Geoffrey Cave, Chairman of Fortress Fund
There is the old saying that one should always follow the money. In the case of Barbados one can say that when the money-class in Barbados begins certain machinations others less positioned should sit up and take careful note.
A report which appears in the Barbados Today makes for interesting reading – Fortress Fund initiates major move to safeguard investors as property market sags. While the newspaper has done a good job of reportage, it is unfortunate the dearth of financial analysis by the Barbados media. Another indicator one can use to measure the quality of our education system and media fraternity, another blog perhaps.
Barbadians have always been spoiled by the idea that property value and rental income will never decline. The fact that the report by Barbados Today acknowledges that principals at Fortress Fund are warning about negative impact on the real estate market is interesting for many reasons.
PROPERTY FUND PROPOSAL
Donna St.Hill – Bio
Caribbean people have long been at the forefront of African liberation and empowerment. From political giants like Sir Walter Rodney, Marcus Garvey and George Padmore, to more recent stalwarts in the vanguard like Bob Marley, Sir Hilary Beckles and Eddie Grant, out of the geographically tiny islands of the Caribbean have come the towering intellectual raison d’être of African emancipation, black power and Pan Africanism.
Today, as a second “scramble for Africa” ensues around the globe, Barbados along with the rest of the Caribbean has an opportunity to leverage our history of leadership on the frontlines of African unity, now that that same passionate engagement is needed in order to consolidate the economic transformation currently taking place on the African continent. However, while in the past Africa reaped the benefits of efforts of its stolen tribes in the middle of the Atlantic sea, in the midst of the worst economic crisis in living experience, the advantage is not just one way but a potential win-win for Continent as well as the Diaspora in the Caribbean.
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Submitted by Not Taken
Canadian government has Cameco in its sights for $800 million – Photo credit: The Globe and Mail
Yet another interesting (scary for Barbados) article – Cameco’s $800-million tax battle. I have been sending these recent articles as a public service so the Minister of Finance (MOF) and Governor of the Central Bank have a heads up on the attack on Canadian tax evaders/avoiders that is undoubtedly about to hit the Barbados offshore industry; if in fact it has not already hit – but unreported.
This is very bad news for Barbados revenue sources. While the Cameco case involves its Swiss subsidiary, it is probably just the tip of the iceberg in CRA’s efforts to collect taxes due to Canada. There must be hundreds, if not thousands, of Canadaco (Barbados) Limited businesses doing the same same transfer pricing schemes (scams) in order to pay 2% income tax to Barbados, rather than 27% to Canada.
Even those Canadian companies not not already being audited for this this type of tax “management” may decide for close up shop in Barbados to avoid the publicity that a CRA audit will bring.
Adrian Loveridge – Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel
Perhaps more than many, I can empathise with individuals who have recently seen their business either fail or brought dangerously close to insolvency. In 47 years it has happened to me twice and in both cases, they were largely external forces which caused near personal financial catastrophe.
Of course, it is easy to attribute the blame to others but in my case, I can unequivocally state that both near failures, which occurred years apart, were largely caused by strike action in the United Kingdom. Both involving the National Union of Seaman. Personally witnessing bus loads, of what can only be described as pickaxe wielding thugs, destroying property and intimidating ordinary people simply wanting to go about everyday work and operating their businesses.
More than a decade later, it was the same union, blockading the English channel ports, which prevented literally thousands of our booked holidaymakers taking their hard earned trips.
Adrian Loveridge – Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel
Over the last twenty five years, I believe our small company has been a model corporate citizen on Barbados. We have no outstanding debt to either Government or the private sector, yet next week we will be forced to go cap-in-hand and beg our bankers for an overdraft facility.
Why, you may ask?
Simply to be able to cover our expenses, while we await several VAT refunds totalling over $32,000, which have been overdue for as long as two and a half years. We are told that all the claims have been approved, but are ‘warned’ not to call the VAT office, to chase when payment will be paid. Of course, we have tried to approach Government discreetly by writing to two Ministers with responsibility for either VAT or small businesses, but weeks later, neither have bothered to respond.
The governor of the Central Bank appears quite clearly to have lost all sense of balance as far as the local economy is concerned. Not only has he been in office for the last five years or so, he is yet to come up with a publicly available reasoned and detailed plan for rescuing the nation’s economy from the situation it is in. His recent obvious confusion about the constitutional role of the Central Bank adds further to the confusion. Even local journalists are confused.
Dr Worrell’s reported U-turn on a policy announcement – a veiled criticism of the government, then claiming the government was on track – was but the latest in a series of embarrassing episodes. But first, we must get the legislation right. The Central Bank Act is irrelevant to the new financial architecture post-2007 and the new global regulatory paradigm. I said before, and say again, that the Act needs serious reform, giving the Bank a legally defined role, on par with the Federal Reserve, Bank of England and all the other major Central Banks. Be that role inflation targeting, financial stability, or even more explicitly, managing unemployment rates, there must be a benchmark against which we could measure the Bank. Now we have a situation in which the governor is publicly expressing views about fiscal policy, and one local website even describing the governor/central bank as the government’s primary monetary and fiscal adviser. Not at all. The central bank should be independent of the government of the day and should be reporting direct to parliament.
Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI, Cave Hill
NEW LISTINGS AND DELISTINGS
There were a number of listings and De-Listings across the regional exchanges in 2012. On the Bahamas International Securities Exchange, Arawak Port Development was listed on April 23 2012. In Guyana, Rupununi Development Company Limited was listed on March 19 2012. In Jamaica, First Caribbean International Bank Jamaica, First Jamaica Investments Limited, Montego Freeport and Pegasus Hotels were De-listed, while on the main market Proven Investments was listed, and, Consolidated Bakeries, Paramount Trading Jamaica, C2W Music Limited and K. L.E. Group Limited were listed on the Junior Market. Supreme Ventures was De-listed from the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange.