Notes From a Native Son: Captain the Ship is Sinking – Is Worrell the Best Man to be in Charge of the Central Bank at a Time like this?

Hal Austin

Hal Austin

Introduction:
In the preface to its recent Alternative Worlds report, the US National Intelligence Council observed: “The world of 2030 will be radically transformed from our world today. By 2030, no country – whether the US, China, or any other large country – will be a hegemonic power. “The empowerment of individuals and diffusion of power among states and from states to informal networks will have a dramatic impact, largely reversing the historic rise of the West since 1750, restoring Asia’s weight in the global economy, and ushering in a new era of “democratisation” at the international and domestic level….”. In other words, even at the highest level of the inward-looking US, there is a realisation that the world is changing.

However, reading the over-optimistic, even fictional, recent central bank review of the economy and projections for 2013, one would not get this impression. The report tells us the fiscal deficit is growing, up from 5.2 per cent April to December 2011, to 6.2 per cent in 2012; personal taxes are down ten per cent and VAT fell by two per cent for the same period; subsidies to government entities rose by two per cent and interest rates rose by four per cent. Public sector debt is 54 per cent of GDP, and including the national insurance scheme, it rises to 83 per cent of GDP. But, in about or real optimism, the review predicts that growth over 2013 will be 0.7 per cent, based on the IMF predictions of growth in the US, UK and Canada, our major trading partners. Apart from the fact that I was under the impression the Caricom was our major trading bloc, to base projected growth of the Barbados economy on the projections for those three economies is economic lunacy.

The review also predicts that inflation will fall to five per cent, based “current trends in international commodity prices for food, and the IMF’s projection for fuel…”. However, having started on an optimistic note, the review goes on to contradict itself: “Tourism value-added contracted by an estimated 3.5 per cent. There were reductions of 8.8 per cent and nine per cent in US and UK visitors……” and it lists some of the perceived causes, such as the closure of Almond Resorts, UK air passenger duty, and the cessation of Redjet and so on. There is no analysis, no explanations of methodologies, no sources for the over-optimism.

(In a short blog, it is not possible to go in to all the details. If you want to see a longer version of this, please send me your email address).

Global Growth:
It is very difficult to see how the central bank could draw conclusions from the recent IMF report, which in fact lowers its growth forecast for 2013 in the US, Europe and China – the first two of which account for nearly half of global trade (the US 23 per cent and the European Union, 25 per cent). Further, the reasoning lack logic. In 1979, the collapse of communism, advanced economies accounted for 70 per cent of the global economy, developing economies 20 per cent and communist economies the balance; developed economies now account 51 per cent of global output.

Equally, ten years ago China’s GDP was about US$2.5trn with an average growth of about ten per cent; today it is about US$7trn, adding nearly $500bn during 2013 to global output. There is nothing about the fast-growing developing nations, the economies driving the global economy, in the central bank review; nations such as China, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Turkey, Russia. This is a reality even the hard-headed American analysts recognise with great reluctance.

US:
It is true the US is in the middle of an economic recovery, but this growth level is below historic trends and is failing desperately to show the much expected V shaped characteristic that most economists have grown to know and love. Wall Street may be showing signs of a generous return to profitability, but Wall Street is part of the problem, not the solution. It was Wall Street’s obsession with yield that drove it to export US jobs to China, leaving huge sectors of American industry struggling to survive. So, any US economic recovery must be accompanied by a recovery in jobs, which is not the case at present.

Eurozone:
The key driver of the eurozone, Germany, has recently hit a damp patch and is itself heading for a serious slow down at best or even recession in the first half of 2013. If that happens, then it is unlikely that the eurozone will recover before 2014, at the earliest, with the French economy struggling even to register the slightest growth. German economic output has stalled and with a general election due, Angela Merkel is unlikely to be generous in trying to stimulate the troubled Southern European economies.

UK:
It must be remembered, despite the howling from the Tory Rightwing and prime minister David Cameron about bringing back more power from Brussels, Britain is globally insignificant outside the EU. With the EU being Britain’s biggest trading partner, the UK should be at the very heart of the EU and even calling for a full politician and monetary federation. So, what in this sorry state gives the central bank the confidence to base its growth projections for 2013 on the return of UK tourists is a mystery.

One leading UK economic think-tank, Capital Economics, has even expressed ‘concerns’ for the pound sterling. In a recent newsletter, it writes: “Various factors suggest that the pound might come under downward pressure. First, the economy is unlikely to grow much this year. Second, the MPC (Monetary Policy Committee, part of the Bank of England) is likely to do more QE (Quantitative Easing, or printing money) before long. Third, the current account deficit last year may have been bigger as a share of GDP than in any other years since 1990.” This, in brief, is the thriving economy that the central bank is telling the nation will grow and contribute as a key driver to the 0.7 per cent projected economic growth. It is fantasy. According to the Office for National Statistics, one-third of British people are unable to afford an annual overseas holiday.

Latin America:
Fiscal and monetary policy in Latin America is rather interesting, ranging from cyclically-adjusted policies, with automatic tax stabilisers, to growth policies meant to dive output gaps. Brazil, in particular, is very interesting, basing growth on the relative short-term targets of the 2014 and 2016 soccer world cup and Olympics.

Currency Wars:
Recently, the Korean minister of finance has called on the G20 to focus on the adverse consequences of quantitative easing in the US, Britain and Japan, for fear of putting inflationary pressures on the global economy. He believes that such measure may influence capital flows and undermine the Korean won, which has appreciated by ten per cent against the US dollar over the last six months. Brazil too has been concerned about QE as a ‘protectionist’ measure and has also raised questions about currency wars. A leading official from the Russian central bank has joined the chorus, claiming that the world is on the verge of very “serious and confrontational actions in the sphere, which is, not to get too emotional, called ‘currency wars’”. And the Luxembourg prime minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, has also said that the euro is getting ‘dangerously high’ – the euro has risen ten per cent against the greenback since the middle of last year.

These are not arguments going on in cyber space, but reflect on the reality of the Barbadian dollar which is fixed to the Greenback. It means if the US dollar goes up, down or cross, so does the Barbadian dollar, and we have no control over that. Outside currency union, and I am in favour of a Caricom/CSME monetary union, it is important that an independent nation-state should have control of its currency. We do not. But this war of words comes at a time of weak global demand and the drive for fair value of international currencies is one that is likely to end without a real winner. We know somethings: the Greenback is over-valued, but this is deliberate policy by the Fed given that it is the only likely reserve currency, backed by an economy responsible for about 25 per cent of global trade, versus the European Union’s 25 per cent.

Methodology:
I have always been concerned about central bank methodologies, including the assumptions made for calculating its inflation numbers. Since it is not made clear (we know how the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, and other leading central banks do theirs), we may assume that the Barbados central Bank follows global practice when calculating the consumer price index based on an arithmetical mean, based on all the price increases divided by the number of goods, or the retail price index, based on a geometric mean, which calculates the average change in a set basket of X goods taking the Xth root. The RPI is important for pensioners and those on a fixed index-linked income is to protect beneficiaries against future inflationary increases. Neither method is perfect, although it is more likely that the CPI would under-estimate inflation than the RPI. However, the central bank can help by making public the basket of good it bases it geometric calculations on for the RPI. Apart from any thing else, this helps those of us who are interested in ‘shadowing’ the central bank to do numbers and test whether or not we will reach the same conclusions. This is not some small technical measure for nerds, it is important if we are the believe the inflationary assumptions made by the bank (of under six per cent in 2013, which I do not believe), given constantly rising food inflation, the fact Barbados is a net importer of food inflation, and the endogenous volatility which adds to the mix, including the wage demands from public sector unions. The objective feeling is that there is hidden inflation.

Analysis and Conclusion:
As the global economy struggles through this year, with most developed economies under-performing, the elephant in the room will be the explosion in the global population and, with it, food price inflation. These are some of the issues that do not yet appear to be on the radar of the central bank and the DLP government and its leading policy advisers. I have said here and elsewhere before that the stockpiling of foreign reserves is a hangover from another era and has no real purpose in the new globalised economy. With a reserve of Bds$1.4bn, it is like having money in a low-interest account hedging for the proverbial rainy day, when your current account debt is piling up.

Good financial planners would tell any client that, after putting aside a small amount the ‘rainy day’, the priority must be paring down debt, putting those with high interest rates top of the list, before indulging in investments and profligate living. Further, the great advantage of not being in a monetary union – even though I am an advocate of a Caricom/CSME monetary union – is that the central bank/ministry of finance is in charge of the printing presses.

And, in terms of quantitative easing, we have numerous examples of how not to apply it: Japan, the US, UK, European Central Bank, and others.  The central importance of quantitative easing is to stimulate the economy, but to do so there must be a plan, and so far the politicians and policymakers do not seem to have a masterplan to rescue the Barbados economy.

A simple observation: in a recent report, the World Bank study, it was said that seven of the ten fastest global economies were in Africa. And we have seen the likes of Turkey, Brazil, China, India, Australia, and a host of European countries, making tracks to Africa, mainly to access natural resources, to equally to open or improve trade routes. I have suggested, backed by others, that Caricom should open two high commissions/trade missions in Africa, one in South Africa and the other in West Africa, to build our commercial, diplomatic and political contacts, and also to secure our medium and long-term food supply. So far this issue has not come on the radar of our media, politics or public conversation, even though the clock is ticking away. It is this intellectual poverty, typified by the management of the central bank, that is causing us to commit economic suicide. There is also an element of intellectual dishonesty, with Worrell always being defensive, telling us what would not work, but never saying what he would recommend to the minister and the government.

On the other hand, there does not seem to be a link between the central bank’s projections and the 200-page tourism strategy document put out by the ministry of tourism. Nor, indeed, is there any obvious recognition of the fact that long-haul tourism is a luxury, which few hard-pressed people, who do not know if they will be in a job in two weeks, two months, or a year’s time. Then there is the policy blindness, the wishful thinking, the pray that tourism will take off as if did during the boom years.

Since the global banking crisis of 2007/8 this government has not made a single move towards developing an alternative to tourism, of developing counter-cyclical policies, or creating a job creation programme, of funding start-ups and small and medium enterprises. But, to create a small business environment means the financialisation of the Barbadian businesses and that means banks and shadow banks lending, and Barbados does not have any locally-owned banks.

It also means creating the legislative and regulatory framework which would allow credit unions (an dynamic alternative business model to the publicly owned and the equity-owned models) to become players in deposit-taking, lending and retail product designing and distribution.

In the final analysis, we are between a rock and hard place: a finance minister that is not equipped for the job and a central bank governor that is stubborn, obstinate, old-fashioned and, most of all, wrong in his policy recommendations. The nation is crying out for positive monetary ideas to rescue this sinking ship, and intellectually redundant neoclassical mantras are not the answer; it is like getting a blacksmith to do in a lifetime what a good welder could do in a few days. There is no one-size-fits-all model of quantitative easing. The Bank of England used its £350bn to buy assets off banks in the hope that banks will go out and lend; they did not. They used the money to pare down their balance sheets.

The Japanese in QE one gave money back to consumers hoping that they would go out and spend, they did not; they saved the money. The US used their as a rescue fund to save banks such as Lehman Brothers and AIG, and to rescue the limping car industry; some of it has paid off, with the US being the only major economy growing, if slowly. And, the ECB used its power to underwrite southern European debt, with the expressed hope that it would stimulate their cramped economies; so far it has not.

In fact, eurozone problems are dragging down the German economy, which was largely built on the expert of luxury cars and high-quality machined goods. Germany also built an economy on lending to the Greeks, Portuguese and Spanish in order that they bought German-made goods.

One model that could be appropriate for Barbados, as I have suggested before, is that Bds$500m of the reserve fund can be used to stimulate the economy by putting $50m in to funding a small retail bank to support small business start-ups and households, providing residential mortgages, credit cards, motor and home and content insurance, all based on the balance sheet. Some of the money could also be used to fund a sovereign wealth fund which would be used as the hands-off investment vehicle for the state, taking an equity share in badly managed and money-losing small family-owned hotels with an expressed exit clause once they have returned to profitability.

And, in terms of job creation, making all entry level public sector job a job share for under 25-year-olds, and encouraging the private sector through fiscal incentives, to do likewise, on condition the new employees are not related to the owners of the enterprises or their relatives or friends. These are all ideas to stimulate the economy which seem to pass the central bank, and ministry of finance, by. Worrell’s reported claim that growth had to be driven by the private sector is mistaken; it should preferably be driven by the private sector, but there are three drivers of economies: consumers, corporates and government.

The US economy is currently being driven by consumers, who have returned to the market. If consumers are spending, corporates make money and spend on stock and machinery; they employ more workers who pay income tax and national insurance, they also save and try to improve their lives by repairing their homes etc; government tax take improves and the economy grows because of this activity.

If, however, there is a loss of confidence and a threat of being made redundant, consumers stop spending and save, corporates deleverage their inventories and stop hiring, they may even make existing staff redundant; government tax take drops. This is where the NeoKeynesian stimulus comes in by spending money on infrastructural improvements, thereby creating jobs, stimulating consuming spending, etc.

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No Comments on “Notes From a Native Son: Captain the Ship is Sinking – Is Worrell the Best Man to be in Charge of the Central Bank at a Time like this?”

  1. Yuh mekkin sport! January 18, 2013 at 12:23 AM #

    Yes and all the above is based on the premise that Countries are run by Politicians that actually CARE.
    Now lets take Barbados!!
    Dont go there boy dont go there!!

    Like

  2. David January 18, 2013 at 12:24 AM #

    Believe the Barbados Statistical Service is responsible for computing the stats.

    http://www.barstats.gov.bb/

    Like

  3. David January 18, 2013 at 12:40 AM #

    According to the most recent CADRES poll 74% of Bajans are concerned about matters of the economy and related matters…

    http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2013/01/17/handling-the-issues/

    Like

  4. William Skinner January 18, 2013 at 1:13 AM #

    “………and a central bank governor that is stubborn, obstinate, old-fashioned and, most of all, wrong in his policy recommendations.”(Hal Austin)
    This is quite a sweeping statement of one of the most distinguished and progressive intellectuals that the Caribbean region has produced. I don’t think anybody remotely aware of Dr. Worrell’s intellect and scholarship will describe him as such.Certainly not “obstinate” “stubborn” and “old-fashioned .”

    Like

  5. Bajeabroad January 18, 2013 at 1:27 AM #

    I have to agree, even if we disagree with the Governor’s positions, and i certainly disagree, his qualifications and experience are impeccable.

    On the other hand Hal…..what are yours?

    Like

  6. Old Timer. January 18, 2013 at 2:31 AM #

    @ Bajeabroad
    His qualifications should be very obvious to all …access to a computer and enough courage to write anything that he likes . Those are among the benefits granted to him by the blogs . I am sure you are aware that Dr Worrell is one of the most highly regarded economists in the entire region , However a large amount of time is spent these days by persons engaged in the favourite passtime of dragging our institutions and anything associated with them.

    Like

  7. PLANTATION DEEDS FROM 1926-2013 AND SEE MASSIVE FRAUD ,LAND TAX BILLS AND NO DEEDS January 18, 2013 at 4:00 AM #

    His friends will tell you who he is, not what paper he has ,Take a good look at who put him there. All others have titles that means nothing when actions are wrong.They behave to what is printed on cloth” MONEY” The bigger the title the bigger the KrooK

    Like

  8. David January 18, 2013 at 6:22 AM #

    Hal Austin has several links online with his Bio, he seems as qualified as most to write about the issues:

    http://www.combermereschool.com/hal.html

    Like

  9. Carson C. Cadogan January 18, 2013 at 6:55 AM #

    If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head, and a place to sleep, you are better off than 75% of the world!

    Like

  10. millertheanunnaki January 18, 2013 at 8:59 AM #

    @ William Skinner | January 18, 2013 at 1:13 AM |
    “This is quite a sweeping statement of one of the most distinguished and progressive intellectuals that the Caribbean region has produced.”

    So both you and Bajeabroad think that the Governor is one of the greatest intellectuals around the region. A man with outstanding and impeccable qualifications and experience.

    Now what about his integrity? Would you say he is a man of integrity when he can publicly state (before the glare of the camera and microphones) that the Dodds prison cost Bds$700 million to construct or build? What point was he trying to score? Certainly not one of Truth!
    Character is higher than intellect. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Like

  11. David January 18, 2013 at 9:10 AM #

    In hindsight the Governor’s spin about Dodds and challenging the unemployment numbers has dented the reputation of the office whether we want to admit it or not. It has opened the Governor to political attacks.

    Like

  12. Sargeant January 18, 2013 at 9:31 AM #

    @Miller
    Now what about his integrity? Would you say he is a man of integrity when he can publicly state (before the glare of the camera and microphones) that the Dodds prison cost Bds$700 million to construct or build? What point was he trying to score? Certainly not one of Truth!
    ***************
    Worrell is an Economist and if you put 10 Economists in a room and ask them the same question you would get 10 different answers, it is not called the dismal science for nothing. If his calculation and projection shows Bds $700 million perhaps you can get Clyde to counter that assessment they are all Economists.

    I remember the former Atty. General (Marshall) providing a figure in the House and when the price effectively doubled he said he meant to say US$ not BD$ (so the BLP has their cost); then Sinckler gave his figure (so the DLP has their costs); Worrell provided his costs (so the CBB has their cost). I think that we should ask VECO as they seem to be the only ones who were on the ball (unless of course you are privy the real costs), guess we can’t ask OSA as he wasn’t even in the room when the deal went down……

    Like

  13. David January 18, 2013 at 9:37 AM #

    @Sargeant

    You last comment does not meash. The Governor gave a figure which included amortization which is simply not done when referring to the cost of anything For example, if miller were to ask you what was the cost to build your palatial edifice there in the suburbs of Canada would you say 3 million which includes interest cost or 1 million which was the amount you paid on completion?

    Like

  14. Checkit-Out January 18, 2013 at 9:38 AM #

    David; Re your 9.10 post

    Remove “in hindsight” from that post. It was always obvious.

    Like

  15. Zoe January 18, 2013 at 10:07 AM #

    I am in no position, academically, to critique Mr. Austins’s apparently well presented views on these matters, globally, regionally, or locally, as I do NOT have the criterion, i.e.,benchmark, gauge, yardstick, to pass any judgment whatsoever, as this field of macro, economic reflection, is simply not my forte; unlike many others, who venture opinions, without any apparent knowledge or experience in such disciplines.

    However, what I do venture an opinion on, based on the empirical evidence over the course of human history, across comparative difficulties, is what God’s Word, the Bible, proclaims, predicts, and prophecies, will be the SIGNS that converge, in a given era, generation, season, unlike ANY previous time, in human history, that confirms* we are very close, to the END-TIME of Almighty God’s LINEAR timetable, and that the many cyclical patterns of rising and falling, observed over history, are now EXHAUSTED,
    as the TIME for such recoveries are just about over!

    And, the fundamental reason(s) for this abyss of economic crisis we have DUG ourselves into, worldwide, IS* we have pursued, relentlessly, a GODLESS, agenda, of building our economies, lives, etc, etc, WITHOUT Him* and His Word, as our FOUNDATION, the Only ROCK, upon which to build, instead, we have sought to build ON ‘Sinking-Sand’ yes, QUICK-SAND’ out of which, we CANNOT extricate ourselves, as most of humanity want NOTHING to do with Him, Almighty God, and His Son, The Lord Jesus Christ!

    So, as His Word, simply put, says:

    “UNLESS, the LORD build the house, (family unit, business, Nation) They labor in VAIN who build it. UNLESS the LORD guards the city ( House, nieghborhood, Nation) The watchman stays awake in VAIN.” ( Psa. 127:1)
    emphasis added.

    I repeat, we ARE at the END-TIME season, era, of God’s linear timetable, and the ONLY answer, for the individual, family unit, parish, or nation, is Repentance to God, the Father, and submission to His Son, Jesus Christ, as Saviour and Lord.

    There is NO other answer or solution!

    Like

  16. Observing(...) January 18, 2013 at 10:09 AM #

    @David
    “In hindsight the Governor’s spin about Dodds and challenging the unemployment numbers has dented the reputation of the office whether we want to admit it or not. It has opened the Governor to political attacks.”

    So has trumpeting an increase in forex as an opening statement knowing full well that said increase only came about because of a last minute sale of shares for less than their worth. Or promoting soon to come tourism capital works (whcih never came) that will spur the economy and lift us to 2% growth (1st quarter report). Or shifting descriptions from stable, to stagnant to lacklustre.

    If the politicians won’t level with us and the GoCB won’t level with us, what the hell are we supposed to do??? What’re the private sector/business supposed to plan on???

    Just Observing

    Like

  17. Adrian Loveridge January 18, 2013 at 10:09 AM #

    What totally surprises me is that with so much emphasis on the importance that tourism plays in the economy and its part in any recovery, that there is a deafening silence regarding marketing the destination in the short to middle term. What happens when 15th April comes?
    Within weeks, well over 1,000 tourism workers who have lost their job over the last year or so, will head to the Polling Station. They (like many of us) are waiting to hear what the plan is and when will it be implemented, before more hotels close and more airlift is lost.

    Like

  18. millertheanunnaki January 18, 2013 at 10:36 AM #

    @ Sargeant | January 18, 2013 at 9:31 AM |

    You can try to put as much political spin on it for your own narrow partisan interest by introducing all sorts of red herrings but in the final analysis the point remains that the governor stated that the Prisons cost $700 million to construct.

    This has nothing to do whatsoever about economics but one of pure Finance & Accounting. The prisons were constructed under a BOLT arrangement which is similar to a long-term mortgage.
    If he the governor had said it would cost the country at the end of the day $700 million to “construct and finance” then we will have no trouble with his analysis.
    You should refer to David’s reference (as a hypothetical example before you take it personally) to your buying and financing your palatial edifice up North for further enlightenment on this matter.

    The Governor’s pronouncement was made early in his term of appointment and by trying to impress his political master of which he is just a creature tried to score cheap political points against the BLP because the cost of Dodds was a raging political topic in the previous elections.

    What makes matters worse and continues to impugn his professional integrity and further reinforces his intellectual corruption is the fact that this deliberate mistake on his part was never rectified and publicly clarified. The massaging of unemployment statistics to suit his own political agenda might have tarnished the image of the State agency legally authorized to collect and report such information.

    But one, like you, can argue such statistical manipulation could fall into the realm or field of football economics or statistical gerrymandering by political economists. This option, sad to say, does not exist as a privilege or luxury in the field of Finance & Accounting. Construction cost (which must be repaid) + (cost of borrowing to finance construction) OR (interest element of lease payments) = Total Cost of Project (say ($700 million).

    All you are trying to do is seeking on partisan political grounds false justification for the actions of a man whose integrity in office is suspect based on his utterances and not the paper qualifications adorning the quack’s office.

    Like

  19. Pachamama January 18, 2013 at 11:07 AM #

    @ Hal Austin

    Whereas we gave you full maks last week, this week you have missed the mark. Indeed you will be given a nought this week. This week you have failed to avoid a mountain of diversions and go to the fundamentals. Your reluctance to see that the wide and persistent failures within the global systems are rooted in the collapse of capitalism as fundationally theorised by Smith and Ricardo and later Keynes. Indeed it was Marx in his magisterial critique of capitalism which amongs other things argued that capitalism was NO DIFFERENT that fuedalism, which it was to replace. Unfortunately, the ideas of Marx have proven themselves, in the main,to be not much different from capitalism thus going the way of the dinasaurs after a mere 70 years. But capitalism is less that 250 years old – Smith wrote his ‘wealth of nations’ around 1776 and Ricardo came at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. Capitalism therefore represents a mere historical diversion – a flicker of the eye. For these reasons there is no requirement for us to pretend that capitalism is ‘the’ established norm or has been with us forever. We suggest that capitalism’s only lifeline was communism. The death of communism will lead to the death of capitalism. For capitalism needs an enemy for its own survival. Religious wars against Islam will not surfice as a counterpoint. This is the essence of the intelligence reports that you have cited and read my us. In short, any analysis that is fashioned on performance indicators of a dying system must of necessity be irrelevant. We must have different kind of performance models. Let us get to the business of creating the world that we seek for we are the ones that we were waiting for – no god, no jesus. Let us make Aaron Swartz proud of us all.

    Like

  20. Wily Coyote January 18, 2013 at 11:12 AM #

    @ Bajeabroad

    “his qualifications and experience are impeccable.”

    BULLSHIT BAFFLES BRAINS, PHD(Piled Higher and Deeper)

    At least Hal has common sense.

    Like

  21. Pat January 18, 2013 at 1:46 PM #

    Bajans will never change. What is important to most is what ‘school’ one attended and what ‘papers’ they got.

    It makes not an iota of difference if the person expounds piles of bovine excrement. Because he may have this paper, or that paper, honesty, integrity and common sense do not count. I staying where I am.

    Like

  22. Sylvan January 18, 2013 at 8:53 PM #

    What is this fellow Austin objective? He coming across more like a closett BLP singing for a promised supper. Has the BLP promise he a diplimatic pick of high commissioner to London? The Financial Times like they aint got enough work for he because it looks like he got a lot of time to be sending stuff to publish in Barbados. People seeing through you, Austin. What is your agenda?

    Like

  23. Sargeant January 19, 2013 at 6:45 PM #

    @David
    For example, if miller were to ask you what was the cost to build your palatial edifice there in the suburbs of Canada would you say 3 million which includes interest cost or 1 million which was the amount you paid on completion?
    ************
    I didn’t know you relished the roll of cheap shot artist. Full disclosure I have my Property Assessment Notice for 2013 in hand and the value is pegged at $471,000 ( after 20 years) which hardly qualifies as “palatial” in my neck of the woods.

    As a public service can anyone provide the construction costs of HMP ‘”Dodds”; i.e. Plans; Bricks; Mortar; Fixtures etc. Can anyone provide the consultancy fees associated with VECO and to whom they were paid, can anyone provide the fee schedule for VECO; can anyone provide the cost overruns and resulting penalties (if any); finally can any provide the annual cost of servicing the debt incurred as a result the construction and operation of HMP Dodds?

    That is why we need FOI without FOI the politicians can muddy the waters by providing misleading information so simple folk are unable to get answers but they can punch and counter punch each other with their version of the truth.

    Miller as an insider you could really nail the Guv to the wall if you reveal all that you know ( the actual cost of the Prison) unless revealing such would compromise others who may have “sticky fingers”.

    BTW you describe me as partisan all I can say “Hey Pot meet Kettle”.

    Like

  24. Well Well January 20, 2013 at 4:48 AM #

    Economists even with the best credentials and most paper in the world, DO NOT UNDERSTAND BUSINESS, it is not part of their discipline and are not trained to be business people. They are trained to project and forecast nothing to do with reality.

    Like

  25. Pat January 20, 2013 at 8:31 PM #

    @Well, Well

    Microeconomists do. You business people could not live without them. They input to the macroeconomists who set the market conditions necessary for people like you to be successful in your businesses.

    Like

  26. Pat January 20, 2013 at 8:37 PM #

    @Well Well

    Microeconomists are the ones who develop and implement the business policies and programs that govern, regulate and control business operations including taxation. Don’t knock economists. They work behind the scenes in the highest government offices. They are faceless widgets.

    Like

  27. Pachamama January 21, 2013 at 1:35 PM #

    @ Pat

    We beg to disagree! Up to 5 year ago economists were telling us that they possessed supreme knowledge on how to manage an economy in a way that avoids booms and busts – and we have been handed the worst RECESSION in history. More fundamentally, economists masquerade as scientists when in truth and fact they are lowly politicians. As a profession they have failed to evenly distribute incomes, eradicate hunger, prevent resource wars – and we can go on and on. Like politicians eveyrwhere and as a class of unpeople, like lawyers, they elimination should be sought.

    Like

  28. Gabriel Tackle January 22, 2013 at 5:22 PM #

    The Governor drives a mini!Who in their right mind and holding a very important job which ordinarily affords the position chaffeur driven luxury would opt to put aside the big able posh car assigned to the Governor of the Central bank of Barbados,and in preference insult the Ministry of Finance by driving a mini to work on these hazardous roads in Barbados.Short answer:A man who would try to lock horns(and lost with a slap on the wrist) with the head of the IMF in place of the MOF Sinckler who does not have a clue about Public Finance.

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  29. LOOK January 22, 2013 at 6:24 PM #

    The United States and United Kingdom will survive; both countries are ill but recovering – Barbados, ship is rapidly sinking.

    The United States before entrance of the Obama administration (2008) was falling apart. Barbados before the Thompson administration (2008) was also falling apart. President Obama [first term] did not please the American people 100%, likewise the DLP in Barbados. The American people, however, refused to ride the republican party train, AGAIN and on November 6, 2012 said NO. President Obama and the democrates won majority votes and the election. Romney and the Repbulican party were sure they could and would defeat President Obama and the Democrats but didn’t. The BLP are sure they can and will defeat the DLP, said so [FACEBOOK]. They won’t. Maybe.

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  30. millertheanunnaki January 22, 2013 at 6:32 PM #

    @ Gabriel Tackle | January 22, 2013 at 5:22 PM |

    The miller would suggest you leave the Governor’s peccadilloes and private/personal life off-limits. Even if he was a fare picker or cross dresser it still would have nothing to do with his ability to conduct himself as the guv of the CBB. Let us focus on his professional ability and integrity and his public image and not his personal life.
    The last statement about Sinckliar being a round peg in a square hole has merit but not the mini talk. He (the guv) is a drawing a tax-free travel allowance instead of the use of a gas guzzling limousine.

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  31. Gabriel Tackle January 22, 2013 at 10:01 PM #

    @Miller
    Point made and taken.Do you suggest that in preference to the chaffeur limousine which would have to be gassed up at CB expense that the Gov opted for the travel allowance and using the mini to keep the major portion of the TA as disposal income?Well that’s economising for you and makes sense even if dangerous in this case of using a mini on our roads.

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