Alternate Views: Addressing Professor Justin Robinson’s Position on Barbados’ Debt Problem ( 2005-2022)

Kemar J.D Stuart, Economist and Director Business Development , Finance and Investment Stuart & Perkins Caribbean

In the recent launch of the BERT 2.0 the term lost decade is still a heavily used term in that document that can be reinforced by the unassuming mind in reading a recent article published by Professor Justin Robinson on Thursday 27th October 2022 on the level of government debt in Barbados. Professor Michael Howard, Professor Don Marshall and Economist Carlos Forte offered that Barbados is in a debt trap.

To add facts and context to Dr Robinson’s naked assessment of Barbados’ public debt . The global financial crisis which is categorized as a shock similar to covid hit in 2007-2008 and Barbados’ public finances saw an upsurge of domestic debt. The economic strategy of government at the time relied heavily on local debt from the Central Bank of Barbados via money printing, the NIS , Treasury Bills and debt and interest payments owed to these local Barbadian institutions skyrocketed causing unsustainable fiscal deficits.

In the table produced by Professor Robinson in Thursday’s Oct 26th Nation Newspaper he highlighted that . The most significant increases in debt over this period occurred in 2017, 2013, 2009 and 2007, while there was a major reduction in debt in 2018 largely related to the debt restructuring exercise conducted by the Government of Barbados.

Massive interest payment bled government between 2007- 2018 as payments went from $343 Million in 2007 to $764 million over the 10 year period. Due to the downgrades the cost of borrowing went up and therefore all debt attracted large interest rates. The upside and constant reference point from government is the low interest rate attached to borrowing from IFI’s. There is a visible reduction in interest payments since 2018 not by paying down old debts but by the restructuring, reprofiling and retiring old debts that were not included in the restructuring.

Between 2007-2017 Foreign reserves were depleted as large loan payments that were borrowed from international capital between 1994-2008 became due and in quick succession, No massive increases in foreign debt were recorded between 2007-2017

During the highlighted years 2007 to 2017 the country was able to avoid entering into an IMF program and foreign debt was only a small percentage of GDP as in 2007 foreign debt stood 1.9 Billion to 2.9 Billion at end of 2017. That’s close to $1Billion borrowed in 10 years internationally

In 2018 external debt skyrocketed from 2.9 Billion to 4.6 Billion at end of September 2022. That’s close to 1.7 Billion borrowed in 4 years internationally

In 2012 the external debt to GDP ratio stood at 28.4% or 2.6 Billion as compared to 2022 which is 43% or 4.6 Billion.

Between 2007 – 2017 Barbados had access to domestic credit markets with a thriving and rapid growth in uptake of locally issued central bank bonds and treasury bills as compared to 2018-2022 . T-Bills grew from $569 Million to 3.3 Billion at end of 2017 to finance government operations and as September 30 2021, T bills stood at 451 Million . As part of world economic history Barbados became the 4th country in world to restructure treasury bills akin to Russia , Ukraine and Uruguay . The debt restructuring bill was outfitted with a collective action clause which forced the hands of unwilling investors to take unwanted losses.

The Barbados government in 2018 defaulted on both domestic and foreign debt. Barbados’ local debt only dropped because of the draconian restructuring as mentioned by Professor Robinson and not by paying any debts down as he would’ve claimed. It is noteworthy that most of the foreign loans restructured in 2018 were loans borrowed between 1994-2008 under the Arthur government.

Many Barbadians are still owed debts from government with a promise to pay in bonds as repayments to local hurt from the restructuring has not started to fully occur as yet. The international debt repayment schedule only started this year after 2022 September. The only debts that could’ve been paid are the debts excluded from the debt restructuring. Professor Robinson made a point that debt being repaid are not being highlighted however based on the factors above he should specify which debts that were paid between 2018-2022 that were not highlighted as it is common knowledge that Barbados has not been repaying debt between 2018-2022.

The recent BOSS plus failure is another indication of a domestic borrowing market that has been obliterated by the 2018 debt restructuring. this indicates serious market failure of the domestic credit market in Barbados as all of the recent attempts by government to raise funds locally since the restructuring has failed to meet the required threshold including the original boss plan and the 125 M central bank bond offering in Nov 2021

Barbados continues to be barred from international capital markets because of the voluntary debt default also in 2018.

The only lakes of finance available to government is from international financial institutions or from Bilateral country to country lending hence why Barbados is more reliant on the Chinese for investment.

In 2012 debts owed to the international financial institution was a meagre 718 Million which by 2018 increased to 1.3 Billion and by September 2022 increased to $3 Billion. That is an increase of 1.7 Billion in a 4 year span in foreign debt owed to these banks .

Government is forced chained to the IMF , IADB , World Bank and as another world recession is on the horizon , the hope of a profitable tourism product has diminished as travel receipts would need to earn the country 1.3 Billion more in revenue by year end in to reach 2019 levels. Government tied it’s own hands locally by restricting central bank financing , restructuring NIS and by destroying the treasury bill market causing domestic financial markets to crash. Government continues to be banned from international capital markets due to the default. Hence the reason why the IMF, IADB , World bank and Chinese dependency.

The current account deficit or in simply terms foreign exchange loss at Sept 2022 is $967.2 M which by year end will surpass $1B and my further prediction is that Barbados will record it’s largest current account deficit i.e foreign exchange loss in it’s economic history by year end. This is the second consecutive year for abnormally large foreign exchange deficits as in 2021 the country recorded $1B in deficit as well. As this hole gets larger the more Barbados will have to borrow from the IMF as the country’s main source of foreign exchange. This analysis was predicted in my mid year review of the central bank report which was carried in the Nation Newspaper and also in my book Alternate Views: Barbados’ Economic Road to Republic . The debt bill to these institutions will grow as Barbados has no clearly defined strategy to earn foreign exchange income.

61 thoughts on “Alternate Views: Addressing Professor Justin Robinson’s Position on Barbados’ Debt Problem ( 2005-2022)

  1. Here is Dr. Robinson’s letter to the Nation in case you missed it.

    Growth, public debt containment important

    AN ONGOING SOURCE of conversation in Barbados is the level of public debt and, by extension, the level of borrowing by the Government of Barbados.
    In table 1, I share data on the public debt of Barbados over the 2005 to 2022 period as reported in International Monetary Fund Article 4 Consultation documents over the years. The table shows the total debt in a year and the change in the amount from the previous year. The change in total debt will depend on the level of new borrowing and the amount of existing debt paid down.
    The data indicates that over the 2005 to 2022 period, total public debt in Barbados grew at an annual average rate of approximately 5.6 per cent and more than doubled over the 2005 to 2022 period. The most significant increases in debt over this period occurred in 2017, 2013, 2009 and 2007, while there was a major reduction in debt in 2018 largely related to the debt restructuring exercise conducted by the Government of Barbados.
    The data does not appear to support the growing notion of larger than normal increases in public debt in recent years. As new borrowing takes place, the public should note that existing debt is also being paid down and it appears that while the new borrowing makes the news, the debt being paid down does not.
    It is noteworthy that the average annual growth rate in debt of 5.6 per cent far exceeded the average annual growth rate in gross domestic product (GDP) of -0.21 per cent in the economy over this time period, hence the trend towards a high and generally rising debt to GDP ratio.
    The trend where the growth in debt far outstrips the growth in the economy is extremely troubling and suggests that the level of debt and its growth represent a major economic problem for Barbados, which needs to be addressed by a combination of stronger economic growth and debt containment.
    Economic growth is heavily influenced by the external environment, while debt
    reduction and containment rely on strong primary surpluses (government revenues less government expenditure, excluding debt service), where policy-makers have much more control.
    Fiscal discipline appears to remain the order of the day for Barbados.

    – JUSTIN ROBINSON, Professor of Finance, The University of the West Indies Cave Hill

  2. 3:33 AM The Devil’s Hour
    Trick or Treat
    A woman who wakes up every night at exactly 3.33AM, in the middle of the so-called devil’s hour between 3AM and 4AM
    Get Loud!
    Get Loud (2AM Deep Mix)

    Get Loud! (Club Mix)

    Halloween or Hallowe’en less commonly known as Allhalloween, All Hallows’ Eve, or All Saints’ Eve,

  3. The Blogmaster wonders how productive is the discussion about debt management, we should be discussing growth plans. Don’t misunderstand the blogmaster, Barbadians must hold our governments accountable for money management. The questions coming out of Stuart’s article – on the pre- May 2018 trajectory where would we have landed with Sinckler’s policy of printing money? What about the junk status rating and no easy access to capital markets? We need to move the discussion, successive governments read BLP and DLP fucked up.

    In a post pandemic dispensation let us discuss how we can fire up traditional and non traditional sectors of our economy. The Blogmaster listened to sone or Dr. Yearwood’s speech to BIBA and this is a step in the right direction.

  4. Our author has probably smoked too much pot.

    If I remember correctly, between 2008 and 2018, expats and diplomats laughed at the fact that DLP Aborigines were morally and intellectually incapable of governing a country.

    If the animals from the zoo had been given the reins of government at that time, the country would have been better governed.

  5. The table in DrJR’s article was produced by the IMF, not Dr.JR
    “Between 2007 – 2017 Barbados had access to domestic credit markets with a thriving and rapid growth in uptake of locally issued central bank bonds and treasury bills”
    Of course, because as we saw in the debt default, only the NIS and CBB had to say “yeah” for all others to be screwed.
    3″Government is forced chained to the IMF , IADB , World Bank”. Yep. And before it was forced chained to the NIS and CBB. So the choice is risk local taxpayer dollars (which they could no longer do as the NIS cupboards were empty) or risk defaulting on bi-lateral loans.
    The current account deficit is accurate and worrying. Due to trade deficits it will always be there. But it has ballooned.

    The crux of the argument made, is do you borrow internally or externally?

    Do you risk local money or foreign money?

    At days end, the fact is, the island cannot afford it’s lifestyle without borrowing.

    The other fact, “we” don’t like to touch, is the massive debt which was run up by SOE’s, and by GoB not paying tax refunds and pocketing NIS deductions from its employees. And we later learned by not paying for lands acquired by GoB. Etc.

    “Barbados has no clearly defined strategy to earn foreign exchange income” … true today, as it was from 2000-2018. And nobody seems able to formulate such a strategy.

  6. @ David glad that Dr Robinson has confirmed all that we discussed. The major problem is the gap between revenue and expenses which include debt service, is growing faster than we can contain it. Also with no debt repayment being made between 2018 and 2022 that means we are basically in a position where all we can do now is borrow bigger to support loan payments. Dr Robinson makes it clear than our economy is likened onto a ponzi scheme. This being that to pay the man at the bottom we must borrow more from the man at the top.

    Hopefully coming from him some will understand that those of us who speak to these matter are not ” doom and gloomers” but realist.

  7. @ David

    I would also like those that think we can return to pre covid levels of toursim this winter when we are only at 58% of 2019 arrivals, to take a few minutes and read the UK financial review that you posted to the other topic. This shows that 4 times for the year so far the growth there has been revised down. It speaks in detail about the harsh realities they are going to be facing over the final quarter of 2022 and into 2023. This being our major market should therefore be a concern to us, as was pointed out by our central bank Gov a few days ago.

    Again fact vs fiction

  8. @NO
    “The other fact, “we” don’t like to touch, is the massive debt which was run up by SOE’s, and by GoB not paying tax refunds and pocketing NIS deductions from its employees. And we later learned by not paying for lands acquired by GoB. Etc.”

    Which is clearer

    “The other fact, “we” don’t like to touch, is the massive debt which was run up by SOE’s, and by GoRoB not paying tax refunds and pocketing NIS deductions from its employees. And we later learned by not paying for lands acquired by GoRoB. Etc.”

    Sometimes you have to accept gifts that are given to you.

  9. @TheO
    The first.
    Bim was not a Republic when the spoken of debts were incurred.
    Not to say they will not happen again. When desperate you…….

  10. The treasury should be looking to acquire as much gold as possible outside of the Central Bank due to the pressure on FIAT currencies like the U.S. $, this will serve to significantly increase the value of gold & silver that could back the purchase of a basket of foreign currencies. Speed is of the essence.

  11. Best article Wily has read in years explaining the past 20 year financial abyis Barbados has self created and has presented no viable recovery plan.

    Just waiting now for the duopoly players to come forward with their excuses.

  12. @JohnA
    To cut the prolix…
    In a rising interest rate environment, where many local debt instrument payments were ‘delayed’, the collision course between these local increases (step ups & kick-ins) and external interest rate increases seems unavoidable.

  13. @Northern

    Yes I see the same issue coming and we can’t earn ourself out of debt based on our current performance, so it looks like the plan is to borrow our way out.

    So we borrow from Peter today $20 USD so we can pay Paul’s loan from last year of $15USD and then we put the $5 we borrowed left to our reserves and say” we good we got nuff reserves.” Problem is none of it is ours and every blind cent with interest must be repaid. But Don’t worry we will then borrow $30USD from Harry to cover that and the whole cycle starts again with way higher debt service.

    If that is the plan well God help we tail!

  14. Mr doom and gloom

    If we are going to get last minute tickets sales of over 80%
    And can now tickets 70%off
    I would expect to double the number of arrivals for this winter compared to 2019 Thanks to the removal of the protocols and you having ur finger on the pulse of the industry/ discounts

    I said yesterday we will return to 2019 GDP before we return to normal level of arrivals
    If both happens at the sametime then that’s ok by me

    One thing I can agree with you on from yesterday. It is not the numbers of arrival but the money spend that counts

    I do not expect up to return to 2019 arrivals or gdp next year but I expect us to be very close for both


  15. @JohnA
    You cannot apply your personal finance realities to sovereign finance.
    Every one of the sovereign finance crews EXPECTS they will be able to re-finance. Hence, only the servicing costs matter.
    Many have not had to deal with interest rates above the bare minimum, ONCE they avoid private markets, in many years.
    Why do you think our PM (give her credit where credit is due) has been so aggressive is locating additional sources of money under better terms?
    Multi year grace periods? Rates below market?
    Better to be owing some bi-lateral entity than your own central bank or local wealth fund (NIS)?

    • Agree with your comment NO, it is all about the capacity of the economy to service our debt, it will never be repaid.

  16. LOL
    The great objective is to get back to 2019? …murda!!

    Was that not when we were at the NADIR of our downgrades?
    Was that not AFTER we had sold all our assets?

    All that has happened since is that the BLP has borrowed on the condition the the IDB and WHO (ever else) can have full access to our donkeys to be used as pilot projects for their various global schemes such as the Covid-19 shiite, the universal ID card, the conversion of children into assets….and Lord knows what else…

    When our DREAM is to get back to 2019 (and when EVEN THAT seems so elusive), what more do we need to know that our donkeys are scraping the grass?

  17. @Northern

    The point remains as long as we continue to expand the gap between earned and borrowed the debt service gap will increase. Where the funds come from is irrelevant at this point, it is the debt increase that can sink us. Yes we can try for payment holidays, lower interest loans and all that the PM trying, but until we can close that debt gap we will never be getting anywhere in real terms.

    Dr Robinsons point in my view therefore remains the salient point. We can run around and borrow everywhere but whether a business or a person, the only way to bring down debt is to spend less or earn more. In my 40 years in business I am yet to come across a 3rd way. All borrowing can do is buy time at a further cost.

  18. John A.
    “..the only way to bring down debt is to spend less or earn more. In my 40 years in business I am yet to come across a 3rd way. …”
    Ever heard of Serfdom?
    hold on a bit longer and you will FEEL it.

  19. @ Bush Tea

    Lord you mean we going hit a ground zero economic position next? I hope I don’t live to see that cause then you talking years to recover and not months.

    We had 3 years since 2019 to have implemented change in our economy. By now we could of increased local food production in a major way and put in place a sizeable alternative energy base. But instead we talk nuff and did little.

    A major concern now is that because of the fact no one wants to buy government paper, we may well end up having to borrow in Fx so as to cover local expenses that were previously covered by the sale of government paper.

    When you do a bond offer of 200M and only 10M is taken up you know you going need a plan B that don’t involve selling it to the NIS or Central bank.

  20. @ David

    The goal is not to repay it but bring it to a manageable level where the debt service does not cause these large increases in yearly borrowing. It is a combination of increased economic activity, a reduction in expenses and a reduction in borrowing.

    The IMF has already made this clear as a term of this next loan.

    • The lack of support for BOSS does not augur well for government being able to borrow in the domestic market, what will be the ramifications?

  21. Bu nerds talking about financial markets and accounting on a Saturday night
    the proper stereotype is to go out raving
    We Like It Deep (MS III Mental ReCut)

  22. We Like It Deep
    Deep Deep Deep
    Deeper than the Ocean
    Deeper than your Emotions
    We Like It Deep (Beat-Trayers Drum & Vox Mix)

  23. Diaspora Meeting (Miami) – A Conversation with the Prime Minister of Barbados (Oct. 29, 2022)
    Student Academic Success Center
    Florida International University
    11200 SW 8th Street
    Miami, FL 33199
    4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST

  24. $13.8B DEBT
    Central Bank boss: Strategic plan on way to reduce burden
    By Shawn Cumberbatch
    Barbados’ debt is nearing $14 billion as Government contemplates introducing “a comprehensive debt law” under its new fouryear Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) plan.
    But with the debt to GDP ratio having fallen to 126.6 per cent as the economy grows, Central
    Bank Governor Cleviston Haynes says efforts are on to “structure our debt in such a way that it does not place undue burden on us during the current period and over the medium term”.
    Public debt, which was $13.3 billion at the end of last year, increased to $13.6 billion by the end of June and was $13.8 billion at the end of September, Central Bank data shows.
    In the bank’s nine-month economic review released on Wednesday, Haynes reported that the higher debt at the end of that period was because “domestic debt increased by 2.3 per cent of GDP, primarily due to [Barbados Revenue
    Authority] added legacy arrears ($214 million) and the sale of Treasury notes”.
    The largest share of Government’s debt – $9 billion – is domestic. By the end of September this included Central Bank debt (Treasury bills, debentures and ways and means account balance) of $963.8 million, commercial banks ($2.5 billion), National Insurance ($2.5 billion), insurance companies ($819 million), domestic arrears ($237.3 million), and, under the category of “other”, $2 billion.
    The external debt was $4.69 billion at the end of the third quarter, comprising $3 billion due to international financial institutions, $1 billion to bondholders, $204.2 for public-private partnerships, and about $419.9 million in bilateral debt.
    The Ministry of Finance says in the BERT 2022 plan that public debt was reduced to 117.4 per cent of GDP in financial year 2019/2020 from 176.3 per cent in financial 2017/2018. The Central Bank’s numbers show that public debt was $12.5 billion at the end of 2019 before increasing to $12.8 billion in 2020.
    Government explained that “in seeking to mitigate the impact of the COVID pandemic and other natural disasters, it was “compelled to increase its borrowing [and] this COVID-related borrowing, coupled more significantly with an approximate 14 per cent decline in GDP in 2020, resulted in an increase in the previously declining debt-to-GDP ratio”.
    With debt on the increase, Government is planning major reforms to debt management – including new legislation. This objective was outlined in the BERT 2022 plan.
    “The Government will seek to strengthen its debt management. It will request specific technical assistance for this purpose from international development partners. The Government will develop and implement a medium-term debt management strategy (MTDS),” the Ministry of Finance document states.
    “The MTDS will be underpinned by a debt management objective to meet the Government’s financing needs at the lowest possible cost over the medium to long-term, consistent with a prudent degree of risk. The Government will publish its mediumterm debt strategy and borrowing plans with the annual Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals.
    It added: “In addition, the Government is committed to undertaking a review of debt management practices, including an assessment of the effectiveness of the auction mechanism for long-term debt.
    In addition, the Government will undertake a review of debt legislation, with a view towards pursuing a comprehensive debt law.”
    Government borrowed about $930 million from the IMF under the first BERT programme and is expected to borrow another $586 million from that institution under BERT 2.
    The authorities also secured additional loans of $1.5 billion from the Caribbean Development
    Bank (CDB), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), World Bank, and CAF – Development Bank of Latin America during BERT 1.
    It is now contemplating financing BERT 2 mainly with “at least $1 billion in multilateral financing”, and another $1 billion “as project-specific funding” borrowed from the IDB, CAF, CDB, and the Export-Import Bank of China.
    As debate about Barbados’ increased debt continues, Central Bank Governor Cleviston Haynes said he thought that “within the public debate there was a misunderstanding of the role of debt for governments”.
    “The question . . . is, what is the quantum of debt that you have accumulated? And what are the terms under which you have accumulated it? So when you look at it from an analytic perspective, we believe that the repayment of debt is manageable, and that the focus is not on how much you have borrowed in the current period, but more what are the terms of that borrowing,” he explained.
    “And as you would appreciate certainly as it relates to what we have borrowed from the [international financial institutions] at relatively low interest rates, [and] maturities stretched out, it gives you that capacity to be able to repay,” the Governor added.

    Source: Nation

  25. @David 2.21pm
    The lack of interest was predictable, and discussed here prior to the latest election. Where the “o”, becomes a “c” in some form.
    I suspect the concept was partial default, followed by a few years of surplus to rebuild confidence, and then use local liquidity to aid when the local ‘step up’ kicked in. That was pandemicated. And other incidents have left ‘trust’ teetering.
    All the assurances of segregation and exclusion from future changes are taken with an ‘un huh’, not me bosie.

  26. Even ordinary people in the street who don’t know a ‘bond’ from an ‘prospectus’ can now see that the light at the end of our dark tunnel – is an oncoming train….
    The highly endorsed Empress and supreme leader’s brilliant dress is now clearly seen for what it always has been – an illusion. But even worse, it is ALSO clear to everyone, that WE CAN DO NO BETTER with the other jokers in her 60-love circle.

    What a state of affairs.

    When we had leaders with NO UNIVERSITY EDUCATION, we had much WISER decision-making
    ….but that was BEFORE God gave us up to our own warped BB desires
    – and before we built the shiite monument on the Garrison in commemoration of our NEW BOSS, and our ‘independence’ from God.

    Surely it is time for this global brassbowlery to be wrapped up once and for all…. it is going NOWHERE…. fast!

  27. Barbados, like the rest of the world, is drowning in a #Cesspool of DEBT…* The #MottleyCrew of #ShtHeads cannot solve these problems!!! Actually, their policies contribute to the problems… In a country, with no natural resources, other than a nation of entitled sheeple who have not changed their post-Independence mindset – sit-UP thinking that they are somehow owed something from poLIEticians, the state & whoever else can fill their hands with filthy lucre…

    The #CentralBankGOV* can cook the books all he wants but the truth is out there… The “BLOOD LUST” of ‘Foreign Exchange Haemorrhage’ cannot be understated as – “Commenting on the challenge now facing the new Barbados government, noted Caribbean economist Marla Dukharan said that it will come under pressure to cut wages and salaries, as well as state subsidies to a number of entities if it is to avoid a balance of payments crisis.”

    “They are going to have to stop the ‘haemorrhaging of foreign reserves’ because right now reserves are, in my estimation, just around US$200m, which is about five weeks of imports, and with rising oil prices and then the US$60m payment to Credit Suisse due by the end of the month, you are looking at a very close to balance of payments crisis”, she said. Dukharan added that the government must now somehow shore up reserves and stem the outflow of US dollars.”

    “At the end of March, official figures showed that foreign reserves stood at Bd$423m, enough to cover 6.9 weeks of imports, with debt reaching 151% of GDP.”

    This has been a perpetual cycle for successive GOVs going back as far as I can remember!!! Ongoing for too many DECADES* – same ‘ole news year after year – election after election!!!

    Not only is the country “SICK” but it has “STUNK” since I was there just before the #PlanDEMIC, both ecologically, monetarily & poLIEtically, as GOVs come & go and nothing seems to really change (other than mere shallow, semantics, show & tell & obviously, the “EMPEROR’s NEW CLOTHES”)…

    Barbados’ economy is faced with numerous macroeconomic challenges. The country “sorta” performed well under its extended fund facility (EFF) with the IMF, which expired last month, but did it have a choice if it were to go cap in hand (AGAIN) for even more money?

    Those with the broadest shoulders (i.e., the #BillionaireClass & the #UberRich) who own multimillion dollar property investments et al on the coastal peripheries of the island “MUST PAY” their fair share… But “OH NO”, we have to pander to the wealthy elites for their personal largesse but moreover to supposedly keep them from pulling up stumps & going elsewhere!!!

    What a load of tosh!!!

    Make the #DirtyBasterds pay for their “FAIR” slice of Paradise (most notably, the “INVESTORS”, “DEVELOPERS” & the “UBER-CLASS” who want to hide their so-called hard-earned wealth in “TAX-HAVENS”)…

  28. @ David,

    Cucumbers, tomatoes,melons cabbages,peas,bananas,avocado pears,pumpkins, spinach, breadfruit, mangoes, limes, lemons.

  29. @ Bush Tea May 15, 2016 7:36 AM


    LOL @ Simple
    Bushie forgot that the ZR radios don’t do news…except it is ‘outa Jamtown’… 🙂
    2000 – the year of the Dot Com bubble burst… just before US elections.
    2008 – the year of the housing bubble burst… just before US elections
    2016 – US dollar debt – the biggest bubble of all, is awaiting a pin…just before US elections.


  30. This was posted in almost 9 years ago in regard to the “LEAKED” Panama Papers…. Do Bajan poLIEticians have the stomach to address such a structural problem still at the heart of why poverty looms so large amongst the masses of our people while a certain cross-section of the society lives so high on the hog?

  31. QUESTION 4 PM:

    Is the BIM PM stymied by her position on #FossilFuelExploration given her position at #COP26 in Glasgow last year and with #COP27 looming in Egypt in the UP-coming month, will she reverse & back-peddle on her position on “OIL” & “NATURAL GAS” exploration within the 200-mile limits of Barbados waters???

    According to BHP: “Anglo-Australian oil and mining giant BHP has obtained “effective offshore exploration licenses” to search for oil in the waters off Barbados. The Barbados Government Information Service informed this week that the Caribbean country’s government gave BHP permission to explore in the Carlisle Bay and Bimshire blocks. The two blocks are located between 40 km to 140 km southeast of Barbados, collectively encompassing an area of 5,000 km2 in area, sitting in water depths ranging from 1,200 meters to 2,000 meters.

    For a small island nation of 166 sq miles, with too many vehicles burning fossil fuel, and the effects on the health of the nation being seen, is #GreenTECH* being forced down the throat of the PM? (i,e., electric cars) … However, if “FOREIGN EXCHANGE” at this time is king, given that Trinidad & Tobago is one of the wealthiest countries in the Caribbean, thanks to its large reserves of oil and gas, the exploitation of which dominates its economy as of 17 Oct 2022 – what is holding back the BIM GOV???

  32. @John A October 29, 2022 11:41 AM

    The problem with any fiscal policy (no matter in which state) is that finance ministers always use ideal economic circumstances as a basis for their calculations. Therefore, fiscal forecasts regularly miss their target. This must change.

    In the case of Barbados, for local fiscal policy, our government should factor in an external shock (plus recession for every fifth year.

    In its current state, our island is not financially viable. Perhaps it has not been since 1966 as a whole. To change this, it is as clear as day that we must finally reduce the surplus of civil servants. Instead of 30000 loafers, 15000 are enough. The rest should emigrate to Guyana, Costa Rica, or Qatar as serfs.

    • @Tron

      Your suggestion will always be rejected by the political directorate which strives on being popular with a disengaged electorate.

  33. @Tron
    Please note that your solution create two problems
    (1) It does not get us nearer to the required 70,000 new citizens
    (2) In fact, if you lose 15,000 paid nonworkers, you will now need 85,000 (70+15) new immigrants. You are moving us away from that magic number.

  34. @Hants
    Oh shirt, you had me scrambling, because my message read “Flakes died”. And to the ear, it was Waldron or Waldrun. But is actually Walrond.

  35. @ David

    No I didn’t hear her. I did listen to Brasstacks yesterday where several neighbouring islands were represented where it was stated they were way higher than us percentage wise in terms of recovering to the level of 2019 figures. I think Antigua was nearly there and I can’t remember the other island represented. I didn’t hear the whole thing.

    As for optimism it’s a good thing, I however prefer to be a realist.

    • @John A

      According to Williams the bookings are encouraging and the BHTA have a plan to mitigate falling Pound against the Dollar. We wait.

  36. Antígua drop it protocols aproxi a month before bim

    There was a report in BT that after our protocols were removed that we had a jump in arrival ….

    If I find I will post … I didn’t understand it clearly

  37. Barbados tourism should flourish this winter – since it may be cheaper for well off British to spend the time in Barbados than to buy fuel at home for heating.



    Madden-Greig had earlier indicated that countries in Latin America were among the fastest-growing origin markets for premium class arrivals.

    She disclosed that premium class arrivals had recorded a 27 per cent increase over the 2019 pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels, while economy class travel only went up one per cent, indicating that more affluent travellers were coming to the Caribbean. The fastest-growing origin markets for premium class travel were Argentina and Brazil, which increased 154 per cent and 137 per cent, respectively.

  39. @ David

    You have to be careful when people cherry pick periods for comparison. So you can hear for example ” the last 2 months we were only off 2019 by 10%.” The person is not lying but speaking to a particular period. Another person may say ” the last quarter was only 8% off 2019.” Again not a lie but ambiguous to say the least. In
    other words 8% for the same period of 2019 or when included brought you to being off the YTD figures for 2019? Then the central bank comes along with a very clear and detailed statement and says “”for the year so far we have only recovered 58% of the 2019 figures.” That is a statement no one can be left uncertain with, as he speaks to our YTD position based on ACHIEVED arrivals.

    Having said that there is nothing wrong with optimism as long as its based on reality. I was sent some information on winter promotions out of Spain and Croatia but to be honest have not looked at them yet. They are basically offering discounted rates for the Brits with value added components included. Will share them with you later.

  40. Man U is a real piece of work
    Can’t accept nothing positive

    The lady clearly stated FROM sept 1st

    She is pointing out that since the protocols were removed the arrivals increased
    Positive new for the winter projections

  41. David,

    The basic problem is that lifestyles>earnings.

    Growth is intended to counter that. But “successful” growth must be in value added. Not “import to support” a sector. Because that is merely using forex to generate local income, which makes no sense without value added.

    Essentially, until value added sectors, especially forex earning ones, can be created / expanded, a fairly significant drop in living standards is coming.

    Bush Tea is right, as always.

    The debt versus debt service discussion is a fair point, as the debt quoted for many countries is not recoverable, so servicing becomes the main point. The lender seeking to gain inflows from the debt ad infinitum.

    However, there is a level of debt that is simply unacceptable.

    So as Dr.R says, government has to act to address this.

    There is an emergency source of locsl funds available sans IMF, if the government needs it, but let us not look at that yet.

    No doubt, going to the IMF when the government did, was the smartet thing then and in hindsight too.

    On growth, the answer remains to be basic.

    Stop importing so much, from food, to clothing, to furniture. Produce locally.

    The value added over raw materials is the aim.

    Same goes for energy. Solar electric for most buildings, whether for commercial or residential. Cut fuel imports.

    The tech sector is still the future. Ingrain this learning in students from early.

    Get rid of one or two useless subjects in schools and replace with tech learning.

    Same old cannot work.

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  43. @ David on October 31, 2022 at 5:03 AM said:

    In fact, our unwilling voters are the problem. They act in a selfish way and disregard the common good.

    We therefore need a new constitution, with a powerful president for life. The new president would then be able to implement the common good and thus the true will of the people, independent of egistic special interests.

    Our Supreme Leader alone has the integrity to execute the true will of the people because the people and the leader are one.

    • Does the way we do things as a people, our culture allows for dictatorial positions to be taken by leaders in the interests of the country? The dark side of a so-called Democratic system.

    • The review of the Constitution is apropos to the type of catastrophic change necessary to chart a new path.

  44. @ David on November 1, 2022 at 4:20 AM said:

    The Westminster system has produced disastrous economic results since 1966. The indigenous masses are incapable of understanding economic contexts, so every election inevitably leads to suboptimal economic outcomes.

    Time to try something new!

    Sacrifices must be made in the hope that our Supreme Leader will achieve great things once she can focus entirely on the international capital market instead of performing for the indigenous masses.

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