Wuss Ways was in Toronto

Wuss Ways performing in Canada

Wuss Ways performing in Canada

Coming from a truly successful Carnival Season in Grenada, LIME’s artistes Wuss Ways (Lil Natty & Thunder) were invited to Canada as guest acts for the 7th Annual Grenada Day Festival in Toronto.

The Grenada Day Festival is the largest annual summer celebration of the culture and people of the island of Grenada, and its sister islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique hosted in the diaspora.

The event is held in collaboration with the Consulate General of Grenada in Toronto and the festival has grown rapidly with crowds doubling every year.

The LIME endorsed duo made their debut at the festival and Canada giving a high energy, quality performance to the crowd.

The duo’s performance was described by Trisha Mitchell, one of the organisers as pulsating. The patrons waved flags, rags, dusted the air with powder and even occasional tree branch could be spotted as their signaled their readiness for the performance to come” explained Ms. Mitchell.

It was hard to believe that this was the duo’s debut appearance at the Festival, and their first visit to Toronto. They commanded the stage and the crowd present with a confidence that was astounding for folks so young, commented another patron.

The LIME endorsed duo performed in excess of 10 songs including a new release called ‘Decency’ carded for the 2014 season.

Since entering the soca scene, the popularity of their music has grown by leaps and bounds, quickly becoming known for their witty lyrics, infectious beats and high energy choruses.

The Toronto festival in the past saw performances by other LIME endorsed artistes and partners such as Tallpree, Ajamu and more.

LIME extends best wishes and congratulations to the duo as they continue to represent the LIME brand and carry Grenada’s culture to Grenadians residing outside of the country.

“Long Live Ma Bish”

by Brian Lindsey

 

Ma Bish did not give up not one blade

Of her grass nor a single grain of her salt

In her extraordinary challenges during the last 40 years…..

 

Mrs. Alimenta Bishop, “Ma Bish”, as she was affectionately called by many including my mother, Gemma Lindsay was a lady of tremendous courage, dignity, and valor, who gracefully held her head high in her extraordinay challenges in the last 40 years.

It’s very true to say that she did not give up a blade of grass nor a grain of her salt in her many difficulties during the last 40 years. Ma Bish was defiant to the end, a lady with a rear substance which was very substantial but who was very spirited.

She was someone who found the time to make people laugh especially during her challenging moments during the last 40 years of her life.

As it was the case on the morning of the 24th of December 2010, when I visited her before I left for work. The occasion was her birthday, her 96th birthday. As I strolled through the front door of her house, saying good morning, I proceeed to her room saying good morning to Ann, her daughter who was in her room in close proximity.

Mrs. Bishop was lying on her bed surrounded by Carrol, one of the Nurses, and Elizabeth, one of the caretakers. I said to her, “Happy Birthday Ma Bish, I wish you health, strength and long life”.

She said, Thank you Brian, and while loooking in my direction, she added, ” More long life again”. The room immmedately engulfed with seroius laughter including Ann who was close by.

With such great humour I left for work. I was told that during the day Ma Bish repeated several times, “More long life” each time with laughter.

Ms. Alimenta Bishop was born on the 24 – 12 – 1914 and died on the 24 – 08 – 2013. She was laid to rest on the 30 – 08 – 2013, she was 98 years.

Mrs. Bishop was married to Rupert Bishop and together they had 3 children – Maureen, Ann and Maurice Bishop who was our country’s second Prime Minister. The children’s father, Rupert was killed on the 24th of January 1974, a day in our histroy known as Bloody Monday.

Ma Bish lived for 39 years after she buried her husband, which makes the same amount of years Maurice lived for here on earth. And 29 years since the cruel end of the life of Maurice Bishop, our former Prime Minister, and his Cabinet colleagues at Fort Rupert.

Ma Bish lived for 2 1/2 times the life span of her son, Maurice. She has gone to a better place where she will meet some of the persons she really loved dearly, Jesus Christ who we know lives, Rupert, her husband, Maurice, her son and Valdimir, her grandson.

I feel very privileged to be part of your family’s journey for as long as I could remember. A few of the high points were the triumph of the March 13th Revolution of 1979 and the renaming of the Point Saline International Airport ( PSIA) to the The Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) on the 29th of May 2009, by the National Democratic Congress Government of Mr. Tillman Thomas.

The low points were the execution of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and his Cabinet collegues and friends on the 19th October 1983. Also not being able to bury his remains to this day – 30 years after that dark day. The struggle continues in that regard.

I will miss you too Ma Bish and I can safely say all the nurses and caretakers and all your friends in the community. But your memory will be around for generations to come.

May your soul and the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace. (R.I.P). Long Live the memory of Ma Bish.

 

Sir Paul: Reagan ‘saved Grenada’

Sir Paul Scoon, who was Governor-General of Grenada in 1983 when US troops intervened to put down a violent rebellion by extreme leftists said former President Ronald Reagan’s actions saved Grenada from ‘certain chaos’.

Sir Paul has since written his memoirs and he described the uprising in which Prime Minister Maurice Bishop was assassinated by members of his own government as the ‘six day rule of terror’.

Speaking from his home in Grenada, Sir Paul told BBC Caribbean Service that former President Reagan who died on Saturday was “very near to his heart”.

“I remember him as a man who really saved us from chaos when he agreed to send troops to Grenada,” he said.

“Fortunately his men came then or else I think more and more Grenadians would have been killed. They came and established peace and the return of democracy, a democracy which we now enjoy.”

Sir Paul said that the intervention had the backing of the heads of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), as well as the Barbadian and Jamaican leaders.

I think he’s one of the greatest US presidents and a great world leader.

He said the general feeling that the only way to “stop the rot” was to have an outside force as the Caribbean forces were not sufficiently capable.

As Grenada’s only constitutional authority, it was up to Sir Paul’s to seek assistance from the Americans.

The intervention was criticised by a number of countries including the United Kingdom. Grenada was a colony of the United Kingdom and still has the Queen as its head of State.

“First of all it was not an invasion because Ronald Reagan came to Grenada on invitation; invitation by me and invitation by the OECS territories,” he said.

“As Governor General, I owed no allegiance to the British government; I owed allegiance to the British crown.”

He said that he ignored the criticism from the international community, and when he eventually met with former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher some years later, she never even mentioned the issue.

“When you look at the end result, even the British people will now think it’s a good thing the American and other Caribbean forces came when they did,” he said.

Sir Paul met former President Reagan in 1986 when he paid an official visit to Grenada.

He said he was touched by Mr Reagan’s warmth and charm, and described him as a “humane character”.

“He came and there were some 42,000 Grenadians saying thank you to him at Queen’s Park, one of our large playing areas,” he said.

“At one time when he saw the attitude of people along the streets, waving their flags, I think that there were tears coming from his eyes.”

The former Grenadian head of state said he believes that the intervention was right and he is prepared to defend former President Reagan’s decision to the very end.

“I think his men really saved us,” he said.

“I think he’s one of the greatest US presidents and a great world leader.”

 

(Reproduced from an article done by the BBC in June 2004)

Taxes, safety and living with the cruise lines

By David Jessop

 

Something interesting is happening in the US Senate’s Commerce, Science and Transportation committee. There in recent months a crusade has been underway to try to have the cruise ships that ply the Caribbean and the seas of the world, pay tax, become safer and be subject to greater US regulation.

After a period during which the reputation of cruise lines have been tarnished by events including the sinking of the Costa Concordia, a fire on the Royal Norwegian’s Grandeur of the Seas off the Bahamas, alarming reports in the US media about onboard crime and other incidents, and criticism of the industry’s legal but aggressive tax avoidance measures, the cruise companies now face a new form of censure.

Following hearings in which the cruise lines did not acquit themselves particularly well, Senator Jay Rockefeller, the Chair of the US Senate Commerce Committee, has introduced legislation seeking to eliminate the tax exemption that the cruise industry enjoys and to provide for consumer protection.

The Senator’s proposed legislation aims to tackle the minimal levels of US tax the industry pays on its billions of dollars of profits, achieved by registering their vessels in the Bahamas, Panama and Liberia. His objective is to eliminate some of this exemption by imposing a five per cent excise tax on the lines gross income if passengers embark or disembark from a cruise ship in a US port.

Senator Rockefeller also aims to improve consumer protection for cruise passengers and close gaps in cruise reporting requirements relating to passenger safety and security by having the Federal government afford greater protection to cruise ship passengers, and by making publicly available details of all crimes committed on cruise ships.

The legislation comes in response to a growing sense in the US that the cruise ships not only pay minimal taxes but the normal safeguards expected by US consumers relating to hygiene, safety and security either do not exist, are not legally enforceable, or are obviated by the small print in the cruise lines contracts of carriage.

For its part, the Cruise Lines International Association has responded by releasing details of what it and its members are doing to be more proactive, and individual lines have begun to publish details of shipboard incidents and are agreeing to meet the often huge costs of the US Coastguard and other emergency services following at-sea incidents.

How far Senator Rockefeller’s legislation proceeds remains to be seen, as does the level of support it receives from other committees, but an army of lobbyists has begun work to halt the bills.

That said, these are all issues that the Caribbean governments and tourism industry should be following closely as they touch issues that are of as much relevance to the region as to the consumers who use the cruise lines.

This is because, like it or not, the cruise industry has become of significant economic importance to the Caribbean, with around 17.5m of the total 25m visitors to the Caribbean in 2012 arriving for a day by sea. Since the economic downturn began in 2007/8, cruise tourism has experienced a significant growth in popularity, in part because cruise vacation is seen as offering value for money in a manner only otherwise available through all-inclusive hotels and packaged vacations.

As a consequence the Caribbean, the closest point to the world’s largest cruise market, has become and is expected to remain, the dominant cruise destination in the world, hosting the leading share of the cruise industry’s capacity.

Despite this there is a still pervasive sense that the cruise lines use the region and leave little behind.

Although statistics vary as to the economic benefits the cruise lines bring, the industry suggests that in 2013 the region will account for around 37 per cent of all global cruise itineraries and receive on average a spend of around US$96 per passenger and crew member or US$225,596 per typical cruise ship port-of-call. Other estimates suggest less.

While these sums and the taxes paid by cruise ship passengers arriving in the Caribbean are minimal in comparison to what land-based travellers spend, the reality is that vast numbers of visitors are gaining their first impressions of the Caribbean from one-day stops on board cruise ships.

The commercial challenge for the region, therefore, is to develop programmes such as those in the Dominican Republic that actively try to convert cruise visitors to taking a future vacation on land, and to attract the cruise lines to home port in the Caribbean.

Although the cruise companies sometimes seem to be their own worst enemies by being less than transparent or forthcoming, a better relationship between land and cruise based tourism is long overdue, as are effective programmes to capitalise on the numbers of visitors they bring.

That apart, there are other, more fundamental concerns requiring attention. These include the manner in which the cruise companies play one destination off against another to reduce levels of taxation on cruise visitors; are less than keen on home porting, local employment or provisioning in the region; are active politically in a low key way to ensure their interests are protected locally; and are, at times, less than environmentally sympathetic.

This is not to suggest cruise ships do not have an important role in Caribbean tourism, nor is it to take the position of those who oppose their business model or presence. Rather it is to point to a need for better regulation, transparency, and proper understanding at a policy level in the Caribbean of the broader economic and commercial implications of cruising.

It is also to argue for more thought and debate about finding new ways to sustainably integrate cruise tourism into regional economic development.

Cruising brings much needed revenue to the Caribbean region. Senator Rockefeller’s interest in greater regulation illustrates well that a significant part of the Caribbean economy and tourism product lies in the hands of a group of poorly regulated and taxed external entities that need to become more locally accountable and better integrated into the way in which the rest of the Caribbean’s premier industry operates and thinks.

 

(David Jessop is the Director of the London-based Caribbean Council)

 

Tribute to Sir Paul by Dexter Mitchell

Although inevitable, death still has a way of numbing, of depressing, of humbling, of being the great equalizer.

Over the past several months Sir Paul Scoon was not enjoying the best of health and although one was prepared for the inescapable the passing of such a stalwart is still dismal and disheartening.

Every end provides an opportunity for reflection and at the same time a new beginning. Sir Paul’s passing gives one pause and the chance to reflect on the true meaning of service. Not the selfish service that presently pervades our society or the kind of service that comes aligned with blind political allegiance, but rather a service to country that is unwavering, patriotic, unapologetic, steadfast, while managing to be stately and diplomatic.

Sir Paul exemplified all of the above and more, not only as Governor General of Grenada, but also as a loyal and devoted citizen of his place of birth who believed in his obligation to give back, to serve and to do so with the courage of his convictions.

The story of Sir Paul’s tenure as Governor General is well documented in his richly informative publication Survival for Service. How Sir Paul survived the political labyrinth during his fourteen years of Governorship is one of the miracles of modern-day Caribbean politics.

From Gairy to Revolution to Intervention to Interim Government to Braithwaite, Blaize and Ben, Sir Paul remained resolute, remained respected and was able to leave office on his own terms, when he thought he had given enough to country through the Office of Governor General.

Growing up in the rural village of Clozier, St. John it was always a momentous occasion at our home when Sir Paul would visit. My Grandfather with whom I resided in those early years was the uncle of Sir Paul and so the visits were frequent and somewhat informal.

However, Sir Paul’s demeanor and consular charisma always brought with them an air of circumspection even during the casual and light moments.

His retirement provided even more outlets for service that included several Boards and a staunch and devoted commitment to his Catholic faith.

In recent years he had become, counselor, consultant and advisor to Grenadians from all strata of society and even when ill-health restricted his physical mobility, a phone-call and quick appointment made Sir Paul easily and readily accessible to all who sought his words of wisdom, encouragement and knowledge.

When I was confronted with personal problems of the highest degree it was Sir Paul who advised that I stand up to the challenges of life and do not attempt to run away, because it was impossible to run away from one ’s self.

The other significant lesson I learnt from Sir Paul was the importance of being courageous enough to believe in something and to be able to defend and stand by that belief.

In a society where popularity is bought by agreeing to and accepting that which is not necessarily correct but fashionable, it is the mark of a great man that he lived a full life, standing by his decisions, even the unpopular ones, served his Country with all his God-given strength and earned the respect of those who admire and appreciate virtues such as selflessness, courage and service.

Sir Paul may your soul rest eternally in peace, secure in the knowledge that your beloved Country, Grenada and all the lives you have touched are all better off because you were here.

NNP says no more refund for CXC students

The six-month old New National Party (NNP) administration of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell will not adhere to the CXC Refund programme that was implemented by its predecessor, the Congress government of Tillman Thomas.

Congress had implemented the CXC refund programme during its four years in office geared at motivating students to meet their full potential and to reward success.

Secondary School students who obtained eight of more CXC subjects were promised full refund of fees paid to sit the exams.

During a sitting of Parliament last year, former Education Minister, Franka Bernadine disclosed that Government had budgeted $149,000.00 for the refund of students’ fees but more students than anticipated passed more than eight subjects.

She also said that although not all students had received their refunds, the monies were being processed for 19 secondary schools on the island.

The then Education minister pointed out that $169,000.00 was paid out in refund to successful students in 2011.

However during the weekly post-Cabinet briefing on Tuesday, new Education Minister Anthony Boatswain informed the media “that (the programme) was a policy of the previous government (NDC) that was never adhered to and we have not made that commitment”.

“We have not made any commitment to refund students who passed eight subjects,” Boatswain told local reporters.

In a clear and precise statement, Minister Boatswain pointed out that as far as his administration is concerned they did not implement the programme because the Tillman Thomas Government never adhered it (the policy to repay the students).

“…It was not (implemented), it was something said and never adhered to, so we not going (to adhere to it), we not following that there, making promises that we can’t fulfill,” he said.

When asked about the students who would have achieved the required passes this school year and was promised their refund under the Congress government, Minister Boatswain said, “I do not know, I would have to go back to Cabinet for determination of that one”.

The Education Minister announced that the Keith Mitchell government is now prepared to live up to its commitments to five of the Island’s top Scholars.

Boatswain acknowledged that Government has had problems in meeting its commitment to the five island scholars of $65, 000,00 each per year under the scholarship agreement.

“That was not paid for some time, it created some serious problems and we have agreed as a Cabinet that those island scholars who are attending the University of the West Indies (UWI), we would put them on what you call the Economic Cost List, which is 80% of their tuition that would be covered under the Economic Cost and therefore government will meet the additional 20% tuition,” Boatswain explained.

The senior government minister felt that this arrangement could ease the burden of the island scholars.

In addition, he said that Cabinet agreed to pay $2 million to UWI in outstanding fees to the institution to enable students to continue their education for the 2013-14 academic school year.

 

Bilateral trade balances are irrelevant

Brian FrancisFor quite some time, Grenadians, and indeed most CARICOM citizens, have agitated about their respective countries’ trade imbalances with Trinidad and Tobago. Although articulated at various levels of CARICOM, this concern may not be as troubling as it appears. Why?

The trade balance measures the difference between a country’s exports and its imports with the rest of the world while the bilateral trade balance measures a nation’s trade balance with another specific nation. The question is: Which balance is more important for Grenada – the overall trade balance, or the bilateral trade balance with Trinidad and Tobago?

From a macro-economic standpoint, the answer to this question is the overall trade balance. This balance is linked to a nation’s saving and investment. Specifically, national saving is equal to the sum of a country’s level of domestic investment plus the net capital outflow (a measure of the imbalance between the amount of foreign assets bought by domestic residents and the amount of domestic assets bought by foreigners).

On the other hand, the bilateral trade balance has no such relationship with national saving and investment. Indeed, it is possible for a nation to have balanced trade overall or even a surplus, and still have a large trade deficit with a specific trading partner.

To put this into simpler perspective, consider the following anecdote by eminent economist and Nobel Prize winner, Robert Solow. He explains the irrelevance of bilateral trade balances by saying: “I have a chronic deficit with my barber, who doesn’t buy a darned thing from me.” The moral is, such personal bilateral trade deficits, do not stop individuals from balancing their finances monthly.

Bilateral trade deficits receive more attention than they deserve in the political arena. Of course this stems from the fact that politicians have to seek to appease their constituents, who may not be informed about the true context of bilateral trade balances. Second, the media is drawn to reporting country-to-country statistics whenever nations are holding bilateral meetings.

There are also some other misconceptions in the public that need to be clarified. First, the trade imbalance with Trinidad and Tobago does not exist because that country is dumping goods into the Grenadian market. The trade imbalance stems from the fact that Grenadians are demanding more Trinidadian goods than Trinidadians are demanding Grenadian goods.

Another misconception is that it is the country itself, Trinidad and Tobago, which is exporting these goods. In actual fact, it is Trinidadian businesses, largely from the manufacturing sector, which are exporting the goods. While this last fact may seem obvious to some and trivial to others, it cannot be denied that the relatively lower cost of doing business in Trinidad and Tobago provides Trinidadian businesses with the wherewithal to manufacture, supply and export goods at prices and level of quality that Grenadians find attractive.

To suggest to another country that it should seek to address a trade imbalance which lies in its favour is tantamount to asking that country’s business sector not to be “so successful.” If Grenada wants to achieve similar export success, it needs to first look after matters at home rather than bemoaning its bilateral trade imbalance with Trinidad and Tobago.

 

(Dr. Brian Francis, the former Permanent Secretary in the local Ministry of Finance, is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics at the Cave Hill Campus in Bridgetown, Barbados of the University of the West Indies)

Local pastor speaks on religious issues

IS THE CHURCH IN NEED OF A REFORMATION?

The Director of Charis Bible College, Pastor Davis John thinks so.

The religious figure believes that the Church has degenerated into legalism.

“It has fallen from the “Gospel of grace” – Galatians 5:4, preaching another gospel not the one that was once delivered to the Saints – Jude 1:2. It is constantly imputing sin to its people”, said Pastor John.

He noted that the bible says in 2 Corinthians 5: 19-21: “that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”

He argued that the Church does not believe nor accept that the war between God and sin is over, that the Lamb of God has paid the prince for all sin, past, present and future.

“It (the church) insists on preaching hostility between God and man instead of peace and reconciliation on earth toward man”, he said.

According to Pastor john, the Bible says in Ephesians 2:8-9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

The Church needs a reformation on prayer, he told the congregation and graduating class of Charis Bible College.

He said: “Most of our prayers are nothing more than the vain repetition of Matthew 6:7: “but when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking”.

Pastor John is contending that prayer has become “a mere exercise in hypocrisy, futility and is dangerous”.

He quoted Andrew Wommack’s book Hypocrites Love to Pray:” Prayer is the most abused part of the Christian life today. Misguided understandings about prayer mess more people up spiritually than anything else out there! A tremendous amount of what’s being called “prayer” today offends God and opens the door for the devil.”

The religious figure pointed out that the popular charade of intercession renders God “the unjust Judge” Luke 18:6 – not our Heavenly Father as revealed in the bible”.

“We need to get back to the scriptures. We need a reformation on healing, Matthew 8:16-17 states: when the evening was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bear our sicknesses.

“These verses clearly show that healing is always God’s will, it was paid for in the Atonement. The Church does not believe this, recently speaking at a Pastors’ forum we (Pastors) were told by a Senior Pastor to be thankful for cancer, praise God for the “pain”.

Pastor John charged that the media is mocking the Church on the question of healing.

He referred to a recent story item on the death of a third person who was allegedly healed at a meeting at the Church of the Open Bible.

Pastor john said: “Church leaders are not teaching persons to access and retain their healing. This is the truth as contained in the scriptures. They have a form of Godliness but no power thereof – 2 Timothy 3:5.

“The Church is in need of a reformation on making disciples Matthew 28:19-20, Ephesians 4:11-14. The goal of a Pastor (Disciple) is to raise up other Pastors.

“We ought not to make mere converts, thus creating congregations of immature people who are always dependent on you. Jesus said to teach them all things so that they become mature and reproduce others like themselves.

The religious cleric stressed that the present construct of the clergy versus the Laity is not perfecting the Saints, bringing them into the structure and fullness of Christ.

“Converts remain children, tossed to and fro by every wind Ephesians 4:11-14. Jesus’ unconditional love and power is available to all freely. The Church needs to wake up and make disciples – persons who have been taught the Word of God- 2 Timothy 3: 16-17. We need a paradigm shift in Evangelism”, said Pastor John.

 

From Argentina to Grenada: Will Creditor Options Grow in Future Sovereign Debt Litigation?

by Anna Gelpern

 

New York, August 22 — It could either be a step in the direction of isolating Argentina, or a sign that the creditors’ strategy in that case is becoming the way of the sovereign debt world.

For now, all we know is that another federal district judge in New York has refused to dismiss another pari passu case in late August, this one against Grenada, and sent it full steam ahead to media frenzy.

Here is the saga in a nutshell. Grenada got hit by two hurricanes and restructured its debt – minus the four loans owed to Taiwan’s Export-Import Bank. At about the same time, it picked Beijing over Taipei, which probably ensured that the ensuing debtor-creditor spat would be about more than money. Grenada defaulted, and Taiwan sued and got a judgment in New York but has not gotten paid.

Fast forward to March 2013, when Taiwan filed a copycat lawsuit against Grenada, claiming violation of the pari passu (equal step) clause in its loan agreements.

This lawsuit piggybacks on NML Capital’s recent victories against Argentina, a case where Judge Thomas P. Griesa ordered the government to stop paying its restructured debt unless it pays the holdout creditors in full.

Taiwan wants Judge Harold Baer Jr. to block payments on Grenada’s new debt, and, mimicking NML v. Argentina, to threaten a wide range of market intermediaries with sanctions to pressure the government to comply.

Grenada asked the court to dismiss the case on the ground that breach of any particular contract term must be subsumed in the money judgment for payment default on the same contract, which Taiwan got years ago. This is known as the merger doctrine.

Judge Baer rejected Grenada’s merger argument on August 19, partly on the grounds that the alleged pari passu violation – payment on restructured bonds while in default to Taiwan – happened mostly after the original contract case was filed.

So Taiwan could not have brought the claim back then, even though it mentioned the pari passu theory in its briefs. Of course if pari passu were just another contract clause, it would not matter, because the remedy for breach would be acceleration, and the same old money judgment. But pari passu is no longer just another promise; it is the one nuclear remedy that just might make sovereign debt collectable.

The ruling to let the suit against Grenada go forward is important because it expands the universe of potential plaintiffs in sovereign debt litigation.

The NML bunch deliberately avoided getting judgments in the case pending before the Second Circuit, just in case merger might get in the way. The same folks have been working hard to change New York law to do away with merger. And fellow creditors holding judgments against Argentina have hinted at bringing similar lawsuits, arguing that merger does not apply.

So the latest Grenada decision simplifies matters for creditors contemplating a lawsuit against a sovereign – you no longer have to pick between two uncertain roads, money judgment and pari passu. You can take both.

Adding to the drama, the holders of Grenada’s restructured bonds, whose payments would be blocked if Taiwan were to procure NML-style remedies, were allowed to join the lawsuit as defendants.

Like Grenada, they wanted the case dismissed – not on simple merger grounds, but because Grenada has more favorable contracts and has acted nicer than Argentina.

Judge Baer gave them what they asked for – a full fact-finding on whether and how Grenada might be different from Argentina.

Presumably, these folks want more leverage for creditors in general from doing away with the merger argument, and view this case as an opportunity to preserve and finesse the pari passu remedy.

If a narrower version of the remedy emerges from a case involving a smaller, poorer, and more sympathetic sovereign, it could pave way for a compromise of sorts between more mainstream creditors and the policy world, which is concerned about the implications of NML v. Argentina.

Three things can happen from here on. First, Grenada might settle with Taiwan – especially since it is out of money again, needs to restructure all its debt again, and would not want any glitches along the way. Given the political dimension, Taiwan might not wish to settle for less than what it is owed (roughly $30 million plus past due interest).

Regardless, if the case settles, the takeaway would be that the merger doctrine does not apply to pari passu violations that happen after the initial lawsuit on the debt contract is filed. The incentive will be to file such lawsuits early, preserving both enforcement paths. The scope of the pari passu remedy will continue to be broad, defined by Argentina.

Second, assuming the case goes forward, Judge Baer could distinguish Grenada’s contracts and behaviour from Argentina’s, and deny Taiwan the injunction. This would be a narrowing of NML v. Argentina. The effect on merger is the same as in the first scenario. This paves the way for more suits against Argentina, but perhaps not many others.

Third, the judge could grant the injunction. This would be a broadening of NML v. Argentina, because Grenada has a less vulnerable ranking formulation of the pari passu clause, and has been much more circumspect than Argentina about freezing out holdout creditors in its official enactments and public statements.

I am not going to begin to speculate on the broader fallout. Whatever happens, we will be here.

 

 

THIRTY EIGHT STUDENTS IN GRENADA RECEIVE GRENED 2013 SCHOLARSHIP AND ARE URGED TO EXCEL

GRENED Board Chairman Anthony Isaac; Executive Director Dr. Dessima Williams; and Board Member Denis Noel with some students and parents outside Rainbow Inn, following scholarship awards on Thursday

GRENED Board Chairman Anthony Isaac; Executive Director Dr. Dessima Williams; and Board Member Denis Noel with some students and parents outside Rainbow Inn, following scholarship awards on Thursday

Grenville — On Thursday August 29, 2013, the Grenada Education and Development Programme, GRENED, provided some 41 students, each with $700 worth of school support in the form of vouchers for books, school supplies and uniforms as well as cash, mainly for transportation and food.

GRENED students were also attached to a mentor, and each student is to be enrolled in “GRENED Science,” an environmental science research project during October-November 2013.

The GRENED student support is in its 17th year and students come from St. Andrew’s, St. David’s and St. Patrick’s.

Chairman of the Board of Directors, Anthony Isaac, said that the organisation’s mission is to expand the pool of Grenada’s leaders by supporting mainly rural youth through their secondary school years and sometimes at tertiary level.

He said that GRENED wants to contribute to a critical improvement to rural households by supporting promising and ambitious students, but who need financial support.

The Chairman, a retired insurance executive, said that GRENED’s vision is a poverty-free, thriving and sustainable Grenada, and that coming about in part because education is used as a catalyst to improve the socio-cultural and the socio-economic situation of families.

Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Dessima Williams, just returned from a 4-year diplomatic posting abroad, wished the students well and urged them to excel, giving the best of themselves to their families, their teachers and school, their community and to Grenada.

The former university professor listed past achievers of GRENED’s scholarship and other programmes as including: Officer in Charge of the Grenville Branch of Grenada Public Service Co-operative Credit Union; a Grenada diplomat in Brussels; a cardiologist in the US; an SGU graduate in finance; several teachers and a young man now starting medical studies in Cuba.

Vouchers were handed out by members of the board, including the Chair as well as Denis Noel of Noelville’s Nut-Med and Gloria Thomas, a senior Social Development and Education Officer.

The ceremony was attended by representatives of the Grenville community including Leslie Ramdhanny of Ramdhanny and Sons, Prof. Lincoln Bernard of TAMCC and members of the media, including George Grant of Grenada Broadcast/Sundays With George Grant.

Several parents, grandparents and older siblings accompanied the children.

The GRENED programme is funded via voluntary contributions. Dr. Williams has raised $16,020.00, including from the Alexander Bodini Foundation and Drs. H and L. Loring. Long Island-based high school principal, Grenadian educator, Dr. Anthony Bridgeman has raised $6,000.00 and the Maple Nedd Foundation based in St. Andrew’s has pledged $1,000.00.

Prior to the scholarships being given out, each student’s school performance of the previous year is evaluated by GRENED and recommendations made to the student.

Last school year’s top performer is a14-year old girl, C. Joseph, now entering Form IV, who gained an 89.3% overall average and has NEVER been late to school in 3 years.

Among the awardees are two brothers entering into Form II whose father is their guiding light; two brother and sister sets, one from St. Andrew’s and another from St. Patrick’s; and one pair of girl-twins going to Form IV who are always extremely helpful and fully supported by their mother. Glenda Williams of GRENED (no relation to Dessima Williams) continues to lead the evaluation process.

All students receiving support from GRENED are required to participate in a monthly self-development series. This will re-commence at the end of September and is led by Gloria Payne-Banfield, former Cabinet Secretary and diplomat, and a cultural leader in Grenada.

The 2013-14 academic year in Grenada started on Monday (September 2).

GRENED is self-funded. Donations of any size can be sent to GRENED by contacting Dr. Williams dwspice@gmail.com or Michelle Stewart at stewart.michelle@yahoo.com

 

(Reproduced from GrenadaBroadcast.com)