Daily Archives: July 18, 2012

Debt Tsunami drowning Barbados: Standard and Poor’s downgrades to junk status

When big fat chickens come home to roost

by Nevermind Kurt

Remember the $200 million Barbados borrowed for Cricket World Cup? Remember all those international loans in the last fifteen years? $20 million here for sugar, $30 million there for a housing study, $40 million for alternative energy, $100 million for a sewerage treatment plant that was never built, and on and on and on and on. Remember all that?

Remember the mismanaged big and small projects where the costs ended up in the stratosphere? Remember Dodds Prison, the gazillion dollar washroom built by Liz Thompson’s husband, $100 million for a useless dump at Greenland?

Remember all that and so much much more? What do we have to show for it all now?

We’ve got nothing to show for it, except a huge debt chicken that just came home to roost.

Standard and Poor’s downgrades Barbados to BB+/B

Central Bank Governor Dr Delisle Worrell is all upset in the papers that Standard and Poor’s doesn’t see the economic outlook the way that he does. That’s him above in the “No Hope and No spare change” poster.

Worrell says that S&P has it wrong and that their decision to downgrade our investment rating to junk status is not based upon the facts. Then Worrell makes a statement that is so outrageous that we have to wonder if he wasn’t doing some crack cocaine before the press conference. He said…

Worrell said that Barbados was in control of its own affairs “precisely because we manage and we live within our means.”

He summed up the performance and prospects of the Barbadian society, noting that the economy was stable and that “we are living within our means.”

… from The Nation Governor surprised by downgrade

“Living within our means” ? !!!

When did this “Living within our means” start? Yesterday? Under both the DLP and the BLP it has been a continuous orgy of borrowing and spending for at least 15 years… and for all the money we borrowed our priorities were cricket parties and fancy consulates. We didn’t use the money to build infrastructure or even maintain the old infrastructure to acceptable standards.

Instead, we spent insanely on outrageous social ideas like two million dollars on lawn tools to put ‘the boys on the block’ into business. Yup, that worked out just like everybody knew it would. Just like when Owen Arthur made Barbados ‘partner’ with Nigeria to build solar water heaters. Nigeria? What was the man thinking? What did Arthur the economist think was going to happen when Barbados ‘invested’ a couple of million on a Nigerian business deal? Then nobody changed the oil in the buses – we’d much rather replace entire engines than change oil! That’s the workplace culture fostered under our glorious Owen Arthur leadership.

The man should get down on his hands and knees and beg forgiveness for the debt he left this country in – and how he and his government squandered the good years. Continue reading

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