Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 3rd 2016 Contents A20
letters on sunday
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt January 3, 2016
A resident rides past the scene of an accident along La Fortune Pluck Road, San Francique, on Friday. According to residents, around 10.20 am yesterday, the car was headed south along the
roadway, when the driver hit a depression in the road and the car went airborne. One of the three people in the car was taken to hospital via ambulance, but residents said the man did not
appear seriously injured. The other two people in the car escaped with minor cuts and bruises. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
The issue of the former governor of
the Central Bank, Mr Jwala Rambarran,
choosing to divulge the names of some
18 corporate entities that, in his estimate,
gobbled up most of the country's foreign
exchange, triggered lively debate centred
on whether or not what he did was legal.
Few of us asked whether his actions
flowed solely from an ethical imperative.
Jurisprudence derives its underpinnings
from a variety of philosophical, political,
corporate or other considerations. It is
neither heavily nor uniquely influenced
by deontological considerations. Hence,
the law may defend actions that are
manifestly unethical and immoral. In
this regard there is much more to the
demand for confidentiality in interna-
tional investment banking than meets
Further, if one explores the rational
for 'secrecy' and obfuscation throughout
the historical evolution of financial cap-
italism and the development of inter-
national investment banking, there cer-
tainly is a moral imperative for
completely eliminating the need for
'secrecy' in financial affairs. Such a need
offends against the principle of trans-
parency in the relationship between cen-
tral banking and the consumption of
foreign exchange by global corporations
through the actions of investment
It is quite impossible to understand
the history of the 20th century without
an understanding of the role played by
money in domestic and foreign affairs.
Crucial to this understanding, too, is
the role played by the banks in economic
and political life.
Central Banks are intimately connect-
ed to a surrounding innermost circle of
nearly invisible investment banks. There
are often close private associations
between these private, international
bankers and the Central Bank itself.
Outside this there is a secondary ring
of deposit and commercial banks.
Beyond this secondary ring is a third,
more peripheral, assemblage of insti-
tutions that have little financial power
but do have the very significant function
of mobilising funds from the public.
This includes a wide variety of savings
banks, insurance firms, credit unions
and trust companies. Banks preference
for low interest rates, increased money
supply through their creation of money
via increasing loans has an inflationary
effect that benefits them. This is in con-
flict with government policies that are
Banks in this country are perhaps the
only business entities that consistently
operate with a profitable bottom line.
The business sector is intimately con-
nected to the banks by virtue of inter-
locking directorships. The interests of
the private corporate sector are not nec-
essarily aligned with those of either
ordinary citizens or the government.
Inflation, devaluation, deficit budgets
and an increasing debt burdens benefit
the private business sector.
Seeding the Central Bank's board of
directors with private bankers and busi-
nessmen where both of these groups
also seed the boards of government
institutions and advisory entities with
people whose interests are at variance
with the best interest of ordinary people
would clearly be the means through
which the operations of the Central Bank
may place private corporate interests
ahead of the public interest with the
latter group being conspicuously dis-
advantaged by the legal requirement for
It is this 'secrecy' that is perverse and
immoral. Mr Rambarran's disclosures
were ethical and consistent with the
moral requirements of the post he held.
After listening to the address by the Prime Minister on the
state of our country's economy it is clear that our current
circumstances require our collective effort to weather this
It is comforting to know that we have been through this
type of scenario before and our cultured resilience as a people
allowed us to emerge to see brighter days.
Dr Rowley's commitment to providing good old-fashioned,
honest leadership is sobering to say the least. The seven per
cent mandate is a move that demonstrates to the public that
this Government is keeping its word on getting value for
money and stands as a drive towards efficiency.
The open disclosure of the country's economic position
is what the citizens of T&T needed to better understand the
sacrifices that have to be made in the short- and medium-
term. The belt tightening mode of operation with the appeal
to buy local is something we must immediately embrace as
a way of life.
The response statement by the Opposition Leader is of
serious concern. The proclamations of the economy being
in ICU (Intensive Care) as a negative that should not be,
seems not only delusional but hypocritical.
The Opposition Leader would probably like the Government
to continue spending without trying to balance the reduction
in revenue by a reduction in spending on items that can be
adjusted to become more efficient. This is a time when we
need to put the political agendas on the back burner in the
interest of advancing our country's economic recovery.
My desire is for us to face our challenges together and not
allow partisan politics to cloud our national agenda.
Time to put political
agendas on back burner
Rambarran consistent with
moral requirements of the post
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