[Barbados] EDITORIAL: Independence counts

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bimjim
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[Barbados] EDITORIAL: Independence counts

Unread post by bimjim » Fri Feb 10, 2017

http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/ne ... nce-counts

[Barbados] EDITORIAL: Independence counts
10 February 2017

THE LAWS OF Barbados specifically provide at CAP 323 that directors serving on the board of the Central Bank of Barbados should be people of recognised standing in the country, with experience in business or established professional spheres.

In its several dispensations, the Central Bank has been blessed with directors who were distinguished persons of fierce independence and firm loyalty to the national good.

The finest example of how well this worked in the interest of Barbados was in the case of the resignations of two directors, Sir Douglas Lynch and Sir Fred Phillips, in November 1991.

They withdrew from their privileged perches at Church Village on the grounds that they had fundamental disagreements with the Minister of Finance over his handling of the economy.

It meant more to them to walk away than to be regarded as supporting measures that brought our financial future to the brink.

People of the calibre of these two men, as well as other directors of the Central Bank of Barbados, beforehand and afterwards, were of such mettle as to be able to boldly abandon office when the out of control decline of the country’s economy created a sufficient concern that silence would have signalled betrayal.

We are not aware of the circumstances that occasioned the reported discontent of some of the current board members, no doubt people of good repute, who reportedly sought the counsel of the Minister of Finance, at whose will they serve.

Certainly the state of the economy is again at the crossroads, but nothing that we know would suggest that there is any similarity between the recent concerns and the messy 1991 episode. But we are puzzled that the current crop did not find it possible to resolve their apprehensions within the confines of the Tom Adams Financial Centre and with their chairman, the Governor of the Bank.

This would suggest that there is no possibility of a meeting of minds or there is such unreasonableness on one side or the other that across-the-table discussion would be fruitless.

So are there other underlying issues?

The Central Bank of Barbados is of such critical importance to the country that the Act that proclaimed it is deliberate in its lengthy guidance on the responsibilities of directors as well as the policy and general guidelines for administration.

There can be no avoidance of its statues.

But it is not beyond public interest to recognise that these rumblings between the governor and some directors have come at a time when the advice of the bank’s chief executive, as given in his recent statements, seem not to coincide with the fully expressed desires of the Minister of Finance with respect to reducing the size of the Government’s monthly payroll.

So is there more in the mortar than the pestle?

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