Barbados Government Double-Talk: “International Loan To Prop Up Foreign Reserves Is Not To Prop Up Foreign Reserves.” …Huh?

Like an uncontrollable spend-thrift spouse, the Government of Barbados has been a shopaholic credit addict for years. And just like a spouse who cannot resist shop signs offering “No Money Down – No Payments Until Next Year!”, the Government is having to juggle the books more and more to conceal the truth from the rest of the family.

The Truth About The New “Foreign Reserves” Loan

The Government of Barbados is borrowing money to make payments on previous loans. That is the truth.

Oh… government says this latest US$65 million dollar international loan is to “strengthen foreign reserves”, but why are the foreign reserves so low? Where did the money go?

Think about that.

father-owen-arthur-barbados-200.jpg

Barbados Is A Family – But Father Is Out Of Control With Chequebook In Hand

Think about your family finances – because despite all the smoke, mirrors and gobblety-gook talk of the spend-thrifts in government, managing a country’s finances isn’t much different than managing your family’s money. Yes, everything is on a larger scale, and “Father” has the ability to sign a loan that commits all family members to make payments forever, and to pledge all family assets against the loan – but in the end, it is only the scale of things and the power of the head of the family to tax all family members that is different from your family’s finances.

Foreign reserves are like the normal reserve in the family’s working account – maintained so we don’t hit a zero balance and to show the world that we have enough cash in the kitty to be credit-worthy.

But our reserve balance has been pillaged to make payments on all those previous loans that Father took out, and the bank is calling to warn that cheques will start to bounce unless we put a little more into the account.

A New Loan To Make Payments On Previous Loans

So what does Father do now? He commits the family to yet another loan on top of all the previous loans. That buys some time, but to keep up with the ever-increasing payments, the family members will have to work harder (more taxes). Father keeps borrowing and family members will have to continue making loan payments long after he retires.

Sometimes Father borrows to pay only the interest on the loans – so the family is paying interest on the interest on the interest…

If Father’s irresponsible behaviour continues, it is possible that sometime in the future, family members will even have to contribute what little savings they have (devalue the currency).

mommy-erskine-griffith-barbados.jpg

Mommy Helps To Deceive The Rest Of The Family

From The Nation News…

Griffith: Debt under control

GOVERNMENT is properly and effectively managing its debt situation.

That point was made clear yesterday by Minister of Agriculture Senator Erskine Griffith, during debate on a resolution to approve the borrowing of BDS$130 million on the international capital markets to strengthen Barbados’ foreign reserves.

Griffith told the Senate the loan was not to prop up the reserves since they were not in a state of collapse. He suggested that those who criticised Government for its borrowing regime, simply did not understand…

… continue the entire article at The Nation News (link here)

Photos

Father of First World Barbados, Prime Minister Owen Arthur

Mother of First World Barbados, Senate Leader Erskine Griffith

Photos courtesy of The Nation News. Fair trade for the link.

29 Comments

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

29 responses to “Barbados Government Double-Talk: “International Loan To Prop Up Foreign Reserves Is Not To Prop Up Foreign Reserves.” …Huh?

  1. Akabozzik

    I can’t possibly be out of money because I still have checks left!

  2. Akabozzik

    That was caption for the photo of Father of First World Barbados

  3. Pingback: I Can’t Possibly Be Out Of Money. I Still Have Cheques Left! « Barbados Free Press

  4. Jason

    You are right BFP. Spending is like an addiction for these politicos and we will be paying for a long long time.

  5. Pat

    Taking out a loan to pay down another loan, or meet the interest payments on other loans is a highway to bankruptcy. Is this not how some pyramid schemes were financed? Is that not ‘illegal’?

  6. Rumplestilskin

    Re ”That point was made clear yesterday by Minister of Agriculture Senator Erskine Griffith, during debate on a resolution to approve the borrowing of BDS$130 million on the international capital markets to strengthen Barbados’ foreign reserves”

    But I thought that a certain poster here asserted that it is only appropriate for a a Minister related to a particular portfolio to speak (answer questions) on an issue for that portfolio, not others?

    Here we see Min of Agricultire speaking on Finance…no?

    Hmmmph…

  7. Jupiter

    Rumplestilskin

    You made my day with that above comment made by lynette eastmond.
    You said:”I thought that a certain poster (minister)asserted that it’s only appropriate for a minster……with a particular portfolio to speak on that area”.

    I knew lynette eastmond was only masquerading on this site trying to get votes.

    Jason and others suggested that it was good that she was at least answering queries etc.

    You notice there is now a loud silence from her about whether her house was built by rural for minister erskine griffith’s father?

    She knew she was fudging when she talked about not speaking on areas outside her portfolio.

    I really wish bajans will listen to what is said and what is not said by these politicians before they get so grateful because one of them comes on the site and throws a whole lot of words around,yet in the end they don’t address the issues.

  8. Akabozzik

    I am so happy I found Barbados Free Press. Thank you, thank you, thank you whoever you people are.

    thank you.

  9. Yam P][e

    Hey Rumplestilskin,

    Correct me if I am wrong ppl,

    Min. of Agric. Senator E. Griffith is also Leader of Business in the Upper House.

  10. RA

    Please help. I want to take your economic arguments seriously. This is difficult when you fail to use data unselectively and are unable as a result to transform your opinions into meaningful argument. You just end up giving readers a Banks & dominos speech.

    Are you able to state, concretely, what the BFP preferred debt ceiling or limit for Bds should be? A number, percentage of something would be a start.

    Assuming you’d be using some measure of what is or is not affordable maybe you would set that out too; and why the current level of debt is merits being categorized as a debt crisis. Or is any debt at all a Bad Thing?

    It’s one thing to write about “pillaging” of the reserves (and from the context of your post this appears to mean that paying interest is an act of “pillage” on the fx reserves). But it’s another to prove this with the data. You imply this loan is destined only to repay other loans (“that is the truth”). Set out the data you base this opinon on: for example, show readers the Bds interest payment schedule and how it matches against this latest loan.

    The data is readily available publically however much “smoke and mirrors” “juggling” and attempts to “conceal the truth” BFP perceive.

    And while the Father/family tool is entertaining it oversimplifies your post to uninformed, misleading bluster. You may (or not) have a point. But it so unproven this post should be put back in the dark for a lie down well away from the glare of day.

    Data is king.

  11. BFP

    Hello RA
    We are delighted that so many from the London mission are tuning in to our little blog. You need some advice on proxies over there because – while you are trying – you just haven’t got what it takes. (Think JAVA – any reasonable techie should be able to solve the problem for you)

    As to your most thoughtful comments, please provide all the data that you ask for… as I’m sure you must have it right at your fingertips.

    Please start with – for the last 12 years – the annual interest payable on the national debt, in real dollars and as a percentage of GNR (not GNP), not corrected for inflation.

    Then please list all contracts let by the Government WITHOUT TENDER of over, say, US$1 million in the last 12 years.

    Then estimate the profit on each in both real dollars and as a percentage basis.

    Then… put them on a graph and see if there is any correlation or trends noted – along with vendor, date and proximity to any election call.

    We could do it all, but without Integrity and Conflict of Interest Legislation – as well as a Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act – it is pretty well a deck stacked in favour of the dealer…

    …. so now we Bajans have decided to change the rules of the game.

    We’re playing by our rules now… so, show your cards, London!

  12. BFP

    … and yes, pulling money from the fx to pay the interest on past out of control spending and construction contracts for elected officials’ spouses and family members, and then having to borrow more to boost the fx is “pillaging”.

    We’ve had enough RA.

    We all have.

  13. Out Dey in Bim

    Ha,ha,ha RA – BFP gotcha this time.

    Can’t pull wool over their eyes muh boy.

  14. Anonymous-

    Oh BFP give it up. Claiming you’re being pursued by the High Commission [not mission] in London [of all places] will get you nowhere fast. You invent these silly stories to keep scandal going, and to smokescreen the fact that you – like RA eloquently stated – are engaging in drunken domino talk not fit for publication. Stop reading the Tom Clancy novels and trying to fool your already fickle readers that the Government dedicates its overseas missions to you. Why, next thing we’ll hear is that we’re hacking your sites because we have diplomatic immunity. Maybe you should try that one next week… it’s always good to label those who disagree with you as spies of the government. Keep it up! In time you’ll feel smart enough to call a name and you’ll be sitting in court for defamation.

  15. RA

    “We Bajans have decided to change the rules of the game”?

    “Show your cards London”?

    Asked a few straight forward questions and you seem to have gone hysterical.

    Look, if it suits you, let’s say I am in London, out to get you and have hired thugs to find and kneecap each of you.

    Now, would any of that make my questions worthy of the silly misdirection and strange insults you employ? Instead of stacking these and more unsupported shrieked views upon the heap, why not just answer my questions directly; or at least the very first one as to what Bds debt level should be? It’s hardly a trick or loaded query.

    Look, this is very simple and does not even begin to enter the realm of conspiracy you want it to occupy. You make strong financial assertions completely and utterly unbacked by data. Anyone who takes such views seriously is misinforming themselves. Does stating this truism really make me an anti-BFP stooge?

    Why is it this difficult for you to support your views with data? It is untrue, as you imply, that the information cannot be had in the public domain because it has been cached by the Gov. and without data your economic stuff is simple dogmatic prejudice – can you really honestly not see that? Go a couple of extra research steps and you might produce something deserving of the light of day.

    One commenter, Adrian I think, said you don’t realize the potential of this site. He’s right. With some balance and fact you might be an informing franchise instead of a distorting one.

    You mention java-enabled browsers. Your secrecy paranoia may be well-founded (though I doubt it); and I do write from behind an anonymiser for reasons other than visiting the BFP.

    I am happy this appeals to your techie-detective inclinations and conspiracy instincts. Casino Royale, of course, also opened last week which may explain your self-indulged, tangential reply to my queries.

    However, I can assure Out de in Bim, BFP and anyone else that the following is, as you might say, the truth (but in this context it actually is): I work for myself and not in the UK. Moreover, I am entirely unconnected with anything to do with Bds Government policy and never have been (nor am I a civil servant).

    I have a professional background in finance and economics; and it pains me not through some political affiliation but intellectually (truly) to read the BFP economic theses touted here as worthy of credence.

    Whether or not you believe all that does not change the notion that when you state opinons as “truth”, you should accompany them with supporting fact.

    Just ease off the high-horse and show us the backing data, BFP.

  16. BFP

    Hi RA

    Good to see you take an interest in the potential of this website – and I am saying that most sincerely.

    OK… let’s say that you’re not in London and not working for the Barbados Gov’t.

    You seem to have a solid knowledge of finance and economics, so how about this…

    How about writing an article for us in the area that you are most comfortable with… giving us your analysis of the Bajan economy, it’s past, future, the current management and finally, how you would direct the economy if you were PM.

    … and yes, we realize that there is a big difference between what you (or anyone) might want to do, and what is possible in reality.

    We will publish what you write – unedited – and give it a feature spot.

    How about it?

    Not for us. For Barbados.

  17. RA

    With this idea you reveal a certain admiration for the politics of inclusion. This must be a BLP blog.
    Nonetheless, thank you for the invitation which I’ll give some thought to, pending a result to the issue at hand.

    I’m certain that your invitation is not an oblique diasavowal of your debt ideas (which, before another blunderbuss volley is blasted my way, I interpret not as wrong but unproven). Set the record straight if it is. Otherwise, it would be fair and in keeping with the spirit of the integrity legislation BFP promote that the site make an attempt to strap some data to the original post & views. Not for me, but for Barbados (to borrow a phrase).

    In the hope you do so, I note you mentioned that you wouldn’t want to see this data exercise inflation-adjusted. Why on earth not? Nominal numbers going back over a decade will not mean much at all – surely you do not think inflation adjusting is cooking the books?

    Again – just show us the backing data to the specific view that Bds is in a debt crisis, paying off interest with new loans taken soley for. When did the debt become too much to afford?

    Other business:

    1) You may well be stronger in IT than me. But when you run a trace against a proxy server all you may end up with (as in this case) is the anoymous server IP, not the end-user’s. And that’s even if java is left enabled. It is the case that by running java (or, say, flash) that a malicious applet could tunnel back, beat the cloak and reveal the real IP. But I doubt you have one here. Still, I’ll turn it off.

  18. Pat

    RA:

    We are all awaiting your eloquent response. Dont keep us waiting too long.

    p.s. write in layman terms, not all of us have post secondary eddication.

  19. Out Dey in Bim

    R A

    Simple people like myself don’t need degrees in economic and finance to know the basic truth in what BFP is saying re the unhealthy state of the barbados economy (finances).

    Sir John Stanley Goddard who by no stretch of the imagination can be described as a ‘sympathiser’ of the DLP has been asking for answers in the senate.

    I’ts people like you who claim to have all the knowledge of economics who won’t go into the public arena whether through e.g newspaper articles or on the radio call – in programmes and speak on the issue.

    Instead you come on this site to bash BFP using all sort of economic jargon to impress.This site is not where that is needed but out there in the regular media outlets where more persons can hear you.

    You haven’t in your response told us how you see the state of the Barbadian economy,nor Gov’t spending policy,to me that’s a lot more helpful to understand, that is, whether we are operating like a runaway train.

    As for me I prefer to believe Standards & Poors and the IMF who tell me we are borrowing too much and our debt is too high.

  20. RA

    Out dey,

    Please read my post again. What economic jargon? Where is this economic snobbism you seem to perceive in my writing? Did I really claim to have “all the knowledge of economics”? If you believe I do, my thanks. But I must in honesty disabuse you. If I say I have some professional training and experience it is not in order to disqualify your or anyone else’s views (very very far from it). It is to assure you I’m not trying to bs you; and that I might be one of those people who have a decently informed view.

    As for not speaking out, is this not a part of the public fora you refer to? Aren’t BFP constantly referring to their huge site hits? Come on, man. I have faults enough that you do not need to invent more.

    To the substance. I have a simple point and it is not economic. Your first para is very important in this regard. Degrees are not the issue. Taking or stating an assumption without facts or without question or out of context is. If that is “bashing” then, like the man from UB40 sang along time ago, I’m guilty. However, it is a fact that I have not deviated from that argument in the face of some entertaining criticism, misdirection and attack. That a free society inform itself fully of the facts is one important mechanism that keeps democracy working. Dogma is the enemy and I’m ecstatic to bash it.

    Turning to the economics, your last para is also important because it illustrates the problems of interpreting information second or even third hand. And I hope that this notion is not seen as debatable by you, Pat or anyone else and their dog.

    The long and short of this is that I read both reports you refer to when they were issued. If you can show me where S&P says borrowing and debt are in themselves excessive please do so. The last rating on economic outlook issued by them was an increase from negative to stable.

    In common with the IMF, S&P actually argue that debt levels will be a significant issue IF the economy receives an external shock. That might seem a nuance to you but it is a world away from implying BFP or your or Pat’s views accord with the IMF and S&P. If you can find either body stating that Bds indebteness has created a crisis; or that a vicious circle is in place where the nation is borrowing to repay interest please post the link here.

    I am happy to give my general opinion that you, Pat and BFP ask for. And Pat, I’m counting on you to call me out if you spot unexplained jargon or ineloquence. It is this:

    At any time, CONTEXT is vital to understanding where any of us are. Debt is rarely “too high” just on principle, and it is very difficult for the debt-wary to accept this. Many of the ongoing arguments against debt are rooted in this prejudice.

    The current global economic context is one of extraordinary and historically low inflation plus very generous liquidity (jargon explanation = quantity of money in the system) and very low, even negative sometimes, REAL interest rates (jargon explanation = the headline rate of interest minus the inflation rate).

    That is, there is alot of cheap money sloshing around the global system and it has surprisingly not (yet?) seriously ignited inflation. This is why the property & construction sectors – in fact anything requiring heavy borrowing has been longtime in overdrive. Credit is cheap; and growth nearly everywhere has been strong on the back of public and private capital expenditure (eg for Bds, houses, stadiums, flyovers).

    It is ironic that consumers, possibly you amongst them, indebt themselves highly and then criticise the government for the same thing. Both players have merely concluded, correctly, that money is cheap enough to finance big-ticket items. That it is a no brainer to take advantage of this CONTEXT should not stun any rational person.

    Unfortunately, at some point this cycle of liquidity, low interest rates and low inflation will break down to some, to be revealed, degree. There will be a downturn – that is certain – and here is the issue. If the downturn is severe (or if there is an external shock) Bds’ ability (private citizens included) to service its debt will be impaired. If the downturn is shallow, no problem.

    There – you got my article (of sorts) even though this is not my blog. A man asks a simple simple question and ends up fielding outraged queries himself.

    I’m not out to impress, only inform. And I’m not an apologist. Just read me without imagining I have some agenda.

    Now maybe, in the spirit of fairness, integrity etc, you might consider putting it to BFP that my data questions also deserve a reply. They have an interesting view unsupported by data or the IMF or S&P (it would be nice to think you agreed with this – if not read the reports). Stick some logically prepared data in it and the opinion might be worth something.

    Again, just show readers the backing data. Or alternatively just say the post was written on feeling and intuition. But don’t claim, as BFP do, it is “truth”.

  21. Out Dey in Bim

    RA

    Your comments above only confirm my views posted above .

    For simple people like pat,myself and others like us all we know is that if you are working for $500.00 a week and you are in debt every week up to $450.00,then I will say that you are skating on very thin ice with just $50.00 in hand to utilise.

    It has been publicly stated and not denied even by the Gov’t that their debt re-payments amont to over 80% of the the Gross Domestic Product, which is, – the goods and services produced in the country ie allthey earn from tourism,sugar offshore etc.

    If 80% of what you earn is spent paying back debts then you only have 20% to pay civil servants,buy drugs and equipment for the QEH,fix roads etc etc.
    So it stands to reason if there is a high level of liquidity or money around to be borrowed from local,regional or international agencies then they will lend,because they know that as a country ways will be found for payments to be made whether it carries -on to my children – great grandchildren.By that time Arthur,Mia Noel Lynch,Billie Miller and the rest would have enjoyed a prosperous life and would have left a generous inheritance for their children’s grandchildren.

    Who yuh fooling RA.If the Blp sent you here to try and hoodwink us ,look try and find another site.

    As for BFP being part of the public fora,no doubt this is true,but I was quite specific when I said newspapers and talk shows since it is clear that you will get wider coverage there since most bajans still don’t have a personal computer.

    Of course there will be the little problem of you being asked to verify what you say,identify yourself and being quizzed vigourously.In addition we might then find out that the call is indeed originating out of the London’s Embassy office and you are indeed a BLP operative.

  22. Out Dey in Bim

    BFP
    It seem as though my response to RA was lost.I hope not since it was quite lenghty and I don’t want to re-write it.

    ***88 Probably just held for moderation – as lengthy comments are automatically held. Did we post it now?

    Robert

  23. RA

    Out Dey,

    Wow – you do not want to even give one inch. I must really be a poor debater.

    I am sorry you feel the need, as before, to defend an unsupported by factual data opinion even when furnished with unbiased (albeit politicized) information. How you can be so cocksure and unyielding without considering complete information is distressing.

    But I have a sinking feeling anyone putting my arguments to your mind would also be rejected and labelled a “BLP operative”. That’s why I said read the (clearly independently written) reports you mistakenly cited in your own support. I believe from the new numbers you bring you still have not.

    Speaking of which, let’s indeed discuss the 80% of GDP you bring to the table and spend so much time gnawing on.

    80% is indeed a frightning number. But break it down and you will see that foreign debt is 30% of GDP. This is why people who do not wish to be spoon-fed their info and thus read IMF and S&P reports (please do it, too, it’s not too late) conclude it is manageable in current circumstances.

    Domestic debt is the remaining bulk; and this part is essentially rolled over and refinanced by taxpayers with little default risk. There is also a key point to consider on the plus side of the national accounts where there is a very significant SURPLUS (clue: surplus is the opposite of debt) sitting against National Insurance.

    Were you aware; and are you able to see why both these points are also crucial to not citing numbers and jumping to conclusions before grasping ALL THE FACTS of the Debt Picture? Please, make an honest attempt for it is not rocket science.

    If tempted to reply with the “simple person” gambit, refrain. “Simple” is different from “decling to think”. All kinds of people, simple (whatever you mean by that) or otherwise, are capable of holding off making conclusions based on incomplete information. Just open your mind.

    Still, I admire your tenacity in clinging to all the straws of your argument. You don’t think via the written word you are able to “quiz me vigourously”? And somehow, was I instead on a radio show the force of my points would be diminished? Interesting logic; and doubly so since to your mind it is evidence of some kind of fault on my part. Bizarre.

    Obviously you think I must hide my identity and IP or be exposed as a nefarious Bond-type villain out to “hoodwink” “simple” folk (maybe you could define that s-word for me). That’s fine – believe it if you so desire. But – take your time on this – were your fantasies true would they really make my, IMF’s and S&P’s information invalid?

    Nonetheless, if it helps ease your mind on my bona fides here is my Official Voting Advice:

    VOTE FOR WHO YOU FEEL WILL BEST REPRESENT YOUR INTERESTS.

    Now, you should really be asking yourself if so much interogation of me to which I’ve freely replied does not merit some of the same from BFP or indeed you. Just show us the backing data (for that was the original point – not that BFP are wrong or a bunch of DLP-ites or whatever else they get accused of) or simply say it’s all an impression based on intuition and feeling.

    There’s no shame in that.

    PS/ You may decide to file away as unread or irrelevant Richard Francis’ latest quotes on the $130m & debt levels made this week in the Nation. But at least you can’t say you were not aware of them. Francis is the man who writes the S&P reports and whom you think agrees with you. (link here: http://www.nationnews.com/story/303001522830336.php).

    Or go and look at Charlie Skeete’s views, the Inter American Dev Bank economist.

    But waaaaiiit – dem tryin to fool we in de same way? Dem mus be”BLP operatives” too, yuh.

  24. RA

    one correction, fo which apologies. Foreign debt is 30% of total debt, not GDP. As a percentage of GDP it is about 24%.

  25. Out Dey in Bim

    Debt is debt.This reminds me of a comment by Mascoll who even though a few months earlier (when he was in the DLP) had said that the gov’t borrowing was too high (n.b. he is the economist you’re not by admission), once he was included however, he said it’s o.k. to borrow some more, once you borrow from local sources.WOW.

    If my memory serves me right it has been stated that 65% is the acceptable level of debt to GDP ratio,and that B’dos over 80% is the highest in the region.

    All the roll you have given us above to my mind goes against conventional wisdom,and against what everyone except Blpites have been saying.

  26. RA

    Out Dey,

    It should surprise no one political affiliation drives Mr Mascoll’s visible comments. Does it yours, too?

    It would be nice to step back from hysterical outbursts, rhetoric and political tribalism for awhile permeating replies to anything I post. I do not seriously believe what I have been arguing can be classed in any of those categories simply because someone who is BLP, or DLP for that matter, happens to agree (or not) with it. Just take the bald hard, information and think about it, man.

    Nonetheless, the original point is “please, BFP, support your opinions with fact/data”. You/BFP/Pat whoever, have (so far) not done that. I doubt any of you will but I’d be pleased to be wrong on that count. It would be great to see you build on the 65% of GDP idea for example.

    On the twinned issue of debt it’s convenient for you to ignore surpluses elsewhere in the accounts, IMF and S&P argument and then label your data-empty views (again, so far) “conventional wisdom”. Capping that with the blithe “debt is debt” is particularly – particularly – blinkered. This approach is fundamentally misleading, and I do not say that with any satisfaction, only regret.

    Is “everyone except BLPites” really on your side of the fence as you state? Did you read anything I spent time laying out for you? What, S&P and the IMF are BLPites now also? IADB economists too?

    You may choose to reject all I say as indeed you do. But why on earth not go and read the reports and inform yourself FULLY? There then may be a chance you, somewhere, accept that “debt is debt” is utterly utterly wrong as a mantra out of context. Is that such an “Out Dey” proposition?

    I am not canvassing; it does not matter to me if you/others shout a change of heart from the political rooftops or keep it to yourselves. But it does matter to me that, rationally, your views do not bear scrutiny as they stand. I have always felt good argument is good persuation; but it only leads the horse to the water, no more. Blind inflexibility cannot be breached.

    Finally, I wondered what to say to your “you’re not an economist by admission.” Don’t know where you fetched it from and as far as I know I have not been near my job in detail anywhere in here. In any case, does it really and truly matter if you are right or wrong? (Note disclosure failure).

  27. Pat

    RA:

    Thanks for the lesson in monetary economics and Barbados government’s fiscal policy. Now, tell me, do you lean towards the Chicago school?

  28. RA

    You’re welcome.

    I don’t lean having seen BFP and others do it and lose balance completely.

  29. Jerome Hinds

    BFP and fellow readers,

    This how the ” Great Economist ” Owen Arthur has barbados ranked GLOBALLY…!

    Countries with the LARGEST Deficits as % of GDP.

    %
    1. Iraq – 96 .9

    2. Mauritania – 36 .2

    3. Azerbaijan – 30 .4

    4. Bosnia – 22 .5

    5. Lebanon – 22 .0

    6. Equatorial Guinea – 21 .9

    7. Nicaragua – 17. 0

    8. Belize – 16.7

    9. Estonia – 12 .7

    10. Suriname – 12 .4

    11. Latvia – 12 .3

    12. BARBADOS – 12 .0

    Readers would find it INTERESTING note that ZIMBABWE comes in at

    Number 23 with – 8 . 3

    Source of Information : The Economist : Pocket world in figures 2007.

    So the great Economist Owen Arthur has PUT Barbados ( the only top ranked English speaking country ) among the list of world nations….with the largest deficits as % of GDP….!

    That is the WORLD CLASS ranking Owen Arthur often tells Barbadians to ASPIRE too..!

    Can his MINNIONS…..Royalrumble , Javon Griffth and ??……DENY this…?