Central Bank of Barbados Review of the Economy: January – June 2020

 

Governor Cleviston Haynes delivers the Central Bank of Barbados’ review of Barbados’ economic performance in the first six months of 2020 and gives his outlook for the remainder of the year.

Source: Central Bank of Barbados

Central Bank of Barbados Review of the Economy – January to June.pdf (text)

244 comments

  • Not changing the conversation, but I have noticed the Nation has now removed the full address of Eniola Aluko from its story. Too late. Who was the duty news editor when this story was published? Who was the sub-editor? Who was the duty editor? Who was the proof reader? Who was the lawyer who passed this story?

    Liked by 1 person

  • It’s Reality Time again. It’s Culture Time again.
    #WOKEBLACKPEOPLE is something Colonial European Racist Populist Capitalists worldwide are afraid of as #BLACKLIVESMATTER movements are showing as it kills their infamy of white supremacy history legacy dead.
    An even bigger fear is Afroasiatic Unity as it would be GAMEOVER for their wicked ways to reign the world in dominion.

    Like

  • Yup! The HUMAN CONDITION. I WOULD RATHER BE IN BARBADOS THAN IN INDIA, SYRIA OR SAUDI ARABIA.

    OR AMERICA WHERE THEY CARE SO MUCH FOR EACHOTHER THAT THEY ARE KILLING THEIR NEIGHBOURS WITH COVID.

    In India the caste system still rules unofficially, women are gang raped in public and until recently had no recourse, burnt brides are the norm.

    In Saudi Arabia the woman have few rights at all. And the powers that be kill their fellow citizens who oppose them.

    In Syria they are so badminded towards eachother that they routinely blow eachother to bits – even babies.

    Well now, how is the white man behaving towards his brothers and sisters? Take the Americans, for instance, who cannot discuss politics at their dinner tables anymore, who issue death threats to political opponents and often show up with the weapons to do the job, who threaten their brothers for wearing a mask.

    And how about the British? Caught in limbo fighting eachother over Brexit. How are relations between the Europeans?

    And really, whoever thinks being obscene and vulgar is a Bajan condition must think we don’t know that professionals, rich people and politicians in the white man countries are the most obscene and vulgar of all – in speech and action. Even if we aren’t world travellers we have tv and internet. Boris Johnson and Donald Trump cuss in very “high” places.

    The minorities in Barbados seem to stick together from the outside. We don’t get to see what happens among them. And even if they do stick together more it is because there are so few of them that the necessity is obvious.

    Put these same people in the wider world and they would be no different from others.

    The Black Man’s Condition is that he has been taught to judge his brothers and sisters by harsher standards than he does everybody else.

    Liked by 1 person

  • My position is that if we are to overcome the powerful and deeply entrenched racist systems we will have to exceed all normal levels of unity to match their powet. It is therefore necessary first to overcome NORMAL HUMAN SELFISHNESS.

    This calls for enlightenment, encouragement and organisation.

    NOT ABUSE, EXAGGERATION AND SELF-FLAGELLATION.

    Such unity does not occur naturally. It has to be cultivated.

    MOST HUMAN BEINGS OF EVERY RACE ARE SELFISH AT THE CORE.

    Liked by 2 people

  • @ Walter Blackman
    “Please start with a long and hard look at ourselves and realize how nasty-minded and envious we are towards each other. Those characteristics are exploited to the fullest by every Tom (the Indians), Dick (Syrians and Arabs), and Harry (Whites) that dwell in our midst. There seems to be no end to this nightmare in sight.“

    I really can’t agree with that without putting it in some historical context. We are no nastier to each other than any other race. We are still dealing with centuries of exploitation that cannot simply disappear.
    As a small business man , I have encountered all of that essentially negative stuff. We hear all of these stories but yet we all come from a poor background where without caring and sharing amongst ourselves, we would all be dead by now.
    I was technically raised by a village that was one hundred per cent black. In that village we had some who were well off even by today’s measurement.
    Fortunately for me my mentors included: a highly educated big brother; a highly decorated soldier who never went past class seven at primary school but made his way to Sandhurst Military Academy; a bank messenger who was considered one of the finest men ever known; a boys brigade captain and many others. They were all black.
    Sometimes we simply believe that competition and squabbles amongst ourselves are from nastiness but it’s often nothing more than a large majority trying to get a piece of the pie that seems to get smaller and smaller. It is this reality that allows us to be exploited by other races and ethnicities.
    Now, I am not saying that envy,malice and bad mindedness don’t exist but in my very humble opinion it’s more the exception than the rule.
    I was once told by a Combermarian that my Modern High School socks were designed so that we would like like dem. I told him that I know what one of dem look like because I got a brother who went there and can speak French!
    I tried very hard to find out what was so special about the University at Waterford- nearly six decades later I’m no closer. But I get a glimpse of what I actually think when reading BU- very bright boys …,, very bright, must be the socks and de french.
    Peace.

    Like

  • @ William

    As to socks; I personally was once was punished by the savage Stanton Gittens for an act of deviance committed by a Modern High School boy who had his socks turned down. That remark was based on fact. I was not the only one.
    Years later, in London, a young cousin of mine went to a leading Catholic school. One afternoon after school some black kids were behaving badly at the tube station.
    This blue-rinsed old lady took it upon herself to complain to the head about the kids’ behaviour and he called out my cousin as the offending youngster. He was nowhere near the scene. His mother put that right.
    @William, you are better than the what-aboutism, that brigade of apologists: they also do that in England, or America or Australia, or white people do that too, or Indians, or Jamaicans, or short men, or tall women. That is a poor, gutless defence. Deal with the issue at hand.
    I live in a city that is one of, if not the most ethnically mixed, in the world and it gives you an opportunity to make judgements. Even among Caribbean people many Barbadians are exceptional in their behaviour.
    It is nothing to do with career rivalry or competition; it is rooted in the cultural expression of: I know him, man; he ain’t nothing. That short phrase, I suggest, is rooted in our cultural DNA. Given the opportunity to say something good or nasty about someone many Barbadians will opt to say something nasty.
    I can give a long list of examples, but will give two, one personal and one involving a person I knew quite well. When the BDF was first formed, a Barbadian, who had recently retired from the British army and had served with NATO, a RSM, had recently returned to settle in Barbados.
    An old Ivy man, he was not looking for a job, but, to use the contemporary phrase, he wanted to contribute. He went to the BDF and offered to help train up the troops.
    He was contemptuous turned down. Weeks later UK troops from Wiltshire, that he used to train, were invited to Barbados to work with the BDF.
    I will give a personal example. Some time ago a UK financial regulator, David Jackman, was in the Caribbean running workshops. On the completion, he was approached by a Barbadian woman who asked for help with pensions regulations.
    David, bless him, told her he was busy but knew someone who would be only too glad to help and put forward my name (he had too much confidence in my knowledge and ability).
    On his return to London he asked if I had heard from her. I replied no. But this was a woman I had been in contact with for ages and I had said to her that if she needed any assistance do not hesitate to contact me. She said she was fine.
    @William, this woman, I suggest, had an instinctive resistance to the idea of a Barbadian helping her with something she felt she was knowledgeable about.
    @William, we will not get over these humps until we acknowledge that in a society with limited opportunities there is an alternative way to the crab in a barrel, which came right out of slavery. I have said before, at the hour of the Haitian victory, the first thing Toussaint did was to deal with the traitors and double dealers among his ranks. They are still there.
    And it runs right through the society, from top to bottom. I will give you an example that will not happen routinely in the UK public sector. I emailed a Barbados government department on a number of occasions asking for information, and not once have I received a reply or even acknowledgement – not even saying bugger off.
    I also emailed a member of the House of Lords recently, about something he was involved in. He took ages to reply, but when he did, he apologised and went on to dealt with my points.
    @William, you taught at St Giles, where the school motto is Manners Maketh Man. Forget the sexism, the point is well made.
    Finally, about the University of Waterford. Recently a former master, now elderly, fell on hard times and needed assistance. An email was sent round and he got the assistance he asked for.
    It is a culture shaped by a tall, demanding Welshman, which lives on to this day. The year the Major retired, he told us to go out and win the Inter-school sports. We did, tore the opposition apart, and we did it for Major Noot – something we could never do for the repulsive Stanton Gittens. It is about respect for each other, a spirit of togetherness.
    Up and on.

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  • The greatest difference between the US and other countries is that at some stage the US will attempt to auto/self-correct.

    We would like progress to be a continuous forward march, but the human condition makes it a series of retreats and advances. I know that the final outcome will be an advance.

    One can explain the ‘US condition’ as being partly due to racism, but how on earth can we explain the existing ‘condition’ of a nation with a majority black population and over 50 years of black political leadership.

    Even with our problems, I rather be here (US) than there.

    I have plans of returning to the Caribbean, but I am not convinced this is the best course of action.

    Like

  • How is Barbados different from any other country in the world?

    Pick one country bar a very view struggling with dysfunction of some form whether the economy, systemic racism, moral decadence etc.

    Barbados like any other will have our challenges until the island does not exist, this is what defines mankind with all of our imperfections.

    We have these people get up every morning and would want to convince people who do not know better Barbados is a shitehole country.

    #steupse

    Liked by 1 person

  • “Given the opportunity to say something good or nasty about someone many Barbadians will opt to say something nasty.”

    That is a very true statement.

    I have done enough to make my own name. I have uncles who were well known within the village. Yet, in introducing me to others, some will always refer to the ‘mad uncle’.

    It used to bother me, but over the years I have come to accept it as part of our condition.

    These stories all show that we must fix more than our politics.

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  • @ Hal
    I too have faced rejection and as some here on BU remind me every time they cannot find a common sense rebuttal to my submissions in their limited arsenal.
    When I had my real estate practice, a number of friends preferred to deal with white realtors etc
    However I will never allow such experiences to define my people. I am not defending our faults whatever and wherever they maybe but perhaps my social conditioning was a bit more positive although I grew up as underprivileged as most on BU.
    Perhaps I owe my whole being to those people in my village who helped to mother and father me.

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  • @ William
    @Theo

    Another example. Sometime ago I was in New York and was in a social setting meeting a number of Bajan Yankees. The question of what I do in London came up and I said journalist. I was asked where I worked and I said the Daily Mail.
    One bright spark sucked his teeth and said: I though you were a proper journalist. If you were a real journalist you will be working on the New York Times. I quickly changed the conversation.
    Barbadians at home would have replied I had to be working at CNN to be a proper journalist. That is why an entire nation went in to a trance when the president had a routine interview with Amanpour and on tabloid TV in the U|K.
    We are now world class, they screamed. We have to dig deep in our souls, to be better people. And it starts in the homes and at school.

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  • @ TheoGazerts,

    If you are uncertain about moving back to Barbados you could try extended vacations ( 3 to 5 months ) for a couple years.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Under present govt it will be heading into a shite hole country when ongoing poverty continues to lead the way
    This govt so far has not indicated a different path towards slowing down unemployment
    A look across the landscape of small business shows increasing closures resulting in high unemployment
    When the sh.it hit the fan then and only then would the loud ewe and cry begin for fast resolution
    The minister in the St. James area has sounded the alarm bell of unemployment in that area because of hotel lay off
    If govt continue to close eyes and blame COVID the end result would be worse than COVID

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  • America will try to self correct – and fail miserably as it always has. It will most likely make some strides forward still

    Barbados has made strides forward just as America has. There is still much more to be corrected as there is in America. We are working on that.b

    Some people seem to need to convince themselves that they made the right decision in leaving Barbados. With their attitudes I know they did. They are looking through the white man’s lens and spewing his narrative for him. They are of no use to Barbadians.

    Good riddance!

    Liked by 1 person

  • 🙂
    As individuals, our experiences in life can be quite different.
    I only know the shoes that I walked/walk in.
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  • This is a time when barbados should be doing some self correction.. looking at other economic directions instead if cussing Trump

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  • William Skinner August 10, 2020 6:14 AM

    “@ Walter Blackman
    I really can’t agree with that without putting it in some historical context. We are no nastier to each other than any other race. We are still dealing with centuries of exploitation that cannot simply disappear.”

    William Skinner,
    When it comes to the airing of social issues, I do not seek agreement from anyone. I want to strongly encourage readers to put my comments in both historical and futuristic context. I have highlighted a few obvious symptoms which afflict us as a people. However, I am acutely aware that these symptoms result from a multi-faceted disease with roots that started to grow centuries ago. Long before any of us were born.
    Problem solving is a process that requires a four-prong approach: Identify the problem, accept the fact that the problem exists, formulate a solution, and execute the solution.
    At this stage of the discussion, I am trying to get readers to focus their attention on identifying the problem. I do not expect a one-dimensional unified response.

    Like

  • I went to school here. Had a good experience with Bajans. I have been to university here. Had a good experience with Bajans. I have worked in several places here and all but one were good experiences.

    I have only encountered the bad mindedness of which you speak in one workplace. And even then three of the people who I had the most spats with turned out to be the most helpful in my time of need. They were so kind I will owe them forever. They rose above petty differences to offer support for which I will be eternally grateful.

    One rushed to perform first aid, one made a call to their excellent doctor to make an appointment that saved me from unnecessary surgery. The other brought me necessities during my hospital stay and brushed off my attempt to repay. She then went to bat for me against the powers that be.

    Every day I receive more encouragement than discouragement from those I encounter. Unpleasant experiences are therefore jarring because they are still so unexpected.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David Bu
    I am beginning to wonder if some other pandemic has hit some of our commenters residing overseas. We Barbadians are working hard at coming to terms with who we are. Those who want us to be second rate somebody else, sorry for them. Stay where you are. We have come a long way and we have still a long distance to go. But you know what? We are first rate Barbadians and we do not give a damn what our detractors say. We are happy in our skins.. Like other countries in the world we intend to deal frontally with the challenges life throws at us. We have been this road before. We have the cultural experience and the mental skill to survive our challenges.
    Wunnuh can put that in wunnuh pipe and smoke um.

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  • A personal note:
    It pleases me to see the varied responses of different bloggers. No one can come here and say that we all sing from the same hymnal or sing the same song.

    But this babble, this cacophony of voices, is sweet music to my ears. Some of us repeat the same lyrics over and over, some nitpick, some are on the attack, some are on the defense, some present new ideas,some regurgitate old ideas, some will expose the warts and some will cover the warts ….

    At times we may not like what we hear, but in our way each us is keeping the ball in play and keeping hope alive; and one thing is clear – Regardless of how we express ourselves, Barbados is near and dear to all of us.

    Patriotism or love of country is one of those qualities that we cannot measure in a next person. Patriotism has nothing to do with being here or there. We are all first rate Bajans; our songs may be different, but we will not question your love of country.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Er excuse me, am I in the right place? Seems like I’ve stumbled into the place where some people get to air their grievances.

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  • Walter,

    Overstating the problem only serves to render it insurmountable.

    Bajans are not subhuman savages who need to change their DNA to become human. They are normal human beings who will need to perform abnormal feats of unity to overcome the system.

    Our task is to show them how unity would give everybody a chance to rise – EVENTUALLY.

    And that is the hard part – EVENTUALLY. We won’t all rise at once.

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  • Donna August 10, 2020 12:31 PM

    “Walter,
    Overstating the problem only serves to render it insurmountable…….
    Our task is to show them how unity would give everybody a chance to rise – EVENTUALLY.”

    Donna,
    As I said before, we are at the stage where we need to properly identify the problem. Our individual experiences will naturally lead us to the see the problem from different vantage points, but we must be mature and broad-minded enough to accept the views of others.

    Implicitly, you see disunity as the basic problem. Unity, of course is the ultimate solution, but your mind tells you that it would take some time before we can achieve that. Patience, empathy, and understanding seem to be some of the necessary, but unspoken, ingredients in our recipe for success, the way you see it.

    After connecting the dots, I am on board with your views. However, systemic forces always appear to be at work to prevent us from coming together to achieve anything that will move us collectively forward. In short, the perpetuation of our disunity is the main agenda item of those who intend to feast, ad infinitum, at our expense.

    The emergence of Covid-19 has made a bad situation worse. Many households have no income. Young children, thousands upon thousands of unemployed adults, and senior citizens alike are facing a very bleak and uncertain future. The “system” seems incapable of lifting a finger to provide sustainable, meaningful help. People of “colour” are mostly the ones feeling the full brunt of the effects of this pandemic. What unified effort have we devised, or can we devise, to help our suffering brothers and sisters at this stressful point in time?

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  • @Hal Austin August 10, 2020 7:37 AM “Barbadians at home would have replied I had to be working at CNN to be a proper journalist. That is why an entire nation went in to a trance when the president had a routine interview with Amanpour and on tabloid TV in the U|K.”

    Only in you fervid political imagination did “an entire nation went in to a trance”

    That is not true. I can assure you that most of us just got on with our business for the day. Most sensible people understand that no politician [nor retired journalist] can make the sun rise or set, can make the rain fall or stop it from falling.

    Most of us are not as enamored of politicians as you are.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @William Skinner at 6:14 a.m. “Now, I am not saying that envy,malice and bad mindedness don’t exist but in my very humble opinion it’s more the exception than the rule.”

    Thanks for saying this. This too has been my lived experience. Wherever I go people are incredibly generous to me. Generous with love, with time, with ideas, with money

    Liked by 1 person

  • Walter,

    I have experienced some of the negative you spoke about. I have just experienced more of the positive. When I was going through the negative it seemed magnified. That is only natural. I have since put it into perspective and realised that the positive has far outweighed the negative over the course of the fifty years I have lived here.

    Unfortunately I have no quick fix for the situation we find ourselves in at present. More fertile minds than mine will have to come up with that. My solutions are all long term and would be weird as I am. Quite frankly, I think we just have to get back to basics. Many households used to grow their own food. I encourage everyone I meet to do so. If I can do it so can anyone else. Food comes first. Anything else can come after. This is about survival until….

    We are going to have to treat this as though it is a time of war. We must revise our expectations, pull together and fight through.

    Things just cannot be the same. It simply is not possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Indeed Cuhdear Bajan! Most people go for days without studying a single politician. I myself didn’t hear that many people even talking about the CNN interview.

    When he speaks I am often left to wonder if I am living in the same place about which he claims to speak.

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  • Very ordinary village kindness. During the curfew when I could not get to the “plantation” our of the neighbors in my natal village noticed that I had a pile of cassava sticks that needed to be planted. Without asking, and without any expectation of reward, he stepped into the land and planted the 50 or so sticks of cassava, and added some animal fertilizer as well. It may help that our families have know one another for at least 4 generations to my knowledge, and i expect even longer than that. We may literally have arrived in Barbados on the slave ship, and our families have loved and supported one another for generations. He is the very close kin to a high ranking government official. Do I trust his kinsman? Yes I do. Since the high ranking kinsman passed the hands of the same incredible loving hands of the same grandma. Therefore he is a good person, very smart as well.

    We talk about micro aggressions.

    But who talks about micro kindnesses?

    We all need to start practicing micro kindnesses now.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Some people seem to need to convince themselves that they made the right decision in leaving Barbados. With their attitudes I know they did. They are looking through the white man’s lens and spewing his narrative for him. They are of no use to Barbadians.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    BLACK MEN/WOMEN LIVING ABROAD US/UK/CANADA ETC., CAN NO LONGER SEE FROM THEIR OWN EXPERIENCES TO FORM THEIR OWN OPINIONS.

    YOU ARE EXTREMELY NARROW MINDED AND IGNORANT.

    PART OF THE 2×3 ISLAND CONDITION.

    HAVING NEVER LIVED IN THE USA YOU FORMED YOUR OPINION PRIMARILY ON WATCHING THE ‘NEWS’, INTERNET AND THIRD PARTY INFORMATION.

    I KNEW YOU ARE DELUSIONAL, I NOW KNOW YOU ARE A FULL BLOWN JACKASS.

    YOU VOTED FOR THE BLP ANOTHER TELL TALE SIGN THAT YOU ARE GULLIBLE AND DON’T THINK FOR YOURSELF.

    I BELIEVE YOU SHOULD STICK TO TALKING TO YOUR PLANTS IN YOUR KITCHEN GARDEN WHO WILL NOT BE ABLE TO THINK AND RESPOND TO YOU AS YOU TALKED SHITE ABOUT OTHERS LOOKING THROUGH THE WHITE MAN’S LENS.

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  • @ Baje

    Some scientists now believe that plants talk to each other.

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  • @BAJE,
    I’m happy for you have prospered from Trump’s boosting of government debt… In essence you have borrowed that money from your grandchildren. If you don’t repay it because it is “forgivable” then you will be screwing your grandchildren and their children.

    @Baje
    Barbados is doing nothing to help Black business… the only assistance is going to the foreign owned Hotel sector and the White owned segment of the construction industry.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    IN BARBADOS THE COUNTRY DEBT PRIMARILY WHICH HAS BEEN USED TO BENEFIT WHITE BAJANS AND ARE BEING PAID BY THE BLACK BAJAN MASSES AND THEIR FUTURE GENERATIONS.

    @ PLT I FOLLOW THE RULES.

    The funds from the PPP can be used for the following purposes:

    Payroll—salary, wage, vacation, parental, family, medical, or sick leave, health benefits

    Mortgage interest—as long as the mortgage was signed before February 15, 2020

    Rent—as long as the lease agreement was in effect before February 15, 2020

    Utilities—as long as service began before February 15, 2020 (here’s what’s included in utilities)

    All expenses that fall under those categories are eligible for forgiveness.

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  • @ Baje

    Some scientists now believe that plants talk to each other.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    LOL.

    THERE MAY BE ONTO SOMETHING.

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  • And right on cue out he comes! And I did not even call his name. As usual.

    Poor fellow! What have I done to disturb you so?????

    I cannot help it if I am happy in Barbados with the net worth that places me in the top ten percent of the world’s richest people.

    Murdah!

    P.S. I do talk to my plants and they reply. They tell me they are happy to be living in Barbados.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Seems to me I have taken more abuse from this creature than I have in fifty years of living in Barbados.

    Makes you wonder who the real problem people are.

    Wuhlaus!

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  • But wait…voting for the BLP makes me gullible?????? There is bad, worse and worst. The last DLP government was the worst. That is a fact that cannot be refuted.

    What a silly and illogical man you are!

    I would liken you to the ass of a jackass or a rasshole asshole but I shan’t out of respect for your buddy Hal who does not approve of “obscenities”unless they are directed by you towards me. Then he likes it very much and believes it to be high classed.

    Murdah! Muh belly! I love it when you guys expose yourselves.

    Sick!

    Liked by 1 person

  • But wait…voting for the BLP makes me gullible?????? There is bad, worse and worst. The last DLP government was the worst. That is a fact that cannot be refuted.

    What a silly and illogical man you are!

    I would liken you to the ass of a jackass or a rasshole asshole but I shan’t out of respect for your buddy Hal who does not approve of “obscenities”unless they are directed by you towards me. Then he likes it very much and believes it to be high classed.

    Murdah! Muh belly! I love it when you guys expose yourselves.

    Sick!

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    SILLY AND ILLOGICAL YOU CALL IT.

    I AGREE NO ONE CAN BE MORE FOUL MOUTHED AND NAME CALLING THAN YOU ON BU.

    DON’T LIKE SOME OF YOUR OWN MEDICINE SINCE YOU TAKE THE CAKE OF BEING THE MOST VULGAR POSTER ON BU,

    YOUR MANY VULGAR AND INSULTING POSTINGS ARE THERE LONG BEFORE I STARTED POSTING ON BU DIRECTED AT OTHERS INCLUDING @Hal…

    I HAVE NEVER VOTED DLP OR BLP SO IT SHOWS WHO IS THE REAL FOOL.

    IF THE CAT FIT WEAR IT.

    LOOK IN THE MIRROR TO SEE WHO IS REALLY ‘SICK’.

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  • I feel so sorry for you. Can’t even tell when I find you funny. You don’t bother me at all.

    Keep going!

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  • But wait – the most vulgar poster on BU?????

    Not Piece, not Pachamama?

    Oh dear me!

    I see you are sexist too!

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  • And now it is off to the garden to talk to my plants. They are doing better than Baje. They don’t need any stimulus.

    Wuhlaus!

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  • Our anti-government BU members obviously live in failed horror states like the USA or UK.

    Here in the west and south of Barbados, everything is as usual: full supermarkets, new cars and good food. People wear their masks and are relaxed. Many praise our leader Mia Mottley as their savior.

    Obviously there are two Barbados Islands: one for the opposition and one for ordinary people and neutral oberservers.

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  • Nation Newspaper EDITORIAL 11 08 2020
    Agriculture can grow
    TRAINED FINANCIAL PROFESSIONALS and home economists would have struggled to find many positives in the Central Bank’s economic report for the first half of the year. The surest sign yet that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe negative ripple effect on Barbados came with the news that economic output plunged by 27 per cent between April and June.
    Central Bank Governor Cleviston Haynes reported that altogether the first six months of 2020 saw the economy contract by about 15 per cent. The chief cause of this was the 50 per cent fall in the tourism sector. This not only spilled over into other sectors, but was via the large increase in unemployment, as evident in the unprecedented 33 000 unemployment benefit claims filed at the National Insurance Scheme.
    Standing tall amid the economic rubble was the fact that Barbados’ foreign reserves are now in excess of $2 billion for the first time in a long time, although it must be acknowledged that this is largely due to inflows from institutions like the International Monetary Fund and Inter-American Development Bank. The Governor also reported some satisfaction that Government’s fiscal house seems to be in order.
    Also amid the plethora of negatives is the fact that while most other sectors suffered, agriculture, especially non-sugar agriculture, improved by the end of June when compared with the same period last year. Based on the Central Bank report, Barbados’ total agricultural output increased by 3.7 per cent, which was the result of improved performance by the non-sugar agricultural subsector.
    Between January and June last year, agriculture’s contribution was $53.6 million, but this grew to $55.6 million this year. While the contribution from sugar dipped slightly from $2.7 million to $2.4 million, non-sugar agriculture’s output increased from $50.9 million to $53.2 million. At the same time, Barbados’ total import of goods decreased slightly from $1.5 billion to $1.4 billion, though this was partly due to reduced oil imports.
    There are those who believe that agriculture does not have much to contribute to the economy, but this is a short-sighted view. It is one based largely on the overall numbers and also due to the sugar industry’s seeming demise. For example, last year tourism’s contribution to output was $1.4 billion, while agriculture’s was $112.9 million – only $3.2 million of this came from sugar.
    However, as the impact of COVID-19 showed, growing more local foods means one spends less importing such items, especially when the pandemic meant there were challenges with global supply chains – with even some Caribbean ports having restrictions. It also provides employment for people.
    With supermarket doors either closed or partially opened, it was common during the national lockdown to see Barbadians frequenting vendor stalls and trays throughout the country.
    The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that with proper planning and implementation, we can grow the agricultural sector if we really want to.
    There are those who believe that agriculture does not have much to contribute to the economy, but this is a short-sighted view.

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  • Are we going to discuss the performance of the Greenback in the currency markets? Is it relevant? Does it fit in to a pattern of fiscal space?

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  • In the last few decades there has been little convergence of income levels in Latin America with those in the United States, in sharp contrast with both emerging Asia and emerging Europe. This paper argues that lack of convergence was not the result of low investment. Latin America is poorer because of lower human capital levels and lower TFP—not because of a lower capital-output ratio. Cross-country differences of TFP in turn are associated with differences in human capital, governance and business climate indicators. We demonstrate that once levels of human capital and governance are taken into account, there is strong conditional cross-country convergence. Poor countries with high levels of human capital, governance or business climate indicators converge rapidly. Poor countries without those attributes do not. We show that low investment is the result of low TFP and thus GDP growth—not the cause….(Quote)

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