Barbados Four Seasons – Making White Elephants look like Mutual Funds: Investor’s Commentary “Patriotism v. Power”
“Nationalism is power-hunger tempered by self-deception. And this self-deception leads to disastrous miscalculations based on wishful thinking rather than facts.”
- George “1984” Orwell
One section of the media of October 4, 2010 – reported that the Inter American Development Bank and ANSA Merchant Bank are expected to join forces to invest $180 million into the Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Project, and that the amount mentioned – will constitute the major portion of the $270 million needed to complete the project some time in 2014.
It was further explained that Paradise Beach Limited was seeking a further $90 million of equity and quasi-debt and that it is also seeking to acquire $80 million from the NIS. This is a project that is said – will realise 1,200 jobs, 400 of which will be permanent. In addition, the Four Seasons project is said to represent $700 million in construction, with more than $1 billion in sales and annual revenue of more than $200 million.
If this Four Season Project will employ so many Barbadians and if Chinese financing was not considered in order to achieve that objective and given what it will contribute annually to the Barbados economy, why would any patriotic Barbadian seek to place obstacles in the way of this project or wish for its demise?
What is even more remarkable is the fact that while Four Seasons was scratching its head to come up with a further $90 million, in a horrible recession, Tony Best was reporting on October 3rd that “The bank, which is yet to seek formal approval of its executive board to go ahead with the loan, is committed to the deal because it feels the project is worthwhile and it has fallen victim to the international financial crisis.”
Everyone knows that before the global financial crisis, money was simply floating around. In fact there was so much money in the world that one man is alleged to have stolen $50 billion without anyone noticing; another man was reported to have stolen $12 billion without anyone knowing and a person is alleged to have paid himself the equivalent of BDS$2.5 million per month. That’s not all! In its issue of October 10, 2011 and under the caption: Bank failed to check ‘tycoon’s’ wealth – The UK Guardian reports that:
“Allied Irish Banks failed to check the credentials of a supposed Greek shipping tycoon before embarking on a series of deals through which it would lend him £740m, a court has heard.”
The testimony, which shines a light on corporate lending practices during the credit boom, came on the eighth day of the trial of Achilleas Kallakis, who is alleged to have used forged documents to give the illusion of vast wealth as part of an elaborate scam against AIB and Lloyds Banking Group.
When asked by Victor Temple QC, prosecuting counsel for the Serious Fraud Office, whether AIB had made attempts to verify Kallakis’s wealth, Michael Cooke, a former senior manager at AIB, said the bank had asked for “references” but had not “independently assessed [his] wealth at that time“.
The irony is that when the world was ‘a-wash with money,’ a man could “pretend” to be someone else and get £740m. Today during a recession but with a project that will earn some $200 million annually, Four Seasons Limited is scratching its head to come-up with a mere $90 million. Absolutely amazing!!! It really does not help when (already having to deal with securing financing) the Company also has to respond to organised mis-information and allegations of lack of investor confidence.
And yet, read the UK Guardian or any international publication and you will discover the abundance of global bad news, which points to diminishing investor confidence: debt crisis intensified in Europe under the euro-zone threat of disintegration, functional failure of the U.S. government causing panic in global financial markets. It really does not help when the head of the World Bank and the IMF tell the world (even if true) that a larger and more severe economic monster – much worst that the recent global crisis, now stalks the world. But, we are being required to accept that Barbados is immune from all that.
Get real people! Guard your minds! If the Western Hemisphere’s leading development financing institution, is putting money into the Four Seasons Project, then that is a remarkable “Vote of Investor Confidence,” from a highly respected international entity. Two more things: ‘the good old days’ when money was floating around – has gone and will not return. Get use to the fact that the world is now a far different place and people who have money are guarding it because they dread becoming poor.
“All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits but according to who does them.”
- (ibid.) George “1984” Orwell