Open Letter to Financial Institutions – What is the COVID-19 Plan?


As the COVID-19 cripples world transportation, many areas will be severely affected…. these include Food, the opportunity to work & earn money, etc…… I would like our PM & her Government to engage the business sector/others and begin planning on methods to reduce the economic impact on the population:

  1. Banks, Credit Unions, etc. to reduce/suspend for a period of time, Loans/Mortgages/etc. payments
  2. Credit Card companies to do similar
  3. Food Importers, Supermarkets, etc. to NOT increase prices

and other transactions/processes that ordinary people have to bear daily. We are not asking to ‘wipe-off’ these agreements ……. just suspend them until (we hope) the virus is under-control and the World begins to get back to normal.

ks, BU commenter

The comment quoted connected with an online article Caribbean Banking Association Says It Can’t Be Business as Usual as Coronavirus Spreads the blogmaster read yesterday. The impact COVID-19 is having on the world spans the gamut – Italy on lock down to other countries  at various stages of executing a containment strategy. Unfortunately it translates to the global economy projected to slip into a ‘recession’. This is not good news for Barbados given the current state of the local economy. There will be some more pain Barbadians have to endure bearing in mind it is a country already suffering from economic fatigue.

Why should the comment by ks be of interest to all of us?

We are observing local financial institutions mobilizing to protect the health of staff and customers. A good thing all agree. What we have not heard so far – is how financial institutions plan to react to rising unemployment because of the economic slowdown. Global commentators are ominously forecasting that this recession will be worse than 2008. How will financial institutions commit to foregoing revenue to support economies like Barbados about to crash and burn?

Many businesses in Barbados are experiencing a significant drop off in sales, especially in the hospitality sector. If Barbados has to move to stage 2 and 3 of the Covod-19 disaster plan the situation will get worse. The ‘haircut’ Barbadians had to suffer  would have been in vain. Barbadian households and businesses will default on loans. The government does not have a Stabilization Fund like Trinidad and Tobago or the capacity to print money for stimulus like the USA.  The greenback is still considered the world’s reserve currency.

The question for the financial institutions in Barbados is –  What is the plan? We are in this together right?






315 thoughts on “Open Letter to Financial Institutions – What is the COVID-19 Plan?

  1. @ John A

    It took a pandemic and a three-hour speech to dump BERT. We have been saying BERT could not work for nearly two years.

    • BERT was dumped or is it a case of the pandemic necessitating a different economic plan. Try to be honest in debate if this is at all possible.

  2. How the mighty have fallen. Now, this existential threat, has put a lot of things into perspective. I swear, we should have a threat like this every once in a while, to jolt us from our slumber.

  3. Reality is starting to kick in, but they still believe the usual sleight of hand and slick tricks will work, good luck with that in these revealing times..

  4. @ Hal

    Yes we have and although it took corona to make some realise it, at least change has come.

    All said I think the MOF did a decent job on what she laid out. I would of liked to have seen the banks tied to more guarantees to protect the vulnerable, but as she said this could well only be stage 1.

    Her figures seemed fair too. I had figured as I said earlier here, if we went on without addressing the issue we would of lost about $200M in additional tax income. Her figures were between $160M to $240M on the high side. All in all I would say she didn’t hide the facts.

    Of course the proof will be in the delivery now of the policies in a timely manner.

  5. The majority of what is proposed is in BERT or as a result of BERT. Housing programme, buses, planning gain, school repairs, Fairchild Street market upgrade, roads, new industrial policy, QEH upgrade, mains repair etc. Covid has allowed projects to be accelerated, that’s all. Imagine if there was no debt restructure? The one that was supposed to end in tears? Wuh I tell wunna y’day, look out for vacillation.

  6. @ David.

    I would put it simply by saying the corona plan is everything the BERT plan was not. Bert was about austerity and this one is about stimulus.

    Simply put one was a brake pedal and the other an accelerator pedal.

  7. Don’t care how wellintentioned the advice or how nicelyput, with or without the cuss wordsm those leaders never listen and could very well be walking around infecting everyone.

    “Alan Emptage

    I seldom get involved in Barbados governance and politics, for many reasons.

    First of all I don’t follow them closely enough to be deeply informed to the issues. The personalities involved, the sometimes extensive histories, the personal relationships all figure much more significantly in a country of 280,000 people where you’re lucky to have two degrees of separation, far less six, and zero is the norm amongst the political, professional and business elites.

    Secondly having a life that straddles Barbados and the US, I’m often not as directly affected by the consequences of many of the policy decisions that are being made.

    Thirdly, because of my public visibility, what I say may have a larger impact than your average citizen.

    So I keep my head down and and carry on.

    But this pandemic is probably going to be the most major disruption in our basic ways of life that any of us are going to experience.

    This virus affects the health and well-being of each and every one of us, our friends and our loved ones and so, even though this is not my area of expertise, I’m going to speak up here.

    First of all, I want to make clear that I truly believe that every one of our policy makers is absolutely acting in good faith and that they are sincerely trying to do their best and do what’s best for the country. They have been open and transparent and have been proactive in putting plans in place for an eventual, inevitable COVID outbreak on the island and they are to be commended for that.

    Personally, I believe that it’s highly likely that we already have community transmission of the virus in the island. Statistically it’s hard to see how we don’t and it would follow the pattern that we have seen so many other places, like Seattle where it spread under the radar for 6 weeks before anybody noticed.

    The fact that we are not testing on a large scale means that we are really blind to the true nature of the extent of the virus on the island.

    But even if we are, against all odds, lucky and it’s not here WE SHOULD BE ACTING AS IF IT IS. For one because it will come to that eventually and we had better get in the habit, and two because the consequences of assuming it’s not here and being wrong are vastly worse than assuming it is here and being wrong. Unfortunately it seems as many are indeed acting as if it really isn’t here, and circulating.

    Under these circumstances SOCIAL DISTANCING IS THE ONLY EFFECTIVE MEANS to slow the spread of the disease and prevent overwhelming our limited healthcare resources.

    Actions speak louder than words and I am very concerned that the powers-that-be are saying one thing and, by their acts doing another.

    For example, a few days ago the Ministry of Health proposed a physical meeting of all the teachers on the island in an auditorium. I don’t know the exact number of people, but let’s say 2,000. So while attempting encourage a message of “social distancing” they proposed a very large meeting in one place comprising of people who, by the very nature of their profession are in close physical contact with dozens, if not hundreds of others every day – who will then go back to their homes and spread anything they have picked up at school to their families. Exploding any transmissible virus in one easy step.

    This can only be called anti-Social Distancing on a large scale.

    Ultimately, due to pushback, the meeting was moved online, where it should have been in the first place. The very fact that a physical meeting was proposed demonstrates to me that the government hasn’t truly absorbed the message itself.

    A second example was just yesterday at the COVID update press conference. Once again not only were highest level members of the government packed into a small, enclosed space, but there were there with over a dozen members of the press.

    What if ONE PERSON in that room was infected? It’s not outside the realm of possibility. It would mean that the Prime Minister, the Chief Medical Officer, the head of the Port, the Minister of Tourism – all vital elements in the machinery to protect us against this pandemic – are now potentially infected.

    We have seen it in the governments of Iran, in the state of Georgia, in Brazil. How many warnings are we going to ignore?

    Yes, I understand that having the major policy makers show solidarity up on stage is very important to provide reassurance.

    But other than those technicians essential to the broadcast, there was NO need to have the members of the press – or anybody else – personally present. They could have just as easily asked their questions over the phone or video conference.

    It is VITAL that we take social distancing seriously if we are to avoid the mistakes of Italy, Spain and the others who are going through pandemic hell right now.

    This disease requires us to rewrite the Social Contract of how we interact with each other. Hopefully temporarily, but certainly for the indefinite future.

    And those of us in the public eye have a profound responsibility to lead by example.

    That has to start at the top with the message that this is now our BEST HOPE for slowing the spread of this disease.”

  8. This is where Mia and i will always diverge….the PEOPLE WERE SUFFERING BEFORE COV-19, the current situation is just making it that much worse…. the suffering is really because of BERT…and PARTICULARLY because the treasury and pension fund WERE ROBBED BILLIONS OF DOLLARS….and because ya wont listen.

    so instead of running to IMF…crying buckets of crocodile tears….RELEASE THE GODDAMN MARIJUANA TO THE MAJORITY POPULATION…..instead of trying to lock the black population up because ya
    don’t like what they are saying, because ya like to criminalize and reduce ya own people to BEGGARS, because ya alwats want to see them as low paid slave workers in UK battling racism and struggling to survive or because ya dont want to see ya own people ..PROSPEROUS WEALTHY, FREE and INDEPENDENT of the minoriy parasites..

    ….ya had nearly 2 YEARS to find other even better and SAFER sources of income outside the dependency tourism to benefit the people and ya refused to even look for better ways….

    Ironically Covid is doing a damn fine job of exposing the government incompetence in the most important areas..

    ….ya successfully built the straw that will break the camel’s back.

  9. A true statementbthat we have been saying BEFORE Covid…but ya had countless opportunities to do right by the people and ya refused, you much prefer KEEP THEM IN BONDAGE…because ya made a contract that anyone can access….with the corrupt minorities to criminalize and lock them up.

    Don’t you think if alyuh did not TIEF SO MUCH…the island could never be in this so6rry state….with the people so HELPLESS…just how you want to keep them.

    “However, she quickly pointed out that “there is no glory in hitting targets and people are suffering”

    Adding that she expected about 60 per cent of the island to “carry the weight” in the medium term as the island continues to feel the economic impact of COVID-19, and with the hurricane season around the corner, Mottley said she already informed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) the country “can no longer run a six per cent primary surplus”.

    “Not with the level of suffering that is going to ensue or the implosion on our revenues that we are likely to see,” said Mottley.”

  10. @ John A

    The other radical departure has largely gone unnoticed, that is the decision to trade in the oil futures market. I have called for derivative trading for years, and to an audience who largely does not understand, it became like a foreign language.
    If the president has given the oil company the authority to trade in oil derivatives, why not all our key imports? Such a move will free up money (you do not have to pay for hedging immediately), allows us to plan our current account liabilities and that money can be used more usefully, for example, by establishing a balance sheet post office bank.
    As to BERT and BEST, it is best to ignore such silly arguments. You have rightly pointed out one was an austerity policy, the other a fiscal stimulus, two opposites.
    Amazingly, in the middle of a speech addressing a terrified nation, the president still talked about the BTMI marketing to the same old markets for more tourists. I have said she and her team do not understand the extent of the crisis, and that alone was proof. ||In case she does not understand, the coronavirus crisis will change the way we live from now on. It will not be business as usual, and that includes long-haul tourism.
    Importantly also is that the nation is not yet prepared for the coronavirus, as the Budget speech included allocations for equipment and facilities. There is still not a proper tasks force, apart from having the minister and the acting CMO preaching to the public, or more accurately relaying information got from the WHO and dredged from the CDC web site.
    The president even admitted that we have paid for, but not yet received, vital clothing and equipment. So, how about the our frontline workers: nurses who leave work to go shopping, travel on public transport, visit friends and relatives?
    Do we have epidemiologists working on the mathematical likelihood of contamination, or are we playing it by ear? Why have we not co-opted scientists (rather than doctors) on to the task force, people such as @Robert Lucas?
    Finally, the speech was too long and at key points rambling. She should have separated the pandemic response from the wider one on the Estimates. Thursday was when she should have addressed the coronavirus crisis.

  11. They are not going to give up dependency tourism, they much prefer prop up and support the few who benefit from it in any meaningful way and the island never sees that real benefits anyway because it remains we have been saying for years, it should be a side hustle only bringing in additional income to pay workers and overheads as it has always done..but NOT the main money earner because seeing that it was around for over 100 years and tiefing politicians aside…the island STILL CANNOT PAY IT’S BILLS ..neither can it EMPOWER THE MAJORITY POPULATION…..or the island would not be so structurally degraded and the population being very gradually but steadily reduced to poverty. All it really successfully does is keep the people IN BONDAGE.

    But if they think they are crying now…wait until they see what is about to unfold before their very eyes. These nations HAVE CUSHIONS and can print money at will, but that will never stop the collapse if they cant get Covid under control.

    Barbados governments made their beds now let them lay in it…..Mia LET GO THE MARIJUANA or feel the consequences..if it was just you parasites alone, i really wont care, but innocent people in every group on the island will pay the price and not only the Black population as you jackasses are hoping and praying.

    “Bank of America says the recession is already here: ‘Jobs will be lost, wealth will be destroyed’
    PUBLISHED THU, MAR 19 2020 7:46 AM EDT
    UPDATED THU, MAR 19 2020 4:10 PM EDT
    Pippa Stevens

    “We are officially declaring that the economy has fallen into a recession … joining the rest of the world, and it is a deep plunge,” Bank of America said in a note to clients Thursday.

    “Jobs will be lost, wealth will be destroyed and confidence depressed,” the firm added.

    Bank of America warned investors on Thursday that a coronavirus-induced recession is no longer avoidable — it’s already here.

    “We are officially declaring that the economy has fallen into a recession … joining the rest of the world, and it is a deep plunge,” Bank of America U.S. economist Michelle Meyer wrote in a note. “Jobs will be lost, wealth will be destroyed and confidence depressed.”

  12. The only valid option for the tourist trade in Barbados rests with the local natives. The international tourist trade is to all intent and purposes (99.999 percent) dead in the water. The hoteliers based in Barbados over the last twenty – thirty years have done there level best to block and discourage access to the beach to the locals; and have discouraged local entrepreneurs from making a living from the tourist industry.

    How ironic that an industry that has shown contempt to the majority population is now dependent on 250,000 darkies to keep them in business. Karma is a bitch!

  13. @ TLSN

    It looks as if Weatherhead is a power-drunk Redleg. So a crime against a tourist is worse than one against a native person? A tourist’s (white?) life is more valuable than a native (black?) life.
    Is this a party policy, or just an idea from a demented mind? But this is Barbados and it is going back to our long social history. Just have a look at cricket, the nation’s favourite game, and the history of our leading clubs and you see the point I am making.

  14. Will bet that all the long sweet talk about agriculture planning
    That most fiscal support would be given to the tourist section
    Reason being that govt would still be approaching the economic wheels of barbados economy out of fear and seeing tourism as a faster built in financial mechanism to creating jobs
    So yes stimulus pkgs are necessary
    But it would take a govt with great balls to give a bold faced measure of fiscal support long term to the agriculture industry in an extended global community which will still exist where the major players have already invested millions of dollars and food prices would remain cheaper than homegrown prices
    The experiment of having a global community attached to a food supply chains has failed but one can best believe that with proper planning within time all bets would be on as to which country within the northern hemisphere can be best relied upon in times of crisis for easily and available food supply which includes farming right now all eyes are on Mexico
    I belive that Caricom was given a window of opportunity to build and work hand in hand amongst itself building a reliable structure of goodwill and team work that can show the world that the Carribbean people can work together hand in hand and punch above its weight

  15. @ Mariposa

    Well said. The other issue is allowing households to go back to raising their own poultry and animals – chickens, ducks, turkeys, pigs, sheep, etc. This will reduce our dependence on imported foodstuff and reduce our debt. Or do we still prefer buying our eggs from Massy’s?

  16. Doctors in Italy are dying; the nation is importing doctors from Cuba (the very Cuba that the medical authorities in Barbados say are not properly trained and qualified).

  17. Unless the Carribbean basin can find a way to work together as a economic group the basin would always find itself staring like deers in the headlight in times of crisis and always depending on the financial International agencies to show us the way forward
    BERT failure was inevitable it was only giving a hard push by Corona
    Fact being it was to top.loaded and fiscally grinding for a small nation
    The way forward will now be dependable on a mindset driven by morals and ethics and not political rules that have kept small nations divided
    One nation and a people inseparable a theme and a messages which hinges on how small nations come together dig themselves out of this crisis
    Mia long speech was a repeat of more of the same which was heard after 911

  18. @ bajan in NY

    We are still in an IMF program for sure but they have allowed us because of corona to ease the rate of austerity and instead implement what was always needed, which is a stimulus package. What the MOF outlined last night was a clear removal from the BERT approach to what is now a stimulus approach. If we can weather the outbreak and this package stays in place, we may well see growth in the future. Also if we do put agriculture on the front burner and the 700 acres of land are rushed into production, that too is a plus for us going forward.

  19. @ Hal

    I agree going to the derivatives with oil at $30 a barrel was a good move. Hopefully these savings will be passed on to us and not all used to prop up a revenue shortfall.

  20. Heard a lot about rebuilding the agriculture sector and planting more food
    Barbados has gone down that road before and the talk of having a large labour force to deliver on the promise has always been the stumbling block
    Again on the reality of a shortage of food supply and the rebuilding of the agricultural sector
    The question which would be most asked where would barbados get the Labour force which can fast forward the agriculture sector in a timely fashion to supply the growing demand for food

  21. @ David.

    The hotel and restaurants along with related services will bear the brunt of the blow initially. That will be followed by the retail and service suppliers to the tourism industry.

    Our challenge will come because too much of our economic activity feeds off of tourism either directly or indirectly. The point the MOF mentioned last night about even after the virus we have to weather the lull that will be there before people start travelling, is also a vaild point. What she is saying is that even after the virus falls off we may have a period of time to wait until our occupancy rate returns. To be reasonable I believe we in this to December.

    • @John A

      Restating a position- what are the options to generate a level of GDP contribution to replace a weaning from tourism?


  22. Problem for Barbados is that after the pandemic ends, people will be supporting their own countries.

    There will be a few months of staycations and cross country vacations.

    Tourism in Barbados could be a “write off ” until 2021.

  23. @ David.

    I see the first priority as the MOF package outlined is to support the loss in tourism revenue by stimulating more activity like agriculture. What we must aim to do is ease the effect of the fall in FX receipts from tourism by reducing our demand on FX for imported food items etc. The actual growth this year will probably be zero or minus say 2%. The question that this raises though is this. Is it better to have no growth and stimulate local agriculture and economic activity or to have growth of 1% based on import driven activity?

    Are we entering a new way of looking at growth based on how it is arrived at?

    Is 0.5% growth say driven by import substitution better than a 2% growth driven by importing foreign made goods? In other words is the 0.5% driven by local activity worth more to us as a people than the 2%, where mainly suppliers from China and other countries benefit?

    Just throwing out food for thought.

    • @Hants

      No and No.

      The traditional economic model many islands in Caribbean rely on will be hard to replace for several reasons discussed on BU pages.

  24. I have always been a supporter of ” Agriculture for food security “.

    I will leave it to others to suggest other ways to a sustainable prosperity for Barbados.

    • It is encouraging to read the MOA reassure Bajans in the press this morning that the island should be able to satisfy certain vegetable production in this period of threatened food supply.

  25. @ David,
    Has anyone come up with a comprehensive plan to replace Tourism ?.(Quote)

    No. Tourism dominates our mindset. But there have been a number of recommendations and examples we can follow. Look at some countries outside the Caribbean. With tourism and other related services, such as offshore, we do not have to think. Why think, when you can be abusive?

  26. Univariate vs multivariate

    The conclusion is that tourism will fall off and then increase later in the year.

    A few steps along the way are: lay-offs, increasing hardships and crime, stress on organizations that helps the needy, loss of motivation by workers and citizens … It is more than having new/different numbers.

    We should hope for the best, but we need to be honest with each other

  27. “How ironic that an industry that has shown contempt to the majority population is now dependent on 250,000 darkies to keep them in business. Karma is a bitch!”

    they deserve to sink and drown, never to recover.

    Those who have european/UK ancestry can immigrate to the UK and plant food on a farm, they are asking people to help plant food.

    …. the minorities/hoteliers in Barbados and their children and grandchildren need real employment. I keep telling them that living off the backs of Black people is not a real job.

  28. Reality says it would be hard to replace tourism with agriculture
    Factors embedded are politics in small island nations
    Labour force which hinges on immigration policies as well as politics and wages
    Ongoing concern of drought

  29. @Hants March 21, 2020 10:50 AM

    Lay-offs everywhere and this? The only reason the farmers want them is because they pay them less. Take a bunch of UI recipients and now the Feds only need to pay the difference? When the welfare state bares its botsy.

    • 911 changed how we travel across borders.

      Covid-19 is shaping up to do the same. Entrenched attitudes and mindsets will change win order to survive.

      Bear in mind the scientists are not on top of covid 19 as yet.

  30. @Hants
    allow me to interpret for you…
    ““These men that come in from Jamaica are highly trained. They know their work. We have had some people offer to help and it’s much appreciated but typically people come with the wrong set of skills,” Thwaites said”
    Interpretation? The workers we import know how to do the job AND we pay them less than going rate. We COULD train others, but that takes our time and effort and we are required by law to pay them more.
    You mean that among 1,000,000 unemployed Canadians drawing UI; they cannot find 100 who ‘have the skills’? Betchya you and I could learn to prune fruit trees in 2 days?

  31. @NO & Hants

    In the follow up to the PM’s Press Conference today the Minister of Agriculture said that there are 60,000 seasonal farm jobs across Canada and the Gov’t is allowing farm workers in as long as they serve the 14 day quarantine period.
    BTW Mexicans make up the majority of those workers.

  32. DavidMarch 21, 2020 9:51 AM

    How about all those workers about to lose their jobs.

    What about them
    Are u inferring that this group mostly in govt jobs or tourism would be schooled fast enough to go into farming and other areas of agriculture to make a huge economic difference for barbados economy
    Are u for real
    All this long talk about rebuilding the agriculture industry is simply to massage the intelligence of barbadians now looking for hope as they see before their eyes hopelessness in a broken food supply chain worldwide
    The hardened questions which remains unanswered for agriculture to blossom lies in a sorry state of political affairs across the Carribbean basin once described by Barrow as having tin horned dictators as leaders having no knowledge or ability to understand that unification can create world power

    • What will they do if the tourist sector ceases to exist as we know it?

      Necessity is the mother of what?

  33. @ Enuff March 20, 2020 10:33 PM

    Please send the police for a message to those commentators on BU who are talking about a virological holocaust on the island. According to my information, the virus will not be able to spread substantially in the tropics. We just have to be careful not to get too many imported cases. As far as the government’s policy on the medical side is concerned, it has my full support. Barbados, with its effective but moderate measures, has not decoupled itself from international traffic like other islands.

    However, we should discuss the local entitlement mentality while enjoying a corona beer in the swimming pool. I don’t know what planet the SSA workers are living on when they demand a wage increase. Even raising civil servants’ salaries by five percent was totally wrong. Workers in Barbados are too expensive relative to productivity.

    The government should make the financially uneducated masses understand that we expect zero growth by 2030. Unless we finally devalue the Barbados dollar and adjust its value to local productivity. A political compromise would be 1:5, although 1:10 is more in line with economic reality.

    I am, of course, aware that the government can hardly act here, as such a sensible economic policy encounters massive resistance from the indigenous masses. Barrow has educated the local population in the false belief that blind nationalism is better than economic rationality. In the end, therefore, I am naturally not blaming the government for the current economic course, but large sections of the population infected by a kind of virus called Barrow welfare mentality.

  34. Tron has always believed that we need fewer civil servants and academics, but more craftsmen and farmers. There is no shame in working on the plantation from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. This change will radically reduce the number of overweight people with type 2 diabetes. I will soon set an example and instruct my gardeners to plant more coconut trees on my property.

    Every crisis is also an opportunity. Our government is currently doing everything right.

  35. @Sarge
    Yes at least they speak Spanish. More and more from Latin America. Good jobs in the summer resorts, who seem to like the Lucians and SVG folks. A second language is a plus.

  36. Northern,

    I think people here are not quite aware of what a return to an agricultural society means. The standard of living will drop significantly. Instead of SUVs and monthly shopping in Miami, it’s back to the chattle house and donkey cart.
    At least the labour force will be cheap again.

    Barbados therefore has no choice but to continue to rely on the pillars of tax haven and tourism.

  37. I have no pity for wall street, let them crash and burn. Over the years, since the great recession, they us cheap QE money to buy back shares ( to artificially inflate their stock price) and pay generous dividend to investors. Now, they looking for government to bail them out again. Talk about welfare and socialism. Hypocrites. Privatise the profits when times are good, but socialise the loss, when times get bad.

  38. In order or us to decoupe from this system of dependency on the import front, we must first withdraw from WTO. I said over and over again, that their is enough land in Belize, Guyana, and Suriname combined to more than feed CARICOM countries with the basic staples.

  39. Forty,

    Imagine the following dystopia:

    “The popular cry was that we need local production. So the government sent 50 percent of the civil servants and academics back to the plantations to grow potatoes and herd the pigs. As some citizens opposed to the measures, the government reactivated certain old 18th century laws at the request of the people. COW and Bizzy provided the farmland and supervised the new day laborers. Both of them already had a lot of experience with this, for example with Apes Hill Plantation. The military made sure that the day labourers actually stayed on the plantation and worked there from Monday to Saturday. After all, Barbados once again became an important exporter of sugar cane and tropical fruits, as it had been in the 1950s. The standard of living subsequently dropped by 75 percent. Tourists came to Barbados in the following period to experience once in real time the living conditions of the black masses in the 18th century.”

    Should we really replace the mediocre money bringers called offshore financial industry and tourism with a return to the plantation?

  40. @ Tron March 22, 2020 10:45 AM

    One must admit that you do possess a vividly fertile imagination.

    But there could be contained therein some nuggets of prescient wisdom.

    For there is a saying that “what goes around comes around”; or put in more ecclesiastic language, ‘there is nothing new under the Sun’.

    But we ought to look at the bright side of the wheel of economic fortune(s) as the clock of progress is set back to shock black people out of their slumber and bring them into the light of reality.

    Here is the golden opportunity for the black leaders and policymakers to refashion the broken economy in the image of a Marcus Garvey.

    The poor and dispossessed have nothing more to lose in this crisis.

    Likewise, the young black entrepreneurs have the ‘last’ chance to create the opportunities for the future direction of the Bajan economy in serving the interests of the black majority.

    Let the policymakers get off their blackened backsides to prepare and roll the Covid-damaged wicket by starting with the refusal to allow the importation of new luxury-class vehicles, those are powered by ICE and those functioning as used or second-hand asthma dispensers whose importation is mainly controlled by those whose economic and commercial interests are at variance with the country’s long-term development.

    Barbados does NOT need any more vehicles unsuited to its landscape and inimical to its economic survival and the physical wellbeing of its already challenged population.

  41. Miller,

    once again you have recognized that my exaggerations have a rhetorical and pedagogical purpose. LOL.

    Of course, not everyone should work in agriculture. We don’t want to go back to the manual labor of slavery, which was extremely inefficient. If we are going to get more involved in agriculture, we must do so at industrial level. But the machinery must be locally produced and easy to maintain. You know that the locals have problems with maintenance…

    We should also rely more on local materials and products when building houses.

    In any case, it’s a fact that the island has become increasingly Americanized since the 1990s: The many fat people. The many pickups and SUVs. The many fast food chains. None of this is vital and must stop immediately. Cutting costs here means progress.

    One thing is certain: the expansion of agriculture will certainly not be a driver of growth and will not ensure great prosperity. Otherwise, Guyana would have to have been a prosperous nation for twenty years.

  42. A thought provoking article on the ups and downs to shutting a country down.

    COLUMN-Coronavirus confronts decision-makers with a terrible trade-off: Kemp
    By John Kemp
    18-Mar-2020 15:27:48
    John Kemp is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own

    LONDON, March 18 (Reuters) – At the heart of responses to coronavirus is a terrible trade-off between maximising social distancing measures to suppress the disease and the need to maintain some sense of normal economic activity.

    Extreme social distancing can reduce the number of infections and deaths by reducing the person-to-person interactions necessary for the transmission of the disease, but only an extremely high economic cost.

    Business-as-usual, with limited interventions such as handwashing and self-isolation, can to keep food, essential services and the rest of the economy going, but only at the cost of a large number of infections and deaths.

    First in China, and now around the rest of the world, policymakers have been confronted with the same appalling trade off, from which there are no good outcomes, only choices between lesser evils.

    China’s experience with locking down the province of Hubei and implementing a prolonged holiday from normal business seems to show extreme social distancing can bring an epidemic under control.

    But the experience suggests economic costs are high, with the supply chain pushed close to breakdown, and could only be maintained for a short period before pressure to restart the economy became overwhelming.

    At the other extreme, Italy’s early experience suggests uncontrolled transmission overwhelmed the healthcare system leading to a surge in deaths, and forced the government to introduce a nationwide lock down to arrest the rising death toll.

    As the epidemic has spread around the world and infected more people, governments have struggled to identify a strategy that is politically, medically and economically sustainable, with policy oscillating as costs increase in various dimensions.


    In Britain, the government’s initial strategy was to mitigate transmission through the population, flattening the peak and maintaining hospitalisation and intensive care rates within system limits.

    The objective was to manage the case rate until the epidemic burnt itself out naturally, when enough of the population had been exposed that herd immunity had been achieved.

    Policymakers abruptly reversed course when new epidemic modelling suggested the mitigation strategy would still overwhelm the capacity of the healthcare system and lead to 250,000 or more deaths.

    So, the most recent policy focuses on extreme social distancing with the objective of suppressing the epidemic rather than simply mitigating it.

    The switch was prompted by epidemic modelling from Imperial College London (“Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions to reduce COVID19 mortality and healthcare demand”, March 16).

    But as the authors of the study note, “suppression, while successful to date in China and South Korea, carries with it enormous social and economic costs.”

    Such costs may be feasible in the very short term for a few weeks or a month, but become much more significant if extreme social distancing measures have to be maintained for longer periods.

    In the Imperial College study, the authors considered social distancing the entire population combined with case isolation and household quarantine and possibly school/university closure for five months.

    But the epidemic risks flaring up again once controls are relaxed. The authors acknowledge intensive restrictions on social contacts might have to be repeatedly reintroduced for an 18-month period.

    Extreme social distancing measures might need to be in place two-thirds of the time until near the end of 2021, until either herd immunity has been achieved naturally or a vaccine is available.


    In most major economies, including Britain, the United States, China and the European Union, government strategy has now shifted to suppression.

    But the enormous economic costs are being reflected in the sharp drop in equity market valuations and other risk assets.

    Suppression has brought much of the passenger aviation, tourism, public transportation, retail, restaurant, entertainment, personal services and other industries to a near complete halt.

    Suppression also threatens the manufacturing and distribution systems and their ability to keep moving food and other items to consumers.

    The sudden stoppage threatens sales, wages, rent and tax payments, with a cascade effect that will spread even to those parts of the economy not subject to formal shutdown.

    It has no parallel since the Second World War, except perhaps for the few days in the immediate aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Centre in September 2001.


    In response, monetary policymakers have cut interest rates to zero, injected large volumes of liquidity, and promised forbearance on debts and other liabilities.

    On the fiscal side, governments have pledged large tax cuts and/or increases in public spending, including transfer payments to individuals and businesses, to counter the economic crisis.

    So far, most monetary and fiscal measures have done little to restore confidence, with equity prices and other risk assets continuing to slide amid a sustained flight to safety.

    But monetary and fiscal stimulus can do little to sustain or revive business activity that has been shut down for non-economic reasons.

    At best, policymakers can socialise losses, spreading concentrated losses suffered by the worst affected businesses and individuals and sharing them more widely across society.

    Interest rate cuts spread losses among the most heavily indebted borrowers to savers. Transfer payments spread losses from the worst affected businesses and individuals to taxpayers as a whole.

    Loss-sharing is a conventional response for societies facing catastrophic costs, normally through commercial insurance in the first instance but ultimately through the fiscal and monetary systems.

    But loss sharing cannot make the costs go away. Shutting down large parts of the economy for much of the next 18 months will have enormous costs which is weighing heavily on financial markets.

    In that sense, the fall in equity values and oil prices is entirely rational, reflecting the current assumption business activity will be severely reduced for at least five months and perhaps as much as two years.

    As the full economic costs of suppression come into focus, it is possible policymakers will refine strategy further, leading to a blended strategy between suppression and mitigation, social distancing and business as usual.

    In most cases, when confronted with an uncomfortable trade-off, decision-makers ultimately choose a middle course, rather than one of the extremes.

    As they weigh up health and economic costs, policymakers may ultimately move to a strategy that mixes elements of suppression and mitigation, that tries to limit transmission and deaths, while re-opening parts of the economy to minimise the financial and social fallout.

    (Editing by Toby Chopra)

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  43. Mia was dealt a tough hand and played it (I believe) in a masterful way.

    Some were suggesting that she took the easy way out and close down everything. But Mia demonstrated courage and determination when she maintained her own course.

    It is doubtful that if she acted on the advice of Mariposa then we would have avoided the introduction of the virus to Barbados.

    It is clear that if she not stood resolute and strong in the face of constant condemnation/criticism then she would have panicked the entire nation.

    One cannot accuse me of being her fan, but I believe she has successfully demonstrated what leadership means.

    Let’s give her our support. Let’s hope Barbados weathers this storm with the minimum of damage.

  44. Sorry i see this virus entirely different
    I weigh the difference between comprising the health of people and the economic health of a nation in times of a health crisis
    The results should be one of whether the end justify the means
    By all means the economic health of a nation is very important as it lends to stability
    However what good is the result if the health of the people the economic wheels which helps to drive the economy is no longer functional
    Take China a clear example of placing China economy head over heels the health of the people and what is the result a whole world suffers
    The same analogy can be said of Mia who took the path of protecting one sector based of economic support whilst the health of the people remained comprised
    Even though the jury is still out on Mia decision one just have to look at china results because of their arrogrance in not understanding that the people play a much better importance in driving their economy
    The virus takes control the people becomes sick and China buckles
    Go figure

  45. Stop blaming China. You are playing Trump’s fascist game. Of greater importance: 5000 Italian healthcare workers have been infected. Are our frontline workers equipped with the right gear?

  46. @ TheOGazerts March 22, 2020 4:04 PM

    I’m glad to hear that you have joined our team, the Red Knights of Ren. The true greatness of great leaders only becomes apparent in the crisis. If our leader should succeed in navigating Barbados safely between the monsters Corona and IMF, we should proclaim her the new national heroine instead of Barrow. Of course, she should then find her place on the $50 bill instead of Barrow.

    We must trust Goddess Bim and the ancient Gods. As soon as the crisis in China and in the West is resolved to some extent, these countries will help the South. It’s in their own best interests.

    In fact, Barbados is now cut off from passenger travel. But we still have free movement of goods and capital, without which we would die in three months.

    And Barbados has gained a great amount of trust in the international community. All the other islands have closed down in an overreaction of panic. But Barbados has enabled tens of thousands of people to travel home from ships and surrounding islands. People, airlines and tourism companies will not forget this. In the future, tourists from the North will think very carefully about whether they want to spend their holidays in Tobago or St. Vincent, or whether they would prefer to stay in Barbados.

    Better an expensive holiday in Barbados than a cheap holiday on the Trixidad Islands, which you will only leave in a body bag at the end. In future, tourists will have to decide whether they want to spend a safe holiday on our island, Switzerland of the Caribbean, or among wild tribes.

  47. For the retarded government…NO…the economy does not come first in a global pandemic.

    Healthy food for the people, healthcare and EMPOWERING YOUR PEOPLE…comes first. It’s time to RESET from dependency…

    “Coronavirus has shattered the myth that the economy must come first
    Adam Tooze

    Since the 1990s, faith in ‘the market’ has gone unchallenged. Now even public shopping has become a crime against society

    The coronavirus shutdown of 2020 is perhaps the most remarkable interruption to ordinary life in modern history. It has been spoken about as a war. And one is reminded of the stories told of the interruption of normality in 1914 and 1939. But unlike a war, the present moment involves demobilisation not mobilisation. While the hospitals are on full alert, the majority of us are confined to quarters. We are deliberately inducing one of the most severe recessions ever seen. In so doing we are driving another nail into the coffin of one of the great platitudes of the late 20th century: it’s the economy stupid.”

  48. The people of barbados have in the past two years paid a heavy financial price in their role of helping to place barbados on a path of economic recovery
    Hard for me to endorse a path which has placed barbadians health on a dangerous path to secure and protect barbados economy
    The only thing which matters is putting barbadians first
    The govt says that 1.5billion is in reserves
    Those reserves are not meant to be sanctimonious.
    There is a moral and ethical persuasion which should convince the powers (that be) that the large amount of money being hoarded should be used in times of a serious health crisis for the benefit of people
    Using the people as pawns to secure the economic health of a nation is morally wrong
    Some body needs to read literature on a pure guide to ethics and morals in times of crisis

  49. Mariposa,

    How mentally challenged are you? I almost think it’s Chris “Decimals” Sinckler writing. Most of the money must be paid back to the IMF and other international institutions.

    Besides: without reserves we end up very quickly at an exchange rate of 1:10 to 1:200 as in Guyana. Without buffers no more 1:2 peg to the US dollar. The angry and hungry mob would cut your wedding ring (if you have one) off your finger to get gold and rip out your gold crowns. Even Tron pleads only for controlled devaluation.

  50. That is the problem with Uncle Toms they rather hurt there own people than their white slave masters
    Rather see their people drop dead to save the fortunes of their white slave masters
    The only thing that has changed since slavery is that the chains which bound hands and feet have been removed
    However the Uncle Toms like Tron are alive and well doing the slavemasters bidding
    That a boy Tron
    Mariposa speaks of morals and ethics in times of crisis
    Tron speaks of protecting the wealth of the rich
    Fuh real u need putting in a barrell and giving a ride over Niagara falls

  51. Mariposa,

    If we run out of currency reserves, there won’t be just a dozen corona deaths. Then many people will starve and at least a hundred thousand Barbadians will emigrate. Barbados will look like Guyana without the oil, of course.

    Stop stirring up the population against the government and creating panic.

  52. Who say anything about runing out of currency
    Just another excuse to protect the wealth of the rich
    U couldn’t wait to jump both feet head and hands to raise a hullabaloo to defend the 1.5billion part of which hard working barbadians put in
    The truth lies in what is important for the people in times of crisis .
    But then again u like Mia only see the rich as the rightful owners of the dollar bill and people well being be damn

    • Verla has endorsed the governments handling of the pandemic so far for the most part. This is not a time to play politics.

      Small minds tend to attack people at the expense of ideas.

  53. In a democracy all has a right to agree or disagree
    Mariposa has not followed Verla response
    Be that as it may Mariposa does not go along to get along where i see a moral and ethical wrong i response accordingly
    After the horse has bolted is not what i see as preventive measures
    The airlines has made a decision to protect its crew
    A decision which is morally and ethically right despite the fact they will lose billions of dollars
    Mia still grabbing at the dollar in spite of knowing that the virus is highly contagious and persons tested positive on the island are have known to come from countries affected with the virus
    Thank God that the major airlines have made a decision which would make way for closing our airport as all flights cease
    Just a matter of time

  54. Depending on who is behind this latest scam on earth, they will just ignore the concerns of the scientists…there is more danger out there than people know…it’s not corona alone.

    “Arthur Firstenberg writes:

    Wireless Radiation: Stop The 5G Network On Earth And In Space, Devastating Impacts On Health And The Environment
    To the UN, WHO, EU, Council of Europe and governments of all nations

    We the undersigned scientists, doctors, environmental organizations and citizens from (__) countries, urgently call for a halt to the deployment of the 5G (fifth generation) wireless network, including 5G from space satellites. 5G will massively increase exposure to radio frequency (RF) radiation on top of the 2G, 3G and 4G networks for telecommunications already in place. RF radiation has been proven harmful for humans and the environment. The deployment of 5G constitutes an experiment on humanity and the environment that is defined as a crime under international law

  55. When the going get’s tough, the touch AND INTELLIGENT get going.

    the mentally weak and dependent will remain years behind.

    “Brooklyn distilleries shuttered over coronavirus are making good use of their leftover alcohol: manufacturing desperately needed hand sanitizer.

    Distilleries are using their equipment to make sanitizer after the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau lifted regulations Wednesday to allow the tax-free production of sanitizer, Eater first reported.”

  56. I agree with her stating that people whose water was disconnected should be turned on
    Nothing else she said impress me
    In that decision there was a longstanding duty to give aid no matter how small to those who could not afford to pay their water bill in times of austerity
    Water is a necessity with a built in conduit that is important to preserving the health of its people and entire country
    So on that issue i agree
    All the others measures implemented are politically grounded that within time when the economy rebounds would be removed or incur fees by govt
    The water issue should be considered a necessity on humanitarian grounds and those less fortunate or unemployed should have late fees and taxes removed going forward to ease their financial dilemma

  57. Ok David u want to speak of two people diving in filled water with a comparison of putting a whole nation at risk by having the nation confront a deadly virus unprotected
    Be my guest

    Btw stop the presses

    Three more people have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total in Barbados to 17.

    The three – two men and one woman – all arrived in the island from the United Kingdom. One is the partner of a visitor who was included in yesterday’s count.

    Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Anton Best, reported that they had all been placed in isolation, and so far were displaying only mild symptoms of the viral illness.

    A total of 17 tests were done by the Best-dos Santos Public Health Laboratory yesterday. All of the others were negative for COVID-19.

    Meanwhile, three people are quarantined in the medical facility at Paragon. As a result of aggressive contact tracing being conducted daily, the Ministry of Health and Wellness has reported that numerous others are in self quarantine and being monitored by public health officers.

  58. I guess barbados is punching above its weight
    I notice the speak formula to say how much people in quarantine is devoid of transparency

  59. David Why the defensive posture
    I did not make the story
    I simply report the story
    What is your problem

    • You tell lies.

      You have been exposed as being dishonest many times on the blog.

      You are rabidly partisan which is not a heathy position at a time of national crisis.

      There is more that can be stated but will leave it.

      You may have the last word.

  60. The race against contamination would be harder and more costly than closing the borders
    That is my point

  61. For your information most of the world is in great crisis
    However the bottom line comes down to great leadership
    Putting your country people health at risk to save a few dollars is not great leadership and does not correlate to making tough and hard decision
    But correlates to lambs being taken to slaughter
    Let that sink in

  62. shoulda woulda coulda. wussa dan anybody expected.

    All a we is one in a crisis.

    Stay 6ft / 2 metres away from other people. Stay home as much as possible. Try to eat healthy.

  63. @Tron March 22, 2020 6:58 PM “…at least a hundred thousand Barbadians will emigrate. Barbados will look like Guyana without the oil, of course.”

    But I’ve always thought that mass emigration of Bajans is exactly what you have been lobbying for, so that the rich can have more space, maybe all of the space in Barbados.

    What are you afraid of, that the rich won’t have enough people left to do the real-real work for $10 or less per day?

  64. ACTION!

    Massy Rendezvous placed markers in the check-out line to help create distance between customers.

    Management of Burger King continued measures to limit contact such as customers placing payment in a tray. They also spoke of increased cleaning and installing more hand sanitiser units.

    The Ministry of Transport, Works and Maintenance has embarked on a sanitisation programme targeting all bus terminals and buses, in accordance with the preferred guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Ministry of Health and Wellness in Barbados.

  65. Only ostriches with head buried in sand would not have expected such an outcome
    17 in one week and more quarantine
    Makes for wonder how many people these people were in contact
    Now some are asking that the talk must be tempered by patriotism
    Patriotism works both ways country best interest and the peoples best interest
    There comes a time when peoples best interest intercept the countries interest and it is at such time govt and people join hand in hand as a duty and right to support whatever steps necessary towards the betterment of the people
    Not after hell breaks looses and govt leans on the bowels of politics to protect their self-serving interest under the banner of patriotism
    No mariposa would not be standing shoulder to shoulder at that time with govt

  66. At this stage closing borders is a waste of time. We have no cruise ships and of this week no commercial flights. All that will do is cause hysteria among our people and lead possibly to crisis behaviour. Do you have any idea what a total shutdown will do to families who would be unable to buy groceries? Every taxi man, jet ski operator, beach vendor, hair braider along with others who got a pick from tourism, from next week will be jobless. If they are lucky enough to have a partner still employed somewhere else, do you want to take the income away from that sole breadwinner now too?

    There is a time for politics and there is a time for putting the state first. This is one of those times.

  67. How about putting the people first
    Doesn’t that much register in your thick head
    Btw Liat is still flying and all knows caricom nations have people who are infected
    Go ahead keep the borders open
    If 17 is not enough

  68. We must fight the radicals, Mariposa and the other former DLP ministers who are now creating panic and hysteria. Officially they support government policy, but behind the scenes they want to throw the country into chaos in the social media.

    We need a middle course. We can somehow live with Corona. Not without tourists. We’ll last six months, max. If the tourists don’t come back next winter, we’re dead. You have heard it yourself that Mariposa, as DLP spokeswoman on BU, wants to burn the currency stocks completely. In addition, Mariposa wants to lock out the tourists permanently. We will be left without foreign currency and without tourists. I wonder how many people will die because of the DLP’s lust for power.

    The people of Barbados now see the true face of the DLP behind the mask of nationalism. They don’t give a shit about the survival of the island. Many of them fled to Canada and the USA weeks ago. Who knows if Mariposa even writes from the Caribbean.


    This means remaining in your house except for essential excursions, such as grocery shopping.

    Going for a run or walking your dog has not been barred, but while outside your home you are expected to maintain a distance of two metres or so between you and any other individuals on the street, to the best of your ability.

  70. Mariposa does not speak for anyone except herself
    You are one bold faced liar trying to use language that would paint the dlp as not being concerned about barbados economy
    The blp has created a firestorm out of a virus called Corona its the blp problem to solve
    The dlp is no longer in power
    When the dlp speak they speak as a party with a goal in mind to represent the country interest and peoples
    None of anything the dlp says have to do with Mariposa comments
    Tron your comments are tainted with malicious intent

  71. I stick to it: Mariposa as quasi-official representative of the DLP on BU wants to lock out all planes, even cargo planes with medicine and medical staff.

    Didn’t you say yourself that we should totally close our borders? You said so yourself at 9.20 PM.

  72. @John A, based on ur previous posts ur recent comments are a bit perplexing as read.

    I get ur intended perspective that basically we are past any simple shut down decision but based on the active and quickly progressing nature of this virus that and THE related actions are still important….

    You said that…

    At this stage closing borders is a waste of time.[…] All that will do is cause hysteria among our people and lead possibly to crisis behaviour.

    The other perspective is that to so act now brings direct and immediate focus to the gravity of the situation.

    In some jurisdictions and seeming in Bim too, there is a doubling in 24 hours of those affected/infected !

    We are now at 17 and soon to be 34 it seems. THAT frankly should be more of hysteria causing or crisis action motivator than a closure.

    Do you have any idea what a total shutdown will do to families who would be unable to buy groceries? Every taxi man, jet ski operator, beach vendor, hair braider along with others who got a pick from tourism, from next week will be jobless. If they are lucky enough to have a partner still employed somewhere else, do you want to take the income away from that sole breadwinner now too?

    Again senor take the other perspective…

    What happens when that taxi driver brings home the virus to an elderly mum or aunt or new born and causes their death!

    That’s a likely unplanned $10 – $15K expense one time!

    Additionally, and with all respect to my fellow Bimmers, but ANYONE caught napping, so to speak, without groceries and essentials for a 2 week hiatus is an absolute Jack***.

    The Bajan outposts in NY, London or San Diego have been reporting back home vigorously in recent days and every Bajan KNOWS it’s lock down time in those locales…. There is NO conceivable context any local should be caught unawares!

    All in all, Bim is on the cusp of their COVID explosion and I really do hope Ms Mottley’s gamble comes up roses…

    But…. That 17 number portends problems ahead…

    Better to start to flatten that curve NOW than waiting anymore later.

    This is a damn serious matter…

  73. The world will take years to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has warned.
    Angel Gurría, OECD secretary general, said the economic shock was already bigger than the financial crisis.
    He told the BBC it was “wishful thinking” to believe that countries would bounce back quickly.
    The OECD has called on governments to rip up spending rules to ensure speedy testing and treatment of the virus.
    Mr Gurría said a recent warning that a serious outbreak could halve global growth to 1.5% already looked too optimistic.
    While the number of job losses and company failures remains uncertain, Mr Gurría said countries would be dealing with the economic fallout “for years to come”.
    He said many of the world’s biggest economies would fall into recession in the coming months – defined as two consecutive quarters of economic decline.
    “Even if you don’t get a worldwide recession, you’re going to get either no growth or negative growth in many of the economies of the world, including some of the larger ones, and therefore you’re going to get not only low growth this year, but also it’s going to take longer to pick up in the in the future,” he added.
    Big shock
    Mr Gurría said the economic uncertainty created by the virus outbreak meant economies were already suffering a bigger shock than during the September 11 terror attacks or the 2008 financial crisis.
    He said: “And the reason is that we don’t know how much it’s going to take to fix the unemployment because we don’t know how many people are going to end up unemployed. We also don’t know how much it’s going to take to fix the hundreds of thousands of small and medium enterprises who are already suffering.”
    Governments around the world have taken unprecedented steps to support workers and businesses during the outbreak.
    Coronavirus: A visual guide to the economic impact
    What are shops doing about stockpiling?
    Coronavirus recession not yet a depression
    Policymakers in the UK have pledged to pay the wages of employees unable to work due to the coronavirus pandemic.
    Mr Gurría called on governments to rip up borrowing rules and “throw everything we got at it” to deal with the crisis.
    However, he warned that bigger deficits and larger debt piles would also weigh on heavily indebted countries for years to come.
    No quick recovery
    Mr Gurría said that just weeks ago, policymakers from the G20 club of rich nations believed the recovery would take a ‘V’ shape – with a short, sharp drop in economic activity followed swiftly by a rebound in growth.
    “It was already then mostly wishful thinking,” he said.
    “I do not agree with the idea of a ‘V’ shaped phenomenon … Right now we know it’s not going to be a ‘V’. It’s going to be more in the best of cases like a ‘U’ with a long trench in the bottom before it gets to the recovery period. We can avoid it looking like an ‘L’, if we take the right decisions today.”
    The OECD is calling for a four-pronged plan to deal with the outbreak, including free virus testing, better equipment for doctors and nurses, cash transfers to workers including the self-employed and tax payment holidays for businesses.
    Mr Gurría compared the level of ambition to the Marshall Plan – which helped to pay for the reconstruction of Europe after the Second World War. (Quote)

  74. Stop the presses
    Trindad denies 35 of their citizens entry coming from infected countries
    The story states that the 35 would land in Barbados Today
    Glory what a heroic act

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