CL Financial bailout – the Caribbean Connection Part Two

CL Financial bailout – the Caribbean Connection Part Two

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”

Advertisements

CL Financial bailout – hide and seek…part two

The meaning of the PM’s speech of 27th July 2017 was truly sobering. 27 July was the anniversary of the Muslimeen coup, the 27th anniversary, as it so happens. This might look like a mere coincidence, but stay with me here.

Dr Rowley told us that the CL Financial group, which has been under the direction of a State-controlled Board since 2009, was either not in control or themselves culpable in this serious situation now upon the country. The failure to keep proper audited accounts and the issue of the alleged diversion of Angostura’s dividends, all add to the impression of a huge, out-of-control entity operating to our collective detriment. It also seems from that statement that the only substantial repayment of CLF’s debt to the State was the $7.5 Billion earned from the sale of shares in Methanol Holdings Trinidad Ltd. Where did the hefty dividends from Republic Bank Ltd go? Continue reading “CL Financial bailout – hide and seek…part two”

CL Financial bailout – hide and seek

This title denotes the search for truth and the meaning of that truth. The main issue to be confronted this week is the attempt to once again create an alternative narrative, this time in relation to interest charged on the Public Money spent in this bailout.

Every year, I observe The Season of Reflection, between Emancipation Day on 1st August; Independence Day on 31st August and Republic Day on 24th September. There appears to be a meaning in the sequence of these holidays in terms of both the years and dates. Some notion of progress from the barbarism of Slavery to the undignified bad-old days of Colonialism to the better days we now experience as citizens of a Republic. But that progress did not come just so, there had to be real pressure for change.

Searching for progress and understanding requires us to go deep, even if only for a spell, hence The Season of Reflection.

This Season opens at a charged moment in the riveting CL Financial bailout, which I described last week as a bold-faced snatch-and-grab. Of course I was referring to the attempt by the shareholders to regain control of the CLF group without a binding agreement in place to ensure repayment of the $15 Billion in Public Money spent in this bailout. Continue reading “CL Financial bailout – hide and seek”

Joint Media Statement on the lack of Transparency in the CL Financial Bailout

Dear Collegues

Please see attached a Joint Media statement from Mr Afra Raymond (www.afraraymond.net), Mr David Walker and myself Rishi Maharaj (CEO Disclosure Today). “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.” This quote seems to epitomize the current scenario the country is facing regarding the CL Financial fiasco. Over the past eight and a half years each of us in our own capacity have made several requests for financial information regarding the bailout.

Additionally The Prime Minister’s recent statement on the CLF legal actions also raises some interesting questions. There now seem to be more questions than answers after the Prime Minister’s statement but at least we have made a start.

It is therefore our view that in the best interests of protecting taxpayers, it is clear that the government should immediately lift the veil that they erected and be open with the public.
Regards,

Rishi Maharaj
Chief Executive Officer
Disclosure Today
http://www.disclosure.today | rishi@disclosure.today
120 Abercromby Street
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

VIDEO: Morning Brew interview on fight for control of CL Financial

CNC3 LogoThis is my 17 July 2017 ‘Morning Brew’ interview with CNC3’s Hema Ramkissoon on the continuing drama that is the CL Financial bailout. The “chess game” for control is active at this moment, but the propriety of a wholesale return of the group to those chiefs who brought the company to its knees in the first place is still to be debated. Video courtesy of CNC3 Television.

Programme Date: 17 July 2017
Programme Length: 00:26:14

CL Financial bailout – False Equivalence?

tony fraser article

In today’s world of ‘Alternative Facts’ we have to be alert to the special dangers posed by ‘False Equivalence’. False Equivalence arises when two arguments are presented as being of equal relevance, but in fact one is solidly fact-based and the other is mere speculation or invention. Those dangers are especially present in matters of public importance, as recent events have shown.

Tony Rakhal-Fraser’s Sunday Guardian column on 25 June 2017, titled Appointing ‘Fit and Proper’ People, made me wince, despite his usual high standard of writing. My reaction arose from what appeared to be an attempt by the Central Bank Governor to promote a new discussion on the fit and proper rules. Continue reading “CL Financial bailout – False Equivalence?”

Response from Central Bank on the CL Financial bailout

Central Bank replies to our open letter of 31st January 2017 on the CL Financial bailout.

On 31st January 2017 I co-signed an open letter to the Central Bank Governor on the CL Financial bailout. My collaborators were Rishi Maharaj of Disclosure Today and David Walker, with our common purpose to pointedly question the Central Bank’s handling of the bailout.

When over two months passed without a reply or acknowledgment, we decided to act again to bring the issues forward. On 19th April 2017, we delivered the letter again to the Governor’s office, this time with media coverage.

That approach seems to have worked, since the Central Bank actually replied on 21st April 2017 – see attached.

Of course there is no real reply to our queries, so we will be doing a thorough reply on those issues.