225M is included in the negotiated $540M figure”?.

    Like

  • Walter Blackman
    “Specific mention is made of the Credit Suisse loan for the first time, but we are only told the Face Value is 225M.
    …..How was the Credit Suisse Loan repackaged?”

    Wily Coyote
    November 10, 2019 8:10 PM
    “The government of Barbados is trying to re-negotiate the Credit Suisse loan using the other agreed bond settlement as a baseline, except the Credit Suisse loan has some other liability clauses not included to the other re-negotiated bonds. The Credit Suisse $225M is a LOAN and is not backed with bonds.”

    Wily Coyote,
    We have been informed that the 225M from Credit Suisse is a loan, and I have stated such. No one has claimed that it is “backed with bonds”.
    Do you agree?

    You seem to know something about the Credit Suisse loan, and how government is trying to renegotiate it.

    Our objective is very simple.

    We are interested in knowing the terms of the loan before it was re-negotiated, and the terms after re-negotiation, so that we can determine how much savings have accrued to Barbados after the loan has been repackaged.
    Can you provide any information to help us?

    Like

  • Wily Coyote
    November 10, 2019 8:10 PM

    “In addition to the Credit Suisse loan there are also outstanding loans from CDB, Canadian development loan to BWA and numerious other organizations etc. in amounts of several hundred million US$.”

    Wily Coyote,
    We have read about these also.
    Again, we are faced with the same problem. We are given no data on which we can determine the amount of savings accruing to Barbados from restructuring these loans.
    Can you give us an idea of the savings realized from merely knowing that these loans are “in amounts of several hundred million US$”?

    Like

  • @ walter Blackman

    I am going to ask you the same type of question John A the provocateur would ask you.

    Why, given that the Reverend Joseph Atherley IS THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION, why has it arisen that he IS NOT in possession of this information?

    Wily E Coyote is not in the same position as Reverend Atherley and de ole man believes that those queries may put the Gentleman at risk to expose his sources, if such were to be the case.

    Would not the Auditor General or the Central Bank be in possession of the information that you are querying?

    I do hope that you would answer de ole man’s unaccustomed, respectful questions

    Like

  • Piece the Legend
    November 10, 2019 9:38 PM
    “@ walter Blackman
    I am going to ask you the same type of question John A the provocateur would ask you.
    Why, given that the Reverend Joseph Atherley IS THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION, why has it arisen that he IS NOT in possession of this information?”

    Piece the Legend,
    Simply put, there are two possibilities:
    The Leader of the Opposition (LOO) had the information, and for reasons unknown or known only to himself, chose not to use it. Or,
    The Leader of the Opposition (LOO) did not have the information, and for reasons unknown or known only to himself, chose not to seek it.

    Undoubtedly, the claim made by the Minister of Finance that Barbados will be saving billions of dollars over the next 4 or 5 years as a result of the external debt restructuring exercise, merited opposition, or at least, a demand for clarification.

    The LOO provided neither to assist the people of Barbados.

    In fact, the LOO’s inaction amounted to a gross dereliction of duty. He drew a cheque for his dismal performance, and his ineffectiveness will be treated as increasing the GDP of Barbados, and will be ultimately interpreted as contributing to our country’s economic growth. To add insult to injury, the LOO, and some others clinging to his coat-tail, will be arguing vociferously that he should be promoted to the position of Prime Minister and Minister of Finance over the next 3 years.

    Go figure.

    Like

  • It is inexcusable that a significant transaction as the external debt restructure would not be effectively communicated to the public. This is especially a concern if taxpayers are paying for a communications staff in the Prime Minister’s office supported by the BGIS.

    Like

  • Beg those who were transparent and provided the WO contract in public, to do similarly with the WO Invoice covering their success fee for external debt resolution. Beg them to break out the various component parts. Their contract says they will invoice IMMEDIATELY following the closing of any exchange offer. So the invoice should be submitted very soon.

    Like

  • @Walter

    WILY fully agrees with all you stated, just trying to add some limited clarification as government is trying very hard to cover this entire operation with a heavy vale which us difficult to see through. Like David states, everything very secretive and the opposition that should be at the forefront of the questioning is VERY MUTE, hmmmm, maybe opposition is not reaĺy opposition as was inferred after election floor walking. Opposition is really BLP in disguise.

    Like

  • @ Walter Blackman November 10, 2019 8:44 PM
    “Our objective is very simple.
    We are interested in knowing the terms of the loan before it was re-negotiated, and the terms after re-negotiation, so that we can determine how much savings have accrued to Barbados after the loan has been repackaged.
    Can you provide any information to help us?”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Walter, wouldn’t all of this ‘guessing and assuming’ be put to rest if- in the same interests of transparency and accountability promised by this same administration- the spreadsheets ‘constructed’ to arrive at that feather-in-the-cap figure of $5 billion in national savings could be made available, at least, to the Leader of the Opposition?

    Such a move of being ‘openly’ honest with the people would go a long way in restoring the confidence of the electorate in the integrity of the ‘Government’ after so many years of being fooled especially about the electoral claims of widespread corruption and massive financial improprieties by the previous administration.

    The only reason why the current BLP administration would want to withhold information about loans and other liabilities not of its own making is if there is more in the WO mortar than just ‘advisory’ fees accruing to its principals only and without the medici Persuadie the card-dealing loan shark receiving his ‘cut’ of the deal.

    Like

  • I can’t understand wunna fellows at all at all. Asking alot of questions about this debt thing. Wunna is agitators and provocateurs!

    The government said that they restructured $500M in debt and saved $4 billion in the exercise, what more you all want to know? So me being a curious fellow decided to look at those numbers.

    What they are claiming is a saving of a factor of 8. So my next exercise was to see what kind of Interest Sinkler was paying that would of allowed us to now pay 6.5% and still give us a saving of a factor of 8.

    Well to cut a long story short that would of meant Sinks would of had to of been borrowing money at rates in excess of 21%! So I then double check the data or lack there of and found he was borrowing at an average of only 7.5%. So the only conclusion I can come to is they must be a typographical error somewhere. Anyhow I have the solution.

    Mr Minister please publish ALL the data. We want face value of old bond, expiry date, interest rate etc. Now for the new replacement bond we want the face value again, interest rate, maturity date and the bond value in 2029. Cause you know when the interests falls the bond price rises. So list each one for these trouble makers like this fellow Walter. Now next to each bond I want you jot down the amount wunna claimed to have saved too. Cause remember fellows like Walter going add them up and They got to come to over $4 billion! Yes I said over, cause he going subtract WO and all the rest of fees to make sure we clear $4B in net savings after all expenses.

    Now Mr Minister don’t tell nobody my business but if you could publish the data by Friday it would be nice. I would then use your magic formula and ask my bank manager for an appointment. I would march in his office with my chest puff up and say ” now listen here I come to renegotiate my $200K mortgage and I am not leaving here unless I can save a factor of 8 like the GOB and walk out with a saving of $1.6 million.”

    Anyhow assuming he don’t call the mental for me I will come back and let wunna know how i get through.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ John A

    Plse do not forget the Chinese dimension. Has the restructuring included any outstanding debt to the Chinese? If so, did the default trigger any penalty clauses the Chinese usually include in their lending agreements?
    Don’t forget, the DLP, especially Ms McClean, also has to answer these questions since they are the ones responsible for most of the debt agreements.
    We want transparency.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Hal

    Don’t worry that mix up in the $4B dollar saving somewhere. Lol

    We will never have all the data and as for full transparency that went out the window after elections.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ John A

    But the Chinese are not LIAT, if you default thy move in. Look at the Sri Lankan port which they took over on a 99 yr lease. Is Sam Lord’s up for grabs?

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Hal

    That question we asked but today no answer has been given.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Wily Coyote
    November 11, 2019 8:03 AM

    “@Walter
    WILY fully agrees with all you stated, just trying to add some limited clarification as government is trying very hard to cover this entire operation with a heavy vale(sic) which us difficult to see through.”

    Wily Coyote,
    Understood.
    I wasn’t trying to be hard on you. In a thinly veiled way, I was expressing my annoyance at the obvious attempts being made to keep critical information away from the public. These attempts only serve to arouse suspicion.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @John A

    Not 100% correct. The prime minister made fleeting mention of the status of Sam Lord’s project in her address to the BLP 81st Annual Conference.

    Like

  • @ John A

    Even if the Mottley government does not want to make public these agreements, why is the DLP so quiet. They can tell us what deals they have signed with China, including allowing male Chinese to stay on in Barbados.
    While we are at it, has legislation been passed allowing China-qualified doctors to practice in Barbados? If so, what about those qualified in Cuba?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Miller
    November 11, 2019 9:02 AM
    “The only reason why the current BLP administration would want to withhold information about loans and other liabilities not of its own making is if there is more in the WO mortar than just ‘advisory’ fees accruing to its principals only and without the medici Persuadie the card-dealing loan shark receiving his ‘cut’ of the deal.”

    Miller,
    Of course, you know that I cannot follow you down that crab-hole and impute improper motives on the part of any of the principals involved in this debt restructuring exercise.

    What I can do though is to express deep, deep sorrow and disappointment over Dr. Clyde Mascoll’s assertion that no Barbadian could do this work.

    You will note that White Oak is a COMPANY which was handpicked to do the calculations.
    We have Barbadian COMPANIES and INDIVIDUALS that can do these calculations. They were not invited to the table. They were not given a chance. Why not?

    Was Dr. Mascoll selling his soul and destroying his credibility in the process? Selling to whom? For what?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Poor countries must stop contracting global consultancy firms – IMF boss

    Magdalene Teiko Larnyoh
    01/29/2019

    IMF boss Christine Lagarde

    The IMF boss has said that poor countries must not contract global consultancy firms to write development strategies.
    Christine Lagarde argued that the countries did not have enough to contract such firms.
    She was speaking at an event on funding of sustainable development goals at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

    The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde has urged poor countries in the world to desist from using global consultancy firms to write development strategies.
    She was speaking at an event on funding of sustainable development goals at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.
    She criticised such global consultants asking the representatives of “the McKinseys and Boston Consulting Groups” and any other consultancy firms in the room to listen to her even as she made the uncomfortable comments about their work.
    “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 strategic 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.”
    She argued that the low-income and emerging-market economies must raise more revenue domestically and cut white elephant projects and corruption.
    She further indicated that the private sector must play an important role if poorer countries were to ever achieve the 17 development goals set by the UN.

    Source: Pulse Ghana

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David BU at 10 :34 AM.

    Is the source of your upload reliable?

    Like

  • John A
    November 11, 2019 9:13 AM
    “So list each one for these trouble makers like this fellow Walter.”

    John A,
    Your statement is pregnant with satire and sarcasm.

    However, far from being a trouble maker, I view myself as a problem solver.
    I am going to take this opportunity to give the Government of Barbados some free advice.

    Many third world countries are suffering from acute debt problems and would be interested in having their debt restructured. Simply from observing how the Government of Barbados has dealt with White Oak, we have seen how lucrative this debt restructuring exercise is, and how immensely valuable and marketable the needed financial skills are. Evidently, these skills are worth millions of dollars in foreign currency.

    I would recommend that the Government of Barbados immediately bring as much qualified Barbadians on board whilst this debt restructuring exercise is still going on so that they can gain valuable experience and exposure. After this particular debt restructuring exercise is over, the Government of Barbados can then use its power and authority to secure debt restructuring contracts from other developing countries.

    Instead of paying out much-needed foreign exchange, Barbados will be earning foreign exchange and building up our FOREX reserves. Instead of creating UK millionaires, the Government of Barbados will be creating Barbadian millionaires. Instead of creating jobs for people in the UK, the Government of Barbados will be creating jobs for Barbadians.

    This simple idea can help generate economic growth for Barbados. The IMF will undoubtedly approve.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Walter Blackman November 11, 2019 10:29 AM
    “You will note that White Oak is a COMPANY which was handpicked to do the calculations.
    We have Barbadian COMPANIES and INDIVIDUALS that can do these calculations. They were not invited to the table. They were not given a chance. Why not?”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Isn’t six half-dozen?

    You are using the mongoose hole to get at the snake in the crab hole.

    You are too long in the tooth not to know the road to financial heaven is paved with many stones made from consultancy fees underwritten by taxpayers.

    What’s the sense of having a Department of economics, finance and management at the UWI if the output from that institution cannot be exploited for the benefit of the country and wider region?

    Isn’t the MoF along with Dr. Mascoll fruits from that same tree of knowledge and expertise growing in a Cave on the Hill?

    Where is the return on the massive investment Bajan taxpayers have been forced to make in the UWI?

    Even you, W Mc M B, could have provided similar advice for less than 10% of cost of the WO & Co invoices covering consultancy fees the Bajan taxpayers will have to foot.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Walter

    Free advice! No man let me rush down by the reigista office and register a small business.

    We could be Dark Mahogany Financial Services Inc!

    You do the advising and I going do the invoicing.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Walter

    The truth is if I don’t turn to sarcasm and satire this whole thing will “vexify” me all over again.

    Days before the debate we tried our best to outline the information needed. We basically handed the opposition, for lack of a better word, the ammunition on a platter free of charge. They went into the house and the pastor main concern was some $3M agricultural loan.

    But the blame dont stop at the pastor. Neither of the 10 or so so-called other parties who begging for my vote could bother to pursue it either! The blame still don’t stop there, as the useless press didn’t want to touch it either. So my question is who the ass out there looking out for the public’s right to know?

    I tell wunna we in an unofficial one party state and you all say not true. Well stop and think again my friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  • John A,
    Dark Mahogany versus White Oak. Very imaginative and apt.
    We know that mahogany is better suited to the Caribbean. Yet the homeowner preferred Oak.

    Will we ever learn?
    “I doubt it.” said the Carpenter, And shed a bitter tear.

    LOL

    Miller
    Sometimes,I feel really ashamed to be a West Indian. I am extremely proud, however, to be a product of UWI.
    Nevertheless, your point needs no sharpening, and is well taken.
    Maybe, one of these days, things will change.
    Maybe.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @WB
    “when she thought it over afterwards it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural” [Alice]

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Northern Observer at 6:08 PM

    Et tu , NO?

    Like

  • @ Walter Blackman November 11, 2019 12:50 PM
    “Sometimes,I feel really ashamed to be a West Indian. I am extremely proud, however, to be a product of UWI.
    Nevertheless, your point needs no sharpening, and is well taken.
    Maybe, one of these days, things will change.
    Maybe.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    All Ryan and Marsha have to do is to make the calculations and spreadsheets supporting the $5 billion in savings available to the doubting Thomases the same way the Bajan Lord Jesus showed to the doubting disciple ‘His” stigmata.

    Or are they also walking around with these numerical justifications in their electronic briefcases in the same manner MAM walked around with her vast collection of evidence on the previous DLP administration’s corrupt practices and its blatant involvement in stark financial infelicities yet unknown to the Auditor General and where roads of collusion in the Cahill affair led to Skipper Stuart?

    Liked by 1 person

  • US prosecutors have accused King of being a key player in helping to conceal the massive Ponzi scheme carried out by billionaire and financier Allen Stanford.

    https://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/242636/head-extradited-us

    Liked by 1 person

  • Nonsense. Extraditing one of your own citizens to face charges in another jurisdictions for alleged offences committed in his own country. If the Americans have evidence of an alleged offence, then the trial should be held in Antigua.
    Germans, Israelis and Americans do not extradite their own citizens. Why do we?

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Hal at 7:19 PM

    Ah Hal, the long arm of the USA enforcement agencies. If we do not regulate ourselves, the vacuum will be filled by others. Independence.Power. Sovereignty. Wow!! Buzz words or reality? Perhaps we should add that to the list of vulnerabilities of Small Island States.

    Like

  • @HA
    I “believe” the accusations are for offenses committed in the USA.

    @VC
    Truthfully, It never crossed my mind until I read the WO contract. Even with a looking glass, I could never have come close to guessing at that contract value. Hence, my word to describe it, egregious.

    Liked by 1 person

  • The Financial Services Commission is not an organization that each individual country in the Caribbean sat down and decided to independently create on its own. One cannot help but conclude that this organization was imposed on these islands from outside (the economists would say that it was “exogenously determined”) after a financial meltdown had occurred (e.g Jamaica, Barbados after CLICO).

    We are reading here on BU, that despite the existence of the FSC, brazen efforts were allegedly made in Antigua by decision makers to abdicate their role, so that financial crimes could be committed, and money easily pocketed.

    “Pirates of the Caribbean” is a movie that will never end. We have too many stars and co-stars simply waiting for a producer and director to start a “thiefing” sequel.

    Should all of these “crooks” go untouched, or should God bless America?

    Liked by 1 person

  • A few commenters are conspicuously absent from this blog!

    Like

  • SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife

    Dear David: Can you please correct the headline to read

    “what ARE Barbadians”

    Thanks.

    Like

  • SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife

    @Hal on November 11 at 7:19 p.m.

    Even whild the countries mentiond do not extradite their own citizens, those same countries have laws in place which permit them to try their own citizens for crimes committed abroad.

    As our grannies told us

    “If ya say one, ya hafta say two”

    To translate: You must not tell half truths. You must always tell the whole truth.

    Our grandparents actually know right from wrong, and felt that doing right and speaking the whole truth was important.

    Like

  • SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife

    I’ve always wondered who besides White Oaks was benefiting from the deal.

    And I have never believed that there were no local or regional people or companies that could do the deal.

    I am praying for the beneficiaries.

    This White Oaks thingy will very likely cause me NOT to vote for the BLP in 2023.

    Simple Simon

    Just an old fashioned suspicious minded, bad minded Bajan

    Like

  • Nice to see you are not farming this morning. But, most countries that do not extradite their own citizens usually have laws in place for the accused to be charged in their home countries and the evidence presented in a court of law.
    But this is only if there is a similar law in the home country to that under which they are accused. Otherwise they are not charged. Remember the German hotelier who borrowed money in Barbados and ran off back to Europe; first to London, when Barbados tried to get him extradited for a measly Bds$15000. He got bail at Wimbledon magistrates’ court and fled to Germany where he was unreachable. Even the police involved in the case wanted to know what it was all about. He later married a London-born black woman.
    Where is the half truth or is this another version of the Bajan Condition?

    Like

  • @ SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife November 14, 2019 8:42 AM
    “I’ve always wondered who besides White Oaks was benefiting from the deal.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Simplistically Simple Simon, you are becoming smarter than the average BU guy.
    Soon you would be considered as one ‘uppity’ blogger who ought to be cut down and put back into your simply simple social shoes.

    Why don’t you get your “frenemy ” in London the loud mouth journalist fella with the Bajan NATO condition of ‘All Talk but No Action’ to ask his well-placed contacts on Canary Wharf to do a little investigative work on his behalf in order to make his lifelong ambition of becoming the prizewinning journalist of some Bajan Watergate affair become a reality before he kicks the bucket of the nonentities?

    Like

  • Simple Simon. You are WONDERING????!!!!!

    Like

  • Can anyone tell me how much money we were paying out every year and compare it with what he are going to be saving
    I don’t understand it

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Simple Simon

    Thanks for your feedback, you have assumed Barbadians have not been told many things? The blogmaster maybe if the view it is one thing we have not been told? Open to the best suggestion.

    Liked by 1 person

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