A Citizenry Contented to be Baffled by BS
Let’s see which tranches were defaulted and exactly the amount. And what value the “books” placed on the asset(s). All neatly hidden, because we can never see what those entities who received the “loans” did with that money, other than defaulting on repayment. Everybody got bailed out except the local taxpayer.NorthernObserver (call for transparency by BU commenter in the Paradise/Clearwater Bay matter)
Both major political parties continue to baffle the citizenry with ‘bullshit’ and we accept it. Is Minister Ryan Straughn telling he does not have a recent valuation of the Paradise property to share? Why have we allowed another crisis to go to waste?
At the best of times the Barbados economy was deemed to be fragile because it is a tourism_service oriented economy which makes it ultra vulnerable to what economists warn exogenous attacks from the global economy.
Post-2018 the incumbent Barbados Labour Party (BLP) after winning the general election, recruited a bevy of financial consultants supported by a 26 member Cabinet. Immediately proceeded to opt for a selected default (SD) on foreign and domestic debt. Fate has intervened and the so-called fiscal space created has been eradicated by a raging pandemic made worse by a 2 week period of ash fall from an active volcano next door on St.Vincent.
Acts of nature have tested the adaptability of man from the beginning of time. This is what we must do, adapt.
Is it the imagination of a lowly blogmaster we have allowed our priorities to shift to ‘less pressing’ matters at this time? All local newsfeeds are choked with traffic about transition to a referendum by 30 November 2021 and the consideration by government- supported by private sector- to regulate a mandatory vaccination policy. Further, we had a march reported to be upwards to three thousand people registering public concern. The news from government and Central Bank of Barbados that there is a hole in government’s revenues of 600 million dollars has not registered the same level of protestations from John Public. Is it fully understood the success of expertly managing the economy of Barbados directly impacts quality of life of individuals, households; food on the table, jobs etc?
The blogmaster smiled this week while listening to a Canada-based Barbadian economist beseeching the government to decrease excise/ad valorem taxes to buffer increasing cost of imports. The fight to satisfy our taste for imported goods and services to feed the consumption behaviour continues.
Covid 19 virus feeding the pandemic has had an uncompromising impact on economies of developing countries like Barbados. Unlike so-called developed countries, scarce resources have had to be redirected to defend against Covid 19. For Barbados the issue is made more acute because of the pre-Covid 19 state of the economy.
The structure of the local economy means there is limited prospect of achieving real growth in the short to medium term. The weight of years of debt accumulation means more significant fiscal adjustments – that will be painful – have to be made. Coming after about 15 years of economic fatigue this will spur social fallout. The time has come and gone for our leaders, political and social to govern, to lead. A recommended first step in that process is to immediately desist from baffling the citizenry with bullshit and set about the task of setting realistic expectations.
A word to the wise should be sufficient.