Daily Archives: May 12, 2010

Horizon Helicopters for an unforgettable Barbados adventure!

Nothing compares with an air-tour of Barbados

You haven’t experienced the beauty of Barbados until you have seen our island from the air. By “from the air” I don’t mean the last 5 minutes as your jet lands at Grantley Adams airport. That is nothing compared with a half an hour of slow and low flying around the island in a helicopter. You see sights you’ve never seen before even if you’ve lived here all your life.

For my birthday I treated myself and a friend to a helicopter ride with Horizon Helicopters.

I was nervous at first never having been in a helicopter, but the flight was smooth and within a minute I was enjoying the view. When we took off it was like a fast elevator. The pilot was friendly and explained what was going to happen so nothing was a surprise.

For me, the majesty of our rugged Atlantic East Coast was the best. For my friend it was seeing the house where she was born and the gully and places where she and her cousins played as children.

It was worth every dollar and I would like to repeat the experience every year for my birthday. I highly recommend a ride with Horizon Helicopters to all my friends.

… received as an email from a BFP reader (name withheld by request)

Horizon Helicopters – Barbados

The following is taken from the company website at http://www.horizonheli.com

Horizon Helicopters is a licensed Commercial Air Transport Operator, certified to ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) global standards. We offer a wide range of helicopter services to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.

Based at the Barbados Concorde Experience Facility, Grantley Adams International Airport, Barbados, Horizon Helicopter’s mission is the delivery of safe and efficient helicopter services to the region.

We specialise in corporate and VIP transfers between the Grantley Adams International Airport and selected sites on the island’s prestigious West Coast.

We also conduct exclusive private luxury helicopter sightseeing tours, and if there is one thing you should do while you are in Barbados is to see our beautiful island from the air!!

 We can also meet any other needs you may have for helicopter services. Our key management has several years’ experience in the offshore oil and gas industry, and we have facilities for offshore aviation support services as well as access to specialised intermediate and medium lift helicopters for offshore support.

TEL/FAX: (1) 246-228-6822
SKYPE: horizon.helicopters
email: info@horizonheli.com

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism

CLICO stupid question #1 “Where were the politicians and business leaders when this was happening?”

Peter N. Boos asks “Where were the politicians and business leaders when this (Clico mess) was happening?”

That’s easy to answer in the case of now Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson…

Barbados Prime Minister Thompson was lawyer for CLICO when they failed to file financials for 13 years! Then as Prime Minister he bailed them out with your tax dollars.

While CLICO and its associated companies cooked the books and failed to file legally-required financial statements for 13 years, David Thompson was CLICO’s lawyer. Mr. Thompson and his law firm represented Clico and Leroy Parris in many of the transactions that are rightly questioned by the poor victims.

There. That was pretty simple, wasn’t it?

This excerpt is from The Nation newspaper article The Rise and Fall of Clico by Peter N. Boos

“To simplify it, the post Cyril Duprey leadership of CLICO took the company on a journey that no well-regulated and properly managed insurance company ever can or would take.

Investments of insurance companies funds are regulated by law and are there to protect the people to whom the funds are owed.

In CLICO’s case, insurance funds, held in a fiduciary relationship for pensioners, policyholders and depositors, were used to invest in high risk asset purchases, many of which made little or no returns.

Sugar plantations and other distressed real estate in Barbados being glaring examples.

Interest rates promised to depositors were well above normal commercial rates offered by banks or other insurance companies.

This financial model is not a viable equation for any business far less for an insurance company. Policyholders, depositors and pensioners of insurance companies expect prudence, low risk, high security and integrity from their insurers and their managers.

They also should be able to place confidence in regulators to ensure compliance.

Yet this was allowed to happen right under the noses of the financial regulators across the Caribbean. Why did this happen? We must find out.

Where were the politicians and business leaders when this was happening?”

Also see…

The Nation – Mia Mottley: Leroy Parris should repay CLICO


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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption

Memories of CLICO: John Mauldin, Michael E. Lewitt and The Death of Capital

Profligate – definitions 1 & 2:

1 : completely given up to dissipation and licentiousness

2 : wildly extravagant

Most of us ordinary folks never seem to have the time, education and family guidance to become interested early enough in global economics or in global anything. It is our nature or nurture to think only locally. We hold an item in our hands in the village retail store but we do not wonder or even know that the same item from the same factory is sold all over the world at widely differing prices. And we never consider that the price can be thought of in money, in time or any number of other methods of quantifying and comparing value.

The cost of a shovel: not as simple as you might think

In New Jersey I can buy a good quality shovel with my pay from one hour of work as a welder. North of Mumbai that same shovel from the same factory is only half the price in US dollars – but it now becomes a week’s worth of work for a welder.

Why is that? How does money work? If I can’t really understand the pricing of a common item like a shovel, how can I understand what just happened in Europe where it looks like the world is arranging another bail-out for irresponsible spendthrifts and crooks – this time the profligate Greeks?

How do all these give-aways and bailouts impact a person of ordinary means living near Grape Hall, Barbados?

What should I do with my modest income, and even more modest savings and investments? How should I plan the next five years to put my family in a stronger position when nobody knows what financial storms are just over the horizon?

These are not calm waters for anyone and many, indeed most, of those talking heads in government and on TV who offer financial advice appear to be the same ones who caused this mess.

An Old Friend…

An old friend recently sent me a piece from John Mauldin’s Outside the Box financial column at Investors Insight.com.

The article is called The Death of Capital and is a mix writings by Mauldin and Author Michael E. Lewitt. I’m not sure that I understand it all or most of it. I don’t know what a “Structured Investment Vehicle” is or why Lewitt is calling for them to be banned but I get about 90% of the article and it boils down to this quote…

“What Adam Smith pointed out more than two hundred years ago is equally true today – our society, fed by the media, worships wealth at the expense of other values that are far more important to a cohesive and healthy society. The entire mission of The Wealth of Nations was to try to recognize man for what he is – a social animal who is reliant on the good opinions of his neighbors – and to develop the optimal economic system to harness that human essence for the good of all mankind. Smith believed that system was a free market, and history has by and large proven him correct. But the United States has strayed from a free market model to a system that privatizes gains and socializes losses.

All I could think of was CLICO & CL Financial

The profits that were taken from the company by Leroy Parris, Dupris and friend Prime Minister David Thompson are theirs.

The losses? Well… those losses are on the backs of you, me and our children and maybe the next couple of generations.

Privatized profits. Socialized losses.

That is what Thompson, Parris and the rest of the CLICO clan are doing to you and to me.

Further reading

BFP April 16, 2010 – CL Financial Shocker: “10 to 15 cents in the dollar available to pay claims”

Ian Bourne’s Bajan Reporter: CLICO Unplugged: An Insider’s Perspective

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption