Category Archives: Finance

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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Collapse of ‘Reaganomics’ and ‘Thatcherism’

By Raffique Shah
Sunday, September 28th 2008

Wall St.OVER the six decades I’ve been on this here Earth, more so during the latter four, I have learned to be wary of the very wealthy. Not all, mark you, but most. Some decent people earned their millions through sheer hard work and wise choices. Others educated themselves and used their professions to become rich. Among the aforementioned, you usually encounter nice men and women who just happen to be rich, and who see their wealth as a means to live comfortably, even to help the less fortunate in their communities and countries.
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“Tell Me Who to Kill?”

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 26, 2008

FinancialIt’s the kind of story that would get a cat vex or make a donkey want to commit murder. Imagine a young, imaginative entrepreneur, someone who does not possess a “gimme-gimme” mentality, comes into town and tells the world that he will build an empire that would make anything Sat Maharaj ever dreamed of doing look like a doll’s house. He starts a credit union and offers interest rates unlike anything the nation has ever heard; at least, not since the days of International Trust when my mother got burned because of her greed. People began to invest in this credit union and before you could say Pan-Dey it was the hottest thing in town.
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Defending the Maxi-Taxi Success

By Stephen Kangal
January 19, 2007

Rapid RailA self-imposed media embargo seems to have overtaken Minister Colm Imbert lately on the tenuous fate of his TRRP. This prognosis has been reinforced by the negative and depressing body language that he displayed while communicating to the press at Whitehall on the Interchange. I am coming to the intuitive conclusion that Cabinet seems to have ordered secretly a pre-emptive moratorium against the TRRP, in an election year, to avoid any further disastrous fallout from another major reversal and embarrassment while the wounds inflicted by the Chatham debacle are still fresh, politically painful and electorally threatening.
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