WHITHER BARBADOS; THE CARIBBEAN MARCH OF DEBT!
By Professor Gilbert NMO Morris:
Professor Gilbert Morris December 13, 2013 at 7:40 PM
“The Minister of Finance for Barbados has issued a comprehensive Short
Term Growth & Sustainability programme. It will not work.”
I am constrained to say I TOLD YOU SO!
The difficulty for Barbados – as with the rest of the Caribbean – is
that we inherited a command and punish economic model, that was meant
for controlling ostensibly brainless people of whom nothing was
expected. Our innovation across the region was to add cronyism and the
facilitation of lackeys at the expense of our bright young
entrepreneurial minds. As such, across the region, we have produced an
economic model that is scloretic, for which our politics have become the
tribal art of attempting to defend obvious nonsense.
know now that their chance of becoming their best selves and living
their best lives is not at home, where – in Barbados as much as anywhere
else in the region – successive governments have succeeded in
cultivating a caste system, incompatible not only with the moral
imperatives of our relevant histories, but also with the yearning,
ambition and native genius of our peoples.
Barbados has lead the world in Literacy Rates, but to what purpose?
Bajans regale themselves with their comparative successes in the mark book, but where is the “silicon valley”?
Barbados needs a comprehensive rethink.
It’s future lies NOT a stale inert economic model that has produced one
billionaire and a host of rent-seeking lackeys in 40-odd years.
The crisis is now in the home stretch: Barbados bond yields led a global
spike and now ranks with the Republic of Congo; its debt is 135% of
GDP; and its reserves have fallen to half a billion; shockingly merely
2.5 months of imports. (They need to cook with steam, for Chrissake!)
Whilst it's interest payments are just over $50 million this year, Janet
Yellen is likely to raise interest rates again this year. Barbados 2022
maturities have risen 146 basis points since January 20th 2017.
Moreover, BREXIT impacts, crony run public institutions and domestic
debt are likely to balloon next year.
A similar fate awaits the Bahamas.
HERE IS WHAT TO DO:
Start over. Rescind all oversight commissions!
Appoint My good friend Sir Courtney Blackman and 16 others to a
National Steering Committee and manage this crisis for the next 6 months
with a maximum of transparency, with the power to subpoena persons and
papers for public testimony on all fiscal and economic issues.
Hold National Public Discussion about the current and Future of
Barbados; deal with structural issues that limit or prevent Bajans from
achieving their best lives in their own country.
Cut government spending now!
End all feckless liberal-minded enterprise projects, which just pay
lackeys at the expense of efficiency and true achievement (Compare
Singapore, which seeds parastatal corporations and then let’s them sink
or swim and if they cannot produce financials they are foreclosed
immediately by the Treasury).
Give EVERY Bajan who wants a
business license to establish a business aimed at export, licensee fee
and tax exemption for 10 years.
Move all government routine
processes – drivers & business licenses, government fees and other
processes to eGovernment platform immediately.
Convert all government payments to blockchain using Bitcoin or other electronic alternatives.
Place all government owned infrastructure and land into a sovereign
fund, 60% held by Bajan citizens, then JV with a global strategic
Eliminate the Ministry of Tourism.
Convince all CARICOM nations to withdraw from the WTO.
Open Harrison College to South Americans for Boarding school.
JV with Guyana to fund a super trade highway into Brazil, to provide a
staple of Brazilian products to the Caribbean, to compete with Florida.
Set up Barbadian International Business Centre with Arbitration and commercial services for South American business.
Establish a 100 acres area as a tax free zone for international data storage and management.
The first options must be to reduce government expenses, and reduce the
cost of doing business in Barbados, which has one of every tax in the
history of mankind.
Reduce governments tax share of GDP to below 18%.
Use timing options for initiatives, which allows government to maximize
policy options squeezing out efficiencies, then switch to more