by Afra Raymond
Sad to say, this CL Financial bailout is resembling a situation in which well-connected persons are getting what they can, any way they can, but making sure not to get caught. Who were the beneficiaries of this lavish payout? What is this reluctance to release details?
That is the Code of Silence in effect.
I was not at all surprised at the reported statements of the Minister of Finance, Larry Howai, on the 22 July 2015 High Court judgment ordering him to provide the detailed information I had requested on the CL Financial bailout. The High Court granted a 28-day stay of execution and the Ministry is reportedly in consultation with its lawyers, claiming that “A decision will be made within the period of time allowed by the court,”. The article closed with this quote –
“…Finance Minister Larry Howai said in the statement it should be noted, none of the requests refer to “how over $25b was spent in the Clico bailout”…”
Given that the very request was for the detailed financial information which has been deliberately suppressed since 2009, it is of course impossible to say with any certainty just how much Public Money was actually spent on this CL Financial bailout. That is the inescapable fact at the center of this scandal. The Minister’s tautology is really a powerful explanation of this point.
The fundamentals are that Public Money must be managed and accounted for to a higher standard than that which applies to private money. That is the accepted position in terms of good practice in public administration. Larry Howai is a qualified accountant and was a career banker before his appointment as Minister of Finance & the Economy. I do not accept that Howai is unaware of these standards. We are entitled to a full and detailed accounting of how this vast sum of Public Money was spent…
… continue reading this article at Afra Raymond’s blog: CL Financial Bailout – The Hidden Truth
The Code of Silence Rules…
The CL Financial bailout seems to be entering its end-game, with repeated claims from the Minister of Finance that the recovery of the $25 Billion of Public Money spent is now on the cards. The consistent failure or refusal to publish any audited accounts and my ongoing research are telling. We are witness to yet another ‘Plot to Pervert Parliament’, this time it is the biggest project to ever hit this country. The CL Financial bailout…
… read the entire sorry truth at Afra Raymond’s CL Financial – Bait & Switch
Afra Raymond chats on the show ’Forward Thinkers‘ with David Walker on 104.7FM, dealing with the CL Financial bailout and my lawsuit against the Minister of Finance to get at the detailed information as to how the $24B in Public Money was spent. 24 October 2013. Audio courtesy More 104.7 FM. Listen here.
Programme Date: Thursday 24th October 2013
Programme Length: 0:45:41
“In my view the failure and or refusal to account for the colossal and unprecedented expense of the CL Financial bailout is indicative of a ‘Quiet Coup‘ against our Republic. I am deliberately borrowing Simon Johnson’s potent phrase, used to describe the coup of Financial Capital against the USA published in a fascinating and essential article from The Atlantic. The fact that two successive administrations have remained bound to these arrangements and the low priority given to transparency and accountability in this matter all speak to the potency of the plotters.”
Afra Raymond gives ’em hell with The Treasury Scandal
At least Trinidad and Tobago has a Freedom of Information law!
What is being pursued here is our right as citizens of a modern republic to the details of these huge expenditures of Public Money – the CL Financial bailout is costing some $24Bn, about $3.5Bn USD! – and the background to how critical legislative support is obtained. It is my view that S.34 was not the first time and that the spectre of ‘regulatory capture’, which underlines much of the discourse around the Great Depression 2, is in fact founded on a sinister degree of ‘legislative capture’.
Having had a series of ‘cat and mouse’ exchanges with the Ministry of Finance since my Freedom of Information Act application made on 11 May 2012, this is my pre-action protocol letter sent to them by my attorney on Thursday 7 March, seeking their proper reply in 7 days…that time expires at midnight today, Wednesday 13 March.
So stay tuned, because we are going to the High Court after that…
CL Financial bailout – without rhyme or reason
by Afra Raymond
The last month or so has spoilt us for choice when it comes to amazing scenes being witnessed in relation to the CL Financial bailout and the ongoing Colman Commission.
As I wrote in July 2010, in criticising the appointment of Jack Warner to the Cabinet –
“…We need to be mindful of the relationship between morals, ethics, law and of course, that scarce commodity, good sense. Obviously, law is the paramount authority, because we live in a republic ruled by laws, not men. No one should break the law and there are penalties for doing that.
But we also know that in life we make many important decisions without referring to any laws. Those are sound decisions, which form norms, eventually described as custom-and-practice or culture. There are many acts, which are at one and the same time both deeply offensive to right-thinking people (and I think that most people are right-thinking) and in breach of no particular law. Many acts, with no need for examples, since this is a newspaper any child could pick up and read…”
Attorney Seenath Jairam’s serious lapse of judgment…
The main talking point was the decision of the Law Association President, Seenath Jairam SC, to accept the Ministry of Finance brief for the Colman Commission after the dismissal of Michael Quamina and Fyard Hosein SC. Apart from our friendship, Seenath Jairam is an attorney in whom I have utmost confidence in these areas. That said, his acceptance of that brief was a serious lapse of judgment, since in my view a leader cannot behave the same as the ordinary members of an association. A leader who is unable to realize that his role demands unique sacrifices will soon exhaust his supporters’ loyalty. Continue reading
“It is a wonder that you are continuing to write these articles Mr. Raymond. Have you received any pressure to stop? If only our Bajan journalists had your integrity and courage.”
Barbados Free Press reader WSD comments on Afra Raymond’s article CL Financial bailout “a major failure on any scale”
In response to a reader’s concern for his safety, journalist Afra Raymond replies:
I am going to continue on my course, this is an epic crisis, being the single largest episode of corruption in our region’s history, so it is essential that the few of us keep on informing the public and agitating for Economic and Social Justice in this matter.
I am independent enough to maintain these efforts – no one is ever absolutely independent in our small societies – and it is a painful reflection in this, our 50th year of T&T’s Independence, that our leading institutions, academies and thinkers have remained resolutely silent in the face of this tidal wave of ‘commesse’ and ‘bobol’. It does make me wonder what was the ultimate purpose of all the sacrifice of our foreparents who struggled for liberation from colonialism, education and self-determination. What was that all for?
It is a disturbing measure of the depth of the corruption in all the western democracies that so few of the main players in this global meltdown have actually been imprisoned, but that is an issue for another column in this series.
My rallying call is –
SILENCE IS THE ENEMY OF PROGRESS!
Thanks for your support