Debt, debt and more debt – Hon Philip J. Pierre

By SLP

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(PRESS RELEASE VIA SNO) – Recently I informed Saint Lucians of my fears at the rising debt profile of our country.

I expressed my concerns at the economic logic of government putting the taxpayers in additional debt of four hundred million dollars for the development of Hewanorra International Airport. All arrangements had been made using the same “income stream” to enter into a Public Private Partnership with reputable partners.

Saint Lucia’s debt profile would not increase either in volume or percentage and the country would be saved the problems and issues associated with airport construction. Incidentally these issues had already began to surface with the A&M debacle.

I also warned that on the debt trajectory that the government was pursuing we should jealously guard our National Insurance reserves.

Thirdly the government was entering into Design Finance Build arrangements which are indeed debt without the consent or scrutiny of Parliament.

Instead of dealing with these issues the government as usual launched their usual personal and vicious attacks on the Saint Lucia Labour Party. The Minister in the Ministry of Finance promised that we would feel the wrath of the powerful UWP. He questioned my character and size of body parts that normally should not be the topic of public viewing and discussion.

I said then and repeat that economics is not about personal attacks or misinformation but about raw quantitative data purely figures and that reality would soon set in.

Like many Saint Lucians, I saw on television last night a letter from the Ministry of Finance requesting a loan of seventy to one hundred million dollars for the settlement of bonds due by 31 July 2018.

I would like to ask the following:

1. Did the bond holders refuse to rollover their bonds and demanded full settlement on maturity on July 31 2018?

2. If that is the case does that signal a lack of confidence in the credit worthiness of the government of Saint Lucia?

3. Since the bonds did not roll over in July what certainty does the government have that they will be sold by October?

4. Was it not that same Minister of Finance that boasted how the country was doing so well that there was a mad rush to purchase our bonds on the Regional Securities Market?

5. If that was the case why one hundred and seventeen million dollars of bonds cannot roll over and the holders are demanding payment ?

6. If these bonds are not purchased by October how will the NIC be repaid?

7. Has any previous Minister of Finance ever gone to the NIC for that magnitude of short term financing?

8. With the changes in interest rate policy in the United States, would it not be more difficult to sell bonds in the Regional Securities Market?

9. In what year were the bonds that are maturing and payment demanded issued?

I do not expect reasoned mature and logical responses but instead vicious personal attacks on the Saint Lucia Labour with a view to make them cry and continue with vindictiveness and misinformation

(4)(9)
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23 comments

  1. These amateur economists in the SLP are so much at the deep end that they are not even pretending to use the language and terminology of international and monitoring agencies in their analysis of debt. Does the man in the street know that? No. Does anyone really care?

    A clueless population is continually and callously being taken for a ride. In the land of the blind saint Saint Lucy, the blind in Saint Lucia are leading the blind. The majority are blissfully contented to remain so.

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  2. Yes keep using the "perceived" past failings of the former SLP administration to excuse valid concerns and issue about the current one. The whole reason we have the current administration is too fulfilled their promises and right now they are not fulfilling them

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    • True SLP. With no depth and lots of blatherings and foaming at the corners of the mouth, they change the subject. The topic little one is debt. Got that?

      Do you have anything worthwhile to contribute to the topic? No? Then shut up and get on a bar stool. Drink a few beers. Don't hurt anyone including you self.

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    • Perceived? Look at these numbers. 4, 8, and 15.

      Do you see a near mathematical pattern?

      Are you just as innumerate or mathematically challenged as some of our beloved political actors? Yes. Actors. $48 million, $86 million, and $150 million are all losses chalked up in a row, during the SLP era of massive government mismanagement, and the colossal waste of financial resources and treasure. One would have thought that this would be of great concern for real Saint Lucians.

      Those were real millions upon millions of dollars lost as in a mathematical series. Do you now want to dismiss all of that, as if it were a distortion in the minds of who do not want to see a repeat performance? Are you are ready to put your party's interests above the interests of Saint Lucia, too?

      Saint Lucians, some of you are setting up this country for failure. Where do you stand?

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  3. Ask the 'hot air fermentation plant' George Odlum's expression for the House of Assembly, which is today's SLP, to show the public the key indicator of debt, which is the DEBT-to-GDP ratio, or the debt ratio, for the individual 10 years it was in office. Ask them. Go and ask them. Do you want to bet that it DOUBLED or nearly DOUBLED during that time? Doubled or nearly doubled. Nobody paid any attention. It did not matter. No fears. No crocodile tears.

    Hey! Now watch this. SLP was not afraid then you know. No. No. No. No siree Bob. SLP was not afraid.. Now we have A' Level College textbook economists with no reputation anywhere as an econonomist, having has left office, all of a sudden pontificating fear.

    SLP stopped selling health. It is selling fear.

    The darn sky was not falling then. But it is falling now? SLP, you belong to the comic books, old chaps. Is this the alternative government in waiting? After selling ambassadorships, they are now hustling 'fear'?

    They have one in there who could not even today, nor yesterday pass any CXC exam in Mathematics. 'By their fruits, you shall know them', the good book says.

    Honest to goodness responsible politicians would have been sharing then, their concerns about the management of payments of debt with their pending maturities. Even a population that would hopefully rise one day above the common foolishness and usual fare of political crap, would want to know what was being done in their names, in relation to pending maturity dates and loan repayments. Sadly, we are not there yet.

    Most of all, there would have been discussions on the ratio itself. Debt divided by GDP. That is simple, old chaps.

    SLP did not have it. Neither the capacity. Nor the honesty. Not then. And most certainly, not now. One does not have to be partisan to make these statement. This is the reality.

    Otherwise, there would have been continuing discussions on what is happening to the numerator of that ratio, the quantum or amount of debt itself, in relation to the denominator, the GDP reflecting our economic performance stated in terms of our Gross Domestic Product figure. That did not happen. People bear witness. That did not happen. SLP that did not happen. Why?

    Turning to just a little basic arithmetic here old chaps. To bring down the value of a ratio, you either DECREASE the value of the numerator, or you INCREASE the value or the number in the denominator. Or, you can do both of these things, at the same time! No dice, my father would say. No such luck Saint Lucia. No such luck. There were no such concerns then.

    But now, these same jokers have fears? Everybody they now have fears. They are now selling the wares. Fears!

    Fears? SLP only now has fears? No kidding? In the Saint Lucian kweyol dictionary, is the word 'fears' explained by the expression 'full of crap'?

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  4. People deal with the facts. It will be to later by the time we will want that pm to stop

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  5. If, SLP were technically competent and that is a big if, with all their lying claims about transparency, their governments in the past 10 years of largesse spending would have made public a schedule of loan payments for this country. The mendacious SLP never had even one.

    People with half a brain cannot support your claims when there has been no claritu or disculosure.

    SLP can fool the ignorant about debt. But those who are aware know fully well that borrowing from the National Insurance funds means borrowing, but with safer local currency. That is not the debt profile left by the squandamania of borrowing long with foreign currency to fund inescapable politically-funded temporary vote-buying STEP. Anyone with a sound knowledge of economics other than a sixth-form textbook knows this.

    Saint Lucia has just gone upmarket in tourism. This means that it has bought itself some insulation from the turmoil of the Post-truth era of Bexit and Putin cybre attacks fallout.

    The airport project is going to pay for itself in the long run. Contrast this with the compulsive, and irrational gambling with the Treasury with Rochamel losing $45 million, nearly doubling that with Black Bay $86 million forfeiture, and lkie smoking pot for with the Grynburg affair doubling nominally, the last blunder of $86 million to $150 million.

    SLP got zilch for all that spending. SLP got zilch. EVeryody knows that the SLP came way from all those expenditure losses with nothing to show for them.

    Everybody who knows something about economics knows that debts incurred today have different payment conditions and maturities. But they do mature with different maturity dates. Sometimes when the foolish previous novice governments, all wet behind the ears, take out loans that have matturities that bunch repayments together, they leave succeeding governments with little wriggle room. Those who come after them have to seek refinancing and rescheduling. In the string of confused misfit gambling activities that sank the country into debt, who were the two jokers in that pack?

    (10)(3)
    • SLP investment; Frenwell, $48 million LOSS.

      SLP INVESTMENT: Blackbay $86 million LOSS!

      SLP big head investment: Grynberg $150 million LOSS.

      Think about that. Who the hell pays for all your nonsense SLP? Not your clowns and enablers.

      Keep on shooting your shate, SLP. Only your enablers together with your drug dealers and grass cutters believe you.

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      • Blackbay lands was UWP aka Chasanet. And now he has lost it again to a tune of 50 to 100 million.

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        • The agreement was framed by the pea-brained SLP.

          Up to this very minute, the SLP big brain lawyers do not know how to frame an international agreement that deals with land titles, and with assets exceeding $45 million. A little knowledge is really, really, really a very bad thing.

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        • You are shamelessly engaging in SLP duplicity. Who threw in the title to the lands at Black Bay as the GOS' or Saint Lucia's equity in the deal?

          Do you have even a basic clue that is more informed than the SLP, about protecting assets against collateral seizure or forfeiture? Just like the ordinary man in the street, n=ot any better than the SLP, it would seem.

          Stop blabbering and blathering like a damn idiot.

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        • You are patently being dishonest. This is shameless. The original deal was inked by the SLP.

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  6. Ray Charles on the lighter side everywhere I go I see WORK being constructed n its not by the road cutting grass...employment on a rise roads are being done tourism on a rise businesses not complaining...at the end of the day loans must be granted cuz Kenny said on the market step n quote he would stop all investors from investing in St.Lucia so didn't u know what will happen when u stop an investor we go n borrow..

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    • To call for investors to shy away from Sint Lucia may just fall short of being a traitor to the country. In Dear Leader's country, for example, people doing this would disappear.

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  7. Augustin François

    Apart from the partisan parts I applaud Mr Pierre for his contribution, whether or not I agree with him, as this is the role of the Opposition. Thank you, sir.

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  8. Mr Pierre is so correct, his government put St. Lucia in DEBT, DEBT AND MORE DEBT.

    (6)(6)
  9. The last paragraph sums it up Pierre. I like it when you state the facts which you always do a good job. The facts are facts so they can't debate it, and because they can't debate it they can't deny it. So their only option is to take cheap shots.

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    • UWP did NOT cause the rise in interest rates by the Federal Reserve in the US. The mass of grass cutters, the gangs in the SLP ghetto constituencies do not give a fig about interest rates by international lending agencies. They are too busy lapping up SLP and talk show political foolishness.

      Past borrowing threatens and has a detrimental influence on a country's capacity to service existing debt. Foreign-currency debt is harder to deal with than domestic-currency debt. You either know or you don't know. Either you can, or learn to process these issues, or can learn the ramifications of these truths, or you lack technical capacity to process any of this. Either way, this does not absolve the country from its debt obligations.

      UWP inherited the utter foolshness of the SLP's spending, borrowing and ignorance of taxation impact on diferent sectors of our economy. To those who really know, it is a nightmare!

      Take for instance, the Sword of Damocles hanging over our heads with the ALBA-tross Agreement thrown around our necks. After the devastating SLP Grynberg incompetence, the military implications of this agreement for us are still not clear. The possibility of a unilateral and unscheduled calling of the loan is even more unsettling. Does the SLP care? No. Can anyone trust anyone in this cabal? You? Me?

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  10. Well said. Hacks cannot be reasoned with.

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  11. You are using a talk show to make your statements and the thing that's so ridiculous about this is that talk show is well known as the comedy central for a Thursday night which last hours and talks nothing about uplifting of the country, it's people or finding solutions for the problems we are faced with. All he does is government bashing because the host is vengeful for the best thing Chas ever did was to get rid of him. P.I.P get a live man.

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  12. Here goes the old geezer he has no shame. When the shoe was on the other foot they splurge like there was no tomorrow, never finish the St Jude's Hospital now he will spit golf balls and tell all crack heads ,white rum drinkers, and catapol slippers listeners the UWP party is spending too much. Now you know a little too much,when it was your term you didn't know jack. Please put your shameless self in a corner sack way sa hout.

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  13. Listen to the hypocrite. You'll were just as bad.

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