You’re wrong, Don

Mascoll chides Marshall over money printing comment

Director of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISE) at the University of the West Indies (UWI)
Dr Don Marshall was way out of his league on the issue of money-printing and must leave the assessment of the Barbados economy to the trained economists, said an Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) spokesman.

Marshall, a trained political economist, last week sought to quell fears surrounding Government’s continued printing of money when he delivered the first lecture for 2017 in the Central Bank of Barbados series.

The SALISE head acknowledged that a money-printing binge could hurt the domestic currency, even as he assured that there was no need for panic at this stage.

He also suggested, “most of the commentators who have been speaking about the deleterious impact that printing of money can have, actually overstated the argument about it putting pressure on the currency peg”.

However, speaking during a BLP St Philip South branch panel discussion at the Hilda Skeene Primary School yesterday, Economic Advisor Dr Clyde Mascoll challenged his UWI Cave Hill Campus colleague to “bring the evidence to support his assertion”.

Careful not to push any panic buttons, Mascoll explained that the debt held by the Central Bank had climbed from zero in 2008 when the Democratic Labour Party came to power, to $1.8 billion in 2016.

“Now there are lots of people who try to attack our profession but yet still want to be one,” said Mascol, who holds in a doctorate in economics, and specializes in public finance.

“I want you to see for yourself that this was more than the doubling of the debt being held by the Central Bank [in 2013]. This figure was the same one that initially that the [former] Central Bank Governor [Dr DeLisle Worrell] denied that the Government was printing money.”

The BLP official contended that the current legislative framework that permits the monetary authority to print money was too loose and should instead mimic the more stringent Jamaican model, which requires parliamentary approval before such an undertaking. Currently only the approval of the Central Bank board is required.

“The Central Bank, prior to now, never indulged in this kind of financing of Government. This is outrageous that the Central Bank currently holds $1.8 billion in debt. The Central Bank has not earned profits in a long time so where would it get $1.8 billion to purchase Government securities? So what has happened is that eventually this unusual event that started [in 2009] and grew, and 2013 more than doubled, started to have its impact on the reserves.”

Marshall had suggested that the printing of money by the Freundel Stuart administration as a means of meeting its domestic wage bill would have to remain unchecked for a protracted period before it started to impact on the stability of the dollar.

However, Mascoll argued that this was a grossly understated view of the consequences of Government’s current fiscal trend.

“It is like helicopter money. If I don’t earn money but I have the capacity to create it like a central bank, that money goes into the system, having not been earned by any productive mean and it is still spent. Most of what we spend money on is imported, so if 50 per cent of the dollar is going to be used to purchase imports then it is going to cause a leakage of reserves because we now have to use foreign exchange to support the spending that we are doing locally. So if you now engage in more of this kind of behaviour it will eventually take its toll and it has started to take its toll,” the former DLP political leader said.

Mascoll also explained that had it not been for the excess liquidity in the commercial banks due to low a rate of borrowing, “Barbados would have already ran out of foreign reserves.

“What has happened is that banks have accumulated liquidity . . . the commercial banks are required by law to hold a certain proportion of their deposits at the Central Bank. If the commercial banks had excess reserves, they are required to either keep it or send some to the Central Bank.

“Now given the excess liquidity in the commercial banks, they are sending the excess money to the Central Bank and the Central Bank was and still is converting those excess liquidity into the purchase of the securities; and that is why there is a slow down on the impact on the reserves. If the banks were able to keep that money in the system and people were borrowing then that money would have been used to purchase imports and therefore would have had a more ready effect on the reserves,” he stressed.

27 Responses to You’re wrong, Don

  1. Wayne Spooner
    Wayne Spooner February 28, 2017 at 2:07 am

    In what world does any person who call themselves an economist think that printing more money is a good idea? Economics 101 tells you that the more you print the more a currency is devalued leading to even more economic trouble. Then again if the ones in charge knew what they were doing in the first place then the island wouldn’t be so full of economic potential but yet broke.

  2. BaJan boy February 28, 2017 at 3:25 am

    Sadly Don has been on a few Boards during this Government’s tenure. One can only conclude then that he is one of DEM..We should therefore expect nothing less from a political scientist who is trying to help out his party that has no economists.

  3. Zeus February 28, 2017 at 4:06 am

    Bajan boy ….Clyde was one of DEM ….as a matter of fact he was leading DEM so what’s your point

  4. Sunshine Sunny Shine February 28, 2017 at 4:15 am

    Barbados is currently not accumulating or generating any wealth. Therefore, printing money is not going to increase or improve the country’s wealth or the value of its currency. What printing more money will do is affect the currency value due to to lack of growth in GDP and GNP. A country’s currency is only as good as its accumulation of wealth and Barbados right now has no growth because its main money generating earning sectors (foreign investment and tourism) are not where they should be. Minister Sinckler seems to lack the capacity to come clean. Those who understand economics fully understand that if you are printing money to finance the government services (especially salaries and wages) that that is an enormous red flag that paints a very negative picture of the economy. The second enormous red flag is when your social and public catering services are so impacted that you are having problems financing health care, sanitation and others. That is another enormous red flag that we are dragging on hind legs. I can understand the need to reassure Barbadians but if you are going muddle the facts when others are tendering them in other reports, it just makes the government look like the liars so many have accuse them to be.

  5. Hal Austin February 28, 2017 at 5:02 am

    Wayne Spooner,

    Where did you study your economics 101? You should reclaim the fees you paid. You do not now anything about economics – nor did your teacher.
    The point is the story is badly written and edited.

  6. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn February 28, 2017 at 5:24 am

    Don is a DLP what you expect.

    • Beverley Headley
      Beverley Headley February 28, 2017 at 8:44 am

      And clearly that is what continues to destroy Bdos, two letters B and D. Then I am told that Barbadians have a hundred % literacy rate. Yeah, and Bdos economy is bouyant-SMH

    • Rubertha Blackman
      Rubertha Blackman February 28, 2017 at 9:17 am

      Beverley Headley thank you, and got the gall to hold a press conference and talk about don’t panic

  7. Ernesta Catlyn February 28, 2017 at 5:24 am

    What is wrong with persons like Zeus – get over it. Yes he was a member of the DLP but I am sure that you were a girl or a boy but you are now an adult. With more information we should be able to make more informed decisions. If we are not growing then we should die.

    I found Don’s stance and TIMING quite interesting from the first pronouncements out of his mouth last weeK. I am watching to see what is the next move for him – we have become a very self-serving set of people. I wont swear but I am sure that on Down to Brass Stacks about two weeks ago that was not the line he took.

  8. Danny Colombian Clarke
    Danny Colombian Clarke February 28, 2017 at 6:07 am

    So an institution that he is part of has told him how wrong his statements are . Bravo . Back to the fowlcoup now Don. You ain’t getting the CB head job so stop booty licking and get back to reality.

  9. Zeus February 28, 2017 at 6:21 am

    Ernesta persons like you makes me smile when I read your contributions it’s ok for Clyde to put over his views as a member of a party and that’s no problem but other views are stained with bias lol……in politics the grass is always green on the other side ….when he was a DEM he did not know what he was talking about now he has crossed the floor he has seen the light

  10. Elvis Goodman
    Elvis Goodman February 28, 2017 at 6:25 am

    Let me just rest this here…the economists of both parties have failed badly….from around 1980 international institutions have been warning that we needed to make significant structural changes to the economy 40 years later this is still the warning being given…the developmental model that we were using was not sustainable…yet we have not seen any efforts by the economist to provide a new model …but they want to pat themselves on their backs

    • Rubertha Blackman
      Rubertha Blackman February 28, 2017 at 9:20 am

      yeah why not and say that when we vote we will do so on how they have govern. That was the resounding statement by Senator Jepter Ince along with his side kick Harry Husbands. stupse

  11. Hal Austin February 28, 2017 at 7:48 am


    Spot on. We celebrate mediocrity. Our heroes are Don Marshall, Justin Robinson, Frank Alleyne, Andrew Downes, et al.
    Wow! What brains.

  12. Peter February 28, 2017 at 8:23 am

    At this point, printing money may have been the path, narrow as it may seem, to Barbados’ foreign reserves recovery. It has to be very tactical and strategic. Let me explain. Barbados has no known natural resources. The only one is oil and that depends on what it will cost to extract, and refine and compared with world market prices. as OPEC can easily over produce and sell cheaper to have market control. So what should we do? We ride on the back of a country which has an abundance and wide variety of exportable commodities. Guyana is the pick. Their is 200 t0 1 US dollar. They have a free flow of US dollars on the ground. We, Barbados wants US dollars. our dollar is the strongest in the Caribbean and is accepted internationally while the Guy dollar is not. So what does Guyana do? they adapt to trading Over the counter on the ground with the Barbados dollar. The Barbados dollar becomes the best interchangeable currency with the US dollar. All Barbados needs to do now is print as much Barbados dollars and allow that free flow to occur, allowing as much US dollars exchanged for Barbados dollars, into Barbados and to our Central Bank. Indirectly we are buying the excessive US dollars using our currency as the conduit. Trinidad was doing a similar exchange method. especially since their citizens are allowed unlimited offshore US dollar accounts where they use the Barbados dollar as their conduit. The Best thing Sinkler should do now is to persuade Guyana to reopen their local Currency exchange program and encourage as much Guyanese to open bank accounts in Barbados. Reopen a Barbados owned bank and offer better interest rates. You’ll be amazed at how fast this economy will turn around. Bear in mind that like Jamaica and Antigua, Trinidad and Grenada, Barbados and Guyana are close culturally They even accent even sounds alike. Christian names speak volumes of their historical connectivity. Time to throw our nose in the air condescending attitude through the preverbial window and live and get along with each other.

  13. Joan Worrell February 28, 2017 at 8:40 am

    BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. The bleating continues. The BEEES got the belly this morning. A lot of toilet paper will be bought today. Clyde ran from the DEMS to the BLP where he was appointed co-leader of the Party and Mia wept. He didn’t leave the DEMS because of their economic policies. He was dethroned. Very few BBBBBBB’s welcomed him with open arms. They see him as an adopted child and not one of their own. Owen has subsequently been dethroned in the BLP and it looks like he will be welcomed by DEMS as the chief economic advisor . Do fuh do is not obeah. Chris and Freundel just licked all the wind out of Mia’s sails. Alll the plans she had for moving into Ilaro Court get lick up. lol. History has a strange way of repeating itself. Remember when it was alleged that the wife of a former BLP leader had taken measurements of the windows at Ilaro Court to buy blinds that will fit when they won the elections? Grenville Phillips Jr.,you see what I tell you? Text book economists will never agree . It is time for you and your successful businessmen to come to the fore and the aid of the Barbadian people. Bajans are fed up with the musical chairs games played by the BBB and DDD Parties.

  14. Rubertha Blackman
    Rubertha Blackman February 28, 2017 at 9:11 am

    I pretty much thought Dr. Marshall assessment was basic pandering to the overlords. I mean am an average Bajan woman and I saw through and heard the BS.Now reality check to the government none of us ain’t buying what you trying to sell. Fire the finance minister who making all ah wunnah look jus as incompetent as he.

  15. Johnathan February 28, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Zeus you seem to be the clown prince for the DLP. They have no one not one who know or understand economics beside you so where do you expect this country to go. Owen must be an obeah man to make a difference. Once they continue printing money without productivity we must get worse. But that is the keep yuh head above water activity until next year.

  16. Mark Adamson February 28, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Three things here.

    1) The notion that “there are lots of people who try to attack our profession but yet still want to be one”, as attributed by Barbados Today to Dr. Clyde Mascoll, is a very unfortunate one. I would have thought that once a person had the intellectual and technical capacities and tools at hand to, in this case of government’s borrowing credits from the Central Bank of Barbados, analyse properly that said situation, that there was not to be this narrow minded by Mascoll who seems – for whatever reasons – threatened in his own so-called profession by Dr. Don Marshall.

    2) The borrowing by government of credits from the Central Bank of Barbados does not in any way impact on the foreign reserves/credit reserves of the government, nor does it impact on the foreign receipt outflows of this country, substantially because
    such credits are different from the transfers which employees, persons who would have done business with the government, pensioners, etc., receive from out of the core financial system of Barbados. The government hardly has expenditure!! What impacts on the foreign reserves/credit reserves of the government of Barbados are the receipts of the exporters of goods and services to Barbados.

    2) Elvis Goodman is spot on. It has been seen that Dr. Marshall has been bringing a wider perspective (a developmental approach) in helping analyse the political economic and financial problems that Barbados faces (a little like what Owen Arthur has been doing recently), and more than what Mascoll has been coming with (a functionalist approach) to analysing them.

    For a very long time, I have been telling many persons – in many spheres of Barbados, that this country needs a new model of development – one that is indigenized, egalitarian, participatory, people-centered, far away from this Westernist, oligarchist, exploitative and dependency model of DEDEVELOPMENT.

    • Stefan Cutting February 28, 2017 at 6:40 pm

      It is hard to reconcile these as facts when you cannot even count successfully to 3

  17. Hal Austin February 28, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Mark Adamson,

    I have said before and I say again. Of the public economists in Barbados, Mascoll is head and shoulders above them. When I sent out my notes, Don Marshall used to receive them; on a number of occasions views expressed in my Notes he would repeat without saying the source.
    I remember he once fronted a radio show and I would squeal everytime he had a view which, by mere coincidence, he would express after my Notes were sent out.
    His view on the defence force is a good example. I am not saying he plagiarises ideas. I am sure he reached all these conclusions independently, but he makes me very suspicious.
    He is no intellectual match for Clyde Mascoll – nor, by the ay, is Owen Arthur.

    • NOLAN HALL February 28, 2017 at 7:33 pm

      Mark Adamson , i am sure that paramedics, pharmacy technician,nursing assistants et al. has some knowledge of medicine and in your words have ” the intellectual and technical capacities and tools at hand ” to talk about the medical profession.However, if you are seriously ill who would you listen to, who would you take more seriously? That is why when professionals in their various fields of endeavour write or speak on a topic it is customary to show their credentials to give authority to what is being said. Its for laymen in economics , like Don Marshall , irrespective of his intellectual capacity, to let the trained economist speak.

  18. Helicopter(8P) February 28, 2017 at 11:59 am

    My words can be spoken on economic affairs, but the science of economics has set applied formulas for applied theories. There are graphical equations when modeled,can prognoses a critical situation about to occur in the future. Every day global economic factors are also needed to be interpreted and analyzed. The task of economic advice is a 24×7 job due to time differential around the globe.

  19. Lorenzo February 28, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Joan Worrell for someone not affiliated to a party you are always attacking the BLP is this a coincidence,i doubt it.Following Dr Marshall comments over time convinces me of a clear bias on his part so I am not surprised.On a different note I smiled on Friday as Mr David Ellis lamented the supporters who called to support Mia Mottley trying tosidetrack and rush them even asking a lady if she was a BLP candidate as if that was his business.

  20. Mikey February 28, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    @Hal Austin ,,, Are You now an economic journalist ???
    There is nothing else you can aspire to be, other than to be a perpetual complicated critic with no plausible alternative suggestions.

  21. Joan Worrell February 28, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    I do not know if I will vote in the upcoming elections. I am begging Solutions Barbados to get some candidates in the field and start some serious canvassing. I have voted personalities over the years and when I leave the polling station, my conscience tells me that I have done the right thing . To tell you the truth, the DLP representative in my riding has lost his way politically. The BLP candidate can’t even convince my granddaughter to vote for him. I was hoping that Mia would have brought someone different but her policy seems to one of loading the party with ”yes men and women” . This is a recipe for disaster. I don’t follow any party blindly or slavishly. Can you say the same?

  22. Hal Austin March 1, 2017 at 12:54 pm


    You have a problem with memory. I am a retired journalist. I say that to you every week. But I fancy my knowledge of economics against you and people of your level of knowledge.
    If you have been reading for a long time, this and other forums, I have been putting forward alternatives for the last nine years – over one million words.


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