Prove That NIS Is Sound Before Investing In Four Seasons

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

Government was advised, by an actuary, to take steps to protect the National Insurance Fund because they had calculated that the NIS Fund would be in trouble by 2035 if pensions were continued to be paid at the then existing rate. They reasoned that Barbados was an aging society, and with current life expectancy and a declining birth rate that there would be too few persons contributing and too many persons receiving pensions for the scheme to remain viable. The Government had several options to ensure the fund’s viability, and this is what they have done so far:

  1. Increase the pension age with the hope that more people would die before attaining pension age;
  2. Increase contributions;
  3. Change the formula for calculating the pension, resulting in a much smaller pension; and
  4. Give people the opportunity to receive a reduced pension if they applied early, and an enhanced one if they deferred applying for their pension. They guessed that there would be a neutral effect on the fund because the people who opted for early pensions would somehow be offset by the numbers who deferred. Unfortunately, hundreds opted for early pensions and less that 10 deferred as yet according to my information.

The corrective measures clearly show that the NIS Fund is under stress. It is inconceivable that the fund is as healthy as the Minister of Finance is telling the country. For the sake of argument let us assume that the Government is correct in their assertion that the NIS Fund is healthy. Then they must also explain why they thought it necessary to sell off the NIS shares in the Barbados Light & Power Company which were paying handsome dividend yearly, and projected to do so for the foreseeable future. If they needed cash so badly that it forced them to sell off assets, how can they justify the gamble of putting $50 million in the Four Seasons apparent white elephant.

In whose interest is the NIS Fund being managed? Everything that the Government has done to date to protect the fund has proven to be detrimental to the individual interest of persons who contribute to the fund. On the other hand people like the Canadian company Emera, CLICO and now Four Seasons are reaping the sweets of the labour of Barbadian workers.

The Minister maintains that the fund is healthy, and I sincerely hope so, but how can he make this assertion without the benefit of audited financial statements for a number of years. Where did he base that conclusion?

The National Insurance Office is in a very poor state in terms of the management of the fund. I challenge them to deny, with proof, that the NIS fund is so poorly managed that they were unable to detect an ongoing embezzlement for years which resulted in the loss of millions. The only became aware of the embezzlement when a commercial bank brought it to their attention.

Some Years ago, I was representing a lady who NIS accused of receiving a benefit in duplicate, which she denied. I well remember, at the meeting to resolve the matter, I identified, by job functions, the persons that were embezzling NIS money. Rather than deal with the matter, I was threatened with a lawsuit for defamation. Years later and millions of dollars later, I was proven correct by the arrest and confiscation of assets of one very junior employee from the area that I had identified years earlier. So don’t tell me that the fund is sound; you just don’t know, you might be counting money that had already been embezzled.

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147 Comments on “Prove That NIS Is Sound Before Investing In Four Seasons”

  1. BAJAN TRUTH November 22, 2011 at 8:39 AM #

    This gov’t does not know what the hell they are doing. Their only concern is how to keep the gov’t. They have no vision, no strategy, no knowledge and no fortitude to manage the situation. 350,000 in a tournament now when it is unnecessary. Planning to borrow some more today. We out here smelling hell, can’t pay bills and these jackasses pretending all is well and growth on the horizon. What are they doing with all that money they borrow? Anybody with a grain of honesty would realise by now that this is the wrong gov’t at the wrong time.

    Like

  2. anthony November 22, 2011 at 8:44 AM #

    @Random Thoughts

    Now there a solution everyone could live with. On top of that since it local IPO it would fall under the tax emption rules allowing up to $10,000 to be bought as a tax deductible. also 75% or 7500 whichever ever less of person yearly bonus payments. If 10,000 people invest in just the first option that would be over 100 million. People are looking for ways to ease their taxes this year. If the rest invest in vary amount project could prove to good. but as millertheanunnaki said the people who want to skim can’t then so they would never offer that..

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  3. islandgal246 November 22, 2011 at 9:08 AM #

    4 Seasons would not offer shares because the present investors want Government to do so in order to take the NIS money and run.

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  4. millertheanunnaki November 22, 2011 at 9:11 AM #

    @ anthony | November 22, 2011 at 8:44 AM |

    Man, that IPO proposal to help finance the 4 Seasons project is such a wonderful but obvious idea given the big talk about black economic enfranchisement and privatization of the economy. But as mentioned in an earlier thread that kind of economic activity is deliberately ring fenced to keep out blacks and other undesirables. But what about the local business owners from East Indian and Middle Eastern backgrounds with loads of savings and capital to invest? The consultants and pols would have to “straighten and fly right’ with these people’s money. You know the black pols scared of Conrad the baku and mafia!

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  5. millertheanunnaki November 22, 2011 at 9:26 AM #

    It can be safely said that the talk show host the marshal will avoid any discussion regarding the NIS proposed investment in 4 Seasons project.
    We should be pleasantly surprised if he were to entertain for any length of time discussions from an opposite side in regard to the recent reassessment by S&P credit rating.

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  6. the IMF November 22, 2011 at 9:27 AM #

    ” ..The fiscal deficit continues to widen, S & P says, and the evasive manoeuvres are insufficient and the real work of expenditure reduction has not taken place. .. ”

    Come to Papa, we will take good care of you

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  7. anthony November 22, 2011 at 9:38 AM #

    indeed but to offer an IPO much more information would need to be public. business plans which we could could see and understand. They might no want us to know all of that. fact is the parent company is insolvent at the time and backer aren’t putting any cash in it http://companycheck.co.uk/company/OC308140. other company that where listed in clearwater bill http://companycheck.co.uk/company/00907806 that is also insolvent

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  8. millertheanunnaki November 22, 2011 at 9:54 AM #

    @ anthony | November 22, 2011 at 9:38 AM |

    Well done! We know we can always rely on you to spot the light to reveal the true picture! Knowledge is power! Keep the dumb asses in the dark and we can spend their money like Leroy Standford and Parris Madoff!

    It will be interesting to see the transaction trail of the payments for consultancy services from PARADISE BEACH LLP to the consultants engaged on the local 4 Seasons project!

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  9. Randon Thoughts November 22, 2011 at 9:55 AM #

    And note that I did not chare a single cent to put the IPO offer out there.

    But first thing I’d do is cut the $40,000 salaries and extensive benefits to something more realistic (say $10,000 per month max); and no gravy for the political boys club.

    None.

    Not even a sip.

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  10. Random Thoughts November 22, 2011 at 9:56 AM #

    But plenty of work for the real Bajan men who are willing to sweat it out on a constructon site.

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  11. Random Thoughts November 22, 2011 at 10:05 AM #

    And I have another $100 that I am wiling toinvest in either or both political parties. They need not skim, they need not suck up t the big boys. If either party asks me I’d give them $100 every year.

    But you know what niether party has ever asked me for a cent.

    Come on political boys (and girls) ask me and I’ll give you $2 per week for the rest of my life.

    And I am sure that tens of thusands of Bajans are willing to do the same.

    The old people knew the meaning of the saying “a sheep head once a day is better that a pig head once a year”

    I am afraid that too many people are looking for hog heads (or whole pork legs) when free sheep heads are knocking dog (but I think that I am mixing my metaphors here)

    I always wonder why my politicians are willing to offer me heaven on earth and yet they are ALL unwilling to take $2 a week from me (for the rest of my life)

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  12. millertheanunnaki November 22, 2011 at 10:19 AM #

    @ Justin Robinson | November 21, 2011 at 11:49 PM |

    Dear Teacher,
    Please let us students know what has been S&P’s most recent assessment of the Bermuda economy. We have been informed that Bermuda has a similar economic profile as Barbados i.e. heavy reliance on tourism and international business. So the same international factors that affect the Barbados economy should also affect the Bermudian economy.

    If we are using the right source of information to come to such an analysis and position, please guide us accordingly!

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  13. islandgal246 November 22, 2011 at 10:26 AM #

    Random we could always wait and let 4 Season die further and then step in with an offer ( 10-20 cents (BD) on the dollar) to take over the project and inject the much needed cash. In fact we could offer shares throughout the Caribbean for Caribbean peoples to share a piece of the pie. There is strength in numbers.

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  14. Justin Robinson November 22, 2011 at 3:48 PM #

    I suggest you read S&P’s report and see what they give as their reasons for changing the outlook from stable to negative. My comments are based on the reasons given by S&P in their statement.

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  15. Justin Robinson November 22, 2011 at 3:56 PM #

    In their last review of the economy S&P affirmed the rating with a stable outlook. In this most recent review they have also affirmed the rating but changed the outlook to negative.

    My perspective on this latest action is to focus on what in S&P’s view has changed since the last review of the economy to prompt a change in the outlook. S&P are pretty clear in their report, that despite significant improvements in the deficit which they attribute to the measures implemented in the 2010 budget, they are now doubtful about the ability to sustain the improvements in light of the declines in the external environment and the likelihood that government may remove some of the measures implemented in the next six months or so.

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  16. millertheanunnaki November 22, 2011 at 4:16 PM #

    @ Justin Robinson | November 22, 2011 at 3:48 PM |

    One of the qualities of a good teacher is to practice in the classroom what is preached from the black or white board.
    If you ask a student a question you would expect to get an answer relevant to the question asked in the first place. If the student does not know the answer to the question then an indication along these lines should be forthcoming so as to let the teacher know that the student is in need of help with the answer. An arrogant dismissal of the student’s state of knowledge on the matter is not befitting the character of a good teacher.

    I will pose the question to you again, Sir: Has S &P made a recent assessment of the Bermudian economy and if so what is that assessment?

    Please teacher, Sir, please shed some light on the matter!

    “He who can does. He who can’t, teaches.” (GBS)’
    “The real object of education is to leave a man in the condition of continually asking questions.” (Bishop Creighton)

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  17. Justin Robinson November 22, 2011 at 4:19 PM #

    can you share the assessment of the bermuda economy with us?

    I agree that the economic structures are similar but there are some contextual issues that would help in making comparisons.

    Is bermuda independent though? what level of debt did they have around say 2008? what sort of entitlement programmes are offered by the government such as free education, health care and so on?

    Of course its always possible that the bermuda economy is just being better managed.

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  18. anthony November 22, 2011 at 4:44 PM #

    bermuda rating has remained stable/improved since 1995 when they first got

    Sept. 7, 2010 AA/Stable/A-1+ AA/Stable/A-1+ AAA

    Jan. 29, 1999 AA/Stable/A-1+ AA/Stable/A-1+

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  19. Justin Robinson November 22, 2011 at 5:14 PM #

    The bermuda situation is rather different from barbados, so i am not sure of the comparisons. The most recent data I am aware of states that even though the defcit was 13% of gdp, bermuda’s debt to gdp ratio at 25%, up from 10% in 2008. I have no idea when barbados’ debt ratios were in that zone. There credit rating must be rather superior to Bim’s with a debt ratio like that one. Interstingly their debt ratio has more than doubled since 2008.

    I have included the following artcile from a leading bermuda newspaper:

    Experts predict further job cuts and wage freezes

    12/8/2010 12:20:00 PM

    By James Whittaker

    Bermuda is facing a long and deepening recession that will see more jobs disappear and could see wages frozen or cut for staff in most professions.
    Analysts predict it will be 2012 at the earliest before the gloom surrounding our economic fortunes lifts.

    Economist Craig Simmons said Bermuda’s situation closely resembles that of Ireland, which had to be bailed out by fellow European Union members, resulting in wage cuts across the board to satisfy creditors.

    He said the drop in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 8.1 per cent after inflation for 2009 — a record in the last 30 years — is “confirmation” that Bermuda is in bad shape financially.

    He predicts that figure is likely to be equally bad for 2010. Premier and Finance Minister Paula Cox admitted the picture looked bleak.

    But she said projects such as the new Bermuda hospital and several hotel developments would help revitalize the economy.

    She added: “The only way to lift the gloom in tangible ways with significant economic activity.

    “No one can guarantee a magic bullet but clearly there is sensitivity and redoubled efforts being taken to assist in keeping Bermudians in the picture.”

    Mr. Simmons said the recession is likely to last much longer than anyone, including himself, initially predicted.

    He added this means that more jobs will be lost, there will be more mortgage foreclosures and further decreases in spending locally.

    It will also mean a shortfall in tax revenue, potential further increases in borrowing and a raise in Bermuda’s debt to GDP ratio — the index used by investors to determine conditions of loans.

    The significance, said Mr. Simmons, is that Government will become more beholden to the banks it relies on to prop up the economy through borrowing.

    He added: “Ireland is a particularly useful example to Bermuda.

    “Because of their public debt problem their creditors are demanding lower wages to make them more competitive. That will help them recover.

    “Bermuda will have to go through that process as well. I’m not denying people are having a tough time getting by as it is but a foreign lender is not exactly sympathetic to the working poor.”

    Mr. Simmons said it is not overly dramatic to compare Bermuda’s situation with Ireland, which had to be bailed out by loans from fellow European Union governments due to its over-reliance on debt.

    He added: “The Irish got themselves into this problem because of an overheated real estate market fuelled in part by inter-national business.

    “The situation is not that different. The banks in Ireland made some very bad decisions prior to 2008, as did Bank of Butterfield.”

    Mr. Simmons said Bermuda is seeing an increasing number of foreclosures or re-negotiated mortgages.

    He warned the figures show little sign of recovery any time soon. Mr. Simmons said: “We have just lived through 2010. We’ve seen the retail figures and they are as bad, if not worse, than 2009. The numbers for the construction industry show double-digit declines again for 2010.

    “It looks like the recession will go on for longer than many people, including myself, predicted.

    “When this started in 2008, I thought it would be over within 18 months. I was wrong.”

    Mr. Simmons predicts it will be 2013 before Bermuda sees any meaningful rise in GDP, the statistical scale for assessing the country’s economic health.

    He said this affects the ‘cost’ of borrowing — a political cost in the form of greater interference from lenders on public policy and a financial cost in terms of higher interest rates.

    Mr. Simmons explained: “The cost of borrowing is largely based on a country’s debt-to-GDP ratio and more importantly the change in the ratio.

    “Even if we never borrowed another penny, Bermuda’s debt-to-GDP ratio will continue to rise for two reasons — GDP will not improve in a meaningful way until 2013 and, secondly, debt comes from spending running ahead of tax revenue. Since 1996 tax revenue has consistently been around 16 per cent of GDP.

    “Spending, on the other hand, is driven by political forces which can be immune to economic realities.

    “As a result, spending patterns are less flexible because of entitlements, capital projects and interest on the debt.

    “We should see the debt-to-GDP ratio exceed 25 per cent by the end of 2011, up from 10 per cent in 2008.”

    Cordell Riley, who runs Bermuda Profiles, said a statistical analysis of the figures in the GDP report, released last week, would paint an equally gloomy picture.

    He added: “It is the first time in most of our lifetime we have seen anything of this nature. What the figures are telling us is we may not see relief until 2012.

    “With tourism you can clearly see a very steep fall. Tourism and the restaurant industry is sinking like a stone. That is not going to change any time soon.”

    Mr. Riley said the impact is most clearly felt in job losses.

    A drop in GDP means companies across the island are collectively less profitable, making staff cuts inevitable. Between 2008 and 2009 700 jobs were lost, by Bermudians and foreigners.

    Mr. Riley said: “The number of jobs fell from 40,213 in 2008 to 39,520 in 2009.

    “We will probably see that decline continue for 2010 — perhaps not to the same extent but there will be further jobs lost.”

    A “silver lining” that could defy the sober statistical analysis could be provided by the new hospital development and the Park Hyatt hotel.

    Mr. Riley said: “Those projects would provide new jobs and to some extent the money is going to flow through the economy.

    “If it goes into the construction workers’ pockets, they spend it on groceries and other necessities and it flows into other sectors.”

    But Mr. Simmons warned that a Government-financed project like the hospital had limited capacity to boost the economy as the money comes primarily from debt.

    He said it would put money in the pockets of those working on it but warned that their own private spending challenges means they are unlikely to reinvest significant amounts in the economy.

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  20. enuff November 22, 2011 at 5:31 PM #

    “Of course it’s always possible that the bermuda economy is just being better managed.”

    Priceless by the Dr.

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  21. millertheanunnaki November 22, 2011 at 5:39 PM #

    @ Justin Robinson | November 22, 2011 at 4:19 PM |

    Thank you very much for coming off the podium and opening up the floor for discussion and exchange of knowledge and views.
    Much obliged!
    Now that we accept that both Bermuda and Barbados are swimming in the same choppy waters full of sharks there is no need to harp back to 2008 and the level of social entitlements without a contextual picture. Bermuda has a high per capita income. Therefore the need for the role of State to provide social services is greatly reduced. Something Barbadian politicians brag about but fail to recognize that a nanny state approach will lead to a lazy state-dependent type middle class who in “independent” circumstances ought to be the fountain of creativity, entrepreneurship and socio-economic transformation.
    I am putting it to you that the primary reason Barbados is in such fiscal (and soon to be forex) straits is because of below standard management of the country financial and economic affairs over the last 3 years and to a “further” extent 15. The 2008 & 2009 budgetary proposals are classic examples of either financial nincompoops or madmen were at the helm. Imagine introducing a measure such as taxing “pay as you go” mobile phones with a monthly charge of $4.00. Now how in the world can such a specific tax be collected from the phone owners. Now if the proposal was introduced in an “ad valorem” form say, a surcharge of 3 % on the top up (prepaid) or monthly bill where post paid contracts are in place such a scheme would be implementable and would have brought in significant revenue in the form of indirect taxes on discretionary spending (Due & Friedlaender must be turning over in their graves because of the wasted advice given to the GoB over the years). The same thing applies to the taxing of lottery winnings
    Borrowing an additional 3 billion dollars between 2008 to 2011 with little production or infrastructural additional capacity to show for it, only to finance consumption and fuel the current account deficit is economic madness leading to fiscal long-term illness.

    I break for now to allow another student to contribute. Anthony, where art thou? Sitting in the back! Come forward man and tell the teacher like it is!

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  22. enuff November 22, 2011 at 5:45 PM #

    I can’t contribute pon your level miller, but I know that if this government can’t even formulate or implement that cell phone tax, there is no where in hell that multi-million dollar ‘renewable energy’ initiative gine bear any fruit.

    Any bets?

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  23. anthony November 22, 2011 at 6:12 PM #

    lol i siting back and watching the other student.

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  24. islandgal246 November 22, 2011 at 6:34 PM #

    Enuff…you does mek me laff…and dis time I agree wid yuh. Dat cell phone tax was such a gaff an yuh know dem ent got nuh shame at all. I remember King David proclaiming what he was going to do in that Budget. And yuh remember the look on his face after he proclaimed that? It is one look I will never forget..a look as if the cat swallowed the cream and nearly choked on it.

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  25. islandgal246 November 22, 2011 at 7:34 PM #

    David you have a trouble maker peninsularwoman247 linking my blog with their handle. Can you please block my link ?

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  26. islandgal246 November 22, 2011 at 7:38 PM #

    David Thank you , you were on the ball .It is that pathetic idiot hater from barbados blogwatch who lurks here. His blog is pure crap and he can’t find anything constructive to write about. His blog is such a BORE with very little traffic that he has to come and lurk here.

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  27. islandgal246 November 22, 2011 at 7:57 PM #

    Peninsularwoman why don’t you go drown yourself. You are such a pitiful piece of cat shoite! That piece of crap you call a blog is useless and boring. You need to go work on it!

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  28. uneducated November 22, 2011 at 8:24 PM #

    @Justin and Anthony

    what youboth said make sense to me. Althought i thought nis should not have sold it shares, a return of 4% was not enought, thus it was better to realize the capital gain.

    I dont understand why the pundits want to preach doom and gloom for barbados, who will suffer, the little unskilled person like myself. We need to offer solutions to our problems in the global context.

    Caswell you are implying something fishy went on with the nis sales, if u cant provide facts you should desist from intimating corruption/thiefery

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  29. David November 22, 2011 at 8:31 PM #

    Nobody can question the NIS Board making the decision to realize the capital gains, in forex to boot. What the same people are questioning is why wouldn’t minister of finance Sinckler have vetoed the sale against the background that BL&P is considered by many a strategic asset.

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  30. Clone November 22, 2011 at 8:45 PM #

    millertheanunnaki and Anthony
    I sat back and had a good laugh at your incredible dexterity when discussing Barbados vis vis any other economy. You challenge Justin Robinson about the Bermuda strong favorability with the discredited Standard’s and Poor’s that let Madoff and other rip off artists nearly crippled the strongest economies in the world.

    He responded with an article from Bermuda which did not paint that rosy picture of Standards and Poor’s and now you start to back pedal to find a different argument.

    I was speaking to an economist from the Caribbean who works in the USA and he was of the opinion that these rating agencies operate with a political bias. In fact Clyde Mascoll said on the radio to forget about the lending agencies and do what you have to do.

    Was it a coincident that Barbados was being discussed in Washington this week as having better roads and bridges that the USA (which to me is a joke) and the rating agency warning. I think Barbados was 22 and the USA 23.

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  31. Justin November 22, 2011 at 9:16 PM #

    I’m not the most brilliant academic,don’t have a bachelors degree, but Barbados is currently number 10 in the world with regards to debt % to GDP (2011). Our expenses have been more than our revenues and that includes grants. (since 2000 wiki). Obviously there would be negative deficit which balloons every year. Our food import bill was more than 1/2 billion. China, India and Saudi Arabia have gone to Africa and grown food cheap to export back to homeland and sell on world market. USA, Europe buys and by the time the product gets to us there is considerable markup. Belize grows own corn and soybeans. I think that Government needs to stop pussy footing with the land for the landless programme and get a growing crop schedule going with serious farmers (esp youth).

    Next there are lots of land available by the 1000 acres by lease or sale in south America including Belize and Guyana. Numerous properties are actually near good enough infrastructure. Maybe the government could meet with serious farmers and secure land in these countries by financing. The cost of imported raw goods must be below international competitors, thus making it easier for manufacturers, thus encouraging business. GOB could have a share in the profits of these farming companies, making money from sale of products back to Barbados and export to other countries. We could then gradually substitute wheat flour with breadfruit or cassava flour by testing customers response, then switch entirely, needing only to import wheat in small quantities in case of lack.

    Government should then use the money for renewable energy program including sponsorship for research for our country’s scientists. ( I know that some “scientists” in USA say it would be costly but we have to keep in mind that America’s billionaires and government lob-biers are oil tycoons. Therefore I would rather trust my local, smart scientist and engineers.
    If it cost us $100 a barrel to import and we sell at $110 we would make $10 profit, but customer has to pay $110. If we produce for $30 and sell for 60 we would have made $30 profit and customer cost is almost half. More money made less stress on customers. When this is achieved, we could look at rigorously exploiting tourism. To me first thing is to secure survival,(food) next is to enlarge the borders, then diversify in money making ventures, not artificial economy,( borrowing to create jobs from projects that will eventually add to the debt and reduce monthly cashflow? not good business. Spending $300,000 on a tournament is not good. We must think about our country and stop in this hedonistic lifestyle(once it is pleasurable it is the right thing.)

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  32. lemuel November 22, 2011 at 9:26 PM #

    This piece by Caswell is too important to be bogged down by discussions about rating agencies; if the trained economist and justin want to indulge i that debate post something. Shall many now who hold the view that their NIS pensions shall support in their later years be disappointed. Has there been a consistent policy of bad investments by both administrations. I find it very funny that the indian man who is investment guru in europe can not find two red cents to rub together to invest in the four seasons project, but expect all Barbadians to agree to squander their pensions on this project. People the quality of our old age is at stake here.

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  33. Caswell Franklyn November 22, 2011 at 9:47 PM #

    Thanks Lemuel.

    You must realise that they have bogged this post with extraneous matter because they do not want the issues that I raised discussed here or anywhere else. No one is talking about the embezzlement of NIS funds and worse yet there are no prosecutions when the crooks are discovered. Rather we have Trained Economist trying to put a good face on the sale of NIS shares in BL&P to Emera. The facts are really simple: the shares were sold because Government needed foreign exchange. Why would NIS sell shares that would be guaranteed to pay a dividend in perpetuity at a rate of 4%, as he said, and then put the money in the bank to get 2% interest. By selling those shares, government was killing the goose that laid the golden egg

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  34. millertheanunnaki November 22, 2011 at 9:48 PM #

    @ Clone | November 22, 2011 at 8:45 PM |
    “He responded with an article from Bermuda which did not paint that rosy picture of Standards and Poor’s and now you start to back pedal to find a different argument.”

    If you were a manager in a reputable investment house and 2 applications for funding for a large tourism project (or even a hospital) came before you- one from Bermuda and one from Bim – for US $ 400 million. Your boss said you can only finance one project either from Bermuda or from Barbados. Tell us, which one would you choose bearing in mind similar prevailing economic circumstances in both countries as mentioned by Justin Robinson?
    Answer, please or no year-end bonus for you!

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  35. Trained Economist November 22, 2011 at 9:54 PM #

    Lemuel, caswell maxe the point that the shares were sold beacuse of cash flow problems at the NIS and a need for forex.

    According to my calculations at a 4% return, it would have taken at least twenty years to realize the same return the NIS got by taking the emera offer. The simple ppint is that the decision seems defensible on purely investment grounds.

    The NIS had held 23% of the shares, by selling 13% and keeping 10%, they also acted in the national interest by not giving emera enough to force all other investors to sell their shares and the 10% holding allows the nis to retain a seat on the board.

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  36. millertheanunnaki November 22, 2011 at 9:55 PM #

    @ Caswell Franklyn | November 22, 2011 at 9:47 PM |
    “Why would NIS sell shares that would be guaranteed to pay a dividend in perpetuity at a rate of 4%, as he said, and then put the money in the bank to get 2% interest. By selling those shares, government was killing the goose that laid the golden egg”

    What an excellent point! They say education ain’t commonsense but you sure didn’t waste your time at Cawmere!
    Now let’s see if Justin Robinson (who is very close to the action) or Trained Economist can spin their way out of that googly!

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  37. Trained Economist November 22, 2011 at 10:14 PM #

    I agree with caswell the broader issue on the NIS financials is a critical one. There was some discussion on this recently and we would benefit from an update about the status of the financials.

    It certainly is interesting to watch these economic issues play out in a real world context. The NIS financials fell way behind over ten years ago, but no questions were asked. Funds went into the Hilton, Fund access and enterprise growth fund with no discussion.

    In “good times” every one is optimistic, all sorts of speculative investments are undertaken with very few if any questions asked. Any neegative voices are dismissed as nay sayers or not getting it. When things trun sour every and anything gets questioned, and any voices not engaging in gloom and doom are in danger of being shut out.

    Such are the animal spirits of man as described by Keynes.

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  38. Caswell Franklyn November 22, 2011 at 10:15 PM #

    Trained Economist

    The NIS Board is appointed to look out for the best interest of the persons who pay contributions into the National Insurance and Social Security Scheme. Was the sale of the BL&P shares in the best interest of the contributors to the scheme? Is the proposed investment in Four Seasons in the best interest of the persons who contribute to the scheme? If it is not the board should say, “NO”. However, that would not necessarily be the end of the matter, the Minister who is elected and appointed to act in the national interest could then overrule the board, but at least, the board would have acted in the interest of the people that they were appointed to serve. To do otherwise, the board would be making a political decision in an effort to protect the Minister in the event of a loss of these funds. That is not their job.

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  39. millertheanunnaki November 22, 2011 at 10:38 PM #

    @ Trained Economist | November 22, 2011 at 10:14 PM |
    “When things turn sour every and anything gets questioned, and any voices not engaging in gloom and doom are in danger of being shut out.”

    Well you have a cadre of very competent people on board since 2008 including the past Chairman Ince. Don’ you think that 3 years is sufficient time for a band of professionals to produce the financials for at least 2009?
    Do that and shut up the cynics and prophets of doom and gloom.
    The faintest ink is more convincing than sharpest mind! Figures are more important that long talk when it comes to business decisions.

    Like

  40. Trained Economist November 22, 2011 at 10:40 PM #

    I agree with you. The board should always act in what they view as the best interests of the fund and its beneficiaries. Thats why i think they sold the BL&P shares and I await their verdict on four seasons.

    Of course reasonable people can disagree on what is in the best interest of the fund.

    Like

  41. ac November 22, 2011 at 10:44 PM #

    What a breathe of Fresh air ! Good responses from Trained Economist!Miller you have been outwitted on this one, I will continue to watch from the gallery binoculars in hand

    Like

  42. JUST ASKING November 22, 2011 at 10:50 PM #

    WHY is it that Bjans are not out protesting these things everynight , everyday, on soap boxes, everywhere ???

    Soft cowardly bajans ???

    When will it happen ??
    Never you say ??
    Do I say Shame on spineless, gutless , ball less Bajans ??
    Jerkers ??

    JUST ASKING
    JUST ASKING
    JUST ASKING

    Like

  43. millertheanunnaki November 22, 2011 at 10:52 PM #

    @ ac | November 22, 2011 at 10:44 PM |
    Continue to star gaze. But you should note I don’t look back and seek to blame the past administration for almost everything under the sun and use it as an excuse for current inaction or poor decision making. I deal with the present and the future; but of course learning from the past but not dwelling therein.
    Enjoy!

    Like

  44. ac November 22, 2011 at 11:08 PM #

    Bravo Miller ! Bravo!, This programme will continue after the commercial. Back to you Trained Economist!

    Like

  45. Hants November 22, 2011 at 11:42 PM #

    Bajans living in Canada should buy shares in Emera.

    Like

  46. Solar Battery November 23, 2011 at 10:52 AM #

    @ David

    Does the proposal from Mark Maloney for the Empire Theatre include:-

    1. A Microbrewery?
    2. Slot Machines?
    3. Movie Theatre?

    Like

  47. David November 23, 2011 at 12:12 PM #

    The artistes of Barbados have not been forced to demonstrate yet but for the Empire site to be used for the purpose you suggest may trigger a response from them.

    Where can we read the proposal?

    Like

  48. redcarrake November 23, 2011 at 2:00 PM #

    the Accusation of alleged Embezzlement is cause for concern in any organization.There will be some difficulty to identify and quantity this hence the promotion of the former Director to another organization maybe maybe a good tactic, if it is followed by an investigation by an accounting firm We will have to watch carefully.

    Like

  49. Antz November 23, 2011 at 5:19 PM #

    @ David

    I don’t gather the artist are minded to demonstrate. Agitate yes, but not demonstrate.

    God help Barbados the day that beer and slot machines are put in the Empire Theatre to justify its restoration and God help the political party in power at the time when such decision is taken.

    Like

  50. Old School November 23, 2011 at 8:50 PM #

    Is it just me or the young people are sounding wiser than the old people?

    In the face of a crippling global recession Owen and Frendel are saying that Barbados can [retty much maintain all that it used to offer in much the same way. Owen suggests that he can find new growth streams to fiance the status quo. Freundel just says the status quo remains.

    Sinckler is prepared to do some tough things, while Mottley seems to have some clear dieas about reforming the nature of public services. It seems to me that its a pity neither is party leader.

    Like

  51. Antz November 23, 2011 at 8:57 PM #

    @ Old School

    In the collective-responsibility style of Cabinet government (or politics) its a bit disingenuious for you to attribute the tough choices to Minister Sinckler.

    That not withstanding, what else besides taking so-called tough choices, has Minister Sinckler done to be leader of the DLP administration and by extension, Prime Minister?

    Barbados is in turbulent waters, this is not the time to experiment with youth and exuberance especially when one of them have plumbed the debt of the water and demonstrated an inablity to swim much less captain a ship.

    Like

  52. Antz November 23, 2011 at 9:00 PM #

    The social gains made by this Country can be wiped out if we are not careful. The middle class, having pulled themselves out of poverty by the boot straps of education risk being sent back to the starting point.

    Like

  53. millertheanunnaki November 23, 2011 at 9:20 PM #

    @ Antz | November 23, 2011 at 9:00 PM |
    “The middle class, having pulled themselves out of poverty by the boot straps of education risk being sent back to the starting point.”

    The existence of a viable but dependent “middle” class in a small but fairly well off developing country is a creation of the State. Its nanny type protection and cuddling of this social buffer would always come under threat once the “freeness” social regime is seriously compromised by a major fiscal imbalance sustained over a period of time.

    This is one pseudo structure that will “Cave” in under the weight of bureaucratic and academic overload from on top of the Hill! Free Hill will not be a pit stop to the working poor house of refuge at Black Rock.

    Like

  54. PM, better a little medicine now than a coffin later November 23, 2011 at 9:39 PM #

    Old School | November 23, 2011 at 8:50 PM | Sinckler is prepared to do some tough things

    Such as? http://www.nationnews.com/articles/view/sinckler-no-job-cuts/

    Like

  55. I believe in yesteryear… November 24, 2011 at 6:21 AM #

    Yesteryear, all our worries seemed so far away||Now today we have to pay||I believe in yesteryear

    Suddenly, life is getting hard for me||Will I survive this day||How I yearn for yesteryear

    We did something wrong for too long||And we did not care||Lets examine yesteryear

    So much time has passed||Now I fear||We can’t go back to yesteryear

    Like

  56. Self Test November 24, 2011 at 8:00 AM #

    Captain, the ship is sinking
    Captain, the seas are rough
    Shall we abandon ship?
    Or shall we stay on it
    And perish slow?
    We don’t know, we don’t know.
    Captain, you tell we what to do.

    Like

  57. millertheanunnaki November 24, 2011 at 8:57 AM #

    @ Self Test | November 24, 2011 at 8:00 AM |

    How can the ship be sinking when the ship’s bursar who is, in the eyes of the media, always at the helm steering the stable ship carefully to the IMF port despite warnings from the moody forecasters known for poor standards of very bad weather of cyclonic proportions lies along the current shipping lane mapped by the deck hand pretending to be captain?

    Like

  58. enuff November 24, 2011 at 11:10 AM #

    Sinckler:
    “What S&P is saying is that Barbados needs to stick to its fiscal programme. They’ve not said that the programme is wrong, they say we need to stick to the programme through the next year, ensure that you bring the deficit down, and take whatever additional measures may be required to ensure that you buttress and enforce that fiscal deficit consolidation.”

    Standard & Poors:
    “The downgrade reflects the continuing weakening of the government’s fiscal profile,” S&P said. “In addition, there is an increasing risk that delays in the fiscal consolidation might lead to debt surpassing currently projected peak (61 percent of gross domestic product on a net general government level and 102 percent on a gross central government level) in 2012,” the firm added.

    In sync?

    Like

  59. Self Test November 24, 2011 at 1:56 PM #

    @ enuff

    When you said “in sync” did you really men “in sink”?

    When will the garden gnome at the Central Bank make an appearance and refute S&P?

    Like

  60. Self Test November 24, 2011 at 1:58 PM #

    How many tubs of ice cream a night are these ministers eating?

    Like

  61. ac November 24, 2011 at 7:50 PM #

    staying the course not going to be easy because gail force winds ahead which is gonna effect everybody pocket books. S&P has in effect sent the warning! Now Minster Sinkler has to do whatever it takes to avoid further devastation.

    Like

  62. Seeker November 25, 2011 at 8:12 AM #

    @ Self Test…

    They do seem to be getting fatter, don’t they? And we here starving…

    Like

  63. BAJAN TRUTH November 25, 2011 at 10:53 AM #

    OLD SCHOOL

    Selective hearing is your damnation, or ignorance of the highest degree. Sinkler has made it clear, they will strnegthen the safety nets, they will not lay off civil servants, , they ar enot curtting social entitltements, a changed tune from March this year. Arthur has said entitlements if required to be cut hsould be odne ina particular way to preserve the interests of vulnerable and make it possible for the middle to carry their costs. What tough thing you say Sinkler talking bout. Stupse.

    CASWELL
    I would suggest if you have info on embezzlement, you need to speak. Accusations with no evidence is nothing more than Thompson did to BLP – corruption, corruption, blowing smoke because he offered no evidence out of office; in office brought no evidence, in coffin as vocal on it as when alive.

    Like

  64. Caswell Franklyn November 25, 2011 at 11:10 AM #

    Bajan Truth

    You told “Old School” that selective hearing is his/her damnation, but it seems that selective understanding is yours. Read my post again. You will see that I said that NIS only became aware of the embezzlement when it was drawn to their attention by a commercial bank. Also, if you read further, you will see that someone was arrested and charged for the offence. I am not blowing smoke but I must ask: what are you smoking?

    Like

  65. lemuel November 25, 2011 at 11:18 AM #

    SElf Test has a point what are these ministers eating. Tourism has blown out; when Health sits down the table has to moved to contain his over size trough; Todd’s bush jacket size has changed upwards and a belly is evident. Sinkler only look small the other day in a picture with Terry Bascombe. Only Freundel is keeping trim. People we need a calypso on what are our ministers eating.

    Like

  66. balance November 30, 2011 at 9:26 PM #

    ac you continue to show a lack of understanding in these important economic issues threatening the livelihood of the people of barbados. keep out of the conversation less you embarrass yourself.

    Like

  67. balance November 30, 2011 at 9:29 PM #

    it is unfortunate that i cannot put my confidence in the economic pronouncements of mr robinson because of his too close association with the ruling party which he tries to defend even when his comments compromises his integrity

    Like

  68. Hants November 30, 2011 at 10:13 PM #

    unrest in our biggest market.

    Mass strikes began across the United Kingdom on Wednesday, with up to 2 million workers walking off jobs in schools, hospitals and police stations in protest over proposed pension reforms.

    Like

  69. islandgal246 November 30, 2011 at 10:59 PM #

    balance | November 30, 2011 at 9:26 PM |

    ac you continue to show a lack of understanding in these important economic issues threatening the livelihood of the people of barbados. keep out of the conversation less you embarrass yourself.

    Balance yuh got muh ROFLMAO

    AC …..you still in de gallery wid yuh binoculars? Dere is a muzzle pon the bench wid yuh name pon um next tah yuh …please try it on for size. LOLLLLL

    Like

  70. Random Thoughts November 30, 2011 at 11:10 PM #

    Quoting Self Test | November 24, 2011 at 1:58 PM |
    “How many tubs of ice cream a night are these ministers eating?”

    Hopefully enough that we won’t have to pay them any pension out of the little money NIS will have left.

    Like

  71. islandgal246 November 30, 2011 at 11:21 PM #

    ROFLMAO…….Random Thoughts I hope you are right about that one…..Good one !

    Like

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