This first article for 2018 is my summary of the key issues emerging from the ongoing CL Financial bailout. Yes, the bailout started on Friday 30th January 2009 and nine years later we are still at it. We have spent at least five times more than the original estimated cost, yet the situation remains essentially unresolved.
One of the most alarming aspects of this bailout has been the staggering increase in the amount of Public Money spent. The original cost was estimated to be $5.0Bn and we were told by the Minister of Finance in his Mid-Term Budget Review on 10th May 2017 that – “…the Government may be owed up to $27.7 billion by the CLF Group…”.
Despite that huge increase in expense, about 15,000 policyholders are still to be paid, so who got that $27.7 Billion in Public Money? I sued since 2012, under the Freedom of Information Act to get details of those payments and the audited accounts of the CLF group. Despite the change of government in September 2015, after my High Court win in July of that year, the State has continued its appeal against that High Court ruling. The Appeal Court hearing of my case is set for 24th January 2018, so we will be seeing more of this issue of State secrecy in huge expenditure.
Continue reading “CL Financial bailout – 2017 summary”
This is our meeting at St Mary’s College’s Centenary Hall in Port of Spain, Trinidad on Sunday 23 July 2017 to discuss the CL Financial bailout
The session was Chaired by Gregory McGuire and the speakers were
- Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj SC, former Attorney General and then attorney for Lawrence Duprey
- Afra Raymond
- Dr Patrick Antoine
- David Walker
Due to a series of technical issues we were only able to get recordings of myself and the two subsequent speakers.
Programme Length: 00:23:39
Programme Date: 23 July 2017
The previous article set out my criticism of the CLF bailout situation in respect of the CARICOM claims and our nation’s treaty obligation to exercise non-discrimination in its policies. In that light I am sceptical of the position now being advanced by the CLF shareholders to highlight that group as being a black-controlled conglomerate. My scepticism was rooted in the apparent refusal or failure of either the CLF shareholders or the T&T State to accept responsibility to meet CARICOM claims arising from the 2009 collapse of CLF.
I am stating here what seem to be the four indispensable elements of an equitable settlement to this CLF bailout. Continue reading “CL Financial bailout – the Caribbean Connection Part Two”
My previous article examined the November 2007 appointment of Karen Nunez-Tesheira as our Minister of Finance by then PM, the late Patrick Manning. For whatever reason, the consternation over the appointment of Christian Mouttet to investigate the #ferrygate imbroglio is reminding me of the confusion many people felt when PM Manning made that appointment. An eerie echo from the past, in this, The Season of Reflection.
This article appears the day before the anniversary of T&T’s 55th Independence Day. This week I examine the recent claims by the CLF group and its supporters as to its Black origin and so on. Those claims can be summarised as:
‘CLF is a black-owned and controlled conglomerate which has fallen into some difficulty and had to seek a bailout…it would be a tragedy to have such a company destroyed by liquidation or otherwise by the sitting black government’
This is emerging as a key element in the Duprey campaign, so it has to be seriously scrutinised by looking at the origins of CLF, the current stance of its shareholders and the pan-Caribbean aspects of this issue. Continue reading “CL Financial bailout – the Caribbean Connection”