Since September 2019, the Federal Reserve has been buying 80 per cent of US Treasury debt. The US is borrowing from itself—unprecedented. The attack on the Abqaiq oil facility in Saudi Arabia in September 2019, that affected global oil supplies significantly, barely increased oil price.

The killing of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani by the US on January 3, 2020 barely influenced oil prices. The markets are not being influenced by threat to Middle Eastern oil.

Since the global financial crisis of 2008, central banks globally have been buying their governments’ debt and this exceeds the total global growth. A growing economy has been bought by monetising debt which was not bought by real buyers. It’s like paying off a credit card with a credit card.

The world economy is not normal. Japan, the European Union, Sweden and Denmark have experimented with negative interest rate which is unpresidented. According to the World Bank, the world economy will grow by 2.5 per cent, up from 2.4 per cent in 2019 the weakest since the global financial crisis in 2008-2009.

The Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago kept its interest rate at five per cent in its December 27, 2019 announcement.

A low interest rate environment improves financing capacity for all. Low interest rates encourage both consumption and investment and offset a drop in imports caused by a depreciating foreign exchange rate.

Why are T&T’s and the global growth rate so low? This defies logic.

Something is not right.


Potholes on public roadways remain irrefutable signs of life in Trinidad and Tobago today.

There are apparently no clear solutions to these perennial problems. As road users, a weary population has essentially given up hope of solutions being proposed, much less implemented. On major roadways, equally as on minor roads, in built-up areas to the same extent as in villages and communities in rural districts, dilapidation is a fact of life. Often, generations of nationals go through this lived reality of bad roads and their deleterious effects on life in these areas.

Some years ago, a man was complaining to me about his wife of 25 years. The issues were not major; mainly the daily irritants that occur when people share space. But then, just like that, he said something that jolted me.

When Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump’s global legate, comes on his two-day State visit to Jamaica next week, he must be made aware that Jamaica won’t be quiescent about the often irrational behaviours of the US president, too many of which threaten to wreck a global order in which small states, like this one, are reasonably assured of protection against the arbitrary actions of powerful ones.

Sedition law is not about colonialism or gagging democratic expression. It is to do with controlling things that could lead to insurrection or mass disorder via speech and acts.

This is a lawless, bacchanalian society that is forever giving the hypocritical, self-righteous impression that we are holier than thou, making as if we walk on egg shells while ignoring that we are tiptoeing through the minefield that is life—our Trini life.

I read with alarm that Colm Imbert, the Minister of Finance, wants to make further amendments to the nation’s procurement legislation.