Walter Blackman’s Political Insights

It will be worth the time to study Walter’s brief odyssey into local politics to extract learnings;

David, Blogmaster
Walter Blackman,
Actuary and Social
Commentator Extraordinaire

If we are going to extract learnings, we need to look at the dots and connect them. I have reaped no success in politics to justify the writing of a book or my memoirs at this point in time, but there are a few revelations I can make exclusively on BU which would help Barbadians to understand the genesis of some incidents which extensively damaged Barbados, the lives of Barbadians, and the Barbados brand.

I do not know if this particular topic is the best place for me to start, but I am going to start. You, as blogmaster, have the right to package my writings and place them wherever you see fit.

I hope by taking this course of action that I will inspire other Barbadians who believe that they have a tale to tell to start doing so. William Skinner readily comes to mind.

The success of our oppressors stem primarily from the fact that they want to silence us and make us cower in fear. They want to make us feel that it is a sin for us to share our experiences. It is my deep-rooted belief that our shared experiences will help us to understand and appreciate each other more, and by so doing, will create a catalyst for change, however small.

These are my writings and I own them. I have attached my name to them so they are my intellectual property. I reserve the monopolistic right to use them as part of any book I decide to publish in the future.

Let me state, up front, that I have not been privy to any secrets created or held by any political party in Barbados, so it is impossible for me to divulge any. Almost all of the positions adopted by me arose out of deductive reasoning, or by analysis of events that stumbled into the public domain.

273 comments

  • BAJE
    November 24, 2020 11:46 AM

    “CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG I BELIEVE EARLIER THAT YOU ADMITTED BEING ON AN NIS BOARD FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS OR WORKING FOR NIS IN A DIFFERENT CAPACITY.

    YOU WERE PART OF THE NIS SYSTEM AND COULD HAVE LED TO CHANGE FROM WITHIN.
    I WONDER HOW THE BAJAN BLACK MASSES COULD BE BLAME FOR YOU AND YOUR FORMER COLLEAGUES INEPTITUDE/MISMANAGEMENT WHEN THEY WERE NEVER IN CONTROL OF NIS FUNDS OR DECISION MAKING JUST COMPULSORY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM EMPLOYMENT WAGES?

    BAJE,

    You are not wrong. I said that I served on the NIS Board from 1986 -1994.
    Under the law, only one person has the power to direct how NIS funds are to be invested. That person is the Minister of Finance. Therein lies the problem.

    To my mind, Barbados was blessed with two “knowledgeable and functionally capable” Ministers of Finance in Errol Barrow and Tom Adams. After those two died, the quality of our Ministers of Finance declined appreciably. NIS and the country of Barbados have paid a heavy and exorbitant price as a result.

    An NIS Board member can do nothing about the the bad and outlandish investment decisions that any Minister of Finance decides to make.

    Similarly, you are part of a Barbadian population. You can mock and use derisive comments, but you cannot change the dimension of the island from 2 x 3 to 2 x 4.

    Like

  • The war of words has started between Mia and Caswell
    Caswell says his version of the law is truth
    The govt says that Caswell is takjng money illegally from workers
    What a ting doah
    Knives have been sharpened and workers caught in the middle

    Like

  • Owen Arthur was a finance minister with an MA in economics; Chris Sinckler was a finance minister with a MA in international trade. Tom Adams had a PPE and, as many people know, you can negotiate your way through a PPE, it is like a degree in land economics.
    Did these well trained people fail?

    Like

  • RE You can mock and use derisive comments, but you cannot change the dimension of the island from 2 x 3 to 2 x 4.
    I LIKE IT WHEN THOSE WHO REALLY KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING BOUT GIVES A LESSON IN THE TRUTH TO ONE OF THE ERRANT, ERRATIC ERRONEOUS BU BRIMBLERS
    BEAUTIFUL SHOT BLACKIE
    YOU MIMICKED A CERTAIN BAJAN BOY OF BAY LAND ORIGINS

    Like

  • Is this the same Caswell Franklyn they gave $400 and offered a job? Is this the same gentleman they praised when he was blasting the Stuart administration as the “ worst “ in our history ? A position that cannot be seriously questioned. And one with which I agree.
    This is exactly how the cannibals in the BLPDLP operate. They take you in , use you, when they need you , and then they chew you up and spit you out.
    To survive in Roebuck and George Streets, you have to master how to run with the hare and hunt with the hound. They are political predators. To them it’s a blood sport.
    Peace

    Like

  • @WB
    you are now letting the ‘cat out of the bag’. The NIS falls under the remit of the Minister of Labour and ???(whatever else the title is today). Several audits have referenced something like “investment committee” or similar, without identifying who the members of such a committee are. The same audits have noted, the actual investment composition of the NIS have varied significantly, from that recommended by said committee. The MoF is not a board member, but a nominee of said Ministry is.

    Soooo…”only one person has the power to direct how NIS funds are to be invested. That person is the Minister of Finance.” I am compelled to ask “how dat?” Do all other board members fold and obey the suggestions of the MoF nominee? Or is the process bypassed altogether, and they go directly to executive management and instruct them to implement their plan, without the knowledge of the Board or its investment committee? It has been politely termed by another blogger as ‘interference’.

    Like

  • “Caswell says his version of the law is truth.”

    Caswell said that there was a possibility that it WOULD HAPPEN TO THE HOTEL WORKERS …….AND IT DID….so where’s the LIE IN THAT…

    they’re are the ones outsmarted themselves, believing that they are so all powerful and have so much weight to punch above, that everyone would sit idly by and allow them to push these workers further and further into poverty so that the white Canadians, their security guards and big dogs can push these severely traumatized workers into marijuana slave plantations and leave them there…

    If none of you warn the people of Barbados, ya waiting ya turn to do the same shite and we are watching…

    Like

  • Soooo…”only one person has the power to direct how NIS funds are to be invested. That person is the Minister of Finance.” I am compelled to ask “how dat?” Do all other board members fold and obey the suggestions of the MoF nominee? Or is the process bypassed altogether, and they go directly to executive management and instruct them to implement their plan, without the knowledge of the Board or its investment committee? It has been politely termed by another blogger as ‘interference’.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    “QUOTE”

    (I said that I served on the NIS Board from 1986 -1994.)

    IF I SAT ON AN NIS BOARD FOR AT LEAST 8 YEARS AND HAD NO POWERS WHY WOULD I WASTE TIME UNLESS IT WAS PROVIDING PERSONAL BENEFITS TO MYSELF AND NOT TO THE BLACK BAJAN MASSES WHO I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE LOOKING OUT FOR?

    THEN SEEK TO BLAME “ALL” MAKES ME QUESTION ONES PROFESSIONAL ETHICS.

    Like

  • NorthernObserver
    November 24, 2020 2:50 PM

    “@WB
    Soooo…”only one person has the power to direct how NIS funds are to be invested. That person is the Minister of Finance.” I am compelled to ask “how dat?” Do all other board members fold and obey the suggestions of the MoF nominee? Or is the process bypassed altogether, and they go directly to executive management and instruct them to implement their plan, without the knowledge of the Board or its investment committee? It has been politely termed by another blogger as ‘interference”.

    NorthernObserver

    Take another look at my words:

    “Here is how the severance payment system was supposed to work:
    If an employee was terminated, placed on short-time, or laid off, the employer was legally bound to pay that employee his severance based on a formula related to pay and length of service. The employer would make the severance payment to the employee and then seek a rebate of 25% from the NIS.”

    That sounds pretty straightforward to me.

    Soooo, now take a look at The Club Barbados situation. The employer has refused, for one reason or another, to pay the workers their severance. However, the workers have been assured that they will be paid before Independence Day. Clearly, the process is not working the way it has been designed to work.

    Reportedly, money will be taken from NIS to pay the workers. Was this the recommendation of the Investment Committee or any other committee for that matter?

    Do you really believe that the Investment Committee recommended the investment of NIS funds in the Four Seasons project and other hare-brained ventures?

    That power lies in the hands of one person, and that part of the system, my dear friend, is working quite well.

    Like

  • The workers have been promised payment by Independence Day by Mottley as a favour to Toni Moore. She said that at the press conference. Nothing to do with the union, but with her new MP.
    The president is a political trickster. You must listen carefully to what she says.

    Like

  • Keep on playing games with disgusting racists and sellout governments..

    https://www.theroot.com/nebraska-man-charged-with-hate-crime-for-threatening-wo-1845748066

    “A white man was arrested in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday because he apparently thought “racists are dangerous” was too much of an understatement and decided to show that “untethered from reality” is a more accurate descriptor—at least for him. The man is accused of waving a chainsaw at a Black woman and using racial slurs to scare her off of his property—which it turns out wasn’t his property at all.”

    Like

  • BAJE
    November 24, 2020 4:17 PM

    “IF I SAT ON AN NIS BOARD FOR AT LEAST 8 YEARS AND HAD NO POWERS WHY WOULD I WASTE TIME UNLESS IT WAS PROVIDING PERSONAL BENEFITS TO MYSELF AND NOT TO THE BLACK BAJAN MASSES WHO I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE LOOKING OUT FOR?
    THEN SEEK TO BLAME “ALL” MAKES ME QUESTION ONES PROFESSIONAL ETHICS”.

    BAJE,
    There were many matters and issues which came before the Board, and which the Board had “powers” to act upon.

    The Board considered them and acted expeditiously and judiciously. There was no need to call my professional ethics into question then or now.

    Like

  • NorthernObserver,
    Take a look at this situation from a practical standpoint:

    You are a member of the Investment Committee of the NIS. 1 million dollars of 3-month treasury bills have just matured. The government does not have the cash to liquify them and the “instruction” is to “roll them over”.

    Do you insist that it is a bad investment and government must pay the million dollars now, so that the NIS can get rid of the burdensome government paper weight? If you do, it would be an exercise in futility.

    This situation recurs monthly at the NIS.

    Like

  • 1/x
    2/x
    .
    .
    Ad infinitum

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  • @Walter

    Who are appointed to the Investment Committee? Are they selected from Board members, NIS employees?

    Like

  • @WB
    i was being intentionally devious. Primarily because a bunch on this blog do not “get” the connection between the Ministry of Finance, the Minister of Finance and the NIS, and the power exerted.

    Like

  • David
    November 24, 2020 4:51 PM

    “@Walter
    Who are appointed to the Investment Committee? Are they selected from Board members, NIS employees?”

    David,
    From memory, it was made up of NIS employees. Somehow, i seem to think that the Chairman or Deputy Chairman of the Board headed it, but am not 100% certain.

    Like

  • David,
    William Layne was on the NIS Investment Committee and he did an excellent job in trying as best as he could to diversify the NIS portfolio. I remember him spearheading the successful effort to purchase Barbados Light & Power shares..

    Like

  • @ Walter Blackman November 24, 2020 4:42 PM
    “You are a member of the Investment Committee of the NIS. 1 million dollars of 3-month treasury bills have just matured. The government does not have the cash to liquify them and the “instruction” is to “roll them over”.

    Do you insist that it is a bad investment and government must pay the million dollars now, so that the NIS can get rid of the burdensome government paper weight? If you do, it would be an exercise in futility.

    This situation recurs monthly at the NIS.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Your scenario of the NIS monthly management acts of cash-flow juggling still begs the question as from where would the NIS find the immediate ‘Cash’ to meet the cast-iron promise made by the PM to satisfy the protesting ex-workers’ expectations of severance settlement by Independence day.

    BTW, how are thev NIS overheads (especially the monthly payroll and Board members’ fee) funded?
    From its parent ministry of is it self-financing from the ‘paper’ investment income it earns?

    Like

  • NorthernObserver
    November 24, 2020 4:54 PM

    “@WB
    i was being intentionally devious. Primarily because a bunch on this blog do not “get” the connection between the Ministry of Finance, the Minister of Finance and the NIS, and the power exerted.”

    NorthernObserver,
    I was aware of what you were trying to do. I tried to assist by amplifying the main thrust of your point. I believe most readers understand.

    Like

  • BAJE,
    There were many matters and issues which came before the Board, and which the Board had “powers” to act upon.

    The Board considered them and acted expeditiously and judiciously. There was no need to call my professional ethics into question then or now.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    IN IN LISTENING TO ALL YOUR EXPLANATIONS ONE CAN AGREE THAT “ALL” INCLUDING THE GENERAL PUBLIC ARE NOT TO BE BLAMED FOR THIS NIS ONGOING FIASCO GOING WAY BACK TO CURRENT.

    WHILST OTHERS PLAY GAMES I AM ONE OF THE FORMER EMPLOYERS WHO CONTRIBUTED HEAVILY TO THE NIS MONTHLY AS IT RELATES TO EMPLOYERS CONTRIBUTION % OF THEIR EMPLOYEE CONTRIBUTIONS.

    I HAVE ALSO PAID IN CONTRIBUTIONS MYSELF PERSONALLY.

    I HAVE NEVER BEEN IN A POSITION TO CONTROL WHATEVER DIRECTION NIS WAS SPENT OR GIVEN TO.

    LUCKILY I LIVE ABROAD AND SO DON’T DEPEND ON NIS IN ANY FORM OR FASHION FROM THE 2 x 3 ISLAND.

    Like

  • @Walter

    Yes, William Layne was one of the sharper PSs/Director of Fiannce.

    Like

  • Miller
    November 24, 2020 5:10 PM

    “Your scenario of the NIS monthly management acts of cash-flow juggling still begs the question as from where would the NIS find the immediate ‘Cash’ to meet the cast-iron promise made by the PM to satisfy the protesting ex-workers’ expectations of severance settlement by Independence day.
    BTW, how are thev NIS overheads (especially the monthly payroll and Board members’ fee) funded?”

    Miller,
    Your questioning is justified.

    I will not even attempt to insult the intelligence of accounting minds like Artax and John A by attempting to quote figures from December 2014, the last year of an actuarial valuation. The NIS situation has changed drastically since 2014.

    The most I can do is lay out the bare-bones structure:

    When annual NIS contributions are greater than expenditure, we have a surplus which goes to build up investments. Therefore the NIS Fund grows.

    When expenditure is greater than income, we have a deficit. We then have to liquidate some of our investments in order to pay for the deficit. Therefore, depletion of the Fund begins. If the situation continues indefinitely, the Fund will run dry.
    We really need current data to see what is really going on. As a country we are flying blind. Not good.

    The techniques used by the government so far to keep the Fund healthy and the Scheme afloat are:
    An increase in the contribution rate, and/or a reduction in benefits.

    The blogmaster recently mentioned that the retirement age might be raised to age 70. That would be considered to be a benefit reduction.

    Like

  • BAJE
    November 24, 2020 5:17 PM

    “IN IN LISTENING TO ALL YOUR EXPLANATIONS ONE CAN AGREE THAT “ALL” INCLUDING THE GENERAL PUBLIC ARE NOT TO BE BLAMED FOR THIS NIS ONGOING FIASCO GOING WAY BACK TO CURRENT.

    LUCKILY I LIVE ABROAD AND SO DON’T DEPEND ON NIS IN ANY FORM OR FASHION FROM THE 2 x 3 ISLAND.”

    BAJE,
    When I said “All of us” I was trying to hammer home the concept of collective responsibility.

    All of us did exactly what you did.

    We paid our NIS contributions and left it to the authorities to invest our money wisely so that it would grow throughout our working years and become available to pay our pensions in our retirement years.

    Apparently things are not what we wanted them to be. The information coming to light is creating some anxiety and nervousness because thousands of us will be condemned to a life of abject post-retirement poverty if the NIS collapses.

    Currently, all of us have neither plan nor strategy. We are contemplating neither wildcat strike nor riot. All we can do for the time being is to discuss the nature of the problem, and the seriousness of the risks that we face..

    This 2 x 3 island produced you. It nurtured and nourished you. If you have now reached the stage where you can gloat, brag and boast about how lucky you are that you do not have to depend on the NIS from your 2 x3 “mother”, then, on behalf of all Barbadians, I extend to you sincerest congratulations.

    We Barbadians take pride in knowing that we raised you to be a success in this tough dog-eat-dog world. We shall continue to wish the very best for you.

    Like

  • A few years ago I attended a meeting at Frank Collymore Hall to hear some guy from Oppenheimer talk about their investments on behalf of the NIS.
    Justin Robinson introduced him, and the minister of Labour, Byer-Suckoo, was in attendance. We heard about how much the guy’s father in law liked ice cream, but very little about the investment strategy. At some point he said the return on investment was ab out six per cent, but that too was not explained.
    Everything we have heard so far about the NIS and its investment committee and has confirmed the opinion I formed at that meeting. The fund is unfit for purpose.
    It is also not clear what is the investment strategy? Who decides on that strategy? What is the asset allocation? Who decides the stock picking? Who does the research for the stock picking?
    Why have an active manager and not a passive one? Plse explain the strategy? How about fees? How are the beauty parades decided?
    I will end by repeating what I have said on numerous occasions: Go back to basics and start again by de-risking the over 65 obligations; ring-fence the 45-65 yr old benefits; and for all under 45s launch a new life long defined contribution long-term saving scheme with a three point access: education, marriage and at death the fund will pass to the next of kin/heir.
    Inheritance has proved historical to the the biggest builder of family wealth. In addition, corporate will have an alternative source of funding.
    It will also help if all these details were put on the landing page of the NIS web site.

    Like

  • Hal Austin
    November 24, 2020 6:11 PM

    “I will end by repeating what I have said on numerous occasions: Go back to basics and start again by de-risking the over 65 obligations….;”

    Hal Austin,
    Can you expand this concept a little more?

    An example or two of de-risking strategies would help.

    Like

  • This 2 x 3 island produced you. It nurtured and nourished you. If you have now reached the stage where you can gloat, brag and boast about how lucky you are that you do not have to depend on the NIS from your 2 x3 “mother”, then, on behalf of all Barbadians, I extend to you sincerest congratulations.

    We Barbadians take pride in knowing that we raised you to be a success in this tough dog-eat-dog world. We shall continue to wish the very best for you.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    IT IS NOT ABOUT GLOATING.

    I AM HAPPY TO BE OUT OF THE CESSPOOL.

    HOW DOES ONE EXPECT TO KEEP THE SAME FOOLS IN PLACE AND RECYCLE AND EXPECT CHANGE.

    I SAID AT THE BEGINNING OF THE PANDEMIC THAT BARBADOS WOULD CATCH HELL BECAUSE OF ITS CONTINUAL BACKWARD WAY OF DOING THINGS, I WAS DERIDED BY THE BLOGMASTER AND SEVERAL OTHERS INCLUDING LABELED AS ALWAYS WISHING BAD THINGS FOR THE ISLAND.

    I AM A REALIST AND NO WHERE IS PERFECT.

    HOWEVER FROM MY EXPERIENCE I WOULD RATHER BE HERE OVERSEAS 1000 TIMES MORE THAN BE ON THE 2 x 3 ISLAND WHERE PEOPLES VIEWS ARE SUPPRESSED AND GOSSIP IS SO RAMPANT IN THAT IT BECOMES THE NORM AND TRUTH.

    Like

  • @ Walter

    De-risk by shifting the over 65 obligations to one of the specialist funds, therefore taking those obligations, or bulk annuities, off the balance sheet.
    It will allow greater investing in to the 45-65 yr old ring-fenced pay-as-you-go system, and the new life-long DC scheme will be for under 45s, giving the fund at least 20 years to grow. Plse note, buy-ins and buy-outs have different features.
    Without getting in to details, for the under 45 yr olds, most of that money will be invested in equities, passively managed, the last five years will see a gradual shift from equities to fixed income, thereby reducing risks.
    Government or the investment committee will set the asset allocation – locally, regionally and internationally – and the stock picking will be done by properly trained people.

    Like

  • Walter,

    You are doing well here. Keep it up!

    Like

  • No use playing around with the devil. First you counter his lies with the truth and then you rebuke him.

    Gotta let the devil know you see him! Gotta call him out by name!

    At least, that’s how I’ve seen it done by EVANGELICALS LIKE PAULA WHITE!

    Don’t worry, David! I’m done. He could talk chalk now. I have said my piece.

    Like

  • fortyacresandamule

    @Miller. Since there is no secondary market in Bim for government notes, that’s where the central bank comes in as a market maker. They can buy government notes from the NIS at face value or at discount for cash and thus provide liquidity to the NIS to honor its obligation. Remember, there is not limit to the central bank ability to print money insofar as it doesn’t threaten the fixed exchange system.

    @Hal. Good recommendations. You need to be on the NIS board or investment committee.

    Like

  • Donna
    November 24, 2020 8:02 PM

    “Walter,
    You are doing well here. Keep it up!”

    Donna,
    Thanks for the encouragement.

    Like

  • Hal Austin
    November 24, 2020 6:59 PM

    “@ Walter
    De-risk by shifting the over 65 obligations to one of the specialist funds, therefore taking those obligations, or bulk annuities, off the balance sheet.”

    Hal,
    We are dealing with a highly technical subject, so I will try to keep my answer short and simple.

    In 2014, the average NIS pension was $1,000 per month. There were just over 40,000 pensioners.

    Conservatively, it takes about $125,000 to provide a 65-year old retiree with a monthly pension of $1,000 per month.

    To de-risk and get these persons off the NIS roll, the Scheme would have to pay out $5 billion dollars. However, the Fund has about $3 billion in government paper and only $1 billion in worthwhile investments. You can clearly see that the fund cannot practically meet its obligations in respect of the retirees.

    It doesn’t make sense to consider the liabilities of any other age groups.

    The NIS is social insurance. It does not have the funds on hand to fully cover the liabilities of its pensioners. Therefore, it has to rely on the contributions of current and future workers to fund the monthly pensions of its retirees. To arrive at how much contributions will flow into the fund from future workers, a given fertility rate is assumed.

    Barbadians are having sex for fun, rather than for procreation, so we are not keeping pace with the assumed fertility rate.

    This is the reason you have recently heard politicians urging Barbadians to produce more babies, and this is why you are also hearing political talk about the need to increase the population.

    Like

  • @WB
    according to the NIS website, as of Sept 30, 2020, the ONLY ‘investments’ remaining in the Severance Fund were Bonds
    https://www.nis.gov.bb/investments-2/
    Also the terms Debenture and Bond are used differently around the world. In Barbados what is the security difference between the two instruments? Note there seemed in 17-18 to be a switch from the former to the latter.
    Also interesting to note the significant increase in foreign investment in the past year.
    Nor have the funds been moved from the Catastrophe Fund as earlier indicated.

    Like

  • NorthernObserver,

    I think that in Barbados, Treasury notes have maturities ranging from 1-10 years. Debentures have maturities of over 10 years. These instruments are only available from the Central Bank.

    The link you sent showed how the Government took practically all of the treasury bills, treasury notes, and debentures and rolled them into bonds. This seems to be the effect of the debt restructuring exercise.

    As you observed, there is no cash in the Severance Fund, and the Unemployment Fund is absolutely dry.

    Could it be possible that most of those foreign investments are in the USA, and the performance of the stock market has produced sizeable unrealized gains for these investments?

    Like

  • I thought they said that they weren’t investing NIS in the US markets because of the volitility due to the 2008 market contractions and small returns ….or some such explanation, someone should’ve told them that small, stable returns are much better than small island minorities TIEFING EVERYTHING, where there are no returns at all….and now the fund is BROKE BECAUSE OF THEFTS and mismanagment.

    Like

  • Am also sure i read somewhere that ICBL, the former Bermuda owners, were the ones investing the funds, someone should ask the minister of finance about that ICBL story and how the fund got so broke under those who claim to be investing it…..better yet, ask Donville, seeing as he and they are partners in crimes against Black people on the island.

    Like

  • @ Walter

    I accept your figures for pension liabilities in Barbados. In terms of de-risking, as you know, whether buy-ins or buy-outs, it is all about managing risks and this all depends on the quality of the negotiations and the valuations. For example, increased longevity and the low interest environment.
    Negotiating that is not beyond the abilities of our leading actuaries, pension lawyers and pension accountants. Even so, our entire pensions liabilities are no more than an average major company’s.
    @Walter, you also mentioned Bajans having recreational sex, rather than for procreation. I am not a bedroom policeman, but it seems you are playing the irresponsible soundtrack from the president’s call for a 80000 increase in the population. Why?
    Our problem is a growth in productivity, not necessarily a growth in the population; what the president has not dealt with is the low productivity.
    With 25000 state employees, she should start there. She should also concentrate on re-skilling and up-skilling the nation, making it fit for a modern technological world.
    Failure to deal competently with this pending crisis could lead to the Japan problem, an ageing society, or what is called the demographic timebomb.
    In a pay-as-you-go state pension system, in which the active workers pay the pensions of the retired through NIS contributions, this presents serious problems.
    But there are other ways of dealing with this. One is incentivising young women to have more children, and this may include guaranteeing their career prospects, and/or by extending the retirement age, given that since work has largely moved from the factory and canefield to the office, it is not as physically demanding. Just look at the number of Barbadians who reach the age of 100.
    As you know, when Bismarck created modern pensions one was not meant to spend one-third of one’s life on pensions. You retired at age 65, and was probably dead by 67.
    My main concern is social, the shift in the demographic make-up of the nation; this will create serious social conflict with future generations and is a terrible legacy to leave to our young men and women. Already the reproductivity rate for New Barbadians is far higher than for native Barbadians.
    By the way, someone mentioned a ban on the NIS not investing in the US. Did I get that right? Maybe they can tell the blog how the S&P 500 has performed since 2008. Is this another example of the ignorance that clouds our nation?

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  • Hello, if you have not received the memo, we are an aging society coupled that with negligible population growth in recent years atrtributed to a growing middle class segment. The problem is here, increasing national productivity is one tactic but one suspects it will require multiple tactics given the time horizon required to move the needle. As always these kinds of decisions should be data/information driven and not delivered from the seat of ones backside.

    Like

  • From the time TEETS jumped out as AG pretending to put all the responsiblility on the COP for not investigating ICBL and the Donville affair, with the COP claiming there’s nothing he can do, we should have known, after finding out that they were involved in NIS and also Apes Hill…and after they admitted to bribery in the US case AND PAID A MULTIMILLION DOLLAR FINE…….that there is much more going on in Barbados with them and all the crooks involved., because THEY TOO HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO ESCAPE ANY ACCOUNTABILITY by this government…

    ….the ICBL players got clean away, NIS is broke, all the crooks have million dollar bank accounts, and am sure before long the new owners will change the name of the company if they haven’t already because of the associated scandal

    ….THE PEOPLE LOSE AGAIN…thanks to the sellouts in the parliament..

    Like

  • @ David November 25, 2020 7:00 AM

    Then Bim is afflicted with two demographic curses.

    A ‘fast’ aging population and an unacceptably high rate of unemployment among the young who are expected to produce biologically at a steady state (replacement) rate of growth to keep the NIS afloat.

    Most unemployed young people are mainly destined to join the army of the permanently unemployed classified by the BSS as the “Voluntary Idle” constantly reported to be in the 75,000 and over statistical fudge category.

    Like

  • @Miller

    All SIDS have been exposed by Covid 19, it is not just a Barbados problem. Is this not why Mia is leading the forgiveness of debt charge?

    Like

  • Trying to get my mind around 80,000 new citizens and 75,000 voluntary idle.

    Oh I get it. Dey gun fite and kill off each udder and instead of worrying about 155,000 we wil only have 5,000 to deal with. Brilliant plan.
    Murdah
    Dont kill muh so early
    I dedding

    That 80,000 is like bait to me. It always sends me off course.

    Like

  • Why do you guys simplify the issue. The voluntary idle must be addressed but how does it solve the problem of infusing the market place with new skills etc? We are discussing different issues in addition to which you will not helicopter 80k people next year. Infrastructure and strategic plans will have to support such an initiative if it is ever realized.

    Like

  • RE we are an aging society coupled that with negligible population growth in recent years atrtributed to a growing middle class segment. The problem is here, increasing national productivity is one tactic but one suspects it will require multiple tactics given the time horizon required to move the needle. As always these kinds of decisions should be data/information driven and not delivered from the seat of ones backside.
    THIS IS A BUNCH OF GOBBLEDEGOOK—–A WORD SALAD
    LOT OF WORDS BUNDLED UP BUT IT SAYS VERY LITTLE REALLY…..MURDAH

    ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO BE A LEADER OF SOME SORT IN BARBADOS?
    GOD HELP BARBADOS

    Like

  • @GP

    Thanks. If I had said anything the BU prowlers would have said I was attacking the chairman. He just does not seem to understand basic English. He has real difficulty with what toddlers instinctively understand. To debate we must both share an understanding of the language.
    Which school did he go to in Barbados? Is he Barbadian?

    Like

  • HAL
    WE ARE INDEED an aging society
    THERE HAS BEEN INDEED REDUCED population growth in recent years DUE TO AGRESSIVE FAMILY PLANNING PROGRAMS……NOT TO a growing middle class segment.
    FIRST THE MIDDLE CLASS IS NO LONGER GROWING.
    IF HE WANTED TO SAY THAT THE MIDDLE CLASS WOMEN ARE NOT CONCEIVING , HE HAS NOT MADE THAT CLEAR.
    SO HIS FIRST SENTENCE IS BOTH NOT FACTUAL AND IS CERTAINLY MOST UNCLEAR—–MUCH LIKE THE RUBBISH I GET FROM MY ONLINE STUDENTS

    Like

  • “We are discussing different issues in addition to which you will not helicopter 80k people next year.”

    You don’t solve a problem by ‘ignoring’ it or making it bigger.

    Some of us wish to keep the helicopter grounded permanently or until a myriad of other issues are resolved – water scarcity, land theft, unemployment, the justice system, education….

    We cannot just stumble our way forward and hope for the best.

    Like

  • @GP

    That was dealt with in my submission when I talked about guaranteeing women’s careers. That is the main problem is middle class professional women, the career breaks.
    I am sure the guy means well. But he cannot help intervening in discussions he does not understand, and when he does, he become unnecessarily rude and aggressive.
    The so-called demographic timebomb is not something to fear, it is a challenge. Barbados is not the only country with the problem. The idea of 80000 new Barbadians is lunacy.

    Like

  • (Quote):
    FIRST THE MIDDLE CLASS IS NO LONGER GROWING.
    IF HE WANTED TO SAY THAT THE MIDDLE CLASS WOMEN ARE NOT CONCEIVING , HE HAS NOT MADE THAT CLEAR. (Unquote).
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Therein lies Barbados’s biggest demographic (and future economic) problem!

    The drive should not be to import more people to further burden the country’s physical and social infrastructure (and to deplete the dwindling reserves in the forex savings bank through remittances to their families in their countries of origin) but to get the large cadre ‘highly’ educated women (and men) to have (more) babies.

    As Walter Blackman pointed out, Bajans (especially the majority black) have to stop having sex for only fun but also make it an exercise for ‘fruitful’ reproduction.

    Like

  • Why do you assume the problem is being ignored? Some of you have already dismissed ideas being tossed out without waiting for the strategy or analysis. What is being probed is not novel. Let us ask questions, let us se the plan to support an informed debate.

    Like

  • A Hal and GP collaboration because it suits you coggers to attack the blogmaster. Too childish for old men.

    Like

  • “A ‘fast’ aging population and an unacceptably high rate of unemployment among the young who are expected to produce biologically at a steady state (replacement) rate of growth to keep the NIS afloat.”

    they don’t want to fix the unemployment problem, or the wages problem, they want to keep low or no wages in play and expect the young people to breed and provide taxpayers and voters for the society, without any assistance or benefits to make their lives and that of their children any easier….modern day slavery.

    Like

  • Let them import their 80,000, they will make sure most are white or other minorities, then we can sit back and watch them unseat their asses out of the parliament…,,one way or the other, those useless ignorant excuses for leaders gotta go..

    Like

  • RE A Hal and GP collaboration because it suits you coggers to attack the blogmaster. Too childish for old men.

    NOT AT ALL SIR …….ITS THE OTHER WAY AROUND YOU LIKE TO ATTACK HAL & ME

    THE TRUTH IS THAT YOUR USE AND COMMAND OF THE ENGLISH IS VERY POOR
    I AM NOT ATTACKING YOU AT ALL
    JUST STATING THE OBVIOUS AND HAVING FUN DOING SO
    DPD IS THE SAME, AND HE THINKS HE IS SO SMART

    Like

  • @ GP

    You have got this one right. It does not matter if you are right or wrong, it is the use of the language that helps us to understand what you are talking about.
    Sometime ago I had to tell one other person that I could not understand his use of language. This is the first hurdle, then there is the discussion about the subject matter, which if it is to be educative, there must be a basic understanding.
    However, if we cannot move from stage one, communicating in a common language, then we are wasting time. This is not a unique problem.
    Some people say pants, some say trousers; some say pO-ta-TOES, some say po-TA-toes; some say phial, some say vial, some use obscenities, others try to avoid them.
    Then there are the gotcha mob; people who wait for what they think is a mistake or a wrong answer, and instead of asking for an explanation, jump out and scream gotcha.

    Like

  • HAL
    AS A BIBLE STUDENT OVER THE YEARS, I HAVE READ MANY BIBLE COMMENTARIES BY MEN WHO SOUGHT TO EXPLAIN THE NUANCES IN THE TEXT FROM THEIR KNOWLEDGE OF HEBREW OR GREEK. THIS HAS GIVEN ME AN EXTRA APPRECIATION FOR BOTH THE LIMITATIONS AND BEAUTY OF OUR LANGUAGE.

    YOU ARE QUITE CORRECT ABOUT Then there are the gotcha mob; people who wait for what they think is a mistake or a wrong answer, and instead of asking for an explanation, jump out and scream gotcha.
    THIS IS REALLY BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOTHING TO SAY—NO REAL ORIGINAL CONTENT RELATED TO THE CONTEXT., AND OFTERN NO CONCURRENCE
    I OFTEN MOCK THEM BY COMING DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL

    WHEN I WAS AGED 22, I FIRST ATTENDED A PLYMOUTH BRETHREN ASSEMBLY AND WITNESSED A BREAKING OF BREAD MEETING.. THIS APPARENTLY DISORDERLY MEETING WENT ON UNANNOUNCED , BUT VERY ORDERLY. THE SINGING OF THE FIRST HYMN SET THE TONE FOR THE MEETING. ALL SUBSEQUENT HYMNS CALLED BY THE PARTICIPANTS WERE ON THE SUBJECT OF THAT FIRST HYMN. THIS HYMN SINGING WAS INTERSPERSED WITH 5-10 MINUTE SERMONETTES ON SCRIPTURES WHICH ADVANCED THE THOUGHT GIVEN IN THE OPENING HYMN.
    MEN WHO DO NOT OBSERVE THE PATTERN ARE FROWNED UPON
    IT IS INTER ALIA A MOST DISCIPLINED EXCERCISE

    Like

  • @ GP November 25, 2020 12:59 PM

    It seems that the hand of your Sky God has finally reached down to take home to Sports Heaven one of the great idols of football, Diego Maradona.

    Like

  • @WB
    re FOREIGN investments….your suggestion is mathematically possible. It would have entailed a near complete liquidation of the prior investments in early 2020, and then a buy, post the market slumps which occurred in March/April ’20. And in a different mix (more risky). OR, additional foreign funds could have been added to that area of investments. The latter seems more plausible.

    I get confused by the variety of general headings used….bonds-debentures-T-Bills-treasury notes. They are usually ALL fixed income instruments, which vary by term and security.

    Like

  • NorthernObserver
    November 25, 2020 2:16 PM

    “@WB
    re FOREIGN investments….your suggestion is mathematically possible. It would have entailed a near complete liquidation of the prior investments in early 2020, and then a buy, post the market slumps which occurred in March/April ’20. And in a different mix (more risky). OR, additional foreign funds could have been added to that area of investments. The latter seems more plausible.
    I get confused by the variety of general headings used….bonds-debentures-T-Bills-treasury notes. They are usually ALL fixed income instruments, which vary by term and security.”

    NorthernObserver,

    With respect to the NIS foreign investments, instinctively I could not bring my mind to believe that the authorities had used scarce foreign exchange to put into NIS overseas investments at this time. They did not do it when the situation was more propitious. That is why I took a long shot in the dark. Honestly, my speculative shot did not impress me, so I have now moved over to your side of the argument. Additional foreign funds might have indeed been added.

    I try to simplify things in my mind by seeing it this way: Bonds (longer maturity) and T-bills (short maturity) originate from Central Government, Debentures (longer maturity) and T- notes (shorter maturity) originate from the Central Bank.
    Yes, they are all fixed income instruments.

    Like

  • @ Walter
    @Northern

    Two wrongs do not a right make. The NIS is not fit for purpose and its investment strategy, or what passes for a strategy, is awful. The board/investment committee has a duty of care to the beneficiaries and that duty includes making the maximum returns on investments for the minimum risks.
    The universe should be global and there should be no political considerations. If you want to see how it is done talk to the Norwegians.
    Norway and the UK discovered North Sea oil at the same time; look at how the two countries invested that black gold.

    Like

  • @HA
    in reading @WB’s comments….it has little to do with what you are alluding to…rather….the MoF has dotted line control of the NIS and its funds. It is what another blogger termed ‘interference’. I am not suggesting you are wrong, simply there is a divergence between theory and reality.
    You may recall, when the issue of ‘home grown financing’ was being proposed and executed, with the NIS heavily involved, did one ever hear a peep from the Minister of Labour under whom the ‘solid line’ responsibility for the NIS fell. We can argue it isn’t/wasn’t right….but it is what it is/was.
    And you have already noted prior, the rapidity at which the default occured and the preparedness. You already know the “transition” occurred well before the election. Is it any surprise the then players within the NIS were so warmly welcomed into the operations of the new administration? One hidden outcome of the time vacuum created in the calling of the last election. One side was trying to find money, the other was preparing to take over, and the operational people knew who was who.

    Like

  • Based on the link to the NIS investments, provided by NorthernObserver, all BU readers can now sing from the same Hymn sheet.

    Here are the facts, and the questions to be asked:

    The unemployment Fund is broke. Not a cent is left. No bonds, no cash. Nada. Zilch. Rien.
    Where will the money come from to pay current and future unemployment benefits? Remedial action has to come down the pipeline very soon.

    Government owes (i.e the politicians misused our money) $2.8 billion to the National Insurance Fund, and $0.1 billion to the Severance Fund. There is no cash in the Severance Fund. Where is the money currently coming from to pay the workers’ severance that employers are refusing to pay?

    Is the law being broken with respect to the payment of unemployment and severance benefits?

    The only way Government can repay the money owed to the NIS is through taxation. Who will the Government tax to get the $2.9 billion for the NIS?
    The Baby Boomers have started to retire and will do so by the thousands every year until 2033. How will their retirement benefits be paid? Something has to be done very soon

    At the beginning of 2015, the NIS was paying roughly $40 million per month (just think about the multiplier effect this has on our economy) in NIS retirement pensions. That amounts to $480 million per year, and $960 million over two years.
    We can therefore understand what the Chairman of the NIS meant when he said: “there are sufficient funds there that we can see this through at least for the next two years.”

    However, the Chairman went on to say: “So there is no cause for concern.”

    Every BU reader can now look the Chairman of the NIS fully in the face and say: “We do not agree with your assessment of the NIS, Mr. Chairman. There is great, great cause for concern, and in fact, we are very, very concerned. Next time you speak, please tell us what is the Board’s solutions to the massive NIS problems we face.”

    Like

  • …what are the Board’s solutions

    Like

  • Pingback: UNEMPLOYMENT Fund is Broke, Time for Straight Talk Chairman Leslie Haynes | Barbados Underground

  • @WB
    You really need to be a little more confusing and general in your posts. We prefer entries which leave multiple possible interpretations beyond the obvious. We need to know who to blame!!!

    Like

  • Have anyone noticed how agreeable David is with Walter position
    When i read the tea leaves of WB positions being built on a fault line of excuses for present govt
    The obvious flash across my mind a disgruntled throw off neglected and rejected WB by past govt
    Most of the time his responses comes across as a pathetic sissy looking for a place to rest his head
    How can a man of low moral standards to be a judge of any thing

    Like

  • @ Northern

    I am not sure what you mean by what I am ‘alluding to’. Don’t put words in my mouth. If you are not sure plse ask me to explain. I am not alluding to anything. I say what I mean.

    Like

  • The blogmaster’s hero is MICHAEL CARRINGTON.

    Like

  • Agents of change will never see their goals achieved they just pass the baton on.
    From Marcus Garvey to MLK to Bob Marley their children as beneficiaries reap benefits from their efforts.
    If you aim for goals that will be achieved in your lifetime then you are not aiming high enough.

    10 Steps to Africa, 10 Steps to Dub

    Like

  • Pingback: UNEMPLOYMENT Fund is Broke, Time for Straight Talk Chairman Leslie Haynes – News

  • DFECTIONS NOTHING NOTHING NEW
    By Colville Mounsey
    colvillemounsey@nationnews.com

    Whenever a member of a political party crosses over to the other side of the political divide, it has always stirred up much public discourse. This news often fuels public speculation within the rank and file of the party. There are times when cracks and fissures emerge in the shared ideology or cases when ambitions supersede loyalty, which result in members leaving the party.
    Despite a few fringe political parties that have popped up from time to time, for decades Barbados has been predominantly a two-party system, with either the Grantley Adams-founded Barbados Labour Party (BLP) and the Errol Barrow-established Democratic Labour Party (DLP) at the helm of the political landscape.
    Therefore, for people who can no longer see eye to eye with their political party of choice, the options are limited to joining one of the two main parties, joining a fringe party, be an independent, form a new party or leave active politics altogether.
    Just two weeks ago the country witnessed three members of the DLP, exercising two of the above-mentioned options upon their departure.
    It was revealed that Rodney Grant and George Connolly, two candidates on the DLP’s 2018 ticket, had joined the BLP. Days after, long-time member and administrative stalwart of the DLP, George Pilgrim announced he had resigned from the party and for the time being was out of elective politics.
    Since the late 1980s, the DLP has been the party most impacted by defections. With the exception of DeLisle Bradshaw and former Christ Church East MP Wendell Callendar, who both resigned from the BLP and joined the DLP in 1997, the BLP has not suffered major losses since the 1990s.
    The first slide came with the formation of National Democratic Party (NDP), which was established by Dr Richie Haynes, who broke from the DLP. The second was facilitated by the “politics former Prime Founded Democratic medical doctor, Government party to a alternative below $7 In the ran for the was able was able Miller, Edgar Prescod, who on the DLP administration. since the than the and Owen There was DLP, but politics of inclusion campaign” spearheaded by late Prime Minister Owen Arthur.
    Founded in 1989, the NDP was a splinter group of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP). Haynes, a then 61-year-old doctor, was a former Minister of Finance in the DLP Government of 1986-1991. He is credited with helping that a landslide victory in the 1986 elections with his alternative budget, offering tax-free income for those earning 500 per year.
    1991 elections, Haynes and three colleagues who the NDP, lost their Parliamentary seats. Haynes to take back his seat in the 1994 election. The NDP to snag three DLP Members of Parliament (Peter Edgar Bourne and Richard Byer) as well as Trevor who had first left the BLP to contest the 1986 election DLP ticket and was a Senator in the Erskine Sandiford administration. The party in fact became the official Opposition new party had more seats in Parliament at the time BLP, which comprised of Henry Forde, David Simmons Owen Arthur.
    was also the case of David Comissiong, who joined the never sought office under its banner. He later shifted to the NDP. Comissiong was a DLP Senator at one stage and was considered one of the leading prospects for future DLP leadership. Prescod, who left the BLP at the same time with Dr Don Blackman. eventually returned to the fold of the BLP in 1997.
    During Arthur’s 14 years as Prime Minister, several linchpins of the DLP crossed over to the BLP.
    In 1998, Hamilton Lashley resigned from the DLP citing the reason that he was offered an opportunity by Arthur to act as a consultant on poverty alleviation. Lashley’s journey has been a bit of a seesaw ride as he re-joined the DLP shortly after they came to power in the election of 2008.
    However, Lashley was certainly not the last
    DLP member to fall into the welcoming embrace of the BLP. In 1999, bright political spark Kerrie Symmonds as well as two-time losing candidate, Rudy Grant, handed in their resignation from the DLP within hours of each other. Symmonds, 32 at the time and who lost in St James South, took issue with the management style and approach of then party leader David Thompson. The young attorney said he was also disillusioned with the party’s inability to contribute to the overall national development.
    Perhaps the biggest blow to the DLP came in 2006, when University of the West Indies- trained economist, Dr Clyde Mascoll resigned as the Leader of the Opposition. Mascoll became Opposition Leader after the 2003 general election. He was also elected president in 2001 when Thompson resigned as president and political leader.
    His resignation from the party came days after a letter of no-confidence signed by four Opposition members, and addressed to then Speaker of the House Ishmael Roett, was delivered to the Clerk of Parliament. The signatories to that letter were MPs Michael Lashley (St Philip North), Richard Sealy (St Michael South Central), Ronald Jones (Christ Church East Central) and DLP president and St John representative, David Thompson.
    Mascoll had a very brief stint as an independent MP before declaring that he had found acceptance with the BLP.

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  • SO WHERE DOES THE CHAMELEON DAVID COMMISSONG FIT IN ABOVE ARTICLE?

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