Economic fallout

Businesses worried about impact of Sinckler and Worrell’s break up

With the jury still out on whether Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados Dr DeLisle Worrell will actually be sacked or not, the local business community is calling for an urgent resolution to the current legal wrangling at the helm of the country’s monetary authority.

A day after details emerged of a nasty fallout between the Governor and Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler that is now to be decided in the law courts, President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) Eddy Abed said he was anxious for the dispute to be resolved, since “it is not desirable that we have, at this level” a public row between the two managers of the economy.

Eddy Abed

Equally concerned were Executive Director of the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) Henderson Holmes and Chairman of the Barbados Private Sector Association Charles Herbert who both agreed with Abed that the current uncertainty at the Central Bank could only spell more bad news for this island’s ailing economy.

Abed pointed out that the country’s foreign reserves were already in a “perilous state” and given the threat of a currency devaluation, he warned that now was not the time for the Central Bank to be at the centre of any lengthy internal court battle.

“We are also extremely concerned about not only how we got to this worrying situation, but also what has been happening in terms of printing money, essentially for our current expenditure,” Abed said, while pointing to the Governor’s recent revelation that Government would not have been in a position to pay civil servants without resorting to the printing of money.

“So there is nothing from the Governor’s statements, there is nothing from what I have seen of the financials for the country that gives me any hope that not only are we going to deal with our deficit in a meaningful way going forward, but more importantly, our reserves continue to go in the wrong direction and the paths of some foreign direct investment that we have been hearing about there is no short-term measure to bolster those reserves,” the concerned businessmen said.

As it relates to the continuing saga between the Minister of Finance and the Governor, he said: “Quite frankly, it should never have been exposed in the public.

“It should be dealt with behind closed doors to protect the integrity of this country”, Abed insisted, adding that “the associated problems, commentaries and information reaching the business community compound what is already a worrying situation and makes it extremely alarming”.

In recent weeks, the Governor, who had been under pressure to explain the country’s dwindling economic fortunes, has called for the printing of money to stop and for the Freundel Stuart administration to embark on immediate expenditure cuts.

Henderson Holmes

This has coincided with rising administrative tensions within the bank, blamed on Worrell, who recently sacked the Human Resources Manager Janis Marville.

Last Thursday, Sinckler, at the insistence of other members of the board reportedly met with Worrell to inform him that his services were no longer needed, and that he had until Monday to either resign or be forced out of office.

However, Worrell immediately moved to challenge the right of the minister to get rid of him by filing a temporary injunction, through his attorney Gregory Nicholls, barring Sinckler and the six-member board of the Central Bank from taking any further action to dispose of him.

In making the ruling Justice Randall Worrell also gave Sinckler until Wednesday morning to come up with a satisfactory explanation as to why the Governor was being removed.

Charles Herbert

Though not yet armed with all the facts surrounding the attempt to get rid of the Governor, Holmes also expressed serious worry over the development, saying it could create even more economic uncertainty.

“It is worrying for something like this to be happening. It is one of those things that could cast a little shadow over us as an international business jurisdiction – let people start to wonder what is really going on especially since the Governor’s report just the other day was not flattering. So it is a little worrying to us,” he told Barbados TODAY.

He too called for a quick resolution “so we can get back to the matter of trying to resuscitate this economy”.

“I don’t think it may surprise anyone to hear that the business community says it is worrying, not just the international business community but the business community at large. The Central Bank is too much of an important institution for this not to have an impact on the business community and what people think about what is going on,” he added.

Like the rest of the business leaders, Herbert would not say whether or not he was in favour of Worrell parting ways with the financial institution. However, the BPSA head said: “We wouldn’t like to see a prolonged battle between the Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Central Bank. It is an important time for them to be working in harmony, even if it is a check and balance”. marlonmadden@barbadostoday.bb.

10 Responses to Economic fallout

  1. Colin February 15, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Always the comment in Barbados about dealing with issues behind closed doors. You know this issue has been behind closed doors for months, the have been stories in the past 2 years regarding the governor and senior staff. It is only when issues come to the public that there is any impetus to resolve them.

    Reply
  2. Peter February 15, 2017 at 9:53 am

    This island which has no natural resources to rely on, is overburdened with taxes, most of which is used by politicians to upkeep their lifestyles. The result? like it or not, is sufferage by both the private business sector and the average Barbadian. Stray bullets are flying but none is hitting any of DEM politicians.

    Reply
    • Carson C Cadogan February 15, 2017 at 3:12 pm

      I cant believe that BARBADOSTODAY has allowed your comment.

      You are clearly calling for the assassination of Barbados Politicians. This is really horrible.

      Reply
      • Peter February 15, 2017 at 8:42 pm

        Carson C Cadogan. You obviously cannot read and understand at all. Everyone knows who you defend. I never called for an assignation of anyone. I made a remark. It would be no different if I said so many PSV accidents on our roads I’m surprised there are still people using that service. Why don’t you Cadogan, come up with an idea to get Barbados out of this financial rot?

        Reply
  3. Richard Johnston February 15, 2017 at 10:57 am

    When this is resolved Barbados needs to follow the example of the US, UK, France, Germany and other leaders and make the central bank clearly separate from the executive function, so ministers don’t meddle. Barbados also needs to find a credible, competent head of the central bank, even if it means taking someone from overseas, as the UK has done (Canadian). Otherwise the IMF will handle it.

    Reply
  4. James Franks February 15, 2017 at 11:17 am

    Seems like Barbados is going broke!

    Reply
  5. hcalndre February 15, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    @Mr. Abed, you can hide a dying person but when they die and rigor mortis steps in and the body starts to stink and decay, you can`t hide it anymore.

    Reply
  6. Carson C Cadogan February 15, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    This article is really hilarious.

    A bunch of clowns calling themselves the Barbados Private Sector. they are members of the worst Private Sector in the Caribbean. This bunch has no moral authority to criticize anyone. This buy and sell Private sector is of very little use to this country. They have no vision, very little business skills, unable to contribute much to the country in way of foreign exchange imputs, not export oriented, constantly hanging on to Govt. coat tail.

    They need to take a page out of the Trinidadians book. Now these are real business people. They look beyond the shores of Trinidad to export their products and assist their country greatly in bringing in foreign exchange to their country.. The Jamaicans are also the same.

    These jokers that we have here are always talking about foreign exchange reserves but they do very little to bring in any. Ask Buy and sell Eddy Abed when was the last time he did anything to improve our foreign exchange position.

    The only section of our so called Private sector which is firing on all cylinders is the Tourism sector. Brilliant men and women doing all they can to help the country and themselves. These are the ones who have the right to talk about foreign reserves which is being drained by the other nincompoops in commerece in Barbados. Now they are even importing Coconut water. A sorry bunch.

    Reply
  7. Jennifer February 15, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    @CCC – funny. All them doing is drinking the cream from that big black Caribbean breast. While my people slaving and eating crumbs. And the government and others cooning and encouraging them with slave employment laws, while them eating all the plant$ like locust.

    Reply
  8. PBJ February 23, 2017 at 5:09 am

    DeLisle Worrell, the governor of the central bank of Barbados, said that the decision to delay the bond sale was only caused by rocky market conditions triggered by the US government shutdown at the time, and was not necessary for the country.

    “It would just have added a bit of extra insurance, it wasn’t the anchor of our strategy,” he said. “We don’t actually need the money, we are adjusting our way to economic equilibrium.”

    Reply

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