Category Archives: Finance

Dangerous Draft Constitution

Newsday Editorial
Tuesday, January 13 2009

PM Patrick ManningTHE Draft Constitution laid by Prime Minister Patrick Manning at last Friday’s re-opening of the House of Representatives not only alters the mechanics of the Constitution but undermines the most universal tenets of constitutional accountability.

This is the third draft presented by Mr Manning, following a first draft laid in the House on Friday August 18, 2006, and a second draft outlined to the PNM Annual Convention on Sunday July 13, 2008.
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Recession opens new opportunities

By Raffique Shah
Sunday, January 11, 2009

Trini PeopleIF ever the world needed an economic recession, this is the time. Maybe there is some superior entity that is both omniscient and omnipotent, that saw the excesses man was capable of, left to his devices. And just maybe, that entity decided to call halt to the madness that gripped mankind, from Iceland to Antarctica. Almost the entire world, except for the one billion living in poverty that we can pretend do not exist, engaged in wanton, wasteful consumerism. It was as if we were re-enacting the lavishness of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt, or the Court of the Roman Empire in its halcyon days.
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Cholera Outbreak Outcome of West’s War on Zimbabwe

By Stephen Gowans
December 08, 2008

Zimbabwe WatchThe crisis in Zimbabwe has intensified. Inflation is incalculably high. The central bank limits – to an inadequate level – the amount of money Zimbabweans can withdraw from their bank accounts daily. Unarmed soldiers riot, their guns kept under lock and key, to prevent an armed uprising. Hospital staff fail to show up for work. The water authority is short of chemicals to purify drinking water. Cholera, easily prevented and cured under normal circumstances, has broken out, leading the government to declare a humanitarian emergency.
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Double up on doubles’ price

By Raffique Shah
Sunday, December 7th 2008

DoublesI can’t claim to have known anything about Consumer Affairs Minister Peter Taylor until two weeks when he singled out “doubles” as a target for price reduction. That statement signalled to me that the minister was doubly ignorant about his portfolio, maybe even wholly unsuited for the job. Indeed, Prime Minister Patrick Manning, who will read this column from a hospital bed in Havana, may want to consider doubling up on ministers in this ministry by naming a Junior Minister of Doubles.
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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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