Excuse me for being a bit more boring than usual this week, but bear with me as the issues I intend to discuss are of central importance to the constitutional and economic future of our tiny island. They impact on the juncture where law, financial services and macroeconomic policy meet. Equally, they may also impact on the disgraceful logjam that is preventing this rogue government from resolving the Bds$70m (and growing) problems it has with property developer Mr Barrack and its stubborn refusal to even treat the gentleman with common courtesy and respect.
But first, recently a leading public commentator criticised the lack of progress on the Caribbean Court of Justice and called for greater support from member-states of Caricom/CSME. This call coincided with a number of developments taking place in the US, Africa, South America and Europe, which have more or less reinforced my suggestion in another place that the Westphalian model of the nation-state is dying on its knees. Supranational organisations – the United Nations, International Criminal Court, etc, are taking control. It is the globalisation of our democratic structures.
This is a secret….. I work for Barrack Construction Ltd. we are through with promises… Action coming … Shhhhhh we can’t afford to get caught by elections!! See the nation newspaper today? Promise, promise, promise. August, September, October, November ….all over just like the hurricane season!
The following was posted as a comment on the CLICO – A Rape Victim But Who Are The RAPISTS? blog. BU believes the submission captures many of the issues which will be distilled on political platforms in the upcoming general elections.
Owen Arthur, Leader of the opposition (l) Fruendel Stuart, Prime Minister (r)
Current Opposition Leader Owen Arthur says that the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) government has a moral obligation to fix the CLICO mess. Arthur and the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) perhaps have forgotten that the Barbados Water Author (BWA), a government owned corporation and sole provider of water services in 2009 was near bankruptcy. David Thompson and the DLP inherited the BWA problem from Arthur and the BLP. Arthur and the BLP were morally responsible for BWA problems totalling thirteen years. BWA problems FIRST appeared during the ruling of Arthur and the BLP, also Al Barrack.
The Al Barrack mess FIRST appeared during the ruling of Arthur and the BLP. The court ruled in favour of Al Barrack, a little less than thirty five million, $34,490.518 to be exact. Barrack in 2008 received 2.5 million from the David Thompson administration. Al Barrack, since 2008 has not received payment from the Barbados government in any form or fashion. Building Contractor, Al Barrack built the government office complex in Warrens (St. Michael) but yet unpaid. The total amount NOW owed Al Barrack is far above 34, 490, 518. The Barbados national debt also is far above the 34,490,518 amount.
Just recently, Arthur reported to Midweek Nation that “the REDjet Airlines might still be flying if the Barbados Government had honoured its financial commitment to the collapsed airline”. Well Mr. Arthur, if the government during your rein had honoured its financial commitment to Contractor Al Barrack, Barbados NOW would not owe him seventy five million.
“It’s Too Soon and Secret Giver…,Too Soon n Secret Giver, Too Soon and Secret Giver… but Bethom wins it now by a neck….Stangrave Park a distant second…
You can bank on it. A day at the races anyone?..Any and all possibilities could rack. Expect the unexpected, believe the unbelievable, (as you are so expected)…How about a sea for St.George? It is the silly season friends, and the politician will tell you anything. Anything….whatever he believes you would like to hear.
“Vote for me…. times are back. Constituency offices have reopened expeditiously. Roads and round-a-bout unable to finish for reasons, now sport new barbara green. Doors that were once closed for 1145 days now exhibit newly purchased “Welcome”mats. Young people in district who could find no work for the past 4+years…..find themselves in jobs as if by miracle. The propaganda machines are pumping out information too…newspaper wars…journalist firing back and forth…TV and radio stations not to be left out…some want NO RED. If you want your Crop Over sounds played.. No leper or No LeBoy…..No Paris or nuttin so. “Don’t sing bout we….no, sing bout them .”
The Late Prime Minister David Thompson (L), Leroy Parris (R), former Chairman CLICO Holdings (B'dos) Ltd
The CLICO fiasco continues to hog the news. It is a story which has tainted the government of Barbados for almost the duration of its tenure. BU remains sympathetic to the ‘sufferation’ of thousands of Executive Flexible Premium Annuity (EFPA) CLICO investors and the others. Many were lured by the greed of high interest rates, some appeared to be ignorant to the benefit of diversifying personal investment portfolios. What makes the CLICO fiasco one with a difference is the extent regional governments and regulators are to be held accountable for CLICO’s ‘failure’. In the case of Barbados a very close relationship between the late Prime Minister David Thompson and former Chairman of CLICO Holdings Leroy Parris added to the intrigue.
In his wrapup to the this year’s budget Minister Chris Sinckler promised CLICO policyholders that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Despite the snippets here and there CLICO investors continue to stumble in the dark. The word on the street is that the judicial managers have recommended an injection of capital into CLICO to fund the shortfall in assets of 152 million dollars that will see CLICO morphing to a new company. BU believes if this is true it is laced with uncertainty.
The insurance business requires confidence from the market to be successful. Is there a precedent in the region where an insurance company was restructured successfully? Given the controversy which has enveloped CLICO most if not all of CLICO policyholders want their money. Given the harsh economic times the desire to withdraw the maturing EFPA’s will be strong. Such a sentiment does not bode well for a rebranded company funded with CLICO assets plus tax dollars. What are the alternatives? To liquidate the assets of CLICO will take years.