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Jamaica Debt Exchange Initiative


Permalink 11:39:38 pm, by Melba
Categories: Business, Commentary

Jamaica Debt Exchange Initiative

The Minister of Finance,  Audley Shaw  has been quite elated at the success of the Jamaica Debt Exchange (JDX) initiative. As a direct result Jamaica’s credit rating has already gone up by the international rating agencies.  The initiative also helped to secure our position with the IMF ensuring the desperately needed loan for Jamaica. But what does the initiative really means for the people of Jamaica.

Initially we were told that in order to qualify for the IMF loan the JDX was necessary. Also Thousands of public sector workers would have to lose their jobs. Those that remained would not have a pay increase for the next two years. The General Consumption Tax (GCT) had to be increased.  New taxes would have to be introduced on items that were previously zero rated including utilities and petrol.

What we were not told was the full impact of the JDX initiative. What is the JDX you ask? Well as a lay person this is how I understand it; if you had money invested in government securities in the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) the conditions agreed initially would be changed.  The Interest rates were to be lowered and the period of investment would be longer. Now you may not have had any dealings directly with the BOJ you placed your money with your bank. Same difference, many banks in turn invest your money with the BOJ so indirectly many people were affected. Then there are the pension schemes, the stock exchange, insurance companies and all the financial entities that invest your money for you. The BOJ is supposed to be the safest places to invest.

You begin to see the picture, if you think you were not, or would not be affected by the JDX then think again. If nothing else your pension has been slashed. Already there are reports of National Commercial Bank (NCB) closing branches and laying off between 150 and 200 workers as a direct result of the JDX. This is the same bank that reported profits of 10.2 billion dollars last year 2009. How many more to come you ask?

Fellow Jamaicans ‘it no look pretty’. Daily we hear of more and more layoffs in the making. Public sector workers to start going by March 31, Air Jamaica making some 2000 persons redundant by April 12. Not to mention the fact that many private sector workers are also being sent home without much publicity. Then there are all the helpers and gardeners who will subsequently be laid off as well. I have only one question for Mr. Shaw, who will he collect taxes from when most of us gone home with no work and no money?

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Three Ministers

Three ministers - a Presbyterian, a Methodist, and a Southern Baptist and their wives were all on a cruise together. A tidal wave came up and swamped the ship, and they all drowned. The next thing you know, they're standing before St.Peter.

As fate would have it, the first in line was the Presbyterian and his wife. St. Peter shook his head sadly and said, "I can't let you in. You were moral and upright, but you loved money too much. You loved it so much, you even married a woman named Penny."

St.Peter waved sadly, and poof! Down the chute to the 'Other Place' they went. Then came the Methodist. "Sorry, can't let you in either," said Saint Peter "You abstained from liquor and dancing and cards, but you loved food too much.

You loved food so much, you even married a woman named Candy!" Sadly, St. Peter waved again, and whang! Down the chute went the Methodists.

The Southern Baptist turned to his wife and whispered nervously, "It ain't looking good, Fanny."


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