UPDATED: June 10, 2010
Friends, we’d like to mention once again that we are well into the third year of DLP Government and not a single person has been charged with any corruption-based crime. Therefore, it’s not going to happen.
We told you that the two major parties had an agreement in place. We were correct.
Here’s an article from last year that might make you think about the song and dance you’ve been accepting from the DLP…
For almost two years now, David Thompson and his DLP comrades have been declaring that they will hold people “accountable” for wrong-doing.
The list of wrongdoings is long, and for the mostpart the main culprits are known. When we think of Hardwood Holdings, the Barbados Tourism Authority, Hotels and Resorts, Dodds prison, the dozens of major contracts let without tender and – most infamously – former Prime Minister Owen Arthur depositing into his personal bank account a (cough, cough) “campaign cheque” that was “accidentally” made out to him personally… Well, just how many instances of wrongdoing and law breaking do you want?
But as Barbadians have come to realise, not a single person will be charged by the government of Prime Minister David Thompson.
Not a single lawsuit will be launched to recover public monies that ended up in the accounts of members of the former BLP government and their supporters.
The world pays attention to this kind of nonsense, and that is the point of an article by Harry Russell in The Nation.
We’ll repeat the article here in full because the Bajan newspapers have a habit of purging everything from the internet every so often and especially when a new government comes in.
That said, we urge you to go to The Nation to read the article online at Wild Coot – CLICO Babel
Wild Coot – CLICO babel
Published on: 9/21/2009.
BY HARRY RUSSELL
THE FALL of the two giants has been for the Caribbean a most devastating shock. Coming as it does on the heel of a worldwide collapse or because of a worldwide collapse it has exposed the economies of the region to the fundamental weaknesses of their one- or two-column economies. Very soon all of these countries will be in the hands of the IMF.
While it may be argued that Sir Allen Stanford’s fall affected mostly clients from the South American continent and from Antigua, the collapse of CLICO was like a tsunami affecting almost all countries in the Caribbean region.
There is an even more calamitous development that is in the making which might harm innocent bystanders. The involvement of Leroy King in the Stanford saga carries major implication.
Leroy King, God bless his soul, was the head of the Financial Services Regulatory Commission. He is now accused of taking bribes from Sir Allen, of lying to the American investigators and of hiding incriminating documents. This is all well and good but the American authorities have taken the view that the supervisory authorities there cannot be trusted.
They feel that the important function of compliance has been compromised. Therefore they are advising their American banks to be wary of banks in Antigua. Offshore banks in Antigua have a big problem now. A correspondent banking account in the United States is essentialfor business. Can this problem apply to domestic banks and other institutions also?
Antigua is already affected by United States oppositionto their Internet gambling. Many companies pulled up roots and moved to Costa Rica a few years ago. Hundreds of jobs were lost with a consequent loss in government revenue. Antigua is now seeking help from the IMF.
Offshore banks in Antigua may very well reassesstheir position and seek quarters elsewhere. Countries rely on the integrity of the supervisory authorities for cross border supervision since offshore banks’ performance spans many countries at the same time.
The matter does not rest there. Integrity is a fragile element. Other Caribbean entities need to be careful, lest the lack of confidence spills over. The United States is a key player in financial activities and since 9/11 and the passing of the Patriot Act demands for strict compliance and confidence have been essential.
According to the chairman of the United States House Financial Service Commission, “if a country’s own rules are considered more lax, their banks won’t be allowedby the Federal Reserve to access the US system”.
The image which Barbados believes to have been scrupulously cultivating because of its double taxation policies and its recent dogfight to preserve its “white” status must be uncompromisingly maintained. These double taxation treaties sit well in an age when more and more countries are prepared to keep open books, refusing to shield tax evasion or money laundering practitioners any more.
Our institutions must be sedulously purged, if necessary, of any element that smacks of not walking the straight line. This not only goes for the overseeing of our offshore banks, but for the image we cultivate in other areas.
For example, it must not be seen that, for thirty pieces of silver, a beach can be converted into an exclusive, or a window to the sea closed to the public. There is no difference; all is selling the family silver for a morsel of cou-cou.
The incident of commissions of enquiry being set upto uncover wrongdoings; the accusation of corruption by Government and quasi-Government officers and nobody eventually brought to justice; the Auditor General uncovering wrongdoings apparently to no avail – all add up a conjuring not of the acceptable kind.
My friends tell me that that cannot happen here, that we are assessed differently. But if we feel that we are holier than the next country, think again!
We must consider the IMF’s concern about CLICO as a shot across our bow that we need to heed, althoughthe pronouncements of the IMF should not be made in a public forum.