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Bahamas Avoids Moody's Downgrade

UPDATE: The Ministry of Finance has released a statement on the news from Moody's. You can read it in full HERE

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter 

rrolle@tribunemedia.net 

THE Bahamas has avoided a potentially damaging and costly credit downgrade, with Moody's revealing Friday that it has confirmed the country's Baa3 rating following its recent review. 

However, the agency has adjusted the country's outlook from stable to negative. 

The country’s credit rating now remains a notch above junk status.

Moody's cited the potential for "debt stabilisation" because of the government's fiscal consolidation programme as a reason for its decision.  

It also considered that the country's credit metrics "remain in line with Baa3 peers" and the government's liquidity risk "remains contained”. 

The negative outlook, however, "reflects potential downside risks to the fiscal consolidation process posed by weaker-than-expected growth, exposure to climate-related shocks in the form of hurricanes, and implementation risks associated with measures to rein in expenditure growth and enhance revenues," the agency said. "Absent successful fiscal consolidation the Bahamas' fiscal and credit profile would likely weaken."

The government's fiscal condition could further deteriorate as a result of contingent liabilities from state-owned enterprises and the Bank of the Bahamas, Moody's said.

Since its election in May, the Minnis Administration has focused much of its attention on trying to improve the country's fiscal condition after a Christie administration tenure it claimed was characterised by loose controls, overspending and over-employment in the public sector. 

Key Free National Movement promises, like repealing Value Added Tax, have been placed on the back-burner while the administration pursues fiscal consolidation. 

Last year, Standard & Poor's downgraded this country's credit rating to junk status. 

After Moody's initiated a review of this country's credit rating following the Minnis Administration's revelations about the government's fiscal condition during the budget debate earlier this year, experts predicted it would be a huge challenge for the country to avoid another downgrade to junk status. 

Comments

John 4 years, 9 months ago

Once the Minnis continues with its measures to stop the hemmoraging of government funds due to theft, corruption and mismanagement the economy, with some stimulus from government should start to creep forward. With additional investment push from a fully opened Bah Mar and other properties like Lucas, there should be an even greater pace to the economy growing and unemployment figures tumbling. This can lead to a financial upgrade as early as June 2018. What the Minnis government must not do is return to 'business as usual.' This government must drive the country VI's a bid the economy in s direction where it becomes less dependent on foreign imports and utilizes every unit of local inputs to ensure that more pennies of every dollar spent in the Bahamas remains here and in the hands of local Bahamians. This government must not pass the buck on BEC or the dump landfill. The ways and means are there to reduce the cost of electricity by half and make the supply more reliable. When the cost of electricity goes down, so will the prices of almost everything else. Less resources will have to be spent on importing the ever polluting bunker C. A tough and hard decision must be made on the landfill. Can it remain at its present site and operate safely and without being a health hazard? Or will it have to be relocated and to where?

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OMG 4 years, 9 months ago

Whilst I agree with the general trend of your comments it is a ridiculous situation where home grown and produced products such as Kalik are cheaper in the USA than here, where Bamsi produces nothing that the ordinary farmer cannot already produce rather than producing vegetables that are presently imported at great cost and finally with oil prices at an all time low did you notice air fares drop, mail boat freight charges drop, food prices drop-No because merchants rarely pass on any savings. Can you begin to understand the price of ONE tomato in a family island shop costing $2.00 .

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Millennial242 4 years, 9 months ago

Ridiculous is an understatement....Total Wines on US1 in North Miami sells Kalik and Kalik Gold for the same price....a price significantly lower than buying directly from Commonwealth Brewery. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN!?!?! A six pack was for $5 and some change.

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newcitizen 4 years, 9 months ago

This is because there is an excise tax on beer, liquor and wine. The tax is applied to all imported and domestic products. It amounts to about $1 a beer and is the reason beer is so expensive in the Bahamas.

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licks2 4 years, 9 months ago

But that $1 is also paid on exported beers to Florida? This is where your reasoning breaks down. . .the $1 tax is applied. . .shipped to Florida where government import tax is paid again. . .yet the beer is sold to the public still for a lower price than here where the $1 is added once? This is confusing. . .it smells of dang greed! Even if the $1 is added. . .how much it cost the company to ship them beers from Clifton Pier to down town?

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kairosmatt 4 years, 9 months ago

I believe you don't have to pay that tax if you turn around and export it.

There were rumors years ago that Kalik started brewing beer in Florida for the US market because the taxes were better. Don't know if that ever happened or not, but it certainly is cheaper stateside.

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SP 4 years, 9 months ago

Hats' off to PM Sheriff Minnis for accomplishing with virtually nothing to work with in just 3 months what dancing clown Perry Christie with $1Billion at his disposal found totally elusive for 5 whole years!

After a short 3 months in office PM Sheriff Minnis successfully put the brakes on our fiscal downward spiral after making a 180-degree turn from political stupidity, smoke and mirrors, and corruption to transparency, good governance, fiscal prudence and weeding out corruption.

Pillage Loot Plunder Bradley Gargoyl Roberts, and cry baby Freddy boy are looking more stupendous with each passing day!

PM Sheriff Minnis is unquestionably on the right track. Looming audits will reveal more pirates, stop the hemorrhage of public funds and cause a Bank Lane Shuffle line dance never before imagined in the Bahamas.

Now all the naysayers can finally S-H-U-T T-H-E H-E-L-L U-P!

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OMG 4 years, 9 months ago

The troubling problem is that so many die hard PLP supporters are so woefully lacking in any understanding of the bigger picture and have their heads stuck in the sand. Minnis is right to get the wasteful spending under control and the double dipping that is going on. Mind you why iis the Director of Education still employed and way past retirement age, why are costly projects still continuing , why do local clinics have little or no medical supplies but have three or four recently employed persons with nothing to do, The long term risks to the country of any future downgrading are to unpleasant to contemplate.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 9 months ago

Moody's downgrade in our country's outlook from stable to negative is not good and is a direct result of two things:

1) Our new FNM government's failure to move towards repealing all of the gaming web shop legislation enacted by the corrupt Christie-led PLP government; and

2) Minnis and KP so far having endorsed the very same failed Bahamas Resolve bail-out plan for BOB that was created by the corrupt Christie-led PLP government.

These two huge missteps need to be re-thought by Minnis and KP as they are integrally related and destined to continue wreaking havoc on our country's economy and finances. The Canadian banks, RBC FINCO and BOB are having great difficulty originating profitable residential and commercial mortgage loans because they are being seriously under-cut in their pricing of such loans by the racketeering lending and investment activities of the corrupt numbers' bosses, like Sebas Bastian and Craig Flowers, as they go about laundering the dirty proceeds from their corrupt gambling and other 'illegal' activities.

We, the people, have a right to know whether Minnis and the leadership of the FNM accepted 'big money' from the corrupt numbers' bosses to fund their general election campaign and, if so, what was the quid pro quo......were the numbers' bosses promised they would get access to electronic banking facilities or possibly ownership of a bank like BOB??!! Minnis needs to come clean with us bearing in mind the many times he promised us that his government would set the gold standard for transparency. Come on Minnis, we, the people, deserve some sunshine on these most important matters.

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CMon_Man 4 years, 9 months ago

You'll old conchjoe fellas must think all of the money in the Bahamas must flow through your hands. LOOK WHERE THAT HAS GOTTEN US. While bad-mouthing the gaming industry in public, you conchjoe guys have been trying everything to get into the gaming business. You guys are a bunch of self-serving hypocrites who have hoarded all the wealth you have made off of the backs pf the Bahamian people in your fat bank accounts and have re-invested very little. At least the numbers guys are re-investing their money in the Bahamas, more than can be said for you and your conchjoe friends. The Nassau Guardian just had a story this week that this guy Sebas is responsible for 40% of the construction activity in this country. I am not passing any value judgement but the fact is that it drives economic activity and creates jobs beyond gaming. What have the white knights done with their money but keep it in offshore banks? Your comments above are beyond silly when we have been having negative to no economic growth for years.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 9 months ago

You sound like someone who would support the return of the illegal drug trade to our country on the scale we saw in the 1980s.....we had a construction boom back then too.....but we lost three generations of Bahamians as a result and still have not recovered from those devastating years. As for your playing of the race card, well that's just a typical display of racism on your part...something that only you can deal with on a personal level. Keep in mind too, that our new government suspects the mother-load of funds (mega millions of dollars of the people's money) stolen by miscreant politicians in the last government is squirreled away in 'offshore' banks, and not many (if any) of those bank accounts are directly or indirectly owned by so called Conchy Joe fellas.

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CMon_Man 4 years, 9 months ago

Again more nonsense. When your arguments are fallacious then engage in bizarre and extreme exaggerations, generalizations and ad hominin personal attacks, all of which are displayed in your post above.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 9 months ago

Many don't think its nonsense that both Bag Man Baltron Bethel and the Evil Wicked Witch Maynard-Gibson will eventually be 'persuaded' to tell all.

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licks2 4 years, 9 months ago

?????????????????????????????????????????. . .you must be Bran. . .without a politically jaundiced view how did you get there with your reasoning? We talking about the possible down grade. . .you went all postal with this non-sense reasoning. . .you all right there fella?

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John 4 years, 9 months ago

Mudda-tak-sic..you sound so very anti-Bahamian so ignorant almost. First off the web shops replaced and unregulated, and not taxed and unlicensed industry, that there was a great demand for. This industry was taking millions and millions of dollars out of the country because it was not allowed to bank locally. At least now there is some form of regulation to the industry and as far as you know the industry is operating within the guidelines set by the government. Secondly, Bob did not fail operating as a bank. In fact it was very profitable as a bank and a growing concern. It was political interference that wrecked BoB and sent it smashing into the rocks at high tide. The need and desire to save BoB may be a costly, but not a selfish one. The canadian banks have been ravishing this country for decades and have taken out more millions over the years than the web shops. Only after players like BoB and (to some extent) Commowealth Bank, there is some consumer parity in the banking industry. Or have you forgotten those years when RBC and Barclays and Scotia charged 18% on consumer loans?. Stop trying to attack everything Bahamian with your snobbish and selfish ways. It's the people's time nah!.

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Reality_Check 4 years, 9 months ago

@John: It's so obvious from your posts that you either work for one of the crooked numbers' bosses or somehow have a horse in their corrupt activities.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 9 months ago

Thanks, I was thinking exactly the same thing.....@John very likely has a horse in the corrupt gaming activities of one or more of the racketeering numbers' bosses.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 9 months ago

Establishing a National Lottery to satisfy the gambling desires of our society and allocating the profits from it to our public education system is the road that Minnis and KP should be on.

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DDK 4 years, 9 months ago

Well_Mudda, as always, I totally agree with your remarks on the gambling houses. There has to be a serious reason the FNM leadership refuses to address this scourge on the Bahamas. WHY will they not set up a Bahamas National Lottery, transparency rules all around? It might take a bit of work, but I am sure there must be some competent BAHAMIANS on Government payroll up to the task! As for BOB, it should be privatised or closed. If Government is unable or unwilling to collect the outstanding BOB loans to its favoured few, there is no reason for it to remain in operation as a noose around The People's neck. Perhaps CB will consider opening in Bimini? In my humble opinion, Government should not be in either the hotel or banking business.

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licks2 4 years, 9 months ago

Well I guess the DNA has awake from that May 10 cut hip. . .these two jokers were doing this "tal" kind of reasoning before the election. . .disappeared for a while. . .Bran came out of hibernation about a week ago. . .now cling and cling are back here carrying on non--sense reasoning. . .een nobody tell them DNA jokers that the political dynamic in this nation has changed!! Ween gat no patience with stupid politics anymore. . .no more! Yall DNA must come back better than that. . .can't yall see where it is getting the PLP?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 9 months ago

Do you really think anyone is buying your Bran hogwash?

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truetruebahamian 4 years, 9 months ago

I take it that you mean 'ravageing' rather than 'ravishing'.... a slip of the financial tongue...

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John 4 years, 9 months ago

Yes indeed, they certainly did not make BoB beautiful!

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John 4 years, 9 months ago

I am retired. Never begin a web shop in my life or bought numbers.

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John 4 years, 9 months ago

I am retired. Never been in a web shop in my life or bought numbers. Y'all just here hoping to destroy everything Bahamian. But it will never happen.

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John 4 years, 9 months ago

Go tell Donald Trump to shut down all the lotteries in the US and the casinos too. Talk about laundering murder money.

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John 4 years, 9 months ago

An Overview of Michael Collins Piper's "Final Judgment"

by Victor Thorn

NOTE: The information below is derived from Michael Collins Piper’s Final Judgment. My role is that of a reviewer, and all credit for the research must be given to Mr. Piper. I urge everyone to purchase a copy of this book. Final Judgment is published by The Center for Historical Review, 132 Third Street, SE, Washington, DC, 20003 (1-888-699-NEWS)

Perhaps the biggest secret of the Vietnam War is that our Central Intelligence Agency seized control of the infamous Golden Triangle during that time period, then, along with assistance from various elements of Organized Crime, shipped huge amounts of heroin out of that area into our country. Because piles of money were being made from this practice and many others, those who stood to profit from this horrendous war – the armament manufacturers, bankers, military men, and drug dealers – met any suggestion to withdraw from Vietnam with immediate consternation. But that’s exactly what John F. Kennedy intended to do upon re-election. In fact, he had already planned on telling the American people that their troops would be back home by 1965. Think about this momentous decision for a moment. If we had exited Vietnam by 1965, EIGHT years of bloodshed in the jungles and civil unrest on America’s streets and campuses could have been alleviated.

Michael Collins Piper writers in Final Judgment: “Kennedy’s intended change in Vietnam policy – his plan to unilaterally withdraw from the imbroglio – infuriated not only the CIA but elements in the Pentagon and their allies in the military-industrial-complex. By this time, of course, the Lansky Syndicate had already set-up international heroin running from Southeast Asia through the CIA-linked Corsican Mafia in the Mediterranean. The joint Lansky-CIA operations in the international drug racket were a lucrative venture that thrived as a consequence of deep U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia as a cover for drug smuggling activities.”

Piper’s simple one-paragraph explanation may be the most concise overview of the Vietnam War ever written. The military men and defense contractors were making out like bandits from the War Machine, while the CIA crooks and Lansky-led Mobsters (via Santo Traficante as the major wheeler-dealer) were likewise padding their pockets. Author Peter Dale Scott, in Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, said of this phenomenon, “The flood of drugs into this country since WWII was one of the major ‘unspeakable’ secrets leading to the ongoing cover-up of the Kennedy assassination.”

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DDK 4 years, 9 months ago

Very interesting, and likely accurate, it fits their M.O. Still in favour of a transparently controlled National Lottery over "web" shops.

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TalRussell 4 years, 9 months ago

Comrades! The disturbing pictures of the web shops gambling on society that many of you never get to see are many.... But the one repeatedly seen daily are of the little children who are left alone 'crying and sweating' in vehicles parked outside the numbers houses - while their parents, guardians and babysitters have wondered off for up to hours - behind the security guarded entrance doors to wager the little money they have in their name to test Lady Luck!
Comrades, this terrible picture will continue because neither PM Minnis, and his Red Shirts (34) elected MP's - will ever volunteer on their own will to allow the public to focus on the names of the sources of their 2017 General Election campaign funds?

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John 4 years, 9 months ago

Tal when you gonna stop being a political Jackass? Don't you realize most of the same people gambling in the legal web shops were most likely the ones buying illegal numbers when that was their only option? Will you agree that there are web shops that have drive thru windows for the convenience of their customers, who may be travelling with underage persons or for some other reason do not want to leave their vehicle? So if parents guardians, whomever choose to leave children in the car to go in a web shop it is a decision they made not out of necessity? Experts say children left in a hot, even partially closed car can expire within 30 minutes of being left in that vehicle. Over forty infants and toddlers have lost their lives in this fashion the US this summer alone. Will you agree that your statement that children are being left in cars for hours on end while their parents/ caretakers go gamble is grossly exaggerated? So grossly exaggerated that it's s lie!

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ThisIsOurs 4 years, 9 months ago

Moody's also gave the PLP a respite, but the administration continued to do foolishness.

Does the Financial Secretary require extensive experience in a SENIOR financial post, something above a few years as an accounting clerk, or not? Can a marketing manager provide high level economic advice to the Ministry of Finance and a Finance Minister who desperately needs technical help? Why was Pam Hill fired but not the CFO? Why are MPs sitting on politically "independent" boards? How did dead people end up on the board? What is the 20 million assigned to "constituency work" for and how is it any different from the urban renewal slush fund? These things don't add up. They're not the moves of an administration that wants to "do things differently"

There is no "trust they'll do the right thing" in public administration, there is "policy" and "procedure". When I see the policies and procedures matching the marketing rhetoric I will be at ease.

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John 4 years, 9 months ago

If one part of The Myles Mumford Prophesy was true do will be the second part. And those who bringing in the guns into this country and other parts of the Caribbean and inciting murder and violence will be exposed. And your end will not be a good one. You have caused hardship and suffering and sorrow to many. Our sons lay in the grave or in prisons whiles your children go on to enjoy the finest things in life. You know who you are and your covert action will be uncovered when you least expect. The truth is many of you will not escape because of the blood you shed is not a small amount. I speak prophetically but your time has come. Pack your bags and leave our country now!

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ThisIsOurs 4 years, 9 months ago

I think Myles Munroe was a good man ... I don't buy into selling all the books and merchandising at church, but that aside, a good man. However I don't believe he was a prophet, first of all his dates were off, he prophesied all of this change to happen in 2015. Secondly any good historian or anyone who studies historical patterns, spoke with people on the ground and was attuned to public sentiments would have come to the same conclusion. Bran was rising,Hubert Ingraham had backed away, "new leaders" werent a sure thing but the probability was great.

The bible (for those who believe) already told us what will happen to people who live by the sword, it's already told us you reap what you sow, it's told us the hidden things will be revealed etc etc.

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banker 4 years, 9 months ago

Myles Mumford is a better prophet than Myles Munroe. However, physics is the only profession in which prophecy is not only accurate, but routine. You do realise that Myles Munroe was a businessman right, and not a spiritual guru? The only powers that he had was the power to make gullible people part with their money.

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