By Michael Harris
September 27, 2010

CLICO BailoutOne of the things which I tried to do as a parent was to inculcate in my son the knowledge that to be an adult meant being prepared to accept responsibility for the consequences of one’s actions. This, after all, is one key thing which separates adulthood from childhood. When you are a child it is assumed that you cannot be held entirely responsible for your actions and your parents or guardians are assumed to accept that responsibility in your stead. When you become an adult the responsibility is all yours.

This principle can be taken to operate not only at the level of the individual but also at the level of societies and nations. That is why the most important ingredient in building a successful and sustainable nation is the presence of a majority of citizens who accept responsibility for their country.

It is against this background that I want to discuss the emergence, in the immediate post- budget period, of a number of organised voices raised in opposition to the prescriptions advanced by the Minister of Finance for dealing with the CLICO crisis. From some credit unions, some trade unions, from a new group calling itself the CLICO EFPA Policyholders group, there has been a rising tide of opposition to the Government’s prescriptions. Essentially their position is simple and straightforward, “We want we money now!”
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6 thoughts on “NOT A PENNY MORE!”

  1. Dookeran: Gov’t acted lawfully
    FINANCE Minister Winston Dookeran says he is not at all worried about Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj’s threat of legal action against Government’s decision for Clico.

    We acted within the law
    Finance Minister Winston Dookeran says his Government acted within the law with regards to paying out Clico depositors, so he was not worried about facing legal action from former Attorney General Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj.

    …We’re within the law
    Dookeran unmoved by Clico depositors’ protest

    …’We can’t wait 20 years’
    “Blame the regulators,” said Peter Permell, deputy chairman of the CLICO Policy Holders Group, yesterday. Speaking to policy holders at Centre Pointe Mall in Chaguanas, Permell said they have “nothing to be ashamed of” as they did nothing wrong by investing in CL Financial.

    …Policy holders plan to picket PM’s office

    …Rowley: PNM to talk CLICO at public meetings

    …Admit error
    Government should not play “wrong and strong” but accept it made an error and revisit its CLICO bailout plan, says Opposition MP Colm Imbert.

    …Probe into Clico (Guyana)
    The parliamentary opposition parties have intensified their call for an independent probe into the collapse of Clico (Guyana), saying that there are still many unanswered questions about what precipitated the collapse of the company.

  2. “Government should not play “wrong and strong” but accept it made an error and revisit its CLICO bailout plan, says Opposition” MP Colm Imbert.

    The bourgoise class are mad at the government and wants more. They will keep wanting more and more. It is true that losing money is a highly emotional experience, however, ladies and gentlemen it is not the end of the world. The government cannot take tax payers dollars and fix every little investment mistake that people make. CLICO members should write Obama and complain about their pain. After all it was the American slow down that did them in…. As for Imbert than God he is in Opposition. I see him as the “defacto” leader of the PNM.

  3. Mr. Duprey was once hailed as the great investor and business tycoon of the Caribbean and everyone welcomed him. I remember when he was invited to a dinner hosted by APETT some years ago. I was appalled at what he had to say about T&T engineers as he gave the feature address on that occasion. I was upset by his choice words that did not apply to my personal achievements. I left that dinner dumbfounded and unimpressed. I guess life does have its moments. Nevertheless I agree with the article as we need to always accept the consequences of our actions as we enter adulthood.

  4. ‘Take it or leave it’
    PRIME MINISTER Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday strongly urged policyholders at Colonial Life Insurance Company (Clico) to take the offer which Government has laid on the table because it is the best and only option to bail them out of the fiasco which Clico is embroiled in, without endangering the country’s economy in difficult times.

    …PM on Clico: Take it or leave it
    Take it or leave it. That was the advice of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Government’s offer of $75,000 payout to Clico policyholders. Saying she was sympathetic, Persad-Bissessar, however, said people needed to understand the State’s position. She was speaking to reporters in the VIP Lounge at the Piarco Airport yesterday morning.

    …PM: Depositors can take it or leave it

    Bill sharpens Central Bank’s teeth
    THE CABINET will today consider a draft bill which proposes to explicitly expand the powers of the Central Bank to deal with the assets of distressed institutions and to allow the Office of the Attorney General to allow it to initiate “non-criminal” proceedings against persons who are responsible for placing the national financial system at risk.

    …AG seeking to stop lawsuits with bill
    Former Attorney General Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj says Government is bringing legislation to Parliament to prevent Clico policyholders from initiating legal action against the Central Bank

    …Ewart must speak or resign
    The CLICO Policyholders Group is calling on the Governor of the Central Bank Ewart Williams to either break his silence on the CL Financial issue or resign.

    DPP: Probe hasn’t started
    CRIMINAL CHARGES arising out of the collapse of insurance giant CLICO are nowhere on the horizon, says Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard.

    …DPP: I will not be rushed

  5. $7.3b WASTE
    In an impressive presentation, Persad-Bissessar laid out a cogent case to all groups, outlining the reality of the situation to the policyholders and depositors, standing forcefully in defence of the citizen and taxpayer, and pulling no punches as she slammed the “incompetence” of the former People’s National Movement administration.

    …Govt probes Clico, HCU
    PRIME MINISTER Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday announced that the People’s Partnership Government will launch a Commission of Inquiry into the CL Financial crisis to find out who and what is responsible for the fiasco which occurred at its subsidiaries Clico, British American and Clico Investment Bank (CIB).

    …PM calls for CL Financial probe

    …’A scandal of monumental proportions’

    Shareholders: A ray of hope
    Clico shareholders and investors yesterday welcomed Government’s announcement of a commission of inquiry into the operations of parent company CL Financial, as well as its withdrawal of a bill to protect the Central Bank from litigation.

    First Citizens: Honour $1.8B CMMB deal
    MINISTER of Finance Winston Dookeran last night revealed that he yesterday received a request from the First Citizens Bank Limited to underwrite its commitments to the tune of $1.8 billion in relation to its role in the State bailout of CL Financial.

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