IMF inevitable, says business leaders
IT NOW APPEARS to be a question of when, not if, Barbados will find itself in the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) hands.
That was the consensus of a panel of business leaders participating in a “straight talk” session when Fortress Fund Managers held its annual investment forum last evening at the Frank Collymore Hall.
Much of the discussion focused on whether Barbados was likely to enter a formal IMF programme like it did in the early 1990s.
An audience member asked panelists Barbados Chamber of Industry and Commerce president, Tracey Shuffler, Automotive Art chief executive officer Doug Armstrong, Fortress founder and managing director Roger Cave, Lashley Financial chairman Michael Lashley, and Fortress pension director Rene Delmas if they thought Barbados would eventually enter an IMF arrangement, and they each answered “yes”.
Shuffler, who is also divisional manager of Goddard Enterprises Ltd, said several iterations of home-grown plans had been implemented but Barbados was “still struggling”. Shuffler said at some point authorities would have to look at another option, meaning the IMF.
Noting that governments which opted for the IMF were not normally returned to office, Shuffler said the fear of committing political suicide or a belief that help from that financial institution might be an admission of failure appeared to be the biggest hurdle Government was fronting. (SC)