Daily Archives: May 16, 2006

Central Bank of Barbados Governor’s Advice: “Borrow Like Crazy and Don’t Panic”

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Dr. Marion Williams, Governor of the Barbados Central Bank , is telling stories for the children again. This time, she is advising the children "Don't Panic" over the high debt-to-GDP ratio.

Yup, we sure don't want any "panic" around the Barbados debt-to-GDP ratio…

Especially since Barbados artificially boosted the GDP in the first place by borrowing into the stratosphere. And even though we've faked the recent boosted GDP numbers, the debt-to-GDP ratio is still in outer space. (See BFP article "Barbados Central Bank Tells Happy Story For Naive Children")

Panic? Us?

Nope. We know that the profit from the Cricket World Cup 2007 will pay off the whole thing, no problem. Right, Dr. Williams?

Hello? Dr. Williams?

From the Nation News article "High Debt-to-GDP Ratio No Reason To Panic"

AT LEAST THREE Caribbean central bank heads have expressed confidence that their countries' high debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio is manageable and not a sign to panic. This came from Barbados' Dr Marion Williams, Eastern Caribbean Central Bank governor Sir Dwight Venner, and Emsley Tromp, president of the Bank of the Netherlands Antilles, as they spoke on the first day of the sixth Euromoney/LatinFinance Caribbean Investment Forum.

Williams told the large audience…that Barbados' debt situation should not be placed in the same category with what was happening globally or within the region.

She said the current account deficit had reached the stage it was now at due to increasing competition within the banking sector – which led to credit expansion, a phased reduction in income tax rates, and the ongoing construction boom.

While noting this island's fiscal deficit was "higher than trend"…Williams said the contributing factors were "reversible" and she anticipated a "soft landing" in this economy's future.

Sir Dwight added that sometimes countries had to "bite the bullet" and borrow to develop areas that might not show returns right away, but would contribute to the gross domestic product (GDP) down the road. Williams agreed with this, saying "debt is not debt is not debt", and called for a distinction to be drawn between consumption debt and debt that was being used for productive purposes.

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Offshore Investments, Politics & Corruption

A Bajan Vacations In Dominica – And Loves It

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When one lives in a vacation paradise like Barbados, where does one go for a vacation? Our friend Titilayo has been disappointed by a number of her North American and European vacations, so this time she stayed in the Caribbean and headed for Dominica.

Now, she can't stop raving about how much she loves Dominica. You can read all about it at The Pan Collective where Titilayo hangs out when she is not posting at her Gallimaufry Blog.

Here's a sample from her Pan Collective post "The Nature Isle"

For someone from Barbados, which is flat and almost completely deforested, the mountains and greenery of Dominca were absolutely awe-inspiring. As the plane descended to the Melville Hall airport, I kept craning my neck to peer out the window and marvel at the sheer number of trees. It was evident even before we'd landed why Dominica is known as the Nature Island of the Caribbean. And after hiking to over 3000ft above sea level, on the way to the famous Boiling Lake, it was also clear why the original Carib inhabitants called it Waitukubuli, meaning Tall is Her Body. That climb is something my legs will not soon forget! Fortunately there was also an abundance of wonderful natural hot pools in which to soak and soothe my aching muscles.

All in all, I don't think I've ever had a better holiday. I've already begun planning my return trip.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Island Life, Traveling and Tourism

Caribbean Ombudsman Association Meeting In Barbados

"Culture Of Neglect Besieging Government Agencies"

… Sir Nevile Nicholls addressing the Caribbean Ombudsman Association meeting in Barbados.

"Culture of Neglect.." No kidding!

The Barbados Advocate has the story, and we will continue to monitor this meeting. Hey, you never know – maybe the Caribbean Ombudsman Association can even convince the Auditor General of Barbados to publish his reports so the public can read them!

But we won't get our hopes up too soon.

Here is an excerpt from the Barbados Advocate article "Culture of Neglect Besieging Government Agencies"

Highlighting the theme of the five day conference, "The Role of the Ombudsman in the Changing Environment of the Caribbean Civil Liberties and Democratic Governance", Sir Nicholls commented that the traditional role of the Ombudsman, was to deal with abuses of public administration. Nicholls however declared, that many of the problems the Ombudsman seems to have to deal with at present, are not fundamental problems of human rights and civil liberties, but rather, are centred around a certain culture of neglect.

Very often, when individuals in a country feel that they have not been treated fairly or properly by government agencies and write to the agency or contact the agency, they sometimes dont even get an acknowledgement of the complaint, or (they) get no response whatsoever.

That …is not so much a question of the erosion of the human rights of the persons or their civil liberties, but what is does is to build up a mistrust in individuals, who deal or who have had dealings with government agencies… and then individuals begin to link this neglect or unfair treatment with political interference, he remarked.

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Island Life, Politics & Corruption

We Link To Barbados Surfing Association

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Surfing is not only an important tourist draw and source of revenue for Barbados… for many it is a way of life. Surfers are also highly aware of the close connection between a clean environment, their sport, and tourist dollars.

With the recent election of a new committee and some hard work by the former leadership, the Barbados Surfing Association has been reinvigorated – and continues important work as the association enters it's 24th year.

From the Barbados Surfing Association website

The main goals of the new committee will be as stated in the BSA's Constitution i.e. to promote the sport of surfing in all its forms in Barbados, to sponsor, hold and organize Surfing Competitions, to send selected members of the Association to Surfing Competitions wherever held, to raise monies by private or public functions or otherwise for the purposes of the Association and to accept contributions from members of the public for the purposes of the Association as aforesaid.

Focus will continue to be placed on Junior Surfing with a view to improving the level of surfing in Barbados and enable our surfers to make a mark on the world stage.

The Barbados Free Press has linked to the BSA on our sidebar under "Barbados Tourism". Head on over and have a look at the BSA website for their schedule of events. Even if you don't surf, you will find BSA events to be a real family affair and lots of fun!

photo of "Pony at Bathsheba" by Shona (an Shona, you are gettin so good with that new Nikon!)

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business, Environment, Island Life, Traveling and Tourism

Barbados Free Press – New Best Day Ever!

We forgot to brag… (imagine that!)...

Last week we had our best day ever – with 2,596 Unique Visitors for the 24-hour period ending 23:59hrs GMT, Monday, May 8, 2006. While this almost 100% jump from our previous best day was undoubtedly as a result of HEAT's May 6th article about Barbados Free Press, we are pleased that so many Bajans chose to visit us.

And we are also pleased that so many who learned of us through the HEAT article have obviously decided to make return visits as our daily numbers are up significantly.

Thanks folks!

Upon discovering Barbados Free Press through the HEAT Newspaper article, some of our readers left the following comments…

auto453979 Says:
May 6th, 2006 at 5:57 pm
Bravo! If it wasn’t for the HEAT article, I would’ve never heard about you guys.

I’ve always felt that Barbadians needed a “free press” type outlet for expressing their true feelings and opinions on the going-ons in Barbados, but without the fear of being attacked and victimized. All that glitters is not gold!

Viva la revolution!

tash Says:
May 8th, 2006 at 6:05 am
does the heat have an online version?

by the way, I love BarbadosFreePress. I usually read you FIRST, then head to the Nation for the follow up! lol. You guys give me a very different spin on my idea of Barbados. You all are real eye-openers for the bajan public.

Have you guys done a poll to see what kind of ppl(age, gender, location) read you all?

keep it up!

TJ Toner Says:
May 8th, 2006 at 2:13 pm
BarbadosFreePress rocks. I found you by Heat and I will read you everyday.

Islandgirl Says:
May 8th, 2006 at 2:17 pm
BFP should write the nation an advocate newspapers. thing would be differnent than kissy kissy with politicos all de time. Marcus is you got a girl friend? lol

BFP Supporter Says:
May 10th, 2006 at 1:15 pm
Thanks to the HEAT article I know of you guys. I was always of the opinion that we needed a free press. I am very impressed by the articles and more so the submissions by the public. BFP has now displaced my newspaper as the first thing I read on mornings. Keep up the good work

All you guys need now is a section on Consumer Affairs, to address issues out there that affect us the consumers.

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Filed under Barbados