Barbados Economy… Next Steps

There was a time – and it still is for many – the popular management instruction was that the sole purpose of a business was to create shareholder value. For this reason financial institutions and others for decades have used this single performance indicator to determine the success of the business.

In recent years a more enlightened management theory promoted is that a company must balance the needs of ALL stakeholders which include customers, employees, suppliers and the community it serves. However from observation such a noble position is practised in the breech.

The bottomline is that business owners everywhere have expectations largely influenced by the size of the profit margin and all the flowery language in management text books will not change the thinking. Milton Friedman’s hypothesis that the only responsibility of a business is to utilize its resources to increase profits mindful of operating within the law is alive and well decades later.

In a COVID 19 world the operating and business models have been significantly compromised given the unprecedented prevailing environment. Very few companies have been unaffected. The sorry state of affairs can be confirmed in the local landscape by reviewing unaudited statements of accounts of public companies published to date. If local blue chip companies are failing to perform in the current environment what does it mean for small and medium sized businesses?

From all reports the most optimistic projection is that an effective COVID 19 treatment or vaccine will be available in early 2021. How the vaccine is distributed will then have to be prioritized. It may take several months for mass production to ramp up and distributed across the globe. The point therefore – when a vaccine is developed AND the time it takes to be distributed has implications for service and tourism dependent economies like Barbados.

At the last report Barbados is operating at 5% tourism traffic with 40 thousand unemployment claims reported to have been submitted to the NIS – the solvency of the scheme is content for another blog. The harsh reality is that in an environment of uncertainty business owners cannot effectively and effectively plan. Very few businesses after more than 10 years operating in a depressed market have access to the cash flow to ride out a protracted period of low sales activity. It means as a country we will have to find a way to stoke the circular economy. This will present a huge challenge given the fragile state of the local economy.

Surprising on an island that boast about the effectiveness of the tripartite arrangement. Head of the BCCI called out government this week. The Barbados Workers Union called out retail players. The Opposition parties and partisans to be expected are calling out government. The usual…

In this very challenging environment, Barbados continues to make good progress in implementing its ambitious and comprehensive economic reform program, while expanding critical investments in social protection. International reserves, which reached a low of US$220 million (5-6 weeks of import coverage) at end-May 2018, are now in excess of US$1 billion. All indicative targets for end-June under the EFF were met. The targets for international reserves, net domestic assets and the primary balance were met with some margin, which bodes well for meeting the end-September EFF targets.

IMF Staff Concludes Virtual Visit to Barbados

The parliament of Barbados is scheduled to resume on September 15, 2020 after prorogation. All of Barbados anticipate government’s strategy to lead the country in the short and long term will be made known when the Governor General delivers the Throne Speech. What this blogmaster knows is that once COVID 19 exist and global travel remains a trickle earning foreign exchange in the short to medium term will be impossible in significant amounts. A plan how we produce and consume must be high on the agenda. COVID 19 confirmed what many have been advocating for a long time. We need to fashion an economic model that is sustainable given the means of production located in our domain.

It is not all doom and gloom as the recent IMF Staff report concludes. We are meeting targets!

364 comments

  • @Dullard

    To simplify it for you, you can create the opportunities but if they are no takers it will be a wasted exercise. We have to find a way to switch on the empowerment light in the citizenry.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ David
    You have mastered the art of taking very serious discussions and brilliantly trivializing them. You play the role of obstructionist and apologist with great dexterity. Carry on smartly.
    @ Donna
    I am saying is exactly what you said about our elders. If we spend our time only pointing out those who may vnot progressive, we would get no where.
    I have been told , I am a communist; to go back to Africa and I want what the white man has for nothing.
    I started washing cars before I was age twelve ; was a gardener and janitor before I even left high school.
    However, I have no quarrel with those who escaped and seem to think that all or most of those still stuck in poverty are to blame for their status.
    Call me a dreamer or whatever but ………

    Like

  • @William

    Will add your labels to the list. You carry on as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  • “Many of us do want empowerment but there is a sizeable segment of our society who do not want the responsibility of thinking. ”

    Donna….for the last time..that is NOT NORMAL…and reinforces the label of a slave society still existing in 2020, the 21st CENTURY….it has been deliberately and MALICIOUSLY KEPT THAT WAY by your no good leaders and their tiefing minority, bribing business partners..

    I REPEAT…

    “The point Vincent is making is that the people may not want the responsibility.”

    People born and raised in slave societies with an inadequate miseducation system are never encouraged to think independently and they are DISCOURAGED from asking ya halfassed, corrupt leaders any questions.

    .. there was this dude on voice note just months ago telling Bajans to mind their business and don’t ask ministers any questions about the mismanagement of the country, that recording was played everywhere to display the stark backwardness and ignorance still prevailing in a self-proclaimed educated society…..people who know better were horrified at the stupidity still posing as educated bajans.

    the likes of Vincent believe they know what the less knowledgeable need because that is how he was socialized to look down on those whom he knows would be afraid to tell him where the hell he came from and what he is a product of, unilke me,, he would never, ever say that shit to or about any of the tiefing corrupt minorities on the island…

    People should be educating each other on ways to DEMAND SELF-EMPOWERMENT….i don’t have the time to mollycoddle as*holes…and if VIncent and the other jokers on here who like to talk that utter shite had an ounce of morals or cared anything for those who still carry slave-like, childlike minds, he would have pushed to educate these people into entering the 21st century from the 18th century, where they are being imprisoned in their minds, I have no respect for lowlifes….what he said is something the evil-minded trash for slave masters have said for hundreds of years about African descended people, that is why I could tell him where he came from…

    yall short memories will be the end of you…that is guaranteed.

    Like

  • Did I say that the Government should not seek to empower the people? The Government should be educating and encouraging the people towards that end. Instead the so-called leaders take advantage of the situation.

    I am not at all putting Barbadians down. I am simply saying that whereas our grandmas and grandpas or for some of you even your mothers and fathers were diligently pursuing empowerment, the ball or baton has been dropped. That may explain our stagnation.

    If I am putting down anybody I would also be putting down myself. I wasn’t a party animal but I was not totally engaged myself. Ain’t got the energy I once had but I am trying.

    Liked by 1 person

  • So…. allyuh could stop eating up wuhnuh fine clothes now.

    Wuhlaus!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Did anyone hear the Daunting report by the head of the
    BCCI
    This is what Govt will be facing in the months ahead if govt does not come up with policies to stimulate local economy
    A dire state of economic affairs is heading across the nation

    Like

  • ECONOMIC VIEWPOINT
    BY:
    BY DORIAN BRYAN
    A few weeks ago, I asked a few questions about the state of the economy, but precious few answers have been forthcoming.

    So as I was always taught, when all else fails, try and try again.

    Sometimes we need to focus on what is in front of us. The hard facts about the realities of this island’s economic non-performance and turn away from the personality push which muddies the waters of actual hard economic evidence.

    This island’s economy declined by 15 percent in the first half of 2020 and not a peep from the Minister of Finance. What we heard was a rousing of the Minister to address the issue of the restart of schools next month and a series of meetings which were held with teachers, and also the naming of a Special Envoy on Reparations and Economic Enfranchisement, so what do the Culture, Foreign Affairs and Empowerment Ministers in the Cabinet do? More Expenditure at the wrong time.

    What have we have not heard is a defence of the island’s economic policies and the plans which are being put in place to tackle these issues. A declining economy is no joke or reason for economic officials to seek to use favourable media to effectively deliver optimistic news, which fails to address the apprehension and hardships that the public continues to face everyday.

    What we heard instead was a release from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) related to its assessment of this island’s economic performance under its programme, which started in 2018.

    A few points. Did anyone expect that release to say anything negative? The release as usual started with the position of the foreign reserves in early 2018 versus the state of these reserves now. Who was in charge then and now? One would have expected not to detect a certain tone from the IMF, but did anyone expect the IMF to state that its programme was not working? The 6% target was adjusted to 1%, so more ‘smoke and mirrors’.

    Even as the reserves have climbed, propped up by substantial borrowing or ‘support’, the IMF has failed to acknowledged the social and economic hardships which have developed since March 2020, but instead states that this island has maintained excellent progress

    Can you be anymore tone-deaf? Look at the history of IMF Programmes and the myopic nature of these initiatives even as people suffer. Over 30 000 unemployment claims, more small and medium enterprises closing and yet the headlines are that Barbados is doing well. Businesses are closing, as this newspaper and others have shown, and there is uncertainty in the market and society, yet all while the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs remains silent. Guess silence is not from only one party or leader alone!

    So let me start with the questions:

    Tourism is our number one earning industry, yet we have not heard about the impact of the gradual return of passenger flights to the island. Where is the Minister of Tourism, especially in light of the critical nature of this industry?
    The Tourism Minister is duty bound to provide an update on the sector and how tourism players are coping with reduced incomes, the ongoing COVID-19 threat, since we are effectively importing positive cases. What is the outlook for the Winter season, which is two months away?
    Next up is the International Business sector, when last have we heard from the appointed Minister on any issue related to this sector?
    This aforementioned Minister was extremely vocal on this sector in Opposition, so what is the vision for the sector, as the world economy contracts in the pandemic period? When will this Minister rouse himself to address the public?
    What is the status of the FEED Programme? Much fanfare was given to its launch, yet we as usual, have heard nothing on its performance and the work of the Ministry in achieving its goal of food security? How is the agricultural sector coping in these times?
    To the Minister of Public Works, What is the update on the redevelopment of the Markets in Fairchild Street and the former site of the NIS Building? Taxpayers have a right to know.
    To the Minister of Water Resources, I applaud your forthright approach to tackling issues, but why not more detailed information on the loans which are financing these solutions. When were these loans secured and in the interest of being magnanimous, should it not be mentioned when these agreements were achieved?
    When will we hear an update on the South Coast sewage project? A new treatment plant was promised in 18 months, and this was a justification for the Sewerage tax? How much has the tax raised since it was implemented? Information is needed.
    The Ministry of Finance is duty bound to address the concerns of the public. How does Government intend to fill the shortfall in the economy caused by the decline in economic performance?
    What is the plan to address unemployment? A depressed economy where Government has been earning significant amounts from direct taxation, and prices are rising remains not a good scenario.
    To the Minister of Youth, did you think the public would overlook the fact that after years of the previous Opposition chiding the National Summer Camp programme, we see a modified one being implemented.

    12 . What is the cost of the electric buses and what happens to the existing fleet of buses?

    Let me stop there for now, more to come soon

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  • NorthernObserver

    @ac
    Reading you referencing the BCCI is like me referencing the scriptures.
    You are smartly smiling at the challenges, while emphasising the social economy.
    I think the GoB should pay all citizens a “living wage” until all the borrowed funds are exhausted and then hand the reins back to the D’s.
    They could then default “bigly” to create fiscal space.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Northern
    If i give u fifty dollars and u spend it
    Then i collect taxes on it who is the better winner
    Go and figure

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  • But David u are truly amazing how clearly i remember your written utterances in the past ten years when the BCCI spoke about the barbados economy and its failures
    Now you comes on as the joker you have become to poke fingers in my direction
    Wouldn’t be surprised to hear u say well barbaos is doing a hell of a lot better and punching above its weight
    Anyhow keep digging them rabbit holes for people like Northern to head down
    Lol

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    @ac
    No. I spend $50 and the seller COLLECTS taxes. The seller then refuses to remit the taxes on a timely basis, and the government later writes them off.
    I say the seller who collected the profits from the sale, and the unremitted taxes is the winner. You?

    Liked by 1 person

  • NorthernObserver

    But the key is really that you GAVE ME the $50. Ask @TronG about the welfare state

    Liked by 1 person

  • Northern
    What u have described is an incompetent govt who have no right presently to manage the affairs of barbados
    Thanks for laying out with clarity the grave danger the barbados economy finds itself presently with a govt who rather than collect taxes give the taxes to a selected few

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    Lol. Who jumping down a rabbit hole now 🤣 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  • NorthernObserver

    PS. They have the “right” (30-0). Whether they are any better managers than the previous group, is left to be seen.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Even a blind man can see the doom and gloom heading barbados direction and the blind man is not alone
    Also by now the govt minister got to be thinking that the 30-0 is a curse
    Something for you to think about

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  • Yuh got to admit what Northern said applies to ALL former governments that allowed businesses to collect the taxes but don’t remit them.

    That mean the DLP incompetent and shouldn’t run the affairs of Barbados too. So yuh got incompetent DLP governments and incompetent BLP governments.

    By the way Northern, yuh could see that Mari copy and paste all of them questions from somewhere, because she English poor just like mine. So yuh done know she ain’t write them.

    Like

  • Yes, the situation that the prior two administrations left Mia Mottley with is far from pretty. It is horrific.

    But Mottley is batting very well thus far on an atrocious wicket. Ball flying left right and centre, but she is acting like Gordon Greenidge and making an heroic stance.

    Like

  • Weir: 16% boost in food production

    by COLVILLE MOUNSEY THERE HAS BEEN an overwhelming response to Barbados’ food security push, especially within the environment of COVID-19, as the country has recorded a 16 per cent increase in local non-sugar agricultural production for the first half of the year.

    Minister of Agriculture, Indar Weir told the

    DAILY NATION that the country surpassed its goal for increased acreage during the pandemic, which is set to go even higher now that the longrunning drought appears to have been broken.

    Weir explained that apart from the fact that the 2019 initiative dubbed Farmers’ Empowerment and Enfranchisement Drive (FEED) is paying dividends, persons who lost their jobs due to the pandemic are flocking to the sector.

    “We have a 16 per cent increase across the sector for non-sugar agriculture. Most of the crops that were not so dependent on water or what you may call drought-tolerant crops have seen increases, especially a lot of the herbs that are being used. There have been significant increases in beet and watermelon. Sweet potato has increased significantly above previous years, but 2019 seems to have been an exceptional year, so the numbers are lower when one compares the two years,” said Weir.

    According to information coming out of the Ministry of Agriculture’s Planning Unit, there were massive increases in several crops. Among these were: beets 343 per cent, eggplant 205 per cent, pumpkin 132 per cent, hot peppers 244 per cent, onions 106 per cent, corn 128 per cent, squash 100 per cent, peanuts 34 per cent and tomatoes 50 per cent.

    The minister disclosed that there were declines in cucumber and carrot production as drought conditions took a toll on these crops. He noted his expectations that those crops would increase in the latter half of the year, now that the rains have begun to fall with some regularity.

    Decline

    “Carrots and cucumbers have seen some decline because they are heavily dependent on water, and the prolonged drought had negatively impacted those types of crops. We had set ourselves a target of 685 acres of land to increase production when we were approaching that COVID-19 period and we have surpassed that target, reaching 757 acres.

    “We are doing very well, and our projections going forward are even higher now that the rains have come. The more waterdependent crops can now take advantage of the rains,” he said, noting that some of the fallow CLICO lands in St John have also been tilled and is ready to go into production.

    However, on a cautionary note, Weir pointed out that things could easily move from one extreme to another, hampering any gains that have been

    made for the year thus far.

    “The challenge that we do have now is that if you get too much rain, planting is going to be slowed down and if we get flooding that would not be a good thing. So this has to be a total balancing act and I am grateful for the rain and a lot of the farmers who have been constrained by the droughts have been able to save their crops, especially those farmers at River Plantation and Spring Hall,” he said.

    In the meantime, Weir signalled his intent to make proverbial hay while the sun was shining, noting that his ministry has begun work on the long-in-coming reservoirs within water-scarce farming areas.

    “We have started to make preparations to put in all of the reservoirs, and what we are going to do is to make sure that by the end of December that we have those reservoirs in place if all goes according to plan. This is important so that we can start the water harvesting process and be prepared for the next dry season,” he said.

    Source: Nation Newspaper

    Liked by 1 person

  • BCCI assesement on a shrinking economy

    Notwithstanding a temporary increase in sales in the month of March, retailers and distributors who remained open during the curfew have reported steady reductions in revenue as high as 25% over the period April to July this year compared to the same period last year. Retailers that were closed during the curfew reported more significant slides upwards of 35% for the same period. Of equal or greater concern is the negative outlook for the foreseeable future which results from observed declining foot traffic, as high as 20% in various sectors, and extremely thin margins particularly in the supermarket sector which is wholly dependent on significant volumes generated by foot traffic and customer spend to cover overheads.

    Like

  • Seems as if wanna be comedian has a horrible collection of jokes. But then again, what would you expect from a man who think it is right to “grab them”.

    Like

  • MariposaSeptember 1, 2020 5:11 AM

    How much of the spend is on imported goods and how much on goods produced locally. The flip side of the reduction in spending is less forex out.

    But we know dem retailers likes to import and sell. That is real businessmen. Import, markup and sell.

    Stupse.

    How many of those same organisations have started locally produced goods, manufacturing, growing? Not just import and sell?

    This is a time for repositioning of all this crap.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I am not one who rushes to the defense of any administration. Let me add that my knowledge of Economic theory is very limited.

    Can the government solve all of the problems confronting it in a matter of a few years?

    Does the government has the funds to support the many initiatives that some ask for, to provide benefits for those in need and to satisfy existing obligations?

    Can we as some seem to think find a fast and easy replacement for tourism?

    Does the brilliant ideas enjoy the displaced workers from the tourist industry? The problem is more complicated than replacing dollars by dollars.

    The problems that confront us are large and real. We the observers can flit from topic to topic and provide immediate solutions. For those who rule, the problems are not that easy to solve

    Like

  • Does the brilliant ideas EMPLOY the displaced workers from the tourist industry? The problem is more complicated than replacing dollars by dollars.

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  • The bottom line being that the spending power to keep these business afloat is decreasing
    One must also remember that govt high taxation and fees on the populace has also helped to decrease the spending power
    Money which if had been left in the people pocket might be able to cushion some of the monetary fall out which business are feeling
    Never mind that stored within the billion dollars govt speaks of are millions in taxes and fees taken from the peoples pocket to prop up the Reserves
    Oh btw i heard the electric buses some are all but running very low on capacity
    Yet govt had 45 million to buy these buses with no value of return on the dollar cost of these buses any time soon
    Taking into account maintenance cost and other miscellaneous charges

    Like

  • @Crusoe

    Shops in Barbados import T-shirt s from South Africa to be old in Barbados. This is not only scandalous, but criminally mad. The obsession with foreign reserves has been firmly planted in the heads of most Barbadians. No amount of economic reason will displace it.
    Here is an example on the micro level: every month you spend $300 on your main shop. Unfortunately, you have lost your job in the pandemic, the first thing most sensible people will do is to sit down and draft and income and expenditure list.
    Your income will be fixed, or certainly reduced, to you do the same to your spending, prioritising what is important, such as the mortgage or rent, and what is not, such as a bottle of rum or whisky.
    In other words, you reduce your spending to suit your income. Nation’s too have to do the same. That is what is at the heart of the mumbo-jumbo of fiscal space.
    The simple way of doing this first by establishing a prices and income commission, making it illegal to increase prices or wages without official approval.
    We also have to forget the nonsense that there are organisations in the tourism sect or ‘too big to fail’. They are not. Any hotel that looks to the government for support must first consider equity for debt. No equity, not help.
    They also have to look at their business models, and the sooner the better. Most of our medium to small hotels are family owned or limited liability companies.
    If they are short of funding, or in crisis, then let them consider a sale and lease back. They also have to look at their business models, many of which are out of date. What most tourists need are bed and breakfasts accommodation. Everything else is non-core.
    The problem is that CoVid has simply speeded up the crisis facing Barbadian tourism, which offers nothing more than accommodation, sunshine and sea, nothing that our rivals cannot offer.
    We urgently need a tourism and leisure infrastructure, which has not even been on the government CoVid economic council agenda. We are simply going round and round in circles, regurgitating the same mediocre ideas and getting the same repetitive comments.
    Then coming on BU and spewing out simplistic nonsense for a rum shop crowd.

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  • Donna…i did my bit for the last 8 years to educate as many as I can in Barbados, other Caribbean islands and across the whole Diaspora, it worked with quite a few people and they are FULLY AWAKE, now it’s EVERYONE ELSE’S TURN to continue to educate and make the people see that they MUST STEP UP, STAND UP AND DEMAND THEIR EMPOWERMENT from their half-assed traitors for leaders, theirs and their children and future generations lives depends on it…..if they care anything at all about their own people..

    there is only so much I can do, it’s time for me to pull back a litte.

    Like

  • Economic Advisor to Government, Dr. Kevin Greenidge. (BGIS)

    This is a response to the article in the Sunday Sun Nation Newspaper entitled “Bonds A Risk: Investment firm says Barbados will find it difficult to pay”.

    In the front page of the Nation’s Sunday Sun, Victoria Mutual Wealth Management VMWM (a Jamaican investment firm) claims, without presenting a single piece of evidence or analysis, that Barbados’s Bonds are high risk and that the Government will find it difficult to repay those bonds. Unfortunately, I have to write this article to provide clarification and to reject the conclusion in the article that, in my opinion, is either based on weak economic and financial analysis or a failure to access the relevant data. I now present the facts:

    The first unfounded claim the firm made is that the recent 6.5 percent 2029 bond is high-risk. Nothing can be further from the truth. This bond is currently trading at 98.38 cents on the dollar (August 30, 2020), just slight below par, which is amazing in a COVID-19 crisis environment and for debt that has been recently restructured. The trading price (which may be accessed by all on Bloomberg) is a strong indication that investors are confident in the policies being pursued by the Barbados Government and consequently our ability to repay our debt. A picture speaks 1000 words. Let us look at the Charts.

    Chart 1 shows that the price of this Barbados 2029 bond has risen consistently since early May 2020 in spite of the pandemic and the known implications of the major reduction in global travel. The upward trend of the trading price also reflects investors’ preference for holding the Barbados bond relative to other bonds available on the market. The fact is that this trend in bond prices does not support the conclusion that our bond is high-risk. Let us be clear – high risk bonds sell at a low price, which keeps falling until someone buys them. This is in fact the opposite here; Barbados bonds are low risk. How do we know? Nobody wants to sell them off and hence, any investor must be willing to pay a high price to get them.

    Let me give further support of the confidence that the market has in the Government of Barbados bonds. Chart 2 shows that the spread between the Barbados 2029 Bond and the US 10 year Bond has been declining consistently since early May 2020. The means that, day after day, investors are opting for the Barbados bond relative to the US Bond. This only happens if investors believe that the Barbados bond has a lower risk than the US bond. This is basic financial analysis – the Bond yield on Barbados’ external debt does not in any way indicate that the instrument is under stress.

    The second unfounded claim made by the firm is that there are concerns about Barbados’ ability to manage its debt between now and 2029 when those bonds mature. The fact is that our international reserves are at historically high levels—more than US$1 billion or more than 30 weeks of import cover. This means Barbados’ capacity to make external debt payments is strong. We are projecting (as has the IMF) that when 2029 comes around, Barbados will have roughly 6 times as much international reserves as is required to service our debt, and this is inclusive of all debt due (see Chart 3). So, there are absolutely NO concerns over the country’s ability to service its debt in future years from its stock of international reserves.

    Those are the only two points which Victoria Mutual Wealth Management has made to arrive at their erroneous conclusion. We welcome the opportunity to meet with them as we are prepared to show in greater detail why the two assertions are unfounded and incorrect. I will also point out that the highly successful domestic and external debt restructuring completed respectively in November 2018 and December 2019 was designed to ensure that we never return to that position again where the country is unable to service its debt.

    Maturities of our debt instruments were lengthened so that there is sufficient time for the country to recover from the preceding 10-year recession before it has to repay these bonds. Interest rates of these new debt instruments were also reduced. Instead of paying 68 cents out of every tax dollar in debt service the Government of Barbados is now paying 22 cents. This is not only more affordable but means that we could invest the monies saved from the restructuring to grow the economy (as we were doing) and to be even in a better position to repay our debt or now more importantly, as has happened, to meet the tremendous challenges of the pandemic and the closure of our borders.

    Both the IMF and the Rating Agencies have stated in their various publications that our debt restructuring and our commitment to primary fiscal surpluses pre-Covid have combined to put public debt on a sound footing, and on a downward trajectory over the medium and long term. This is still their conclusion, even after we take into account the current challenges presented by the global COVID pandemic.

    Dr. Kevin Greenidge

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  • This is a silly and defensive apology for bad policy making. Just over two years ago Barbados defaulted on its external and internal debt. Any bonds issued after that makes them high risk. That is fixed income investment 101 – solid conventional financial economics.
    That is the only evidence the Victoria Mutual needs to present. If people are ‘confident’ in the government of Barbados to repay its debt, tell us who these people are? Where these Barbadian bonds are being traded and who is buying them? What are the bonds that are so popular? Ten year bonds? Four year BOSS bonds? BOSS adds to the uncertainty and risk of economic recovery and the policy itself impacts liquidity in the economy.
    And, if they are in such high demand, plse explain the delay in White Oaks reaching a conclusion. Of course there are – or should be – concerns that Barbados cannot meet its debt obligations when they mature in 2029. Is Dr Greenidge looking through his crystal ball to see what the economy will be like in nine years?
    Forget the charts, they can be bogus. And if they are suggesting that Barbadian bonds are a good investment, then they are bogus. Dr Greenidge is now telling us that the default was resolved in November and December of last year. Is that official? Is White Oaks still being paid by the government.
    If I remember correctly, in December last year it was said that White Oaks/the Government had reached a PROVISIONAL agreement with its external creditors. Some of us are still waiting for a full and final settlement.
    If they have reached such a conclusion, my full apology to Dr Greenidge and his colleagues; if not, he owes the people of Barbados a full apology for this clear deception.
    He concludes: “Both the IMF and the Rating Agencies have stated in their various publications that our debt restructuring and our commitment to primary fiscal surpluses pre-Covid have combined to put public debt on a sound footing, and on a downward trajectory over the medium and long term.”
    Plse tell us what this has to do with whether our bonds are high risk? The IMF is only concerned with the deal it did and that we are sticking to it; and t he rating agencies are the same ones that that gave triple A ratings to SPVs and SIVs in the period leading up to the banking crisis.
    Then he goes down what Barbadians call the rabbit hole of historically high currency reserves. What about the devaluation of the Greenback, thus the Bajan, since CoVid, against a basket of major currencies?

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  • @HA
    The IMF have also stated Barbados concluded it’s external debt restructuring in Dec 2019.
    Since the WO contract had almost immediate settlement terms, the GoB should by now be able to share the exact costs of their advice.

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  • I here in a dilemma.

    I want to know if I should listen to a man that got qualifications and experience like Dr. Greenidge or if I should listen to a NEWSPAPER COLUMNIST that AIN’T AN ECONOMIST, but does CRITICIZE EVERYBODY and EVERYTHING and feel that he KNOW and does be RIGHT ABOUT EVERY SINGLE THING, even BOUT subjects that he ain’t QUALIFIED in, just because he do a few one day seminars in insurance?

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  • @ NO

    In December we were told the government/White Oaks had reached a provisional agreement. Have they now reached a full and final settlement? If yes, I apologise. If no, then they owe the public (or Dr Greenidge does) an apology.
    Explaining to the public is not in the remit of the IMF. If we have, does that mean that White Oaks is now not being paid?

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  • @Robert
    The simple answer is to ask DrG how many bonds he has purchased.
    He may also wish to provide a 10 yr historical chart on the trading of GoB instruments post initial acquisition.
    He may also tell the market of the correlation between risk and reward and why the local GoB bonds have such a high coupon rate.
    And why the Treasury has no posted information on TBills past Oct 2019.
    Recall in the selective default they included TBills, converting them to Bonds.
    I wouldn’t touch a Bond even with your money.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @HA
    I ‘thought’ in Dec we were told the GoB and it’s external creditors had reached agreement.
    I was not aware this would immediately end the contract with WO. The GoB or it’s agents told us that contract also included work in several other local areas, such as reducing the A/P for SOE’s.
    Given it is now Sept 2020, in continuing transparency, a report on the status of WO is “overdue”.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ NO

    I read in the Nation or Barbados Today (I do not normally read the Advocate) that Barbados had reached a PROVISIONAL agreement. Ever since then on numerous occasions I have been looking for the full and final settlement.
    Maybe you are better informed than I. But I have searched the BGIS website for an update. If I am behind, I am sorry. But this should be easy information to get. If, as you assume, there is a full and final settlement, why then are we paying White Oaks? Can someone please explain?
    BU should be a website of record. Is it not?

    Liked by 1 person

  • The simple answer is to ask DrG how many bonds he has purchased. {Quote}

    @Northern Observer

    I even more confused now. How asking Dr. Greenidge if he buy bonds or you ain’t buying bonds wid my money got to do with me asking if I should listen to a newspaper man that does talk with nuff authority bout things that he ain’t qualified in and does tell the qualified people that they wrong?

    Remember, I just asking questions?

    Like

  • @HA
    If you think the contents of the ‘ full and final settlement’ with external creditors will ever be made public beyond it has happened, I doubt it.
    The contract with WO was laid in public. It was a monthly fee plus various commissions a.k.a ” success fees” for achieving specific goals. In addition to matters related to GoB paper, WO was to advise and assist in numerous other financial related matters. Hence, I do not assume the conclusion of matters directly linked to the default, ends the WO contract.
    I can say there was confusion among creditors of the many SOE’s and GoB departments, as to who was responsible for the “offers to settle”: the IMF or WO? Those offers of which I had knowledge , included a haircut and then full payment of the aged outstanding balance. Hence, were these part of the WO contract?
    This should be more transparent in a Report on WO.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Robert
    Listen to whomever you want.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Robert as usual i agree with you.Imagine this joker Austin who is not a trained economist questioning Dr Greenidge who is?He also clsimed that Ms Mottley would push through legislation during the haitus of Parliament.I am yet to see such legislation.Therefore proven wrong yet again.I think Auztin suffers from the UK condition high class ignorance and should be punished with laughter as ex PM Mr Stuart once said.A total clown.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Northern

    I am still not clear. In December it was said the government/White Oaks had reached a PROVISIONAL agreement with external creditors.
    Has this agreement been finalised, a full and final settlement? Yes or no. Forget if White Oaks is still on the payroll or if the IMF is happy with the arrangement. I am not talking about making public the contents of the deal. Just a confirmation that it is now full and final.
    If there has been a full and final settlement, then I apologise; if not, then Dr Greenidge owes the people of Barbados an apology.

    Like

  • @ Hal
    I did not go in a polling station and vote for Greenidge, Mascoll or Persuad. The PM who is MOF should be the one addressing the country.
    Also note that the country learned that the COVID Czar , has given up his post via a town hall meeting. There has been no official statement that he has vacated the position.We need to know what Comrade Prescod is being paid as the PM’s new envoy. We also need to know what are the compensations for : Mascoll, Greenidge and Persuad. Where is all the shouting for transparency disappeared to ?
    Like you have always said this is more about competence than anything else.
    Why did we have to go back to parliament for hundreds of thousands of dollars to modify pay to consultants? The leader of the opposition asked that question and it was never answered.
    After the Throne Speech everything should be made clearer or we would be on our way to a banana republic.
    Things get curiouser and curiouser.

    Like

  • Questions for the apologists and obstructionists:
    Was Grantley Adams a trained economist?
    Was Hugh Gordon Cummings a trained economist?
    Was Errol Barrow a trained economist?
    Was Tom Adams a trained economist?
    Was Bree St John a trained economist?
    Was Erskine Sandiford a trained economist?
    Was David Thompson a trained economist?
    Was Freundel Stuart a trained economist?
    Is Mia Mottley a trained economist?
    So therefore if only trained economists are to believed why should we have believed or believe who we have elected to lead us.
    So by the current argument if my Prime Minister comes and tells me that our country is not going well and Greenidge ,Mascoll or Persuad come and tell me differently, should I dismiss my PM because she is not a trained economist?

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  • We should stop blaming our government for the economic misery. Sure, Greendidge is not very convincing … But what should he do differently? We only had one viable industry and it is now dead by 2021/22.

    Still, I am glad. It has never been so quiet on our island. No bush drums and loud music as usual. Bridgetown is very pleasant because you can shop there tax-free. Especially the Rolex store is great: they sell very popular models without waiting lists and about 20 percent cheaper than in North America and Europe. So I advise everyone to simply buy a Rolex in Bridgetown during the crisis, leave the watch for ten years in a climatised room and then sell it at a premium.

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  • Mr Skinner you wanted to hear from Mr Prescod hoping he would upset the apple cartLike you Mr Prescod is no political heavyweight and came to the realisation that he was serving at the pleasure of Ms Mottley.Now he has gotten a new pick and seems happy you still wish to hear from him i doubt it.Ms Mottley will deliver the throne speech and we will see where we are going np need for idle speculation as it helps no one.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @HA
    In the printed words of the IMF, December 2019 saw the COMPLETION of the Barbados external debt restructuring.
    Whether Completion means ‘Full and Final’, I have no idea.
    Based on our trade dealings with the USA nothing is ever full and final. One is simply guided by the most current ‘dispute resolution’ clauses, when one party ‘contravenes’ the agreement.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ William

    You are holding out a lot for the Queen’s Speech. I am always confused why Barbadians are so fascinated by qualifications. All a PhD means is that one submits a proposal to a university to research a very narrow area of a given subject and commits to write no less than 40000 words within three years on that subject.
    In real terms, that works out at about 40 words a day. What would be helpful is if the PhDs tell us what their theses were. There should be copies in the library at the UWI. A taught MSc/MA is more intellectually challenging than most PhDs. I like the idea of people telling me what I am and am not qualified in. Comes as news to me.
    Let us move away from nonsense and get back to reality, discussing ideas. Why are the highly paid people at Cave Hill not joining in this public debate?

    Like

  • William Skinner September 1, 2020 7:09 PM

    Questions for the apologists and obstructionists:
    Was Grantley Adams a trained economist?
    Was Hugh Gordon Cummings a trained economist?
    Was Errol Barrow a trained economist?
    Was Tom Adams a trained economist?
    Was Bree St John a trained economist?
    Was Erskine Sandiford a trained economist?
    Was David Thompson a trained economist?
    Was Freundel Stuart a trained economist?
    Is Mia Mottley a trained economist?
    So therefore if only trained economists are to believed why should we have believed or believe who we have elected to lead us.
    So by the current argument if my Prime Minister comes and tells me that our country is not going well and Greenidge ,Mascoll or Persuad come and tell me differently, should I dismiss my PM because she is not a trained economist? {QUOTE}

    @ William Skinner you talking bare ignorance.

    All the prime ministers if they were trained economists or not had the ministry of finance that full of qualified economists to help them. Then they does make they own political appointments, just like how David Thompson and Freundel Stuart had economist Frank Alleyne as head of some economic advisory committee that help them formulate policy and advise them what to tell the public.

    So them prime ministers does just be repeating what the people in the ministry and them political advisors tell them to say.

    I prefer to hear from them than from some idiot who claim to fame is that he do a few one day seminars.

    Liked by 1 person

  • RE There should be copies in the library at the UWI.
    WHY? IF THE STUDIES WERE NOT DONE AT UWIA

    A taught MSc/MA is more intellectually challenging than most PhDs.
    DO YOU HAVE ANY OF THESES SIR?
    IN WHICH LIBRARY ARE YOUR COPIES?

    Liked by 1 person

  • A taught MSc/MA is more intellectually challenging than most PhDs
    @Hal Austin this is false.
    But I agree with your view that Bajans are eerily fascinated with credentials rather than the ability to get the job done.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Northern

    Why you had to go and “vexify” me fresh now with that dam debt restructuring and W0 thing for?

    Like

  • @ Dullard

    What do I know.

    Like

  • Mr Skinner if i had the choice of whose advice i would follow between Hal Austin , Greene, John A and you as against Mr Kevin Greenidge a highly trained economist working at the IMF who do you think i will choose? It is a no brainer Dr Greenidge every time.Most of you so called experts never run a bread shop far less a country.

    Like

  • Working at the IMF is a code for doing the bidding of the white master and that is exactly what Greenidge job entails
    He must sing for his supper meanwhile barbados social and economy environment is battered and torn and not one word is said about the lives of barbados household coming out of Geeenidge mouth
    What do i want him to say i tell you
    Tell the IMF chief that barbados is more than an economy it is a society and the people lives has been stretched to the bare bones
    Also those feel good news reels dont feed hungry bellies

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  • Mariposa your shite talk about Barbados is more than an economy it is a society is the reason why we are in the hole we are in today.Mr Thompson in trying to achieve his lifelong ambition to become Prime Minister of Barbados came with this slogan back in 2008 .Then not having a clue what he was doing drained the life out of the economy with his first budget.Then between himself and Mr Stuart proceeded to run down the economy tojunk bond status.Therefore jackass without a strong economy there can be no society.This government has the task of pulling the country oit of the hole ypur dems left through gross incompetence.Unfortunately, the progress being made was knocked down by Covid 19 which no one could have predicted. However i am quite congident with Ms Mottley at the helm we will recover in time as it will not be an overnight fix.

    Like

  • @Lorenzo
    I suspect that you are in the group that never run a breadshop and the BDLP is praying that you never run the country.

    Just had to tickle yah.

    Like

  • Lorenzo
    Thompson words spoke to truth
    Reason why barbados is in the hell hole is because your govt decides to throw the poor under the bus to appease the needs of the rich
    OSA sold the best real estate to the highest foreign bidders land that is now out of reach to bajans
    Mia rob the pensioners to appease the greed of foreign collection agency called the IMF
    Also decides it best to give tax breaks and tax waivers to big business in return for nothing
    What does she give the bajan household in two years nothing
    but ownership to the debt laden basket

    Like

  • Mariposa tell us what help the poor people got when the Dems laid off over four thousand just after 2013 some including husband and wife from the same household?Then for the the ex PM to ask if persons knew the meaning of temporary? You remember any of this hyprocrite?Maybe you remember when ex finance minister Mr Sinckler was killing poor bsjans with taxes?You were not concerned with poor people then as you were to busy defending the dems as ac back thenYou are a deceitful hyprocrite who reminds me of the idiotic Ms Undecided who makes a lot of wild statements and when challeged like you cannot support them with any evidence.Take a break like me you need it.

    Liked by 1 person

  • OSA sold the best real estate to the highest foreign bidders land that is now out of reach to bajans (quote)

    Mari, tell we where all the best real estate that you say OSA sell to foreigners was located?

    It can’t be people land he sell, because that is private property, unless you want to say that the government compulsory acquire the people land and sell it to the foreign bidders you talking bout.

    If not, it would have to be government land he sell. So tell we wuh part all this land is.

    Like

  • OSA sold the best real estate to the highest foreign bidders land that is now out of reach to bajans (quote)

    Mari, tell we where all the best real estate that you say OSA sell to foreigners was located?

    It can’t be people land he sell, because that is private property, unless you want to say that the government compulsory acquire the people land and sell it to the foreign bidders you talking bout.

    If not, it would have to be government land he sell. So tell we wuh part all this land is.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Persaud insisted he was unable to give details of the plan at this stage, but said it was very much focused on reengaging workers and creating “new green investment plans that will transform our sector and move it towards a fully renewable and conserving sector”.

    Like

  • Demystifying Throne Speeches
    By Ezra Alleyne

    In the upcoming Throne Speech, the Mia Amor Mottley administration will produce a speech to be read by Governor General Dame Sandra Mason during the ceremonial opening of Parliament after its prorogation.
    Ceremonial openings of Parliament and in particular, Throne Speeches, are confusing to some people. On such occasions, the Monarch or Governor General reads a speech written by “the Cabinet” politicians and describes the Government as “my” Government.
    It would not surprise me if during the speech, puzzled listeners in the safety of their homes, mutter in hushed tones: “But isn’t it Mia’s Government?” and reflect on the Mighty Gabby’s calypso West Indian Politician
    which declares “ because you train in England, Westminster choking we”.
    The simplest, most authoritative explanation I can find for this contradiction is in the writing of Walter Bagehot, a barrister and journalist of high intellectual calibre, who as far back as 1867, sought to demystify these matters. Bagehot wrote the now famous and well read book entitled The English Constitution.
    It is a classic.
    Centres of power
    Bagehot wisely suggests that to understand the system (my paraphrase), we should not be fooled by constitutional theories, but should instead concentrate on the real centres of power and the practical workings of the system. Good advice to some extent!
    Okay, so let us see how and if this explains the idea of a Throne Speech. Now, in theory and in law, Her Majesty the Queen is our Head of State. In theory, the Executive power is reposed in her hands. In actuality, political realities locate functional power in the Prime Minister and her Cabinet. The Constitution says so. Bagehot recognised this truth.
    In other words, careful observation of political realities, and locating the centres of power, will simplify matters that mere theoretical statements do not.
    What was crucial, he insisted, was to understand the difference between the “dignified parts” of the Constitution and the “efficient parts”.
    The former, the monarchy (and pomp and pageantry – my words), prorogation and dissolution of Parliament, things of that sort, “excite” and preserve the reverence of the population. The latter, (Prime Ministers, Cabinet, Legislature and the Public Service) are “those (parts) by which it (the constitution) in fact, works and rules”.
    Mind you, Bagehot admitted that they (the parts) were not separable with microscopic accuracy, but he demystified the issue.
    Critical gelling
    Yet, the Throne Speech exhibits a critical gelling of the dignified part of the Constitution with its efficient counterpart; such a functional arrangement having been hammered out on the altar of political compromise here (1937, 1946, 1951, 1966) and there.
    Given the current economic turbulence and the need for this prorogation and a necessary Throne Speech, the efficiency of the public service (an efficient part of the Constitution) in crunching the numbers for the policy-makers was crucial background for the speech.
    But our technocrats in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs have an established institutional reputation for accurate forecasts.
    In 2006, external experts admitted that the local technocrats had more accurately forecast the performance of the economy for 2005, than their own. Yet another feather in the local cap.
    Hear this now. In 1989, a major dispute broke out in the Estimates Debate in Parliament between Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Erskine Sandiford and former Minister of Finance (1986-1988) Dr Richie Haynes. The issue – the accuracy of their revenue forecasts as ministers of finance.
    In defending his (inaccurate) forecast, Haynes pointed out that the actual estimated forecast collection of income taxes had been topped up, not by the technocrats, but by the Cabinet of the day after interventions by Errol Barrow.
    As a result, the more accurate forecast of the technocrats did not see the light of day. It had been changed at Cabinet, and replaced by another figure which was presented to the House of Assembly, as a genuine estimated collection of revenue. That altered figure was
    almost double the actual results. What a thing!
    Haynes’ account was challenged by other members of the then Cabinet, who declared that they could not recall any such interference. Whatever the issue, that shortfall in revenue probably contributed significantly to the early 1990s’ economic crisis.
    We anticipate that as usual, highly expert technocratic advice featured as an essential part of the background to this Throne Speech.
    Ezra Alleyne is an attorney and a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly.

    Source: Nation Newspaper

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