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Need More Financial Options

EDITOR, The Tribune.

FIRSTLY, let me thank you for having this feature that encourages freelance writing of this sort. Freedom of the press is essential to society’s maintenance.

The recent business activity of certain individuals in society that promised Bahamians large sums of money for minuscule investments have somewhat deepened the economic black hole the country seems to have gotten itself into since the 2008 global recession. While I have neither created nor participated in this form of investment, I possess a great deal of sympathy for those continually swindled by this behaviour.

It is my firm belief that the regulatory bodies of the Securities Commission of the Bahamas and the Bahamas Business License department should make these unregulated activities criminal offences. In fact, our neighbouring country, the United States, would agree with this position, seeing that it placed upon Bernie Madoff, a notorious Ponzi scheme operator, a prison sentence that most people would not even match in age for the billions of dollars he stole from society.

While these “looms” may not have had the glorious run that Madoff’s did, it still crippled a large number of Bahamians, especially those preparing their children during the back to school season, the unemployed, and those with piles of financial duress that simply saw no way to financial freedom. There is no framework in any part of the world that can guarantee an equal opportunity for every participant of a loom, and so it should be formerly outlawed in The Bahamas, just like it has been in other countries around the world.

Furthermore, the rapid growth of these “looms” also signals a call for the Commission to lay the framework for intraday trading in The Bahamas, such as the famous Securities Exchange Commission of the United States has done with the New York Stock Exchange and the Chicago Board of Options markets. These regulated, public trading schemes allow individuals to invest sums of money into publicly traded companies at a faster pace than our local market currently allows, and the movement of the aggregate market paints a better picture of the respective economy. While this may take investment by the Bahamian government, the rewards of improving the BISX far outweigh any cost that the government and any public companies may incur to take its stock into the electronic age, as this move can create jobs, and improve the inequality ratio, economically known as the gini coefficient, of The Bahamas.

KHYLE HIGGS

Nassau,

August 29, 2017.

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