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Beware, fairy godfathers!

Arthur warns that offer by british billionaires would be costly

It may appear on the surface to be the billion-dollar Christmas “gift” that all of Barbados has been wishing for.

But on the heels of yesterday’s offer by two British billionaires to provide the financial backing the island needs for a major international bond offering, former Prime Minister Owen Arthur is wagging his caution finger at the Government, advising it to politely turn down the proposal.

For one, Arthur makes it clear that what’s on offer is by no means a “gift”, but a loan, which he said would only serve to worsen Barbados’ mounting debt situation.

And while he believes that British billionaire Andrew Stewart and his business partner Stuart Fordham were  “well intentioned” and may want the best for the island, he further cautioned that there were “no fairy godfather solutions” to the island’s economic woes.

Former prime minister Owen Arthur is advising Government to              turn down the billionaires’ proposal.

Former prime minister Owen Arthur is advising Government to turn down the billionaires’ proposal.

“These are two men who I think love Barbados and want genuinely to help, but there are no fairy godfather solutions to the economic and financial issues facing this country. And the Government has to be clear that it is not going to have after fairy godfather solutions,” warned Arthur in an interview with Barbados TODAY.

“They are not promising to give us a grant but to help us raise money in the market. So that it would still be a loan to the Government of Barbados and potential investors will obviously, in making a decision as to whether they will subscribe to it, take into account what the ratings agencies have said about the credit worthiness of the bonds to which they are being asked to subscribe,” he explained.

In light of last week’s downgrade by Standard & Poor’s, the former prime minister and independent member of Parliament insisted that the focus of the Government must be on restoring the island’s credit worthiness, while stressing that “any potential investor would be skeptical about investing no matter who is backing the bonds, unless the credit rating is restored”.

He also suggested that if Stewart, who already has sizeable investments in Barbados, and his partner wanted to help, they would really be talking in terms of rendering more financial support to private projects at this time, “where they carry the risk and get the returns rather than ask the Government to be the borrower, transferring the risk to the Government”.

However, the former finance minister said it would be up to the billionaires to make that decision themselves on what projects they want to invest in, while also questioning the need for them to back any international loan for Barbados.

He pointed out that Government had a longstanding process in place since the 1980s for placing financial instruments in the market.

“There has been the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance working together with Government debt management advisor Mr Jeffrey Bell since 1985,” Arthur noted.

“Government therefore has a process and an arrangement  . . . to place things in the market and I would not expect that the Government would need an entity to put things in the market for it,” he said, while further cautioning that even though Stewart and Fordham had come forward and offered to assist, this was not going to change the fact that, according to the ratings agencies, Barbados’ bonds were not currently of investment grade.

“They are entities that are forbidden by law from putting for example things like pension funds in instruments that are not investment grade. So I think that they mean well, but it is not something that I think is pragmatic,” Arthur stressed, adding that “the Government should focus on doing everything that is necessary to restore the country’s credit worthiness and do not therefore look for what I call these fairy godfather solutions.

“No fairy godfather is going to help us [like] the pursuit of the correct policies for putting this country back on a stable and vibrant path to growth.

“All you will be doing is increasing the debt by a certain amount.”

Today, Opposition Barbados Labour Party advisor Dr Clyde Mascoll also commented on the offer by the two British billionaires, saying it would not make economic sense and that the cost of servicing such debt would be too high.

44 Responses to Beware, fairy godfathers!

  1. Margaret Lorde
    Margaret Lorde December 24, 2014 at 2:01 am

    The economy needs managing not a plaster or quick fix.

  2. Joel C. Payne
    Joel C. Payne December 24, 2014 at 2:27 am

    Well looka my crosses. I miss him as Finance Minister. I really do, and I *didn’t* think I’d ever say that. Dems you’re fired. Go home. If I offend wunna with that. Then you could haul me to court too.

  3. Jacinta Lashley
    Jacinta Lashley December 24, 2014 at 2:48 am

    Listen to that man. Fairy godfather he is not. Beware

    Russians profit from Britain’s offshore secrecy
    The UK’s approach has attracted many post-Soviet billionaires, including some on the run

    The Hon Andrew Moray Stuart, with an address in Mauritius, is one of the sham nominees the Guardian/ICIJ research has identified.

    Legal use of BVI entities to disguise Russian movement of funds into British companies, also appears to be widespread. In one example we have unearthed, a British-registered firm, Pennard Chemicals Ltd, with an address at rental offices in Cannon St in the City of London, has had declared revenue over the last 3 years of more than 100 million euros, described as commission on unspecified Russian deals. Pennard Chemicals named director, The Hon Andrew Moray Stuart, with an address in Mauritius, is one of the sham nominees the Guardian/ICIJ research has identified. The shareholder, Imex Executive Ltd, is a BVI entity set up by a Moscow incorporation agency. In turn, its sham nominee directors include Jesse Hester in Mauritius and a sham nominee shareholder, Brenda Cocksedge. These nominees sell their names, without exercising genuine control or ownership. The real owner, according to company records we have seen, is named as Ivan Kovlachuk.

    • Joel C. Payne
      Joel C. Payne December 24, 2014 at 8:35 am

      The ENTIRE current and former British Empire does this. Barbados benefits from British style legislation that allows people to setup companies in Barbados too. Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, Cyprus, Malta, Mauritania, Israel, Bermuda, BVI, Cayman Islands, even Canada with Tim Hortons/Burger King shifting from USA to Canada to get more tax breaks. All of the British Empire benefits from this and that’s why the Americans are ready to stamp out offshore industry is to make the world more dependent on America.

  4. Artneal Bear Abbey
    Artneal Bear Abbey December 24, 2014 at 3:32 am

    It does amaze me to see how stupid some of you people are. Can any of you including Owen Arthur come up with a solution? Oh I guess not.

    • Mark Walkes
      Mark Walkes December 24, 2014 at 6:29 am

      It is not a quick fix nor a one person solution. However what is required is someone with the right skill set and acumen to lead a team of people (both government and private sector individuals) to steer the country out of austerity. Forget partisan politics. Barbados is a small economy which can suffer adverse effects through low credit ratings on the international stage.

    • Daniel Polonis
      Daniel Polonis December 24, 2014 at 6:51 am

      A start is corruption and nepotism.

    • Artneal Bear Abbey
      Artneal Bear Abbey December 24, 2014 at 7:42 am

      Yea Barbados is a small island. But we are to dependent. We should of dun like china. Copy everything and sell.

    • Wayne Dread
      Wayne Dread December 24, 2014 at 8:50 am

      Art.been asking that question for quite sometime now..a lot of hot air being blown up people bottoms…. well we see how he advised to PJ and we see how JA. fared..

    • Felicia Marshall
      Felicia Marshall December 24, 2014 at 11:36 am

      They are many solutions on the table the current government seem to want no ones help. They are all on auto pilot just waiting out this term to secure their pensions and further fatten their pockets. This group of dems are definitely not for the people

      • Alicia December 24, 2014 at 6:04 pm

        Agreed and agreed. Waiting on their pensions is all they’re doing. Marking time.

  5. Frederick Alleyne
    Frederick Alleyne December 24, 2014 at 3:35 am

    Well said again.

  6. Sharon Woolley
    Sharon Woolley December 24, 2014 at 3:39 am

    Maybe he should cough up his funds and help the island when they need it, he must have plenty of shares in every rum company

    • Cherise Unique Rock
      Cherise Unique Rock December 24, 2014 at 6:31 am

      You sound quite SILLY!!!

    • Sharon Woolley
      Sharon Woolley December 24, 2014 at 9:09 am

      it’s a well known fact, don’t bury your head in the golden sands, do you honestly think he could have made a better job of being PM lol

    • Sharon Woolley
      Sharon Woolley December 24, 2014 at 9:11 am

      It was a downward slope and whoever would have got the crap job of PM would have done no better, wait and see his lot will be elected next and then everyone can moan about them ! worldwide whoever gets elected screws up !!!!

    • Sterlin Blackman
      Sterlin Blackman December 24, 2014 at 11:43 am

      No Sharon Woolley don’t ever think that whoever got the job would get the same results. .. the truth is the economy is being managed badly by this administration that is why Barbados is now to the bottom of the pack. … pls think like a person that went to school

    • Sharon Woolley
      Sharon Woolley December 24, 2014 at 4:24 pm

      @Sterlin education here is excellent, but politics are very corrupt, and you don’t need a drunk running the country, Barbados needs some young blood running the country, not old fools on either party !

  7. Mark Walkes
    Mark Walkes December 24, 2014 at 3:41 am

    Owen’s the man for B’dos when it comes to the island finances. The current government seem to be lost i managing the island’s debt. The island needs someone with strong financial acumen to guide it out of the mess it is in. The poor credit ratings will further hinder stimulation in foreign investment. The private and government sectors need to work cohesively to generate economic activity by defining and utilising the tourism offering as well as private sector enterprjses which can reduce the foreign spend on goods and in some cases, services.

  8. Ryan Bayne
    Ryan Bayne December 24, 2014 at 5:22 am

    My special warning to those Britons is this: Do not place that money in the Government’s hands because the same way they mishandled the money from the treasury which caused us not to get back our tax returns is the same way it’s going to happen to this one.

  9. Cherise Unique Rock
    Cherise Unique Rock December 24, 2014 at 6:30 am

    Adam Sanford comes to mind

  10. Louise King
    Louise King December 24, 2014 at 6:42 am

    U-angers me-U sat on a back bench an allowed barbados to sink to de bottom of de sea–and now as sinkers seek assistance to refloat–U telling Barbadians to beware—[q] who is de fairy god father–are not same that say –beware ?

  11. Epaphras D. Williams
    Epaphras D. Williams December 24, 2014 at 6:48 am

    Joker! You prospered off of the heels and back of the Dems austerity programme and the stinging bees are poised to do it again. You cats should be scratching mats. If we suffered with the Dems, let us also benefit from the Dems if they can get some help.

  12. Daniel Polonis
    Daniel Polonis December 24, 2014 at 6:50 am

    Are these the two brothers that bought Royal Pavilion? if see a pattern forming?

  13. Arther Lashley December 24, 2014 at 7:54 am

    UK Statistics show:

    #860=: Andy Stewart, Cenkos – £87ml (Ravenscroft)

    OK not POOR but around £913,000,000 SHORT of Billionaire.

    Source:Uk Richest financial elite.

  14. kay-rani rosita December 24, 2014 at 8:08 am

    Ryan Bayne
    I do not believe you are a Barbadian…how disloyal can you be. Traitor! People like you hinder Barbados

  15. Janette Reifer
    Janette Reifer December 24, 2014 at 8:08 am

    I just wish that the Most High would come so that Barbados would be out of this mess. I don’t know with the amount of mess, if anyone would be able to get it clean. If the garbage all over this place cannot be clean up in a timely manner, how the hell the kind of mess with the economy anyone will get it clean ? Owen is not sanitation ! Why all this mess he must clean ? Who make the mess, better clean it up and let this country be where it used to be. That’s my wish for the year to come.

    • Joel C. Payne
      Joel C. Payne December 24, 2014 at 8:29 am

      The garbage USED to be collect in a timely manor before? Why not now? The QEH used to be better run then now? Why not again? You should be saying the current party can’t keep up the standards that were in place before. There are whole cities metropolises almost N times larger than the entire island of Barbados and they get sanitation done on a weekly basis. Why not Barbados too?

  16. kay-rani rosita December 24, 2014 at 8:10 am

    Artneal Bear Abbey
    Stupid recognise stupid! Before you come with your insults, come with your perfect solution.

  17. seagul December 24, 2014 at 8:13 am

    When you focus on problems, you’ll have more problems. When you focus on possibilities you’ll have more opportunities. Who says it cannot be done should not interrupt who is doing it!

  18. kay-rani rosita December 24, 2014 at 8:14 am

    To the Government and people of Barbados, BEWARE of Greeks bearing gifts.
    For the sake of an unrepayable loan, Barbados will no longer be our own.

  19. Sabrina Brathwaite
    Sabrina Brathwaite December 24, 2014 at 8:17 am

    This should be very clear

  20. Wayne Dread
    Wayne Dread December 24, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Well we dun know wha he and pj do to jamaica…but yuh could lead a bee to a cliff and tell them to fly off , difference here theses BEE’S can’t fly

  21. Elaine Crichlow
    Elaine Crichlow December 24, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Be Very Afraid….

  22. Cherry Matunda Heri
    Cherry Matunda Heri December 24, 2014 at 9:30 am


  23. Princess Tiny Neferua
    Princess Tiny Neferua December 24, 2014 at 10:46 am

    BARBADOS is NOT FOR SALE to the HIGHEST BIDDER…..that have many SKELETONS in they closets……All Barbados want is truthful management team….with EXPERIENCE…

  24. Bernard Walker
    Bernard Walker December 24, 2014 at 11:35 am

    yea might be strings. on the bikini also !!

  25. Ouida Burnham
    Ouida Burnham December 24, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    I agree one coming soon the people will wake up an when they do it will be heat in the torments seat the only one with the answer is CHRIST

  26. Adrian Boyce
    Adrian Boyce December 24, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Is this the same man who waive fees with the merger of FCIB and Barclays and save them 85 Million Dollars in Fees smh, people forget when they were in similar position they did something else totally different.

  27. Andrew Hulsmeier
    Andrew Hulsmeier December 24, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    He looking puffy….Owens not the man …we need new young blood

  28. Archangel Crichlow-Daniel
    Archangel Crichlow-Daniel December 24, 2014 at 1:40 pm


  29. Alex Alleyne December 25, 2014 at 6:53 am

    Which will be most costly to Barbados out of the lesser of the 2 evils.
    IMF or the “fairy Godfathers”

  30. Alex Alleyne December 25, 2014 at 7:01 am

    One day soon I can see it being TT&B under the leadership or guideance of Owen . He sold all the family jewels that makes money off to T&T. Now the Trints treating the BAJANS like 2nd class citizens . If you doubt me , just visit the Barbados National Bank now Republic Bank when the trinis top brass come to visit . Also at the MASSY stores, they drop all the nice things that BAJANS love , but taking all of our funds down to T&T.


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