Category Archives: Finance

Over $40M in agent fees on waterfront project

By Sean Douglas
Friday, December 5 2008

The Waterfront ProjectMINISTER of Planning, Dr Emily Gaynor Dick-Forde, said over $40 million was paid in commissions to the agents who arranged financing of the Waterfront Project, replying to a question by UNC Senator Mohammed Faisal Rahman in the Senate on Tuesday.

She said the agents for the borrower, the Port-of-Spain Waterfront Development Limited, were First Caribbean International Bank (collateral agent and financial advisor) and Wells Fargo Bank, North America (trustee).
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Cutbacks must start at the top

By Raffique Shah
November 23, 2008

PM Patrick ManningSo we have come full circle-responding only when the White “massa”, or “missus” in this case, wields the whip. Government has belatedly decided to review its expenditure in light of the global financial and economic crises. The announcement to that effect came immediately after the IMF’s Christina Daseking warned government about its spending spree, saying it must rein in unnecessary expenditure if the country is to weather the global storm.
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Higher you climb, harder you fall

By Raffique Shah
Sunday, October 26th 2008

Trini PeopleLAST week, when I suggested that the masses of poor and middle-income people across the world may yet have the last laugh in the midst of the global financial crisis, many readers laughed at me. “You can’t be serious?” several of my friends called to ask, exploding into loud guffaws. “Of course I am,” I responded. I proceeded to explain why I thought the super-wealthy would cry more tears than the wretched of the earth.
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PM: We never planned to buy 200 luxury cars

Ria Taitt Political Editor
Tuesday, October 21st 2008

PM Patrick ManningPrime Minister Patrick Manning on Saturday told the PNM General Council meeting that Government never had any intention of purchasing 200 luxury vehicles to transport VIPs during the two major international conferences to be held in Port of Spain next year.

Manning told the meeting that he did not know where this notion came from. He noted that this country had hosted conferences before, and the Government never purchased vehicles for this.
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Only the poor will survive

By Raffique Shah
Sunday, October 19th 2008

Trini PeopleOUR economists, bankers, stockbrokers, manufacturers, multi-millionaires and politicians will argue and wrestle over the next few months over where Trinidad and Tobago’s economy is heading. As a member of the lower-middle-income group (call us LMIGs), a sizeable portion of our population, I can only look on at what’s happening globally. I see financial fallouts in which individuals and corporations are losing billions of dollars a day. That boggles the minds of those of us who have never seen a million TT dollars in paper, far less billions.
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In Trinidad, the piper calls the tune

By Raffique Shah
Sunday, October 12th 2008

PNMI grew to dislike Budget presentations and the debates that followed them during my five short years as a parliamentarian. For most of that period, the then Prime Minister, Dr Eric Williams, was also Minister of Finance. Like most intellectuals who were also heads of governments in that era, Williams reveled in making lengthy presentations. Having a captive audience comprising 35 MPs, a number of senators and other high-ranking public officials who felt it was their duty to be present for the budget, Williams would drone on and on, sometimes for five, six hours.
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60 Minutes: A Look at Wallstreet’s Shadow Market

October 05, 2008
CBS News

Wall St.Steve Kroft looks at some of the arcane Wall Street financial instruments that have magnified the economic crisis.

It began with a terrible bet that was magnified by reckless borrowing, complex securities, and a vast, unregulated shadow market worth nearly $60 trillion that hid the risks until it was too late to do anything about them.

And as correspondent Steve Kroft reports, it’s far from being over.
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Vision and visionaries to steer us through crisis

By Raffique Shah
October 05, 2008

Wall St.With Ronald Reagan now dead and Margaret Thatcher barely alive, I shall resist the urge to blame this global financial crisis solely on them. In many ways, they cannot be blamed for today’s debacle. Some enterprises Thatcher divested should never have been state-owned: a trucking business (National Freight Corporation), 27 railway hotels, carmakers Jaguar and Rolls-Royce. Why would any government engage in such ventures?
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Taxing The Middle Class to Fund Conferences

By Stephen Kangal
October 01, 2008

PM Patrick ManningOn what basis can PM Manning justify spending an astronomical $503m (one percent of the 2009 budget that is equivalent to the sum for the construction of the Tobago power plant) to host the Summits of the Americas and the Commonwealth in 2009 if not to boost his already inflated ego? What diplomatic goodwill and political and economic benefits will accrue to the pauperized people of T&T from hosting these Conferences when we are burdened with a poverty rate of 27%? The poverty gap is widening and pensioners on fixed incomes are ketching their “nennen”.
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