The implications of Taiwan’s vulture fund strategy against Grenada

By Tim Fernholz   Taiwan’s Export-Import bank is using the toolkit developed by so-called “vulture funds” to sue Grenada in US court for failing to make good on a loan. The Export-Import Bank of the Republic of China loaned the island country of Grenada some $28 million between 1990 and 2000, but it has stopped making payments on the debt, leading S&P to consider it to be in a state of selective default. Grenada is paying creditors who worked with it to restructure its debt after two hurricanes, but the Ex-Im bank has refused to be part of that process. … Continue reading

The Caribbean after Chavez

Seventeen countries of the Caribbean face a heightened period of economic uncertainty now that Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, has died. Twelve of the 17 Caribbean countries are members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). They have become highly reliant on their oil supplies from Venezuela on a part payment-part loan scheme, called Petro Caribe, without which their difficult economic circumstances would be decidedly worse. Of the $14 billion worth of oil that Venezuela provided under Petro Caribe to the 17 dependent countries up to last year, $5.8 billion constituted long-term financing. Cuba is the principal beneficiary but, in per capita terms, … Continue reading

The ministers are named – Senators awaited

by Lloyd Noel The clean-sweep Political Leader and now Prime Minister of our Tri-Island State, has since the victory appointed his Twelve Ministers of Government to take control of the Nation’s Administration – for as long as he sees fit in the months and years ahead of his party in power. Up to the time of writing this Article Last weekend, only four Senators had been sworn in for the Upper House of Parliament – so it is hoped that by the time you are reading this, the Senate appointment will be in place. One or two of the Ministerial … Continue reading

America and the global economy

by Brian Francis Once again, the United States of America has found itself in the middle of an immense battle to reduce the country’s growing Federal budget deficit that now stands at $1.045 trillion. The battle over what is being referred to as “sequestration” is simply the automatic reduction in public expenditure by some $85 billion that would arise if Democrats and Republicans are unable to reach a compromise on ways to close the budget deficit. The problem in America is that everything to do with the economy is being driven by economic ideology and political philosophy simultaneously. The Democrats, … Continue reading

‘Trust me on this one’

by George ‘Umbala’ Joseph   “Cry My Beloved Grenada, Cry.” Or Forward Never, Backwards Ever. Will the real owner of Grenada turn off the lights before he, or she leaves – please! You see, a whole lot of people in Grenada behave as if they own the place! In truth, and in fact, they only work here; but they don’t know that, and nobody seems to have the courage to tell them that they are pushing Grenada back to the fifties, when King Eric bought his first, black prefect motor car and ran a ribbon from the bonnet to the … Continue reading

An IMF lead in Jamaica: Will other Caribbean countries have to follow?

Jamaica’s harsh experience with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to get a new $750 million loan, signals equally harsh conditions for many Caribbean countries in the not too distant future. The burden of the tough conditions placed on Jamaica by the IMF falls entirely on the Jamaican people and Jamaican businesses. Under a National Debt Exchange Offer (NDEX), Jamaican holders of Government debt instruments are expected to exchange such instruments for new ones that, in some cases, will have a lesser value and in all cases will mature over a longer period at reduced rates of interest. The NDEX was … Continue reading

The results is no surprise – only the size

The majority of the registered voters in our troubled State spoke very decisively on Tuesday 19th February – when they returned the New National Party (NNP) and Dr. Keith Mitchell back into control of the nation’s affairs, with a whitewash victory at the Polls. But for one reason or another, or a combination of reasons – the number of voters for the two major parties, and the few individuals who contested Island-wide, the figures showed over Ten Thousand Registered Voters did not vote. Whatever the reason or reasons for those stay-away citizens decisions of not voting, they alone know them … Continue reading

Rallies are over – Now the reality

The build up to February Nineteenth was fun and fete and liming – and with the very clear decision later on the same night, from all the Fifteen Constituencies – our people and the winning party are now faced with the reality in the years ahead. The responses from around the Islands are varied, as far as the size of the victory is concerned – but most people are in agreement that the NNP was the expected winner, although they thought the NDC would have picked up a couple seats. We were all proved to be very wrong, and for … Continue reading

In the Ring – a Commonwealth Secretary-General’s memoir

(On 26 February, Sir Ronald Sanders was invited to launch, “In the Ring”, a Commonwealth Memoir written by Sir Donald McKinnon, former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth (2000-2008), at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London. This article is adapted from Sanders’ remarks.)   No Secretary-General of the Commonwealth has an easy time. Building consensus among countries large and small, rich and poor, black and white is extremely challenging, and, in the course of it, Secretaries-General are not only referees, sometimes they become the punching bag. In this context, Sir Don McKinnon’s Commonwealth Memoir is appropriately titled: “In the Ring”. The book is … Continue reading

Building economic confidence

In an era of increasing globalisation, the financial and economic performances and prospects of economies throughout the world will forever be closely connected. This is particularly true in relation to countries’ main trading partners. A cursory look back at the effects of the 2007/2008 global recession proves that point without ambiguity. Hence, when the global economy is booming, the potential for rapid expansion in the flow of goods, services and other financial assets increases dramatically and many countries are likely to experience higher economic growth rates and lower levels of poverty, consistent with theoretical expectations. In times of recession, the … Continue reading