Why are Regional Prime Ministers silent over their creation of CDB’s leadership crisis?

Name withheld – Blogmaster

I firmly believe that the highly respected and soundly run Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is heading into serious leadership trouble. What I’ve heard is very troubling.

I am a very seasoned banker who has worked across our region. I know a thing or two about banking in the region. I’ve tried to get information directly from CDB but they have not been forthcoming at all, so please publish this letter as I have a few questions to ask.

Is it true that with the generous helping hand from our Prime Minister Keith Rowley and  the other regional Prime Ministers, the newly appointed CDB chairman, Prime Minister Mia Mottley from Barbados, has instructed that the bank appoint her advisor, a British national, as the new president of CDB? Wouldn’t this selection and appointment stink of blatant nepotism and cronyism and taint Barbados? Can a chairman of CDB select the President of CDB from his/her own previous clients and own pool of personal advisers? And no other Prime Minister can stop it?

What about qualifications of the individual being imposed on CDB? Is the British advisor more qualified than any other Caribbean professional to run the Bank? The President of CDB is always a person from the Caribbean of high stature, regional intellect and integrity. Does this British advisor even have a Caribbean identity? Does he know and understand what it takes to achieve successful regional development? Does he have a record of successful projects in the Caribbean? Has Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and the region not learned anything from the many hotel debacles and the many other failed development projects that die and only leave the lawyers and advisers rich. There are many other highly qualified bankers and economists with good track records of integrity and success in the region who can run CDB.

There are many options. Why has Rowley failed to nominate any experienced banker, economist, or academic from Trinidad and Tobago? Trinidad and Tobago has majority stocks and votes in the bank. Where is Prime Minister Rowley’s voice and why would all the region’s Prime Ministers Gonsalves, Browne, Holness who are so usually loud about regional issues suddenly stay silent and surrender so meekly to Prime Minister Mia Mottley’s moves to capture CDB for her adviser? What is really going on with this coming ugly affair? Something looks very rotten in the region.

Will our Caribbean leaders find the good sense and fortitude to avoid the stench of cronyism and do the right thing to keep the Caribbean in the leadership of the CDB and to maintain its development focus? The dodging must stop. The Prime Ministers and CDB must start talking. We deserve to know.

2018 CDB Economic Review – Vote of Confidence?

The Caribbean Development Bank in its 2018 economic review supports the economic approach the Barbados government has taken.  The optimism is ‘premised’ on a favourable tourism performance, the opening of Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM), continued implementation of BERT supported by private sector projects in the pipeline – the possibility of external shocks a possibility.

See report:

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2018 CDB Economic Report

Who Will Put the Genie Back in the Bottle?

Ryan Straugn, Economist

Ryan Straugn, Economist

The following article by Economist Ryan Straughn has been making the rounds in Barbados and is the source of robust debate because it highlights the perilous state of the Barbados economy. This week the hierarchy of the Caribbean Development Bank also noted concerns about the weight of debt which many Caribbean islands are presently burdened. We did not reach the current state in the last five years. Our consumption behaviour which is fed by two fickle economic drivers, tourism and foreign direct investment, will do it every time.

Dispelling Political Myths with Economic Facts
I wish to state at the outset as emphatically as I possibly could, that in a very, very, very small open economy (like Barbados) and in a very, very, very small open society (like Barbados) it is imperative that government’s current revenue always exceed its current expenditure in order to protect the social democracy to which we’ve become accustomed.

I sat down to write this article last week and got sidetracked with more pressing matters and so decided to finish it on reading Tony Best’s column in the Sunday Sun of February 3, 2013. The article shared the concerns of Charlie Skeete another Barbadian economist which are indeed very similar to mine. Elections have been called in Barbados for February 21, 2013 and the campaign has truly begun in earnest. As an economist, I eagerly wait to hear specifics from both the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour Party on how they are going to deal with the small matter of the public finances.

Read full article @Barbados Economic Society Blog