Going, Going, GONE!

Theory of value and property – Locke [John] uses the word property in both broad and narrow senses. In a broad sense, it covers a wide range of human interests and aspirations; more narrowly, it refers to material goods. He argues that property is a natural right and it is derived from labour.

Locke believed that ownership of property is created by the application of labour. In addition, property precedes government and government cannot “dispose of the estates of the subjects arbitrarily.” Karl Marx later critiqued Locke’s theory of property in his social theoryWikipedia

Barbados celebrated Errol Barrow Day on January 21. One of the pleasures of the day was to listen and view the many audio and video clips which were broadcast on the day which featured The Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow.  Clearly evident was the vision of the man – many of the concerns he expressed in the 70s and 80s are still with us today. In one of the clips Barrow lamented that our banking, insurance, tourism and other key sectors were controlled by foreign interest. Sadly two or three decades later nothing much has changed on this front.

One of the many imponderables which seems to be confronting Barbados at this time is the extent to which, as a people, we have forgotten who we are. How do we want Barbados to be defined for our children? Do we still want to be friends of all and satellites of none? Why do we continue to allocate 20% of our education budget to education but seem to have a growing predilection to sell the fruit of our labour to foreign interest?

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Price Control By Another Name?


According to the most recent CADRES/Peter Wickham poll, uppermost in the minds of more than 40% Barbadians surveyed is the high cost of living. This ‘revelation’, on the eve of a general election, which the same poll has predicted a 5.5% swing against the government has served to galvanize the government into a frenetic response to ensure that they are re-elected. Anyone in the boots of Prime Minister Owen Arthur would probably respond in the same way.  Evenso, the action by the government can be viewed as disingenuous. In recent years Barbadians have been fed rote responses by our ministers in government, including the Prime Minister, that high prices and the resultant high cost of living are linked to movements in the global market, e.g. the rising cost of oil.

To the credit of the government, the initiative led by three of its young brigade: Clyde Mascoll, Lynette Eastmond and Mia Mottley, who in short order, have been able to persuade, coerce, and co-op the co-operation of our captains of industry, to agree to a fixed mark-up on a basket of food stuff, which has been deemed to contain the staples to satisfy the average household. We congratulate the government on this initiative to attempt to control the price of certain foods which are purchased by the average household. We however have to question if the proposed strategy is a sustainable one. The realization that our government maybe threading on ground never trodden before was highlighted on a call-in program earlier this week hosted by Tony Marshall. One of our elusive University of the West Indies lecturers called the program to offer an opinion on another issue; Marshall took the opportunity to ‘ambush’ lecturer Justin Robinson by asking him to comment on the initiative by government to engage the private sector to selectively reduce the price of selected products. Robinson’s response was interesting. He referred to the government’s initiative as ‘collaborative price control’. He further informed the listeners that up to the time of his calling the program, he had not been able to find any similar documented protocol which he could use to offer as a comparison. We don’t have to rehash the many arguments which point to the ineffectiveness of a price control strategy. What are we trying to say? The jury is out on whether this form of collusion between private sector and government will have the desired impact.

Can we describe this initiative as a useless form of price control?

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A Senior Barbadian Journalist Gives A Rare Insight Into The Challenges Of The Local Media Extracting Information From Government Regarding GEMS


I have called both Parliament and xxxxxx, to ask them for copies of the Gems’ financials which were laid in House some time ago, apparently.
You might not be surprised to learn that these are only up to 2001, and no information is available on when anymore might be coming down from the mountaintop.

Also, I am concerned about your implication of journalists n this non-transparent behaviour of the government. There are so many government reports and financial statements which are technically public documents but cannot be even read, far less commented on by reporters, until they are “laid in Parliament”. We would have to mount a 24/7/365 operation to learn when any of these are finally sneaked into Parliament. There are no trumpets sounding and no fanfare: somewhere, as quietly as possible. I don’t even know if “laid in Parliament” means that someone has to tell the Speaker while P is in session.

A basic rule of transparency, it seems to me, would be to routinely make those documents available to the media. The Parliamentary person told me they had only been given enough copies for MPs and their library, so I would have to ask the PS Cabinet Office. He then said he would have to cal Parliament to see if they had spies.

So you see, the media is purposely left out and kept in the dark as much as possible, yet we are supposed to somehow follow all these things up, YEARS after documents should have been laid.

Barbados is not easy, hear.


lsbusprf.gif The quote above should be very easy to contextualize. It is a response to a prominent Barbadian citizen from a leading journalist in Barbados. Those readers who think that BU, BFP and the many other citizens who are demonstrating concern about the threat to our democracy are partisan political poppets, please wake up and smell the coffee!

We can sit back and do nothing or we can all start to do what civic minded citizens are obligated to do. Take your pick.

Previous Stories

Barbadians Do You Want To Discuss The Financial Statements Of Hotel And Resorts Ltd, AKA GEMS?
Media Houses In Barbados Should Take Note Of What Their Counterparts In Dominica Are Doing
The Third Estate Has The Final Power~The Voices Of THE PEOPLE Must Be Heard
Media Houses In Barbados In Collusion With Government To Suppress News, Press Freedom Under Threat ~ The Voices Of The People Must Be Heard



Barbadians Are Homophobes, Xenophobes, Too Passive And You Can Add Too Emotional To The List ~ Neal & Massy And Ansa MaCal Should Tell Barbadians The True Reason They Want To Acquire BS&T

In recent months whether it has been about the concerns about illegal immigrants, the acquisition of our best companies by Trinidadian owned companies, or the debate on declining morals, Barbadians have had to endure the labels. The most recent label has come from Douglas Skeete and Colin Brewer. They both believe now that the plan to steal BS&T from Barbadians by Neal & Massy has been foiled; the emotionalism which was evident by Barbadians has been replaced with a willingness to evaluate in an unemotional way the business proposition on the table. In other words, Brewer and Skeete want us to believe that BS&T Barbadian shareholders should only be concerned with the company that can guarantee the best return on shareholder equity__and they are right according to the text books!

If Barbados were a large market, Barbadians could ignore the multiple acquisitions of choice Barbadian companies by Trinidadian companies.

To support their argument they outlined the view that BS&T should not be described as a flagship company because there are better performing companies in Barbados. The other point which both Brewer and Skeete agreed on was to observe that many BS&T shareholders have held stock for 20 and 30 years. The two statements obviously conflict. Why would BS&T shareholders hold BS&T stock in a “poorly managed” company for so long? Something does not add up.

Is there another PR stunt being pulled on Barbadians?

BU can forgive Colin Brewer and Douglas Skeete because they are both accountants and they are both trained to look at numbers. If we were the goodly gentlemen we would not be so hasty as to disregard the emotionalism of Barbadians. Barbadians have had to live with yet another label, that of being a passive people. So to witness the outpouring of emotion which Barbadians have been consistent in showing about BS&T board room immigrating to Port of Spain should be worrying. Several years after a similar sale of Barbados National Bank (BNB) Barbadians continue to voice anger at the one that got away.

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Barbados Advocate Features The Article "ZERO Inflation For First 4 Months Of 2007~You Have To Be Joking !

Stoute: Zero inflation prevailing in first four months of 2007 good news
Web Posted – Fri Aug 17 2007

PRESIDENT of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dick Stoute, has described as good news the zero inflation, which he said information suggested was the case, prevailing during the first four months of 2007. The same time he has called for more productivity gains, warning that if incomes rise faster than productivity, inflation will most likely take place.

The following is the full statement: “We have recently gone through a period of rapid price increases. Towards the end of last year prices were increasing at an annualized rate of close to 8% driven by significant price increases in oil, metals and cereals.”

Source: Advocate


CONSULTANT Althea Wiggins-Rock, at right, making a point to prominent businessman Arthur Lok Jack, at left, while BCCI president Dick Stoute, third from left, and Andrew Niles senior vice-president look on. (Picture by David Sandiford.)

The above article appears in the Barbados Advocate this morning and BU suggest that you should read the story before taking breakfast. If we say that we are confused it would be the understatement of the year. The conclusion which we have made is that Mr. Dick Stoute is part of the spin web with an election imminent. The statement is insensitive at a time in our history when the cost of living is being felt to the core by Barbadians. Mr. Stoute is obviously part of the establishment who is now being mobilized by his Barbados Labour Party master to go out and preach it!

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Barbados Shipping & Trading (BS&T) Directors Advise Shareholders Not To Accept Ansa McAL's Offer Because They Are In Bed With Neal & Massy Of Course



See the document which has been circulated to BS&T shareholders advising them not to accept the Ansa McAL offer of $7.00. A number of recommendations have been stated by the Board of Directors of BS&T which seek to support their position. Thanks to that person who sent us the information; we do appreciate it.


Why is BU not surprise at the BS&T posture! This is a warning to Barbados that they are about to see a corporate dog fight which has never been seen in Barbados. A lot is riding on this deal because if Neal & Massy loses it would significantly diminish their presence in Barbados while their arc-rival Ansa McAL would have achieved the opposite.


Please note that you will need the Acrobat PDF reader. Click here if you need to download.


Previous BU Stories

Neal & Massy About To Take-off The Gloves: Hostile Take-over Imminent~Will Sir Allan Fields Quit BS&T Board?

BS&T Merger Called Off

Neal and Massy backs down
Driselle Ramjohn dramjohn@trinidadexpress.com

Wednesday, August 8th 2007


QUIT BOARD: Bernard Dulal-Whiteway

THE PROPOSED merger between corporate conglomerates Neal and Massy Holdings and Barbados Shipping and Trading (BS&T) is off. In addition, three nominees to the boards of directors have resigned from both companies. The merger was called off after shareholders in Barbados filed an injunction blocking BS&T from deciding on the merger at a special meeting.

The termination of the merger agreement was announced in a joint statement in the press by both companies today. The two groups, which have been long-standing associates, announced their decision to merge operations to form one of the largest Caribbean corporations in May. Neal & Massy owns 23 per cent of BS&T. Since then two other entities, a Barbadian consortium and regional conglomerate ANSA McAL, have made bids to acquire BS&T.

BS&T reported more than $1 billion in revenues for the first nine months of this financial year.

Source:Trinidad Express

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Former Deputy Speaker Ezra Alleyne~Has He Passed the Point Of No Return?

Issues & Ideas – Of gates and mergers

by Ezra Alleyne

Although Barbados has gated communities within its boundaries, the island itself is not a gated community, nor is it surrounded by a paling or any kind of fence. It is a small open economy, which is affected by the twists and turns of regional and international economic turbulence…

But is this really relevant to Barbados, some may ask, and my answer is yes. I adopt the words and reasoning of the new British Minister of Finance, on mergers and take-overs as reported in the London Times. The minister argues that “the British economy has benefited greatly from inward investment”. That is also very true of Barbados. Where would we be without Sandy Lane and other major tourism developments?

Full Nation Newspaper Article

The BU household went into a tail spin when we read the article quoted above written by Ezra Alleyne in the today’s Nation. To be honest, it has created a bitter taste in our mouths after being doped by the euphoria of achieving one of yesterday’s top post at WordPress with the piece on Roy Morris.

An achievement if we can say so considering that WordPress hosts 1.2 million blogs!

This guy continues to miss the point deliberately or otherwise, when making his opinions known on the current BS&T merger and on M&A’s in general as it relates to Barbados. I would be a fool to deny that Barbados as a country with currently no natural resources MUST pursue a policy of attracting foreign investment. BU and others might debate how the government is approaching the task but would agree that Barbados must continue to engender a receptive climate to foreign investment. However, to zoom in on the article of Mr. Ezra Alleyne, he and other commentators who should know better continue to discuss the BS&T merger with Neal & Massy, or Ansa MCal as a single transaction, divorce from the other activities also taking place in the market. The overall impact of the aggressive aquisition of T&T companies and the effect of violating the independence and sovereignty of our once proud nation has been relegated to discussion by ordinary citizens and the blogs.

The millions spent on education in Barbados, has it gone to waste?

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Too Late For Sentiment With BS&T~Time To Dissolve The Old Boys Network

The issues that keep surfacing about Nationalism and loss of National icons, reiterates that too many times Bajans are reactionary. When the likes of BNB was being divested by Government, where were the consortiums? All we got was the usual rhetoric from our top “analysts”, that said nothing except that the company was a good company with great potential.




This is typical of our culture; we only see the potential after an outsider has offered to take over. There was no meaningful response from the Big businesses and again our analysts when the Government as they all “claimed” to know in their desperation divested of the likes of BNB to who would take it.


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The Varying BS&T Agendas: Another BU "Commenter" Has More Questions Than Answers~Who Is Looking After The Interest Of The Small Shareholders?


This submission was received from a reader of the BU blog. It is apparent to all that BU continue to follow the battle for BS&T with a keen interest. Although the views expressed on BU are our own, we welcome our readers to bring a balanced perspective on this and other issues. We find the BS&T saga to be very intriguing and regret like others have lamented the paucity of information coming from the stakeholders, but more so the passive way the press in Barbados is tackling this matter. We believe that the battle for BS&T represents more than a commercial transaction to be determined by its 3000 shareholders. The transaction must be of strategic interest to the country. BU therefore finds it amazing that the government of the country appears to be on board with this transaction without any fear of the consequences.


BU stand firm in its position that BS&T should be declared a “national asset” and the laws of Barbados be amended accordingly,

I think Barbados Underground would agree that the “small” shareholders need to be properly advised and made aware of what their real options are. None of the “analysts” have so far honestly laid out the pros and cons, and varying options available to the shareholders under the two options being offered to them by the would be suitors of BS&T. I’d like to add that the analysts should declare their potential conflicts of interest at the time they publish their articles. Mr. Chris Callender of Fortress Fund Managers should let the public know that BS&T owns 25% of the company that employs him.

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A Barbados Underground Commenter Has Their Say On The BS&T Merger

Comment by demarlehole

“This is like deja vu all over again.” Yogi Berra!

Hello David,

I prefer to see this in different terms, hence my caption. How many of you remember Plantations Trading Co., Ltd. These two companies were always competitors. I worked for PTCL for almost two decades before moving to the US; back then I was a shareholder and rather than take a dividend would roll it over year after year for the purchase of additional shares even after coming here. They invested in CLICO, a then one door insurance company. Then CLICO moved into one of the buildings owned by PTCL, suddenly we heard the company was not doing well and CLICO made a bid to purchase the Company.

Some Board members were about to retire and had to have their “Golden Parachute”. You asked; What is it with BS&T wanting to sell their assets, if you checked their Annual Reports since 2002 to 2006 (I’ve got them all), see a ref copy of each; notice what they said in 2003 when they divested themselves of 50% of Neal & Messy’s shares. (Please note  BU attempted to link the mentioned websites but we were unsuccessful)

Something of note, that was the last year for Chairman David Bynoe and a “Golden Parachute” had to be provided; the end of this financial year is Sir. Alan Fields’ last year and another Parachute have to be provided. You asked about the two Director’s credentials (Taylor and King) have a look at the entire board and you would not find anyone with the kind of Project Development background which is required to undertake their next BIG project; “The Pierhead Development Project”.

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What If Ralph Taylor Was the CEO Instead of Anthony King~Would Barbados Shipping And Trading Find Itself In This Predicament?

The current bid war for the island’s lone conglomerate continues to be the talking point in Barbados. BU see one of the many positives to have emerged as the kick in the ass which a passive Barbados public and business community needed to get. If we are to compete in the world we have to efficiently manage our resources__it is not business as usual my friends! The energy rich Trinidadians companies have shown that they are willing to eat-up the spineless Barbadian companies who up to now have been happy to sit and milk a domestic market.

We hear you Bush Tea and we know what you are going to say. The reality is that the directorate of Barbados is marching to the beat of globalization; that means entities within our Caribbean structures must follow the leader.

Listening to the recent debate a further concern was triggered regarding the make-up of the directorship of Barbados Shipping and Trading and whether it reflects an accurate mix of the population, our interpretation is that race is not the only factor being considered. BU list the current directors for your information and ask our readers to evaluate for themselves whether there has been enough democratization at the BS&T board level.

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Barbados Stock Exchange (BSE) Asleep On The Job In The Barbados Shipping &Trading Neal And Massy Merger

ConcernedCitizen~BU finds it very interesting that two years ago BS&T was trading at over $8.00 (2005), $5.31 (2006) and up to yesterday $5.51. Although the share prices from our research have taken a beating in the Caribbean, BU find it strange the precipitous drop in the BS&T share price compare to other companies. What is it that the market sniffed about BS&T?

BU smells something funny ?:

Posted on BU -3rd July 2007

A poster to BU made the quoted observation on the 3rd July 2007 and to our surprise in the Nation this morning we see the headline BS&T Shares Lockdown. What BU finds intriguing is the length of time it took for the industry regulator, Barbados Stock Exchange to suspend trading in a transaction where there was sure to be heightened interest given the nature of the deal. It is Barbados lone conglomerate and the market as we have seen will speculate and manipulate if allowed.


We visited the BSE website to view the trade summaries of the days being investigated, see attached. A novice scan of the reports clearly show that the share price has been allowed to move from $5.51 on the 2 July to $6.66 on the 6 July 2007. The is a clear manipulation of the share price which was done under the nose of the BSE. The significant movement in the share price has huge financial implications given what is at stake.


All members of the Board should resign immediately.

Related BU Stories

Sir Allan Fields The Man Behind The Orchestration To Dump Barbados Shipping And Trading To The Trinidadians
Senator Lynette Eastmond Shut Up!
Prime Minister Arthur Prefers A Neal And Massy Deal~Barbados Underground Say So
BS&T Going, Going, Soon To Be Gone~ The Advocate Newspaper Should Go Too

Hilford Murrell Surrenders An Educated Opinion On The Neal & Massy Barbados Shipping & Trading Merger~Better Late Than Never We Suppose

The Trinidad alliance . . . another angle

Published on: 7/9/07.

by Hilford Murrell

AS SOON AS it became public knowledge that Neal & Massy Holdings Limited was seeking to merge with Barbados Shipping & Trading Co. Ltd (BS&T), there were numerous calls for Government to halt the transaction…

If the BNB/Republic Bank experience serves as any example of a Barbados/Trinidad relationship, then the shareholders in BS&T should be less concerned about their future in a similar union. The only caution lies in the choice of such a partner.

Nation Newspaper

The BS&T saga is sure to heat up again in the coming days and weeks and no doubt the sentiments raised by what is being described as an emotional and xenophobic Barbadian public will reach a crescendo. Many business analysts appear to be oozing out of the wood work with their narrow and greedy agendas. The latest such analyst is Hilford Murrell who is quoted in the Nation newspaper extract above. He is of the firm view that in the same way Republic Bank has turned around the fortunes of the Barbados National Bank, so too shareholders stand to gain from the sale of BS&T to Neal & Massy.


A quick question to Murrell, is the retention of the name Barbados National Bank by Republic Bank and the obvious goodwill which it has translated profit an ethical decision by them?


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Prime Minister Owen Arthur Parachutes And Leaves Lynette Eastmond And Clyde Mascoll To Fly Solo



THE UNFAIR DISTRIBUTION of benefits in favour of Trinidad and Tobago is of concern to Prime Minister Owen Arthur and will come up for serious discussion when Caribbean Community heads of government begin talks today. This imbalance under the Single Market and Economy (CSME) was raised by Arthur yesterday as he addressed the official opening of the 28th CARICOM Heads of Government Conference in the courtyard of the Parliament Buildings, before more than 350 people and a regional radio and television audience.

He said while Trinidad and Tobago was the main beneficiary of the expansion in intra-regional export, apparently only “a few countries” were carrying the weight of the community’s free movement of skills programme. “Already, issues regarding the fair distribution of benefits from the CSME are surfacing,” Arthur said as he took over the chairmanship of CARICOM from St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.

He pointed out that while intra-regional exports between 1995 and 2005 had grown from 13 per cent to over 20 per cent of the total exports of the region, “this growth has largely been to the benefit of one country – Trinidad and Tobago”. He told the gathering of regional government chiefs, other ministers and members of the diplomatic community that this situation “is untenable”.

Source: Nation Newspaper

Did BU read this article correctly? Is Owen “CSME”Arthur making anti-CSME statements? Wow…Prime Minister Arthur you better be careful, your statement could be construed as protectionist in some quarters! The posture now emanating from Arthur is confusing to us. One minute Arthur is welcoming all investment that is non-Barbadian, with emphasis on Trinidadian investment, yet in the Nation article he is expressing concern at the lopsidedness of the investment between Trinidad and the rest of CARICOM. One does not have to have a Masters in Economics to know that the cash rich Trinidad, which has a rich venture capital infrastructure to boot, has prepared its companies to be the “economic tigers” of the Caribbean. It follows that the scenario playing out should not have come as a surprise to the directorate of Barbados. Our great surprise on the BS&T, Neal & Massy merger comes from the opposite positions which Barbadians are hearing from our government ministers of late.

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Sir Allan Fields The Man Behind The Orchestration To Dump Barbados Shipping And Trading To The Trinidadians

Monday 17, May-2004

giving up CEO of BS&T after five years. Senator Allan Fields, the man who has led the country’s biggest conglomerate, Barbados Shipping & Trading, for the past five years is preparing to step down from that office.
The s comes a month after he demitted the post of head of the Barbados Private Sector Association (BPSA), now led by financial management consultant Chris de Caires.

Senator Fields revealed in an exclusive interview with BUSINESS AUTHORITY over the weekend that the island’s most important private sector employer had already started its recruitment process and by next month the list of possible candidates for the top job will be narrowed down.

He is expected to step down at the end of the company’s financial year in September.

“I came to BS&T five years ago and I committed to them that I would be with them for a minimum of five years and I have indicated that I would like to retire at the end of the financial year,” he said.

Read more: Nation News

Sir David Seale, Kyffin Simpson and Sir Allan Fields are men, white men who have dominated the business landscape of Barbados over the last 30 years. Unlike Sir David and Simpson, Sir Allan has been contented to exercise his management skills to consolidate the hold which white owned companies have had on the distribution sector in Barbados over the years, in case you don’t get our drift, distribution means food! Some of the companies which Sir Allan has blessed with his business acumen are Barbados Light & Power, Tropical Battery, Neal & Massy, Banks Breweries and Barbados Shipping & Trading Company Ltd. The power base which he has developed as a consequence has ensured that he firmly wears the title of one of the most powerful men in Barbados. No doubt Prime Minister Arthur is aware of Sir Allan’s influence on the economic elite in the country and has co-opted his support in key areas of managing the economy, at the top of the list must be his involvement in the Social Partnership, a tripartite arrangement comprised of private sector, union and government. His appointment as pinch hitter as Chairman of the Board of the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation and Ambassador to China clearly demonstrates his positioning in the mind of Prime Minister Arthur.

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