333 comments

  • @ Hants May 6, 2020 12:16 PM

    We also owe this classification to the behaviour of local authorities in the Donville Inniss case. If the offshore financial sector fails, the public should remember COP and DPP.

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  • @ TLSN May 6, 2020 3:07 PM

    We must not take all daydreams seriously.

    500000 or 1 million inhabitants sound like Haiti to me. The island is already hopelessly overpopulated. The local economy supports a maximum of 200000 citizens.

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  • @David

    If you have a beef with the EU’s position on sanctioning Barbados in relation to financial irregularities you should state your opinion but don’t conflate it with the EU’s humanitarian assistance re COVID19 to Iran.

    Barbados has a PM who is very articulate who is surrounded by a bevy of Ministers and financial advisors who can give voice to the country’s displeasure at being included in a rogues’ gallery of recalcitrant nations that are unwilling to abide by guidelines as established by the EU.

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  • @Sargeant

    The blogmaster is doing as you suggested, sharing his opinion.

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  • Ex-AG: An EU move to get compliance
    By Colville Mounsey
    Former Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite says he is just as baffled as his successor, regarding the rationale behind the reportedly imminent naming of Barbados on the European Union’s list of jurisdictions that pose a financial risk as it relates to money laundering and terrorist financing.
    Brathwaite is suggesting that the “most recent moving of the goal post” could be an attempt to strong arm Barbados into complying in other areas not relating to money laundering. He said the Mia Amor Mottleyled administration would be well advised to look for the other shoe to drop.
    “When you see these organisations taking action against a country like ours in one area, we need to ask ourselves what we are not doing to their liking in another area. What other things are being whispered in the corridors that we need to comply with, if we are to be taken off the blacklist.
    So, for example, the EU was very strong on same-sex relationships while we have taken a position that it is not something that the country needs to address immediately.
    “So, I can tell you that sometimes when countries like ours are being blacklisted in one area, it sometimes does not even mean that we are truly weak in that area,” Brathwaite told the Weekend Nation yesterday.
    On Wednesday, Attorney General Dale Marshall described the report, which first appeared in the international press, as “a conviction without trial”, adding that the Government was not given any indication that such action would be taken.
    Minor areas
    Marshall pointed out that Barbados had made significant strides towards compliance, efforts that were lauded by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). He acknowledged that there were minor areas which his office had already given an undertaking to address. Brathwaite, who served as Attorney General from 2010 to 2018, concurred with Marshall that Barbados had always strived to meet the parameters of these international bodies and, therefore, saw no reason to suggest that this modus operandi had changed in recent years.
    “Under the FATF, we would have done a mutual evaluation two years ago and, for example, one of the things they wanted to do was
    address the lack of forfeiture legislation and we have done this.
    “We also needed to strengthen our anti-money laundering unit. I am not sure if we have done that as yet. The feeling was that our unit does not have the capacity to manage the responsibilities and they were right; our unit was indeed too small at the time.
    “The former head of that unit has demitted office to practise elsewhere, so I believe that this may been one of the areas of concern,” said Brathwaite.

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  • Has Ms Mottley returned to work officially? If so, when?

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  • Re: UWI
    Mr Robinson is no professor, but a senior lecturer. BIG difference.

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  • You need to keep up. Robinson was made Professor months ago.

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  • Is she a financial analyst/adviser/economist? What is his experience, apart from sitting on the NIS and the central bank?

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  • @ David May 8, 2020 2:01 PM

    Is this the same son of a cock robin who promised over 5 years ago to have the NIS financials prepared and presented in the soonest of time?

    Isn’t this promotion to professorship in BS the classic example of the “Peter Principle” in full bloom?

    BTW, he cock robin junior, would have made an excellent Tsar during this Covid crisis as you watch the sinking of NIS soon to be nicknamed the Social Security (SS) Bajan Bismarck.

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  • @ Miller

    For years government been looking in the NIS cheque book and saying it got money in it so we must be sound. Of course if you is a rumshop and got to pay the coke truck that could work, but when you got payables for 20 years due to taxpayers I not so sure dat is a good idea!

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  • @ John A May 8, 2020 3:08 PM

    The NIS is nothing more than the ATM of the government and the five white contractors. Look at Norway or Singapor, how the sovereign wealth funds invest their money there.

    @ Miller May 8, 2020 2:25 PM

    Mr Robinson’s promotion is a farce. In other countries, he would have ended up in jail for the Apes Hill Plantation scandal.

    This shows once again that in Barbados it is mainly the weak, the stupid and the lazy who are supported.

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  • NorthernObserver

    @Tron
    you may recall the former most senior employee at the NIS, was promoted to the Director of Finance under your most honourable and supreme leader. He also sits on the Board of the Central Bank along with Dr.Robinson, and the NIS Board. Former NIS Board member Mr. Jordan, is now the Minister responsible for the NIS, while former Board member and currently elected BLP MP Mr. Gooding Edghill is the current NIS Chair. It would seem the NIS Board is a good place from which to move ‘on and up’. The lack of formal reports from the NIS, nor the NIS actuarial audits highlighting performance issues, are clearly not a reflection on any of the senior staff or board members, All should likely be recipients of this year’s Productivity Awards, hopefully to be handed out by fellow NIS Board member and head of the BWU Ms.Moore.

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  • *Mr Robinson is no professor, but.. *

    Neither is the Avinesh but yet he and the BLP apparatchiks promote this false narrative.

    By the way we haven’t heard from him in a while. What’s the latest news on White Oaks?

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  • This link is to clarify whether Robinson is a professor, some of you like to ‘run with it’.

    https://www.barbadosadvocate.com/news/dr-justin-robinson-promoted-professor-uwi-cave-hill-campus

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  • Could be White Oaks agreement has a pandemic clause.

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  • What is he professor of?

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  • Could be White Oaks agreement has a pandemic clause

    Meaning what exactly?
    What is the situation with the foreign creditors?

    Is this too much to ask?

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  • Meaning we are in a pandemic said to be the worse in history duh.

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  • @ Dullar d

    I December we were told the government had reached a provisional agreement with its creditors, which in normal language means just dotting the I’s and crossing the t’s.
    It is now May and we have not heard anything about a full and final agreement. It is a reasonable questions to ask: hat is the current state of the agreement and, if it has not been finalised, is White Oaks still being paid.
    But there are also long-standing questions that still have not been answered. The Mottley regime came to power on May 25, 2018, and on May 30, 2018, it had signed its agreement with White Oaks and had defaulted. That needs a lot of explaining.
    Was the official Opposition party in discussions with White Oaks prior to the general election? If so, can this be considered treason? If not, what happened with those days to rush through the agreement?
    And, equally important, had any member of the government, its advisers or associates previously involved professional or in any other way with White Oaks, its partners or employees?
    As a nation we have very short memories and are quite often satisfied with smoke and mirrors. If BU has a role in the Barbadian public debate, it is to hold power to account. If it does not, then it has become part of the problem.

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  • @Hal
    Exactly.

    @ David
    Meaning we are in a pandemic said to be the worse in history duh.
    If you have no clue there is no shame in saying so buddy. A simple “I don’t know” would have been good enough.

    PS: Contrary to what may be paying you to convey, COVID-19 is not the cause of all the economic and social ills in the country.

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  • Seem like the good ship Barbados is still on course
    https://barbadostoday.bb/2020/05/09/health-protocols-to-influence-hotel-design/

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  • @Dullard

    Appreciating sarcasm is obviously beyond you.

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  • Appreciating sarcasm is obviously beyond you.

    Maybe! Look at the moniker.

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  • Point taken Dullard!

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  • NorthernObserver

    @Dullard 5.51 am
    a good read. Including a picture of the blue and white euphoria of noted smuggling exploits.

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  • NorthernObserver

    IF the current active threads on BU, plus the various comments, are not enough for any FDI to exercise the highest level of ‘Caveat Emptor’, then they must have assessed the current conditions are very ripe for some nefarious deals.

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  • Join forces in fighting blacklisting
    It was unusual but refreshing.
    Speaking about the latest reported decision by the European Union (EU) to backlist Barbados, former Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite agreed with the current Attorney General that this country had always sought to meet the parameters of these international bodies. He saw no reason to suggest that the modus operandi had changed in recent years.
    We commend the former Attorney General. He recognised his duty to his country and closed ranks.
    He used his experience as a former chief law officer and as someone who has practised in the offshore arena to enlighten the public on ways in which some of these international bodies appear to operate.
    Declaring himself as baffled about the rationale behind the proposed blacklisting, Brathwaite suggested that this “moving of the goalposts” could be an attempt to strong arm Barbados into complying in other areas of policy unrelated to money laundering which is said is the basis of the current complaint.
    Pushback
    We are pleased at this bipartisan pushback approach. These blacklisting declarations made from time to time by the EU and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) constitute persistent attempts to determine how small international business jurisdictions should exercise their tax policy.
    The bureaucrats and politicians in the EU and the OECD are well aware that the right to determine its tax policy is one of the most sacred aspects of a country’s sovereignty.
    This latest threat, as with earlier threats, is an affront to our nationhood. Given the circumstances in which we heard the news first in the Press, we think Attorney General Dale Marshall got it absolutely right when he branded what had been done as conviction without trial.
    Everything in our power must be done to persuade the EU that it is an outrage to propose to blacklist countries without giving the targeted countries a chance to be heard. Not so long ago, the issue which troubled the OECD and the EU was the wide gap of divergence between the rates of tax charged on offshore companies as opposed to local companies. We dealt with that issue and in February of this year having removed this country from its list on noncooperative tax jurisdictions; the EU is now on another tack, that of anti-money laundering.
    Upgraded regulations
    The EU’s “decision” seems to ignore the major efforts made by this country’s authorities within the past two years in upgrading its anti-money laundering regulations. These local upgraded regulations and changes have been recognised and lauded by the Financial Action Task Force which is the international body for standards-setting for this area.
    We find the approach of the EU heavyhanded. It is a clear shifting of the compliance goalposts against our jurisdiction that seeks to comply with reasonable regulations.
    These targeted listings are designed ostensibly to ensure that dirty money is excluded from the international banking systems. That is a laudable objective but it seems counterproductive to blacklist complying countries without giving them an opportunity to be heard.
    It raises serious questions about the EU’s agenda.
    There is strength in numbers. Apart from our individual effort to repel these blacklisting threats, we should join hands with our regional neighbours; other countries and even multinational companies which are affected by these threats.
    Other things apart, it is also an issue of sovereignty!

    Source: Nation news

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  • Cox: No printing of money
    By Tony Best It was a “sombre” report on Barbados’ economic performance and its prospects.
    And while Cleviston Haynes, Barbados Central Bank Governor, didn’t pull any punches and certainly didn’t avoid the thorny issues of future economic growth in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the almost complete shutdown of the tourism industry, his assessment of Barbados’ situation raised intriguing questions.
    One question is whether “to print or not to print” money in order to lift the country out of its financial and budgetary hole.
    Another question raised was if Barbados, which already has a financial restructuring programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), should look to the Fund and other financial institutions for grants instead of loans to reverse a projected economic slide and if the Mia Mottley Administration should abandon its economic resuscitation strategy now that COVID-19 has changed the country’s economic prospects downward.
    Winston Cox, a former Central Bank Governor, sought to answer some of the questions, starting first with the printing of money, to which he said no.
    Stick to path
    Cox was doubtful if international financial institutions (IFIs) would provide grants to Barbados to help it. After all, Barbados, with its relatively high per capita income, has been fighting the “graduation” battle for several debates without success, arguing that the per capita income criterion unfairly punished the country and some of its neighbours, including The Bahamas. It is unlikely to get a different outcome any time soon, he said.
    Thirdly, he said there shouldn’t be any significant change in Government strategy because of the coronavirus.
    “Barbados should stick to the path it was on before the coronavirus crisis hit the world and it should not deviate from it. Yes, the country can seek an extension of its fiscal targets but don’t abandon them. All the reports before COVID-19 indicated Barbados was on a sound path and there is no need to go in a different direction,” he said.
    Concerning the issue of the printing of money, Cox, who lives in Quebec, Canada, agreed with Dr Clyde Mascoll, Government’s top economic adviser, when he warned that printing money to finance Government revenue shortfalls would be an unproductive exercise.
    “I don’t think the Government would want to embark on the path of printing money,” said Cox.
    “Bearing in mind the corrective measures which the Government has had to take because of the old approach, I don’t think it would wish to proceed along that route again. The Government knows of the consequences of that [failed] strategy. Indeed, I think that’s why it is looking to the international financial institutions for support on the budgetary issues. Barbados’ case for support is a very good one to make at this time,” he said, noting it had a strong hand to show.
    Cox warned that if the World Bank, the IMF and IDB failed to give Barbados the support it needed, the country could slip back into the troubling situation of two years ago.
    Helping hand
    “It would be rather very short-sighted of the institutions
    not to recognise where their failure to help would push not only Barbados but [many] small countries.”
    Just as important, the IFIs shouldn’t wait to see countries like Barbados become impoverished before they extend a helping hand, Cox said.
    “I agree with Dr Mascoll that printing money is not the path Barbados should follow. Based on recent past experience, we know where that can lead,” he said.
    Cox said Haynes’ recent remarks about the need for the administration to re-examine its policy on Central Bank financing for Government programmes in the aftermath of steep revenue losses caused by the COVID-19 lockdown shouldn’t be seen as a recommendation to print money.
    Read between lines
    “It was not an invitation to print money. It was a caution against printing money. That’s how I read the Governor’s statement. You have to be able to read between the lines. The economic circumstances are quite clear. As I read it, the statement about printing money wasn’t an invitation to the Government to turn to the Central Bank,” he stressed.
    Cox said Government’s $2 billion stimulus programme designed to help small businesses, aid the country’s most vulnerable communities and kick-start the economy, was a necessary approach to economic revitalisation.
    “I think it was carefully developed by the Government to take whatever room it has without trying to compromise its fiscal and debt targets and in that regard I think it was not an unreasonable response” to the negative after-effects of COVID-19, he said. “Remember, the Barbados economy isn’t really stimulated by the availability of Barbados dollars but by the availability of foreign exchange, which is key to everything. We know from past experience that printing vast quantities of Barbados [currency] does not stimulate the economy. You don’t have to look too far back to see that.”
    Cox described the stimulus as an effort aimed at “the most vulnerable in the society, trying to support those groups. That’s something that is welcome”.
    He also said Government should avoid any intemperate fiscal action after COVID-19, noting the Barbados public health system had performed “remarkably well” under strain and challenges and that the cuts in clergy salaries by the Anglican Church should be viewed against a background that all sectors had to “make an adjustment” during difficult times.

    Source: Nation news

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  • NorthernObserver

    “Cox described the stimulus as an effort aimed at “the most vulnerable in the society, trying to support those groups. That’s something that is welcome”.”[quote]
    Seemed to me, a large financial blanket was tossed over all, and each group got to pick out that for which they qualified. a.k.a shot gun approach. I guess that’s the difference between aiming and targeting.

    Like

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