Archive for the 'Recession' Category

Turmoil in the global village

By Raffique Shah
August 14, 2019

Raffique ShahIt’s so easy for us to be so overwhelmed by our own mess—and there’s more than enough sewage there to drown us all—that we are unmindful of what’s happening in the wider world, developments that could impact our small island state negatively.

When the fallout from certain actions by powerful leaders hit us in the face with a bang, we will come awake startled, crying out: Oh Jeezanages! I was watching Marlene McDonald and her gang…ah didn’t see that bolt from Donald Trump (or Xi Jinping or Boris Johnson or Vladimir Putin) coming this way!
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Staying Woke!

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 14, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeLast week I urged the government to suspend or postpone the construction of the Toco-Manzanilla Highway. I drew on Lord Maynard Keynes to emphasize that an economist must possess several gifts (mathematics, history, philosophy) and “must study the present in light of the past for the purposes of the future.” This implies that development consists of more than building roads, particularly if citizens are unable to walk or ride on them in relative safety.
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Identifying and fighting economic apartheid

By Raffique Shah
June 14, 2019

Raffique ShahTrinidad and Tobago should be grateful for having among its citizens patriots who are unafraid to speak out on issues that affect us all, and more importantly, who bear allegiance to the country, not to any political party. Of course, such persons have the right to support a party of their choice at any point in time. But they also jealously maintain their independence by criticising the policies and actions of the party they voted for when they are convinced it has made decisions that are inimical to the best interests of the nation.
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No to devaluation

By Raffique Shah
April 15, 2019

Raffique ShahThe continuous cacophony over the state of the national economy is confusing me, as I imagine it confounding the vast majority of the population, including many of those who promote themselves, or who are presented by the media as experts to pontificate on the topic.

If I confused readers with my opening paragraph, rest assured that was not deliberate. It’s just that every Monday morning some Government minister announces that the ailing economy, having been rescued from the intensive care unit from near-death inflicted by his predecessors, suffering foreign-currency-asphyxia, is now stable-to-robust enough to have gone on a training run in preparation for the Miracle Economies Olympiad.
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The Dog and the Bone

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 22, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOver the past year, Ralph Maraj, a fellow columnist, has been a tick in PNM’s behind. He isn’t always wrong in his commentaries—even a broken clock is correct at least twice a day—but his obsessive fascination with PNM’s failures leads one to question his objectivity and the distorting lens of his overwrought rhetoric.

Last Sunday he listed everything PNM has done wrong during its tenure and why he is heartened by UNC’s plans as it prepares to govern from 2020.
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Think small, earn big

By Raffique Shah
January 03, 2019

Raffique ShahI could have begun the New Year by griping about all the negatives of the old, cussing from politicians to crooks for the many woes we citizens face daily, ranging from a record high number of homicides to a seemingly stagnated economy, arguing that the current government is the worst we have had since the indigenous peoples ran things however many centuries ago, blah, blah, blah.
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Crying over Caroni’s evaporated aged rums

By Raffique Shah
August 02, 2018

Raffique ShahSometimes when you live long enough, you get around to enjoying the proverbial “last laugh”, or, in this case, the “last cry”, depending on your perspective.

On Republic Day 2000, I wrote a story in the now-defunct Independent newspaper telling of a report compiled by a professional “alcohol valuator”, American Robert Fuchs, that assessed the value of the aged rum stocks that Caroni Ltd held at its bonds on the compound of the distillery at Caroni Village.

Fuchs told Caroni that its 18,000-plus casks of rum of varying vintages, if converted into premium aged rums on a phased basis, could gross between TT $1 billion and $6 billion, depending on “intent of product”.
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The housing conundrum

By Raffique Shah
June 28, 2018

Raffique ShahAt two ends of the nation’s housing spectrum there are seemingly intractable problems that defy solutions unless the population is prepared to change the cultural mores that have contributed to us facing this conundrum.

At the base, we see tens of thousands of citizens ranging from low-income workers to no-income “lochos” clamouring for Government to provide housing for them. Many among these can afford to pay the subsidised rental or mortgage rates that the Housing Development Corporation, either directly or through certain mortgage facilities, charges for its low-end units.
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Imbert’s Casual Cruelty

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 21, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI am always struck by Colm Imbert’s casual cruelty; his notion that he possesses superior wisdom; is always in the right; and his access to privileged information makes his utterances irrefutable. Such advantages, he believes, give him the right to demean and insult anyone he chooses.

On May 11 he was at his most incorrigible presumably because God blessed T&T with greater accesses to nature’s riches than say Jamaica. He accused Mariano Brown, Patrick Watson, Roger Hosein, Indera Sagewan-Alli, and Maria Dukharan of being “unfair and biased in their criticisms of Government’s handling of the economy” (Guardian, May 13).
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Harness the best cocoa in the world

By Raffique Shah
May 16, 2018

Raffique ShahSometimes it pays to stay aloof of the noise that tends to pollute discussions on issues as important as the state of the national economy and efforts to resuscitate it. Last week, Finance Minister Colm Imbert’s mid-year review of the fiscal 2017-2018 Budget, which has been elevated to a media event, degenerated into a political slugfest involving several prominent economists and political commentators, and cantankerous Colm.
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