Daily Archives: April 16, 2010

CL Financial Shocker: “10 to 15 cents in the dollar available to pay claims”

“We also read recently that former CL Financial chief, Lawrence Duprey, had taken steps to limit the information he was required to furnish to the liquidator of CLICO (Bahamas) as to his private assets, allegedly acquired with CLICO funds…”

… Afra Raymond’s latest article talks about who’s going to get screwed in CL Financial/CLICO bailout. A small clue: Lawrence Duprey is doing just fine, thank you!

Our friend Afra Raymond is responsible for much of the good and aggressive reporting and commentary about the CL Financial & CLICO scandal. At BFP we’ve done some research ourselves and we even discovered a Florida company that was previously unreported in the news media, yet appears to be linked to a fraudulent CL Financial company real estate transaction in Florida. (See BFP’s article: EXCLUSIVE REPORT BY BARBADOS FREE PRESS: CL Financial Group Collapse – Insiders Took Bribes To Have Company Purchase Land For More Than Market Value!)

That said, we have to comment upon how absurd it is that blogs and part-time citizen journalists like Afra and BFP are often the ones taking the lead in covering this ongoing financial scandal. I mean, how absurd is it that bloggers discover CL Financial company connections that the regular news media is unaware of? Something is wrong there, folks!

Here’s Afra’s latest effort that appears on his blog under the title Ten to one is Murder!

The CL Financial bailout – Ten to One is Murder

A Kaiso title for the Election season.  And yes, we are told that CL Financial will rise again.  The picture is even more clouded than a year ago and the rumours abound

The latest developments are –

Press conference of 24th March – Following a front-page Express story, on the impending lawsuit by Justice Carlton Best to recover his $57,000 CLICO deposit – see I want my Cash at the Trinidad Express – the Governor of the Central Bank held a press conference that very day to tell us that those waiting for the return of their deposits would have to hold strain. See Delay your Redemptions at the T&T Guardian.

The further shocking news, after all the emphatic official statements that the group had good assets, was that if those were liquidated there would only be 10 to 15 cents in the dollar available to pay claims.

Now how could that possibly be the case? How are we to reconcile these conflicting accounts of the situation with CL Financial’s assets?  Is it that they are fully-pledged, over-pledged, or is there actually any ‘headroom’ within which the taxpayer can have a chance to recover the huge sums advanced so far?  Which is it?  Please note that this is not an isolated situation, as shown by another threatened  lawsuit from a former Attorney General of Guyana for the recovery of over $500,000 from CLICO – see Kaieteur News Online Former Attorney General threatens to sue CLICO Trinidad.

Post-Cabinet Press Briefing – The Minister of Finance confirmed the Governor’s position to the media the next day, as reported in this paper – T&T Guardian Clico Policy holders be patient.

In that article, the Minister is reported to have affirmed, again, that “…“The CL Financial Group had sound assets that were valued at more than $100 billion…”  Both the Governor and the Minister took steps to recover their own funds before the group’s financial troubles were public knowledge and that sits awkwardly, in the public mind, with their current appeals for patience.

Dr. Euric Bobb – At a Central Bank press conference on 31st March, resigned as Chairman of CLICO and as a Director of CL Financial, of which he was the Chairman, until his resignation late last year.

Governance – His statements as to the poor governance at CLICO, the leading company in the CL Financial group, were astonishing, to say the least – see Governance was an alien term in CLICOat the T&T Guardian. No reconciliation of the company’s bank accounts.  No audit committee.

Those are serious shortcomings in the basic accounting and governance controls in any company.  For one which had investment as its centrepiece, those are shocking.  They give the impression of unprofessional and haphazard management of a significant part of our nation’s savings.  They detract from the reputation of the CL Financial chiefs.  Surely these shortcomings found their way into the Management letter from the Auditor to the Board and Shareholders?  Was the Central Bank aware that these elementary controls were absent?  Even if there are serious shortcomings in the financial procedures at CLICO, are we not entitled to rely on the Supervisor of Insurance or Inspector of Financial Institutions to resolve those in favour of the investing public?

continue reading this excellent but shocking article at Afra Raymond’s blog

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Icelandic volcano eruption intensifies. Many European airports to remain closed on weekend.

List of Airport Closures as of Friday, April 16, 2010 4:12pm EDT

BRITAIN – English airspace is closed until 0000 GMT Saturday. Limited flights from Scotland and Northern Ireland operating until 1800 GMT Friday. British Airways said on Friday all flights into and out of London would be canceled on Saturday. No further details of flight plans were available on BA’s website.

… from the Globe and Mail article List of airports shut down by ash cloud

Impact upon Tourism

“Tourism crises have a knack of occurring from the most unlikely causes in the most unlikely places. Many tourism professionals could be forgiven for finding it difficult to imagine that the eruption of a volcano in the relatively isolated island nation of Iceland could wreak the immense havoc on global tourism which has been experienced over the past few days.

Not since 9/11 (2001) have so many aircraft been grounded in as many countries as we are experiencing in mid April 2010…”

… from an excellent ETN article by David Beirman, Senior lecturer in Tourism at the University of Technology-Sydney The Tourism Industry Implications of the Eyjafjallajokull Volcano Eruption

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism