Submitted by Beresford
Barbados is now in its most absurd position, of having to pay a much greater price for the garbage out of the mouth of its Prime Minister and DLP government than dealing with the literal garbage that is a plague on the nation.
At the bullseye of the economic disaster everyone and his mother has warned about with yet another downgrade, the words of Stuart, Sinckler, the Governor of the Central Bank and the apologists for incompetence and financial mismanagement on a level unimaginable are particularly haunting.
Recall the words of Stuart in June 2014, when Moody’s issued a three-notch downgrade from Ba3 to B3.
In what is now the media’s favourite phrase, in “rubbishing” the stunning lack of confidence in the DLP’s economic management, Stuart declared: “What they say is only relevant if we want to embark on an orgy of foreign borrowing in which people should know how much we should have to borrow, how much our money should cost.
“But if we are not intending in the short or medium term to go to the capital markets to borrow money, what they say has as much value as what you see in any garbage dump collected by the Sanitation Services Authority.”
Incidentally, the funny thing was that at the same time as the Moody’s announcement, Government was about to debate an amendment raising borrowing limit from Bds$1.5 billion to 2.5 billion.
The six plus downgrades from Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s and CARChris has moved Barbados from solid B in 2009 to now Caa1.
With each downgrade, the DLP’s posturing is exposed. Spiralling debt, Central Bank borrowings and the gap between DLP promises and reality are consistently referenced with comments such as “economic fundamentals weak,” “structural shortcomings” “lack of competitiveness” and economic performance “below expectations” and “low growth, high debt, and large fiscal deficit.”
With each, Barbados falls further down the greasy pole in terms of attracting investments while paying higher costs for borrowings and making it much more difficult to borrow internationally. The already excessive terms of the Credit Suisse loan will now attract higher interest payments.
With each, the spectre looms of the dreaded Ds – default and devaluation.
The time bomb is the Government’s behaviour in all of this. Like a spoilt and petulant child who believes it is always right, regardless of the evidence to the contrary, and blames everything and everyone for its illogical actions, including the circumstances of its birth, the DLP steadfastly refuses to accept the facts of fundamental flaws in its mishandling of Barbados.
Previously, we have been treated in this theatre of the bizarre to comments in response from Sinckler et al such as “highly negative conclusions,” “unfair,” “illogical” “drastic.”
From the matchless Stuart, after the 2014 S&P downgrade and a threat from Sagicor to move its headquarters as its rating and borrowing costs were being affected by Barbados’ downgrades, a declaration of such a move as “not a loss of confidence.”
And this gem, after a warning about possible devaluation in the face of continuing high debt which he dismissed, “this will serve neither as a deterrent nor a discouragement to that small coterie of alarmists who continue to believe in economic witchcraft and are therefore preoccupied with, and intrigued by, this brand of necromancy.”
Of note, too, the latest downgrade, like others before it, comes right after the DLP indulges in one of its regular parades of fantasy – this time after the Estimates.
In that debate, Sinckler, supported by all, maintained the fallacy that the economy is getting better, that projects are on their way, that the reserves are well and the rest of the figments of his fertile imagination.
Clearly, the more in denial of reality the DLP becomes entrench, and the more arrogant its response to the announcements of downgrades, as they rubbish Moody’s and S&P, the more the economic garbage piles up, the more rancid it becomes, the less the DLP’s willingness – not ability, that boat sailed long ago – to deal with it.
There is no covering up the junk of 0.5 per cent growth. In reality, no growth. The fall in the reserves to $500 million despite borrowings and especially lower foreign exchange spending as a result of the lowest oil prices in years. The lack of economic traction despite a rise in tourism arrivals. The 180 per cent to GDP debt ratio. The non-stop printing of money and borrowing from the NIS. No investment to speak of. You must know you have a problem when, for the first time, real estate prices are falling.
Even at this stage, the denials and lashing out continues. Charlie Skeete did say we are not behaving like adults. There has been no squeak from Stuart or Sinckler or Worrell about the latest downgrade. But out trots some faceless DLP yardfowl “official” to speak more rubbish.
Once more, the downgrade is “illogical”. And the only balance sheet the DLP is interested in is “the social balance sheet.”
The social balance sheet that under the DLP is littered with frightening rising poverty. Escalating crime. Rising unemployment. Hopeless youth, the majority of whom have ‘done the right thing’ and left forgotten with one, two and three degrees and many other qualifications. A QEH and health service that is a mess.
The so-called DLP “official” operative resorts to calling our candidate for Christ Church East Central, Ryan Straughn, a “Junior Opposition Spokesman.”
We take the compliment. For the “junior” is a highly respected economist who makes his living on the strength of his performance as a private practitioner and not as a failure merely appointed to a position without qualifications and getting a fat salary; and more pointedly, whose comments now and over the years are in line with Barbados’ reality and not failed projections.
The BLP will take Straughn any day over Sinckler, Jepter Ince, Central Bank Governor Worrell. In fact, over all of the DLP put together.
As for the “typical criticize everything disease plaguing the Opposition” the BLP will remain steadfast in its role to hold the DLP to account for its myriad foolishness and to alert the public to its arrogance and shenanigans.
We are reaffirmed by the gains our resolve have brought to Barbadians whether the abandonment of the solid waste tax or the exposure of Cahill. Most of all, the BLP will remain informed by the harsh, unfortunate reality of Barbados and the truth of our actions.
The failure of another plasma gasification plant may luckily put paid to the rubbish that is Cahill.
Time will also put paid to the rubbish emanating from the mouths of the DLP. Hopefully, Barbados will be more than just junk.
HAPPENING THIS SUNDAY, APRIL 10, 2016
The St Michael Central branch of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) will meet on Sunday, April 10, 2016 to nominate its candidate for the next general election.