Did Global Pressure lead to the Central Bank of Barbados renege its draconian ban? Nation Editor & Dr DeLisle Worrell behave like long-lost friends at Opening Ceremony

It is at times like this when the importance of a strong and allied media makes itself felt, you realise why reporters are necessary to keep Government stay true for its original tenets… Only a few days ago the Central Bank of Barbados sought to exclude the Nation Newspaper from covering future events due to a misunderstanding of portraying an exclusive interview.

One can only what each said to the other,but backing the camera is former Barbados Today editor Roy Morris now Daily Nation honcho greeting Dr Worrell, a double case of the bald truth?

One can only imagine what each said to the other, but backing the camera is former Barbados Today editor Roy Morris now Daily Nation honcho greeting Dr Worrell, a double case of the bald truth?

When the print edition brought the whole incident out in the open, suddenly there was a cautiously worded retraction issued – it stated how the Nation can examine their website and releases would still be sent, but there was no ironclad edict on if the publication would be privy to media gatherings… Given the Governor’s history for seeming to dodge queries as if he was a Dickensian character, was the Nation really missing anything? I mean when is the last time Broad Street Journal’s Pat Hoyos attended one of these events?

This event was low on everyone's radar since no media house was left out, there was even a business Luncheon in February that same year - but all disappeared when Owen Arthur alleged that Dr Worrell had a massive expense account and how well monitored was that? Poof! All those glorious shindigs vanished like Owen's repeated election promises to sell CBC!

This event was low on everyone’s radar since no media house was left out, there was even a business Luncheon in February that same year when I was asked to attend as a consultant on the economy – but all of that disappeared when Owen Arthur alleged that same year how Dr Worrell had a massive expense account and he wanted to know how well monitored was that? Poof! All those glorious shindigs vanished like Owen’s repeated election promises to sell CBC!

However, Thursday was the tenth Meeting of Operations Managers of Regional Central Banks, and rather than be held at the Hilton as occurred last year, this time it was convened at the Grand Salle. Many see this as a cost cutting measure which the Governor is performing since his contract is up for review shortly – the same way little kids clean their rooms only a few days before Christmas to convince Santa that they were really very good all year long. Dr Worrell may have decided to show he was careful with his allowances; unlike 21st January 2012 when he held a lavish soirée at his Residence in Newlands and many tongues wagged as to ponder the cost of such a grand event, where even roast suckling pig and Absolut by the gallon (many senior personnel from radio Newsrooms enjoyed the vodka, if a bit too much, then they started to cuss me thinking I was Barbados Free Press) was available for all invitees!

Central Bank Governor Dr DeLisle Worrell evades fields questions from local media...

Central Bank Governor Dr DeLisle Worrell evades fields questions from local media…

Be that as it may, the Nation sent not even one but two of their veteran editors to cover this event and also use as a litmus test, Ricky Jordan spoke to both VOB and myself, he revealed he was pleasantly surprised not to be turned away and his supervisor even exchanged pleasantries with Dr Worrell {SMARTPHONE & TABLET USERS CLICK ON Ricky‘s NAME – DESKTOP AND LAPTOP USERS, CLICK ON ICON FOR FULL AUDIO}

Perhaps they were ordered to stand down after I challenged Media freedoms were under siege? Here is the Governor’s full speech from the tenth Meeting of Operations Managers of Regional Central Banks, don’t expect any major pearls of wisdom here – just an opening ceremony, dearie…

Our network of Caribbean central bank cooperation is something to be proud of. It covers the gamut of central bank activities, including collaboration at the levels of Governors, economists, banking supervisors, information technology specialists, chief security officers, sports, and operations managers, the event that brings us together today. The shared understanding and the relationships that have been built up over the years have served us well, in coping with common challenges we have faced from time to time and in charting the path forward for the financial sector in the region. As is inevitable in life, we were not always as fast on our feet as we might have liked to be, but all told we have done quite well in resolving financial troubles in the region, and much of the credit must go to our networks.

In the new world of e-commerce the effects of central bank operations on the markets for liquidity and foreign exchange are more uncertain than ever. Also, they interact with each other in ways that we need to understand better. This points to the need to share experiences, and to pull together operations managers, debt managers, economists and others, in the search for richer insight into the evolving nature of the financial system.

In the new world of e-commerce the effects of central bank operations on the markets for liquidity and foreign exchange are more uncertain than ever. Also, they interact with each other in ways that we need to understand better. This points to the need to share experiences, and to pull together operations managers, debt managers, economists and others, in the search for richer insight into the evolving nature of the financial system.

The Caribbean is distinguished by the accessibility and widespread use of banks and other financial institutions by individuals and businesses. A wide range of financial products and institutions is available to facilitate most transactions. However, with the availability of new systems and technologies, we have to challenge ourselves to re-think the things we do and how we do them, in the search for greater efficiency in the financial sector, and to ensure that finance serves the development needs of our increasingly sophisticated society.

One area which will be discussed during this conference is payments. Modern communications technology makes it possible to effect payments almost instantaneously, from anywhere in the world within reach of cell phones or the internet. However, we can only make relatively small cash transactions and transfers in real time, because of issues of security and verification. We can all tell stories of how important internet security is. When my wife Monica and I lived in Maryland, my credit card security service called to report an attempted withdrawal of $3 000 from my credit card account from Almaty, the commercial capital of Kazakhstan, a country I have never visited. The ongoing challenge for payments systems is how to keep the systems safe, while at the same time speeding up the payments process to take advantage of new technology.

The conference will also provide an opportunity to compare notes on the legislative framework for payments oversight in the region, to ensure financial stability.

The conference will also provide an opportunity to compare notes on the legislative framework for payments oversight in the region, to ensure financial stability.

The conference will discuss debt management, another area that presents challenges. The conventional approaches to the management of debt distinguish between the circumstances of advanced countries and emerging market countries, but they do not acknowledge any distinction between large self contained countries like Brazil, and small countries like ourselves who have to depend on foreign exchange inflows to fuel economic growth. We therefore have to share experiences among ourselves, in search of our own guidelines for managing debt, guidelines that make sense in our reality.

Also on the conference agenda is the challenge of foreign reserve management in the current international environment of very low interest rates on the liquid securities that central banks hold. The conference will discuss the pros and cons of adopting more flexible investment guidelines, in the search for greater yield on foreign reserves.

It is the opportunity to share experiences and insights, to discuss which objectives were achieved and to what extent, that makes this conference valuable. We therefore look forward to the outcome of your deliberations, and the lessons we can learn from each other, as we chart the way forward.

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