CLICO, CL Financial disaster: Leroy Parris has no shame

UPDATED: March 11, 2011

Leroy Parris suing CLICO (and by extension, all CLICO victims)

Earned $80,000 MONTHLY, with ANNUAL BONUS & HIDDEN FEE!!!

Guaranteed $10 MILLION GRATUITY!

Former PM David Thompson signed 2005 SECRET CONTRACT – kept it secret from the Oversight Committee he later appointed as Prime Minister!

Oh what a foul bucket of suck-well this is. Leroy Parris billed CLICO for “consulting services” through an “independent” company and kept that contract secret from shareholders and other company employees. He collected millions while presiding over the destruction of people’s savings and lives. Leroy Parris and his gang destroyed widows’ houses and robbed children of their future while Parris made more in a month than most folks see in many years of hard labour. And Leroy Parris knew it was all a sham, a house of cards that he helped to construct.

People go to jail for less in other countries.

But this is Barbados. David Thompson, the same lawyer who helped set up the CLICO employment contract in 2005, received secret “campaign donations” from CLICO and Parris. After Thompson was elected Prime Minister, CLICO got land use approvals and Thompson had the use of the Clico executive jet.

Then when the CLICO – CL Financial house of cards came tumbling down, Thompson fought off judicial management of the company, appointed some toothless “Oversight Committee” without real authority or power to do anything, and gave Parris a nice job in charge of the Caribbean Broadcasting Company – managing what news the public heard about the CLICO debacle.

Prime Minister David Thompson knew about the secret agreement because he witnessed and signed it. He probably set it up as Leroy’s lawyer. Then years later when the “Oversight Committee” that Thompson appointed couldn’t find any contracts with Parris, Thompson stayed silent to protect his friend and himself.

Oh what a bucket of SHITE and it’s spilling everywhere…

BFP readers are asked to click on the links in our story to read the article Parris suing CLICO at The Nation, but we’re going to reprint their entire article here to protect our source as The Nation sometimes removes articles to change history and we can’t have that!

Parris suing CLICO

From The Nation March 11, 2011 – 12:10am

LEROY PARRIS, former executive chairman of CLICO Holdings (Barbados), earned over $80 000 in salary and perks monthly and was guaranteed a whopping $10 million in gratuity by the company.

In addition to a $30 000 monthly salary, he was also paid $300 000 a year as a bonus payment and another $300 000 yearly for providing management services.

The details were disclosed in High Court writs filed late last week by attorney-at-law Michael Yearwood on Parris’ behalf, claiming a total of over $10 million from CLICO Holdings (Barbados) and CLICO International Life Insurance.

Parris’ job contract, which a Government-appointed special Oversight Committee said it could not find any evidence of during its investigations, was signed and witnessed on May 15, 2005, by David Thompson, the late Prime Minister, former CLICO Holdings president Lawrence Duprey and current CLICO Holdings Barbados president Terrence Thornhill.

The agreement was between CLICO and Parris’ company Professional Financial Services Inc., which stated that the former executive chairman would perform the duties of chairman and or chief executive officer of the insurance company and its affiliates.

In one of the court documents, Parris claimed that CLICO Holdings breached his contract when they failed to pay him the $10 million gratuity payment by May 15, 2008.

According to the writ, to date Parris received about $3.5 million from the company starting with a payment of just over $3.5 million in January 2009 and four payments of $30 000 each last year, the last being paid on November 24.

Parris has also brought two separate court actions against CLICO Holdings Barbados for failing to pay him yearly bonus payments and for the provision of management services during the period 2008 to last year.

According to him, the company should have paid him over $750 000 in each case for breaching his contractural arrangements.

The former executive chairman has also taken legal action against CLICO International Life Insurance, claiming over $3.5 million for three personal policies which matured between November 2008 and December last year.

When contacted about the latest developments in the CLICO saga, William Layne retired Permanent Secretary who headed the special Oversight Committee set up by Government, described the disclosures in the writs filed by Parris as “shocking”.

“We [Oversight Committee] never got access to any contracts between CLICO Holdings and any of the companies, including CL Financial Limited or Professional Financial Services.

“When we asked for contracts we [Oversight Commitee] were told there was no evidence of any contracts,” Layne told the WEEKEND NATION yesterday.

“The parent company [CLICO Holdings] indicated in an email they could not find any contract. Maybe now the court would examine the contract(s) and determine what is payable, if any,” Layne added.

The court action brought by Parris against his former employer follows an on-going investigation into the sale of 800 life policies by CLICO International Life Insurance during the period of his chairmanship.

Here’s our original story, first published March 6, 2011…

Dear Barbados Free Press,

After presiding over one of if not the worst breach of trust and fraud ever perpetrated upon Bajans, after the results of his “leadership” that left old people without their savings and our children paying for his actions for generations – former CLICO head Leroy Parris is threatening to sue for his promised bonus payments for his “leadership” at CLICO.

Jesus wept.

The man has no shame!

Now that his protector, former Prime Minister David Thompson, is gone if there is any justice in the world Leroy will be forced to answer questions about what he knew, when he knew and how much personal money he and his family and friends took from CLICO when he saw the collapse coming but was telling the rest of us that everything was “no problem”.

Prime Minister Stuart had better listen if he wants a hope in hell of the DLP being re-elected: Not one more dollar for Leroy Parris.

signed, Me: MAD AS HELL!

BFP readers are asked to click on the links in our story to read the article Pay Push at The Nation, but we’re going to reprint their entire article here to protect our source as The Nation sometimes removes articles to change history and we can’t have that!

Pay Push (The Nation, March 6, 2011)

FORMER EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN of CLICO Holdings (Barbados) Ltd, Leroy Parris, has threatened legal action against the company.

According to well placed sources, lawyers representing Parris, who retired as head of the embattled company last year, have sent a letter demanding bonus payments owed to him that are estimated to run into several thousands of dollars.

When reached, Clico Holdings president Terrence Thornhill refused to comment on the matter.

Sources also stated that Parris had also requested payments for a number of matured policies which he recently surrendered to the company.

Parris also declined to comment when reached yesterday.

It is believed the bonus payments which Parris is requesting are as a result of accumulated percentages from policies sold by CLICO International Insurance Limited and CLICO International General Insurance Limited, both subsidiaries of Clico Holdings, which he chaired until the time of his retirement last May 31.

This latest development comes on the heels of an ongoing investigation by police into the sale of 800 life policies by CLICO International Life Insurance Limited (CIL).

Former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, William Layne, had charged that CIL under Parris’ directorship had contravened a 2009 order of the Supervisor of Insurance prohibiting the company from selling new business.

Layne, who headed a special Oversight Committee set up by the Government to supervise the sale of three of CLICO’s subsidiaries, also complained of difficulty in finding contracts between Parris’ company Professional Financial Services and CLICO Holdings’ regulated subsidiaries.

Parris came under the committee’s radar after withdrawing more than $250 000 in deposits from CLICO Mortgage & Financial Corporation. Another payment of over $876 000 was paid by CLICO to another of Parris’ companies, Branlee Consulting Services.

Prior to his retirement, Parris had said he would have worked with managers and agents to ensure CLICO’s survival, but his departure came weeks ahead of a planned July date when on May 27 he announced his quitting the company.

His departure has also left unanswered questions, including the size of his salary and benefits from the company of which he became the face in Barbados.


Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

60 responses to “CLICO, CL Financial disaster: Leroy Parris has no shame

  1. RRRicky

    To the DLP: Wunna listen to the nasty mood of the country on this one.

  2. bajankidd

    For real, I was glad for the change, but a lot of things still need changing. That man needs locking ta france up. I hope that leaders of countries in the region take notice of what is happening in Northern Africa. Just because you may have ‘lorded’ over people for 14 years, 30 years, or even 40 years, and stealing as you went. It doesn’t mean that we the people won’t find out.

  3. rasta man

    When is he going to face charges?

  4. All of them steal old people money and land , sold to people over seas ,the Banks knew very well clico had no money to backup what they were doing, foolish bajans invested in clico who promise large interest,now these have no where to turn. They all must go to jail ,MADOFF and STANFORD now wish they were from barbados ,only in barbados you can steal people money and land and go free. undertakers also thiefing church going undertakers.

  5. Mac


    The people already know but what are the people going to do about it?

  6. Harry

    Truly beyond belief.
    Is his head so far up his own backside he can’t understand what is going down?
    The local policyholders need to form themselves into a committee, let their voices be heard and start suing the management, auditors and actuaries who were running and advising this Ponzi scheme.


    This is a joke nothing happens to these big boys in Barbados. The small men go to jail. Check the police raids small stashes of drugs one or two firearms, no one has been locked up for large imports of drugs.

    So you can be sure no one will take the fall on this one. Oh the things this man knows and the stories he can tell. Uh tell wunna nutting aint going happen not a boy gine fall.

  8. watcher

    story of the year 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2104, 2015 and beyond….nobody who should be dealing with it wants to.

  9. Grabbler

    Integrity my foot,they must answer dead or alive bring the files.

  10. Johan Frederick

    I’ve said this and I’ll say it again, Leroy Parris and all his minions should be put in jail. Madoff in jail, Stanford going on trail, and will very likely end up in jail for the rest of his life, he can’t even get bail now and he is not convicted yet, and in Barbados the executives, politicians, lawyers, and auditors, are still walking around on the outside, while poor people can’t get their money back; Leroy Parris should hide himself before he make such statements in the press. NO SHAME! Have all the politicians in his pockets. What a shame on Barbados in the International market. OECD should really downgrade this country, is only for the unjust treatment of it’s poor citizens.

  11. Stealth

    This is the epitome of GREED.

  12. Johnny Postle

    Can someone help me. Why is it that when you call CLICO about cash surrendering your policies the agents are giving you the impression that all is well with the company and that cash surrendering will leave you vulnerable since you will no longer have any coverage. HELLOOOO CLICO!!! YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY INSURANCE COMPANY IN BARBADOS. However the CLICO scandal has indeed put a bitter taste in my mouth and I am not so trusty of insurance companies anymore. Can anyone point me to a good investment that will provide me with insurance and returns on my investment. Do not want to be giving giving giving without getting getting getting. I WANT SOMETHING BACK FOR PAYING IN ALL THIS MONEY AND NOT HAVING TO WAIT TILL I OLE IS FRANCE TO GET BACK SOMETHING.

  13. Beefcake

    Absolutely nothing will happen.

    When the government can rewrite the laws to select their hand-picked Chief Justice, it shows the contempt the government has for law and justice in this society.

  14. Justice101

    Leroy Parris is an egotistical jackass . How can such an idiot reach the position which he held . This man can not string three words together without using a word in the wrong context or making some other grammatical blunder. He once told an office employees at Texaco that he liked his coffee decapitated,told employees at Clico that he built another entrance to the car park so they could leave,called Clico office berating the employees because as he said “I called here and I was put on held, I do not like to be put on held ” and many other foul ups.He had David Thompson to protect him . Is Mr Stewart going to do the same or do the right thing

  15. Grabbler

    Ya get a guarantee from Government under former prime minister and some talk from the Cental Bank, tell ma what else do you expect peoples.

  16. rasta man

    @Grabbler .I expect my money !!!

  17. finga (London)

    Check out the man in the daily paper with one of his ‘friends’. people in Barbados really think something is going to happen? Get with the programme. When you going down the politiicans dont dare be photographed with you, ask Stanford.

    So I done wasting my time on this and I going and drink my cup of tea

  18. IF all the thiefing that is going on in barbados was going on in jamacia? all those thiefing crooks would have to run and leave they big houses and cars long ago,they ass would be so hot.

  19. joyjoy

    Two legacys Thonpson dead and left us with: Clico and Riannah.
    Clico in a mess, bare lies and fraud hidden and the public fooled and i can’t get back my $1500. Then Rianna our “cultural youth ambassador’ or what ever bout dey behaving slack exposing she self and now got all the ministers that living saying she can do no wrong and dat we should embrace she.
    Bottem line – fix what you can fix while you are alive.

  20. TRICKED!

    It is enlightening to finally see the salary one was paid monthly, plus yearly bonus. It is also revealing that after hearing from the highest that the company was sound, it really wasn’t.

    It is also enlightening that we heard job #1 was prices at least that mandate has been fulfilled, in every sector prices have been raised, healthcare, road tax, land tax, water bill, light bill, phone bill, food and the final nail VAT.

    Yet I have to pay more tax out of my travel allowance which cannot even pay my insurance, gas or maintenance on my car. I cannot claim for mutual funds, it makes little sense putting my $2.00 savings on the credit union and I paying more NIS.

    All I can say is job well done, bravo, hurray!

    Tricked once, not again.

  21. Donald duck

    Why was he guaranteed a $10 million gratuity? Why does he think he should get paid out for his policies when others have to wait?

  22. Sayed

    So this is what our late great prime minister was up too. Wow, they really robbed those poor people who invested in clico over a large portion of their life.

    People looking to retire, live a nice life now, Can’t because david thompson, leroy parris and any other cronies took all the money they invested Wow.

    For shame. They stole thousands of people’s money, and will not see a day in prison or have to pay it back.

    That jet used to fly multiple times a week. Pilots/jet fuel/hangar costs, parking fees in other airports, handling fees. All paid for by clico investors, teachers, laborious and other hard working people. This is unforgivable, how can black people do this to one another after how hard we’ve struggled? How can we rob one another?

    We black people should be flourishing because no where else in the world and no other race should be as kind to one another and willing to help one another after all we went through before.

    And he has the balls to come ‘sue’ for the rest of his money and laugh in peoples face and be untouchable.

  23. rasta man

    God does not like UGLY in more ways than one and He does not sleep

  24. Sayed

    he ain’t sleeping, but he ain’t doing for us, what we know we now have to do either.

  25. George

    POLICE- ?

    On and on – no change.

  26. Green Monkey

    This is unforgivable, how can black people do this to one another after how hard we’ve struggled? How can we rob one another?

    There has been some recent news reports and commentary on the web about some research in the area of psychology that shows about 6% or so of the population have psychopathic tendencies or can be diagnosed as actual psychopaths. That means they have no ability to feel normal human emotions such as compassion, empathy for others etc., although they can mimic an outward appearance of having these emotions.

    These psychopaths also seem to have a natural ability to manipulate people and to cause people to let down their normal defenses and to place trust in them. Because of this ability to charm and invoke trust and because they tend to be at the same time naturally ruthless as they are not inhibited by the human emotions which make psychologically normal people not want to intentionally cause harm to others, these psycholpaths have a tendency to rise and be over represented in positions of power and influence in different fields of human endeavor such as business, politics, and the military.

    One of the defining works on this topic is a book by a Polish psychologist
    Andrej Lobaczewski called “Ponerology, A Science of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes.” Much of his research and writing occurred during the cold war in communist run Poland, but even after the collapse of communism it appears he had some trouble getting his book published because the implications of what he was saying were so troubling.

    NB: Ponerology is the study of evil (used previously mostly in a theological setting).

    Here is a snip from an article about the book:

    Like a color blind man incapable of distinguishing red from green, a small minority of the human population cannot experience or fully comprehend the normal range of human emotions. And like those color blind who may conceal their condition by using the correct words while not understanding their meaning (e.g., the top traffic light is “red”, the bottom is “green”) – so does this minority conceal their condition by playacting an emotion’s exterior signs (facial expressions, exclamations, body language).

    However, they do no(t) actually experience the emotion in question.

    Their deception is revealed in the laboratory, where they respond to words like DEATH, CANCER, DISEASE, as if they were DAY, CREAM, or PAPER. They lack the ability to comprehend the emotional “punch” that certain words contain. They use others’ emotional reactions as cues, and they adjust their behavior to portray the correct ‘emotional’ behavior. (Hare, 129-30)

    These individuals are known as psychopaths.

    Not only can they not feel the pain of others, they often seem to deliberately cause others pain. Lobaczewski refers to this disorder as an “essential psychopathy” to distinguish them from others with deficits in their genetic/instinctual endowment, essential psychopathy being the most severe and disturbing.

    Many so-called “antisocial individuals” acquire similar characteristics in their life-time, whether caused by brain damage to certain areas of the brain, or functionally, because of close contact with and influence by such individuals. Lobaczewski terms such individuals characteropaths. The vast majority of both these groups cannot change.

    The acts that we call evil (especially on a macrosocial level) can be traced back to this deviant minority of human beings and the effects of their actions on their family, friends, and society.

    You can find more by googling terms like Ponerology, study of evil, psychopaths etc.


  27. rasta man

    @ Anonymous.Wow those are fighting words . wonder how come they were allowed.

  28. Lady Anon

    I had actually refrained from commenting on this whole CLICO mess mainly because I had a CLICO policy in 1990 for all of 3 months – the “agent” turned out to be a con-man and I never trusted the company again.

    However, in reading this story and the other stories in the print media, I can only conclude that Mr. Parris needs to be sharing a cell with Bernie Madoff.

  29. BFP

    Hi Rasta Man,

    The words weren’t allowed here a BFP and I doubt they would be allowed many places. It’s too bad that some folks spoil it for others by not using a bit of common sense. The first part of the message was alright…

    “I read the nation thing briefly..

    the bit that really amused me is the bit …..
    “In addition to a $30 000 monthly salary,
    he was also paid $300 000 a year as a bonus payment
    and another $300 000 yearly for providing management services.”

    Wasn’t his salary for being a manager???
    Or was that just so he’d show up for ‘work’ some mornings??
    he’s as bad as the Wall St. high rollers who got jailed,
    but this dude will never see one day in a Police Station cell, far less at Dodds.
    He RIGHT to fleece idiot Bajans.

    This is the kinda sh*t that causes revolution
    except Bajans are to quiet.”

    But then the writer crossed the line. Too bad

  30. Notunusual

    I have not read all the comments but IF Parris was to get this award of 10M despite his failure to warn the public of the impending problems, then it would be in order for a Class Action suit to be taken against him for farud and rank incompetence, misleading policy holders.
    This has been a very bad mark for the way it has been handled to date and I agree that the Govt must now make sure everything is transparent or bear the consequences.

  31. marlo Ray

    There is no leadership when it comes to the CLICO issue and many other issues in Barbados. David Thompson was too rapt up in it to provide it and F Stuart seems afraid of himself. Whenever i see or hear him I am reminded of the quote, “There go the people, I must follow them, for I am their leader.”
    (Alexandre Ledru-Rollin, 19th Century French politician)

  32. Mobert

    @marlo ray, you have hit it out of the park with that quote…brilliant. Clico issue will lose the DEM’s the election.

  33. Just Asking

    Was Clico a Ponzi Scheme?

  34. Just Asking

    When Parris sues Clico. Is he indirectly suing the policy owners who have invested in this/his company?

    Only in Barbados.

    This is why certain Caribbean states refuse to join a CCJ. If this was Trinidad heads would be rolling from top to bottom, and we Bajans laugh at T&T.

    What is the Prime Minister doing about all this?

  35. rasta man

    @just asking :
    What prime minister???We have a PM?

  36. Mobert

    Which sounds best?

    a) PM Thompson

    b) PM Sinckler

    c) PM Estwick

    d) PM Henry

  37. fundameltal

    Ahhhhh. This is happening in Judeo-Christian Barbados. It must be the Judeo-Christian morals and civilisation that caused Judeo-Christian Leroy to fleece these Judeo-Christian people with the direct help of Judeo-Christian Barbados’ late great Judeo-Christian Prime Minister.

  38. rasta man

    @fundameltal..To me nothing to do with Judeo-Christian. Just Greed!

  39. johan frederick

    fundameltal; its’ nothing to do with judo-christian or islam, it’s all to do with GREED. just look at the north african countries that’s putting their leaders out, have you read the amount of money they have stack away, and they are not judo-christians. Human nature GREED and more Greed. So Leroy Parris is only living to GREED, and what he was allowed to do by our politicians. But I do agree he should be in jail.

  40. shelly mayers

    leroy parris should be, shame after stealing so much money from clico and use it to buy a plantation, now wantin to sue he could only want stoning, shameless doggg

  41. Liberal

    Parris is too arrogant,egotistical,ignorant,and greedy to understand or even care about the debacle that is CLICO.Bajans bought into the lies and innuendo Thopson fed them.Now you see the man as he really was.He knew about the contract yet kept totally silent.Parris belongs in jail.He has no shame OR concience!He is a disgrace!And to think that he has been reappointed to the CLICO Boards!Every bajan knows that he is an uneducated jackass and no other bajan could reach where he did on his background,neither would he as CEO employ anyone in a top position with his lack of qualifications.
    Thopmson as P.M.treated the people of Barbados with contempt over this whole sordid nasty matter.
    Can anyone say what is happening to the properties CLICO purchased in Miami?

  42. Laughing

    I agree that Parris should be locked up and the key thrown away etc, but I have noticed something. While people concentrate on Parris, I believe a lot of it is envy, because a lot of pepople who speaking would do exactly the same as he did if they got the chance. What? You only went to school for a lil bit and you get to rob a bunch of intelligent and some ‘super’ intelligent people? Of course most people who saying Parris is shameless and arraogant etc only vex cause he ignorant and he trick them.
    But, forget that, I came to give a dose of reality. The people who put deposits into CLICO were driven by the same GREED. Where in heaven’s name ’bout here could CLICO invest your money and earn at least 16%? Think about it? For CLICO to guarantee you 8% they would have had to be earning twice as much. I mean we all knew about Parris’ lifestyle, some of you may even have envied his illiterate a_ _ living so big. So think about it. Either he was earning big big bucks or CLICO was putting him up in a big big house. You telling me no one stopped to wonder who/what company was paying his bills? Please!!! Most people figured if he could do it, I can too!!!!
    But lets leave that alone! To me the proof that the problem is this particular man getting the better of bajans, is the fact that British American for even longer than CLICO was literally tottering on the precipice (lol the building in Bishop’s Court Hill is proof in more ways than one) and none, not one of these astute financial whizzes said anything to attempt to ‘protect’ policyholders. But because Parris as an uneducated man, got the better of their peers (note CLICO was audited by one of the leading practices) they jump on top of his case and did not see (and still pretending not to see) the British American tsunami coming.
    So while we spend so much time raving for Parris’s blood, stop and reflect on the ‘real truth’ that GREED is everywhere throughout this issue.

    Parris and cronies GREED and penchant for collecting and spending other peoples’ money

    The depositors GREED for 8%

    The agents GREED for more commission

    The politicians GREED for 8%…LOL

    Some politicians GREED for campaign contributions and some trying to stop others getting their contributions

    The regulator(s) GREED in drawing salaries and doing nothing

    The regulation system’s GREED in constantly giving CLICO a clean bill of health

    The financial experts GREED in hoping CLICO fails and they get to pick up prime real estate for nothing

    The financial experts GREED in hoping that Leroy fails so they can take their rightful place as the real crooks, since they are educated.

    The bajans who want back their deposits so GREED can help them put the money back into the next GREED scheme which comes along.

    Like I said at the beginning, may Parris rot in jail, but on reflection, Parris is merely exploiting a weakness that is inherrently built into our society and more importantly a weakness which we revel in and by our own actions, constantly augment.

  43. Harry


    It should be perfectly possible to have gotten a return of 8% if you were willing to tie up your money long term.

    Clico was regulated by the Supervisor of Insurance, audited by PwC – there were internal and external actuaries employed, part of whose responsibilities are to ensure that the investment returns match what needs to paid out and to price the products accordingly. The policyholders were entitled to think that their investments were secure.

    Now the shit has hit the fan, the self-same advisors and management, who have failed so unutterably miserably in the duties they were rewarded so handsomely for, are busy hiding under the couch. In fact the miserable audit partner who signed off a clean set of accounts and then had to recall them, proof positive he had no idea what was going on, was appointed to the Oversight Committee. From his comments, Mr Parris seems to have no understanding of how a life company should operate. He ran it like a Ponzi scheme – new investors to pay out the old.

    The policyholders are sitting back, grumbling amongst themselves, frightened to speak out. Unless they get their act together and start applying pressure in the right directions, this is what is going to happen :

    Judicial Manager reports;
    Full extent of liquidity problems and bad investments exposed;
    Massive Government subvention ruled out as in these harsh economic times;
    Clico wound up;
    The lawyers and liquidators move in and demand their enormous fees for disposing of the remaining assets;
    Late 2020, policyholders receive 20c in the $.
    Good luck to you all – keeping quiet was really the way to go.

    Anyhow, it all pales into insignificance in the light of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan. My prayers for the Japanese people.

  44. rasta man

    Said it before the policy holders need to get together and file a class action suit against the companies before it is to late.or someone may get hurt .

  45. rasta man

    @laughing: Surely it is not GREED if you wanted to maximise your return and invested your penson funds in a company which was supposedly viable

  46. Green Monkey

    The Corporate Drive for Power over Society : Citizen Psychopaths


    Beginning late in the last century, corporations established themselves in law as “natural persons,” a brilliant maneuver that gave these huge, globe-straddling giants the same rights as individual citizens. They, of course, are anything but. Citizens live and die; corporations under current laws live forever. Citizens have wide-ranging responsibilities that are the other side of their entitlements. Corporations are by definition “limited liability” citizens whose CEOs and board members are effectively beyond the reach of the law for the crimes they regularly commit.

    They didn’t arrive on the planet like this. We made them what they are through legislation and court decisions and we can, if we choose, undo what we have done. It wouldn’t be easy, but if we never imagine it, it will never happen.

    Twenty to 25 years ago the world entered what John McMurtry, professor of philosophy at the University of Guelph, has called the cancer stage of capitalism: “Prior to the 1970s, capitalism had been compelled by the ‘communist threat,’ workers’ movements, and a new electoral accountability to adopt preventive measures against its own internal pathologies.” McMurtry refers to this system of social reforms and democratic responsiveness as capitalism’s immune system. But with the advent of a new political consensus amongst the global elites — the Washington consensus of privatization, deregulation, tax cuts, free trade and cuts to social programs — we have witnessed the explicit dismantling of that immune system. All of capitalism’s “pathologies” have been liberated — symbolized by the phrase (and the movie) “greed is good.” The revelations about the financial industry and the behaviour of its principal actors show how far the cancer has progressed.

    Natural selection

    UBC professor Robert Hare, one of the world’s pre-eminent experts on psychopathology, has written (see his book Snakes in Suits) about how the new capitalism and its ruthless advance has actually created a home for what he calls “sub-criminal psychopaths.” When corporations want tough, brilliant “leaders” to help them compete and offer almost limitless wealth and power as a reward, they attract psychopathic personalities. Who better to lay off thousands of employees than someone incapable of feeling empathy or remorse?

    But if the newest crop of CEOs contains a goodly number of psychopaths, the organizations they lead were already and remain constitutionally sociopathic. Not only do these so-called “citizens” live forever, but they are prevented by law — their fiduciary responsibilities to their shareholders — from taking into consideration the good of society, their employees or the environment. The public good must be subordinated to the profit motive and the drive to increase shareholder value.

    Of course, corporations are supposed to obey the laws in these areas. But while it is in the interests of real flesh and blood citizens to obey the law because otherwise they would invite social chaos, it is the interests of corporate citizens to break the law. This is so obvious that there is even a body of corporate legal theory that promotes law-breaking if it leads to increased profits. Two University of Chicago law professors, Frank Easterbrook (also a judge) and Daniel Fischel, wrote over 25 years ago that managers should break the law if it is profitable, and if they get caught they should simply treat the ensuing fine as a cost of doing business. They weren’t just talking about fines for double-parking their trucks. They were talking about fraud, corruption, pollution, price-fixing, occupational disease, and bribery — all “externalities” on the road to making a profit. This theory has dominated American corporate thinking for two decades. (my emphasis /GM)

  47. A. Azore

    If nothing else, news concerning Mr. Parris’s doings never make for dull (and certainly not comfortable) reading. His latest shenanigan, as reported in the Press, suggests that, if nothing else, he has a tremendous — some would say, overweening — sense of his own importance; and perhaps, also, of his invulnerability.

    Understanding and unravelling the underlying motivations for this in-your-face (read ‘crass’) egotism lies in the province of God and the various denominations of psychological and psychiatric currency — and not necessarily in that order, either; but what his latest reported conduct certainly indicates is a person so thoroughgoingly consumed with his self and his perception of his own importance that he has become utterly devoid of common human decency, ruth, or shame. Such a person really is a liability to himself and his country.

    With the best will in the world — not to mention the best ‘spin’ of the best spinmeisters (read highly paid professional liars, also known variously as ‘public relations consultants’ or ‘political strategists’, but all sharing a common lack of conscience before the altar of Money) — it must now be clear to all but the most purblind or intellectually dishonest that the late leader of the present Administration was more than a little culpable, whether by tacit approval or active consent, in this increasingly sordid CLICO debacle.

    It would also seem to be that Mr. Parris is so confident that the incumbent Prime Minister will continue to shield CLICO, and therefore him, from the consequences of his increasingly blatant and arrogant misconduct that he feels no need whatsoever to at least appear to have some vestige of conscience or sense of ethical propriety.

    Now, unless the man is a bigger fool than one is entitled to credit him, one is naturally led to the conclusion that he either possesses some stick which he is able to wield over the supposed Powers that be, or else has some carrot of such great value that these same Powers are loath to face the one or abjure the other. One wonders as to the specifics of either or both.

    Over the years the ordinary people of this country have suffered the Bank of Credit and Commerce International debacle, the Trade Confirmers cock-up, the Plantations Group demise — from which the CLICO group benefitted handsomely with, among other spoils, FIVE of this country’s largest and best agricultural holdings — and several other less well known collapses from combinations of fraud, mismanagement and peculation. Various inquiries have been held into some of these matters, at great public expense, but to date NO ONE has ever been detained even for one day in H.M. Prisons.

    The real question before us now, is not whether or when Mr. Parris will succeed in recovering the moneys claimed by him, but the same question which many are asking concerning the billionaire THIEVES on Wall Street whose insatiable greed engineered the collapse of the global financial system: Why has no one, save Mr. Bernard Madoff, seen the inside of a penitentiary as a long-term resident in part payment for the immeasurable destruction and misery which they have wrought upon the lives of trusting investors even as they continue to flaunt their dissolute, high-profile, fabulously pampered lifestyles?

    And the next question follows naturally upon the former: How can anyone reasonably expect the poor and powerless of this country — which is to say, the faceless MAJORITY of its citizens — to retain what little confidence they still have in the Government or its Judiciary, when alongside of stories of the likes of Mr. Parris and company hobnobbing with the local ‘power suits’ one sees only drug peddlars and small-time thieves getting jail time but none of the fat cats or big rats?

    Successive DLP and BLP administrations have had more than ample time and opportunity to put in place the requisite regulatory and judicial safeguards against these sorts of malfeasances. That none has done so speaks strongly about their oft-touted concern for the ‘masses’, as well as strongly suggests who are the real powers (read ‘puppeteers’) behind their five-year thrones.

    May God HELP Barbados!

  48. Laughing

    @ Harry…you are speaking like the proverbial ostrich.

    The point is lots of people in this system are corrupt. Anybody notice that PWC did a semi retraction of their financial statements? You speak as though the system is perfect.
    CLICO’s EFPA line was not the kind of long-term low risk underlying asset portfolio which you hold for a 20 year horizon. It was based on the gains in mainly property transactions. This process by its very nature is very speculative. Look at the Florida swamp property, wasnt that speculative?
    We can use the example of Warren Buffet who will buy a security based on a sound corporate entity or group (believe me he does his due diligence homework) to hold it for an extended time and literally sit on it. CLICO was in no way doing this. They were riding the gains which are built into high risk high gain mainly speculative transactions. So trust me when I say it was GREED it was GREED.
    Which other sound financial institution was selling products based on a sustained 8% ROI? Yes people were driven by the need to maximize but unless CLICO was working majic I couldnt see (and yes I was introduced to the product) how you could get an 8% return if you were operating in the same financiial environment as the other FI’s in Barbados. Look at the EFPA purchase graph if you can. Companies in Barbados are allowed to invest a maximum of US$1/4 million per quarter outside of Barbados. Given the limited financial products in Barbados’s system , I posit that anybody with an inkling of financial knowledge would have known that CLICO would have to be making investments through intercompany transactions. That would be the only way, given the maturity dates and the sales period for these investements. There was no sustainable way to earn the kinds of returns in Barbados necessary to pay 8%.
    I naturally fear intercompany transactions of that magnitude. The kind necessary to invest a $1/2 billion in deposits.

  49. Laughing

    Oh by the way.

    Stop jumping on the bandwagon. These people are not policy holders they are deposit holders.

    See Mr. Layne (some people may even say bless Mr. Layne) in the Sunday Sun. The traditional policy portfolio is intact.

    And to put it into perspective, several of the CLICO sales agents are now working at the other main insurance company…would you hire people who peddled a lie? Or like Harry said, maybe the actuaries, auditors and others in the system’s clean bill of health had convinced the agents too.

  50. Harry

    @ Laughing

    You have convinced me.
    The deposit holders (excuse me) are all greedy bastards.
    Well done to Leroy Parris and his professional advisors for ripping their backsides off.
    My position is now in line with Government thinking and I thank you for putting me straight.

  51. rasta man

    I hope the agent who sold me a policy is sleeping well at night!!!

  52. Bonjour

    I was offered this product by an agent and thought it too good to be true so did not take the risk with my hard earn money that I had put aside for my kids education. Now why should my taxes be used to bail ou greedy people who could not ask another opinion before taking the chance. my regular insurance policies are safe. i do no support bailing out those who bought the flexible policies (EFPA). It was a gamble they took an lost. I should not be penalized for your ignorance.

    if one feels Govt failed to effectively regulate he company hen the Govt should be sued. just remember that these EFPA were approved when the BLP was in office and Owen Arthur had respondsibility for insurance companies in Barbados. i heard Owen Arthur today seeking to distance himself, but he is not without blame. He was there when it started and was responsible for all regulatory matters then. David Thompson if he was alive would have had to resign for his follies and obvious deep involvement.

    Leroy Parris is clearly not a very intelligent person either. he should have packed his bags and disappeared for a while. Whatever happens to him there is no sympathy on my part, may he rest in peace. and he shold be fired as Chairman of CBC.

  53. Redman

    Marlo Ray,
    I agree with you only to say that Mr. PM will need some assistance as leader to follow the crowd as he is blind.

  54. Big Dawg

    Leroy Parris aka Barbados’ Burnie Madoff – He want jail just like Burnie and everything taking away

  55. shelly mayers

    he should be shame thief all the people money and invest it in a lotta shit, now talkin bout he suin he ass want lockin up just like madoff

  56. Rosalie

    Because he has a contract which is legally binding, Mr. Parris is entitled to his money. But he has no conscience. The thing is even if he did not or does not get back his money from policies and investments in clico his exorbitant salary will more than compensate for his losses. God indeed does not like ugly, Jesus cared about the poor and does not like to see them being disadvantaged. Life is strange and whatever a man sows he reaps – the thing about this statement is that the tree grows bigger than the seed that is planted.
    Another thing CLICO probably gave money to both political parties, but i believe that owen would have handled it better and I am not a BLP supporter. In fact, I do not really fancy politicians. if people were to hear them talk among themselves (am i am one of those who have) you would really see how they think about the people who vote for them as opposed to those who fund their campaigns.

  57. rasta man

    @Rosalie :Have you seen the contract? Only an idiot could sign a contract to pay Mr Parris his money in full even if he Parris terminated it early. (Signed as well by the late PM .Mr David Thompson by the way)
    Let Mr Duprey pay him the money from the millions he has in Florida.

  58. Pingback: Sir Hilary Beckles should dump the ‘Sir’ in protest of the CLICO scandal. | Barbados Free Press

  59. Thanatos

    It is inconceivable that former Prime Minister Thompson did not know of all the financial shenanigans surrounding his client Parris. It is further inconceivable that DT’s widow, who is now the sitting member of parliament for St. John, was not in the loop as to all this. Yet she is a member of Parliament. Only in Barbados you say? Shameful!