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Yuriatin
11-17-2009, 01:07 PM
Ah hell ...

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Gloomy Jamaica</span></span>
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Unfixable?</span>
Nov 12th 2009 | KINGSTON



The burden of debt and crime

JUST over two years ago when Bruce Golding’s Labour Party came to power in Jamaica, ending 18 years in opposition, there were modest hopes that it might make progress in tackling the island’s endemic problems of economic stagnation and gang violence. Quite how hard that is has become clear in the past fortnight with the departure first of the central-bank governor and then the police chief.

Mr Golding’s people inherited a huge national debt, much of it borrowed in the markets at interest rates that have sometimes topped 20%. Just servicing this eats up about 60% of government revenues. Then came the world recession, which has hit tourism, bauxite and remittances from Jamaicans abroad, the island’s three big foreign-exchange earners. UC Rusal, the country’s biggest bauxite operator, has shut most of its Jamaican mines because of low world prices. With tax revenue down and privatisation plans stalled, the fiscal deficit has soared.

The Bank of Jamaica’s governor, Derick Latibeaudiere, was leading negotiations for a $1.2 billion loan from the IMF. But midway through the talks, he lost his job. Mr Golding has complained about Mr Latibeaudiere’s generous salary and housing allowance, granted by the previous government. There was talk in Kingston, the capital, of policy disagreement with the finance minister. Either way, the timing of Mr Latibeaudiere’s departure was unfortunate. Standard &amp; Poor’s, a rating agency, immediately downgraded Jamaica’s debt. Talks with the IMF will continue. Mr Golding has promised a fresh effort to cut the fiscal deficit.

The prime minister also edged out the police commissioner, Hardley Lewin, formerly a senior naval officer. Mr Lewin was blunt in his diagnosis of the crime problem. Last month he spoke of the need to “break the linkages between organised criminal networks, our politics, businesses, communities, and I dare say my own service, the police.”

The murder rate has stopped <span style="font-size: 8pt"><span style="color: #FF0000">(oh really now http://www.jamaicans.com/forums/images/smilies/70402-thinking.gif )</span></span> rising, but it remains high. Cocaine shipments have fallen, but gangs continue to thrive on extortion, marijuana and fraud. Yet Mr Lewin was seen by many in the police as an outsider, pushing unwanted reforms. On November 3rd Mr Golding said that he had “lost confidence in the ability of the commissioner to deliver the results.”

That smacked of shooting the messenger. Mark Shields, a British detective who was Jamaica’s deputy police-commissioner until August, recently said that he no longer believes the force can be reformed. He revealed that half the officers in a key unit failed a polygraph test last year. In his view it would be better to start again with a fully vetted staff and a new ethos. “The patient is terminally ill and should be put down,” he told a forum on crime organised by the opposition People’s National Party. “The cost will be great, but the cost will be even greater from not doing it. If you don’t fix crime, you can’t fix the economy.”

Some Jamaicans are prospering. Gordon “Butch” Stewart, who started his Sandals hotel chain in 1981 amid political warfare and economic chaos, is planning a new hotel in Kingston despite the recession. Patrick Casserly started a tele-services business with 35 staff in 2000; this year, he sold it with 4,200 employees to an American buyer for $85m. Thanks to its grassroots sports clubs, Jamaica also dominates the sprint events in world athletics. But these success stories are all too rare.

http://www.economist.com/world/americas/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14845329

Yuriatin
11-17-2009, 01:12 PM
<span style="font-style: italic"><span style="font-size: 17pt"><span style="font-weight: bold">
&quot;We are great on talk and short on action ...&quot;</span>
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PM's 'unfixable' problems - Golding challenges Opposition to debate, says job has been tougher than any year of PNP's stint</span>

Published: Tuesday | November 17, 2009

<span style="font-style: italic">Prime Minister Bruce Golding Has Challenged the Opposition to a Public Debate to Seek Solutions for a Country Steeped in Crisis and labelled by The Economist News Magazine as &quot;unfixable&quot;.</span>

Golding declared Sunday night, during a Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Area One Council meeting at the Denham Town Community Centre in his West Kingston constituency, that his government now has the task of not only surviving the storm of global recession, but correcting the missteps of the last People's National Party (PNP) government.

No growth for Jamaica

&quot;How come, after 18 and a half years, when the world was growing, Jamaica could not grow?&quot; he asked the crowd of JLP supporters as he lashed the former administration.

While the prime minister ponders the seemingly insurmountable challenges his administration faces, The Economist, a weekly United Kingdom-based news magazine focusing on international politics and business news, is painting a &quot;gloomy picture of Jamaica&quot;, suggesting that the country's burden of debt and crime are &quot;unfixable&quot;.

&quot;Just over two years ago, when Bruce Golding's Labour Party came to power in Jamaica, ending 18 years in opposition, there were modest hopes that it might make progress in tackling the island's endemic problems of economic stagnation and gang violence,&quot; read a recent article in the magazine.

&quot;Quite how hard that is has become clear in the past fortnight with the departure first of the central-bank governor and then the police chief.&quot;

The article, published in the November 12 edition of the magazine, made reference to the huge debt the JLP inherited and the country's high debt-servicing bill.

Some 60 per cent of government's revenue goes towards servicing debt.

Outlining an even darker future, The Economist reported that &quot;the world recession has hit tourism, bauxite and remittances from Jamaicans abroad, the island's three big foreign-exchange earners; UC Rusal, the country's biggest bauxite operator, has shut most of its Jamaican mines because of low world prices&quot;.

It continued: &quot;With tax revenue down and privatisation plans stalled, the fiscal deficit has soared.&quot;

During his address Sunday night, Golding said the two years he has spent in power were harder than any of the 18 and a half spent by the PNP as that party never had to contend with a recession.

Yesterday, opposition spokesman on industry Mark Golding said he would be in support of a debate if it would lead to a solution on nation building.

&quot;A debate should be a way forward and how we approach and arrive at a consensus to pull the country out. I don't like a debate about the past,&quot; the PNP treasurer said.

Mark Golding also said the JLP had been disingenuous about the achievements of the PNP and had not fully accepted its role as government.

&quot;What the JLP has failed to recognise is that we achieved a great deal. We inherited an indebted economy, but we stabilised the macroeconomic parameters going into the last five years of our term in office,&quot; he said.

&quot;In the JLP's two years, we have seen a rapid increase in the build-up of national debt by about 30 per cent. We have seen negative growth. We have had a significant and dangerous reduction in our credit rating, and we are paying a high no-confidence premium in our domestic interest rate.&quot;

Political analyst Martin Henry said such a debate, in the middle of an electoral cycle, would bear little fruit.

&quot;Furthermore, the Parliament is the constitutional locus for discussing national issues, not an avenue for extra-parliamentary discussion by political parties to arrive at any consensus.&quot;

Milton Samuda, president of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, also said a debate between the two parties would not serve a useful purpose.

&quot;We are great on talk and short on action, and what we need now is for the governing party to make decisions, and you (Golding) convince the people of Jamaica to go with them, whichever direction they go,&quot; he told The Gleaner.



http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20091117/lead/lead1.html

Yuriatin
11-17-2009, 01:15 PM
WatchdogHugh wrote:
Nov 14th 2009 8:20 GMT

The article reminds me of a CBC radio interview about 15 years ago when a Jamaican Cabinet minister apologized to Canadians for so many known Jamaican criminals having moved to Toronto Canada. <span style="font-style: italic"><span style="font-weight: bold">Jamaica and Haiti are countries in which Canadian foreign aid has been wasted. I apologize to the &quot;good&quot; people of Jamaica and Jamaican descent; but, our <span style="color: #FF0000">help does not change anything if local behavior doesn't change</span></span></span>.


floydosmith wrote:
Nov 16th 2009 8:03 GMT

<span style="font-style: italic">No one in Jamaica, including the government, appears to understand the importance of the rule of law, markets, and freedom.</span> The next government should perhaps hire a PR firm to help it better articulate to the public, young and old, the connection between the three.


http://www.economist.com/node/14845329/comments

Dr.Dudd
11-18-2009, 12:28 PM
Jamaica is only unfixable until they are ready take it over and return it to full colonialism again,
They directed the destruction from afar to prepare it for the day when they will return to colonize it. Independence is never easy. Jamaicans did not fight for it. they will have to fight before they really attain it.those who are not prepared to, are the most vocal.

Dr.Dudd
11-19-2009, 10:00 AM
Unfixable?
Gleaner Published: Thursday | November 19, 2009



In fairness, the title of the much-circulated The Economist article did use a question-mark, thus raising the possibility rather than making a declaration. But article aside, what is clear is that if Jamaica is going to fix its problems, it will have to do so largely on its own.

That is because the option of riding a foreign wave back to growth is not likely available. Recent reports out of our major trading partners - the US, Canada, Britain - suggest that any economic recoveries which emerge there will be tepid at best. Europe will do scarcely better. Asia will grow; but since we sell so little there at the moment, we will not benefit very much in the short term.

So that means demand for our exports will not rebound strongly, and remittances are likely to decline. We cannot export our way out of this crisis. We can seek new markets and capture share by making ourselves more competitive. But that will take painful adjustment, and time.

Curiously, our best friend at the moment may be the International Monetary Fund (IMF), if only because it is willing to talk to us. That is saying something. When you're left befriending the world's lender of last resort, you're rather reduced to the state of the sick drunkard hugging the toilet bowl. But there you have it.

Glimmer of hope

There remains, perhaps, one glimmer of hope. The American and British strategies of reflating their economies with cheap credit is not, so far, producing credit-fuelled consumption binges. After years of high spending, Americans especially are tightening their belts. Hence, the US saving rate has risen, and Americans have ploughed money back into their investments.

That has caused house prices to level off their decline - at least for now - and the stock market to resume rising. Wall Streeters are cheering the return of happy days. But an unpleasant secret hides behind the headlines: US asset markets have risen more slowly than overseas ones.

That is because American investors understand that a sluggish economy cannot support a booming stock market indefinitely. Sooner or later, the two will converge. The safe bet is that when they do, it will be stock markets which converge downwards rather than the economy catching up to the stock market.

So instead, Americans anxious to rebuild their nest eggs have been quietly moving money into emerging markets. In the circumstances, that is to be expected, as I wrote earlier this year. And there are reasons to believe this trend will continue for years. The effect is that American private capital is eagerly seeking out investment opportunities in developing countries.

Make that transition

So while we will not be able to export our way out of our woes, capital may be available to help us make the transition to a more competitive economy. Should we make that transition when strong growth resumes in our major partners, we will be able to ride the wave with a big board.

That's the good news. The bad news is that capital will go where potential returns are highest. At the moment, given Jamaica's current state - our high crime, our high interest rates, our low productivity - there is little chance capital will come. Addressing all these issues, which will involve sacrifices on the part of all, will have to precede any investment boom.

In short, it's in our hands. We can cross our fingers and hope for the best, while knowing deep down that worse is likely to come. Or we can seize the initiative and make the transformation that will turn crisis into opportunity.

We didn't create this global crisis. Curiously, though, the power to overcome it is all in our hands.

John Rapley is president of the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CaPRI), an independent research think tank affiliated with the University of the West Indies, Mona. Feedback may be sent to [email protected]

barosa
11-20-2009, 04:02 AM
The burden of debt and crime

JUST over two years ago when Bruce Golding’s Labour Party came to power in Jamaica, ending 18 years in opposition, there were modest hopes that it might make progress in tackling the island’s endemic problems of economic stagnation and gang violence. Quite how hard that is has become clear in the past fortnight with the departure first of the central-bank governor and then the police chief.
These 18 years almost two decades will be known as the period that &quot;crime and gang warfare&quot; was solidified in Jamaica. Unfortunately nothing was done to really control the criminals. Jamaica became a transhipment point for drugs to North America... The JCF brass was interested in preserving their &quot;status quo&quot; when Trevor MacMillian an outsider was appointed the Commissioner of the JCF. Eventually they got their friends to remove him for one of their &quot;insiders&quot; That was the signal to the criminals that the govt would be soft on crime and resulted in more corruption and incompetence than ever...


From Re: Unfixable?

That's the good news. The bad news is that capital will go where potential returns are highest. <span style="font-weight: bold">At the moment, given Jamaica's current state - our high crime, our high interest rates, our low productivity - there is little chance capital will come. Addressing all these issues, which will involve sacrifices on the part of all, will have to precede any investment boom.</span>

When will the Government wake up and realize that the sorry state of affairs when it comes to crime cannot go on indefinettely. If they do not realize by now that Jamaica's high crime rate is the main impediment to their economic well being, then they are sleeping at the switch...

I purposely picked out the above from the articles to highlight the importance of dealing with Jamaica's most pressing problem which is &quot;crime&quot; that has to be fought with great sacrifice as was mentioned. It has to be done, it wont be easy and it will cost money... Do it or decide to become a &quot;failed state&quot;... http://www.jamaicans.com/forums/images/smilies/70390-shhh.gif
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&quot;At a time of universal deceit,&quot; wrote George Orwell, &quot;telling the truth is a revolutionary act.&quot;