Mac defends loan decision

| 28/10/2010

(CNS): The premier has defended his decision to reject recommendations from the Central Tenders Committee over the funding of government’s CI$155 million loan, stating that he did so in the best interests of the country. In a television address on Wednesday evening Premier McKeeva Bush said that the financing deal government had secured with the New York based Cohen and Company would save the country millions and millions of dollars. Justifying why the CTC recommendation had not been accepted, he said that the concept of negotiating for a better deal does not exist within the current central tendering process and he was not satisfied that a joint bid from two local banks offered the best deal.

As a result Bush revealed that he had spoken with Cohen and Company directly when he was in New York attending the UN conference last month and asked them to submit a proposal to the Treasury, which also included financing for Cayman Airways as well as a competitive interest rate.

“I received copies of an amended proposal from Cohen and Company in mid-October. This proposal provided an innovative solution that enables government to limit its interest rate. So this proposal allows government to benefit from the current low interest rates while guaranteeing that the interest rate will never go above the agreed fixed rate,” Bush told the people in his address on Wednesday evening. “This saves the Cayman Islands Government tens of millions of dollars,” he said, adding that it was not yet possible to give an exact figure until the long term financing facility is finalised. He said, however, that over the remainder of the current fiscal year government would save many more millions of dollars with this proposal than it would have with the Central Tenders Committee’s recommended tender.

“As minister of finance my duty and that of my government is to make sure that we are managing government’s finances in such a way that we are not creating tremendous hardship on our own people and not recklessly mortgaging the future of generations to come,” the premier stated. “It is my considered view that CNS and Rooster FM have maliciously criticised the government. The Opposition have been jumping to conclusions, as well. However, their mismanagement of government funds is one of the reasons why we have to borrow so much now.”

He also pondered why the opposition could not figure out that there was good enough reason in the bad financial times for government to try and save money. But he also pointed to the New York firm’s ability to provide the funding for Cayman Airways and refinancing needs surrounding its debt and “related to the historical shareholder deficiency”, which, he said, would allow the airline to function more effectively as a strategic driver of tourism growth and economic development.

“I did not take overriding the selection of the Central Tenders Committee lightly,” Bush revealed. “As finance minister and premier I was duty bound to get the best terms possible on this funding … I had to decide whether to choose substance or to choose process.”

He added that he believed the best interests of the Cayman Islands were served by overriding the selection of the Central Tenders Committee. “I did not do this without taking advice as to my authority to do so,” the premier added, stating that he was confident that he had acted in the best interests of these Islands in selecting Cohen and Company. He also said that the entire transaction has been above board and no member of the United Democratic Party has any financial interest in Cohen and Company whatsoever.

The premier went on to say that the tendering process needs to be revamped and he had already asked for the auditor general’s assistance in making recommendations for changes to the tendering process that “will result in a more efficient, modern and sensible process,” he stated.

See the premier’s full speech

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What i find saddening is the blind folded criticism. The goverment  is simply making an effort to 1. have enough money to pay for the blotted civil service 2. create the much needed jobs for our young caymanians so they can stop resulting to crime. Now we can critize these efforts all day and forget to smell the coffee- at the end of the day as cayman continues to grow we inevitably have to give up a little bit of that scenery to allow for focused development of the economy. remember as long as there is no revenue generated the governments hands are tied and they simply will hike up rates ( taxes) to meet costs which imply results to small businesses closing shop and yes trust me that is not good for cayman( topic  for another day). Lets accept the reality of an economic model and not be fooled by the hear says of today. trying to cap development is simply suffocating the economy and the only other way will be downhill for sure.

  2. Anonymous says:

    ok I am pleased that the level of debate has been stepped up on CNS. All very good and thought provoking arguments.  I think it is time to "take it to the mattresses". I am not running anywhere this is home and there is strength in numbers. I don’t want my island turning to s!t because of a few greedy, thoughtless, selfish individuals.

    We need to stand together as a people and really make it loud and clear that this is unacceptable.

    Conditions:

    1) An immediate cease and desist with any further wranglings with Cohen until there is a re-tendering process

    2) A re-tendering process where whatever convenient terms were offered to Cohen AFTER the fact will be extended equally to all the previous local banks.

    3) CTC then reviews all bids equally and submit their final recommendations again. Clearly bearing in mind all the research that has already been done by the individuals on this website

    4) Separately and prior to any large loan amounts a presentation by the Financial Secretary (ughh) with the latest forecast figures to ascertain whether the $185M is still relevant and applicable.

    If I have missed anything please feel free to suggest it.

    This thoughtless bullying by the Premier is just ridiculous in these times. When you are messing with the Finances of this country you are affecting the livelihood of every single person who calls Cayman home. We need to be vocal and cannot allow this to go through without strong opposition. We have to stand for principle and ETHICS.

    Where is the Chamber, business community? Let me know where to sign up to raise my opposition and I will be there!

     

    • The Cleaner says:

      I would like to suggest that every registered voter start by calling the MLA for their district and ask them what are they doing to get the CAYMAN ISLANDS back on track. If they wont take your call, camp out at the office.   A few people at the steps will most certainly get their attention.  Oh, dont forget to call the media.

  3. Anonymous says:

    “As Minister of Finance my duty and that of my government is to make sure that we are managing government’s finances in such a way that we are not creating tremendous hardship on our own people and not recklessly mortgaging the future of generations to come.”

    Let’s look at what his non- "reckless" actions are:

    Cutting Civil Servants pay.

    Cutting grants to most NGOs charitable organizations by 10% this year. These are groups working to fill voids that Government either cannot or does not want to deal with,supplying services to the community and those in need.

    Then it hits the news about monies being spent on the elected officials. Cars, Fences, Drivers, World Travel etc. and now, as he defends his financial management of the countries money, you can drive though the Premier’s neighborhood and see the entire Boultins Road area has been repaved. Chip and Spray on all roads but one. That one road was done with more expensive asphalt. That road is the one on which the Premier house is located. The same house that is in the process of having a Fence erected around the property, at the people’s expense, that will lower property values for the surrounding houses. The paving firm that laid the asphalt, unlike Cohen and Company, is owned not only by a member of the UDP but by a member of his cabinet Mr. Mark Scotland.

    Yes he had planning permission for the fence. What are the chances of anyone else getting planning approval for such a fence around their residence? He appoints the CPA members and they bow at his feet granting is every wish.

    Take a drive through his neighborhood on a regular basis and see your monies at work, Watch the fence go up; see if you would like that bordering your house. Check out the road; ask yourself why he needs asphalt when chip and spray is adequate for the rest of the neighbours.

    What we as a people are seeing is a trend, a trend in poor use of funds, a trend of ignoring the process of law, a trend of misuse of power. The fact that this loan was done outside of the processes in place by law is just one more example of the reckless governance we currently have.

    MLA’s from all sides. You must put a stop to this. To those UDP elected members there is timeto save yourself and the country from ruin. But not much. Speak up now, to not do so makes you co-conspirators.

    Good governance must not just be real, but must be perceived to be real also. There is no perception of good governance and rightfully so.If you want to have the respect and backing of the people you not only have to act in their best interest but it must be perceived that is what you are doing. The criticism he is complaining about he has brought on himself by his own actions.

  4. Kreskin says:

    Basic industry questions:

    Where is the Preliminary Prospectus, Offering Document, Term Sheet? 

    If this is the best deal, why not then refinance all of the issued and outstanding debt at the same time and call to retire any debt being serviced at a higher rate? 
     

    Is Cohen paying a finder’s fee, and if so, to whom?  Are there conflicts there that the public needs to be concerned with?
     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      If there IS a finders fee, XXXXXX and he is STILL IN FACT saving this country "tens of millions of dollars" then I would say we do indeed have a deal. I would personally kiss the Premier on the cheek and would most certainly vote for him come next election. So if you need votes, Mac, even if you could use a kiss on the cheek right now, just give us the facts please, the pure unquestionable, indisputable, honest to goodness FACTS. We deserve that. After all WE’RE going to be repaying the loan…  

  5. Anonymous says:

    Is there a finders fee involved??  Just a little food forthought….

  6. Anonymous says:

    LOCAL PEOPLE ARE PACKING UP AND GOING-THEY CAN’T HANG ON UNTIL THE NEXT ELECTIONS.I HAVE BEEN TOLD BY A FEW-THEY’RE GOING TO ”PANAMA”-CHECK IT OUT !! ??.

    • Anonymous says:

      Our Premier is a JOKE. Cayman must be the laughing stock of the world. Norman Bodden, Dick Arch and Joy Basdeo, hope you three are proud of the results of your endorsements.

      • Anonymous says:

        Roy Bodden too! I hope he realises he helped the BT UDP get votes despite knowing the XXXXX nature of that party! What an auspicious occasion that was – the day he endorsed Mark!

        Never again will I tell stories of my time working for Roys campaign, I was in awe of the man and respected his intelligence, ethics, patriotism and polical savvy but now I wonder if he was also full of hot air.

        • Anonymous says:

          Give Mr. roy Bodden a Break. He is indeed a man of integrity and you can’t take that away from him.

          He at least is disapproving of the government’s actions by busting them with the information provided to the public in his recent book.

          Roy took a chance with endorsing Mark.  No one really knows what what anyone will do. Mark seems to be very bush with health services and never complains. Dwayne, I have yet to hear one project he has put on the table, he seems to be busy getting into trouble.

          In any case. No one could predict what the UDP will give. They are all the same. This was a very bad  hand dealt to the people of the Cayman Islands..

          I have never seen a worse bunch, never in all my life.  They are all bad for each other and bad for the country.

          Continue to give Mr. Roy bodden the Respect he deserves.

           

          .

  7. Anonymous says:

    Your Honable Governor,

    On Behalf of and representing all Caymanians please investigate our Premier.

    XXXXX watch the spoken word from our Premier and Mr. CG from 2009.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wflzqDuhspE&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BELebHLIqzQ&feature=related

    Recorded media is wonderful XXXXX

    Cayman, you must take back your country before it is too late. This loan has bypassed all protocol and is signed and approved by one individual our Premier. All contracts over CI100,000 must go through the PTC so how can a $185m loan be signed and approved by one man.

    Your Honable Governor your responsibility is to act in the best interests of the cayman Islands and the people of the Cayman Islands.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Cayman Please,  WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE!!!!

    The people that you voted into power have no interest in your country XXXXXX.

    If MAC, ROLLEY, mark and the silent MLA’s really cared about Cayman they would be up front, open and honest with the COUNTRIES dealings.

    Your country is going down the tubes and if nobody stands up to these jokers Cayman’s prosperity will be one faraway memory.

    IT IS UP TO YOU CAYMAN.  BE SILENT AND DIE OR STAND UP AND LIVE.

  9. anonymous says:

    Interesting Quote.

        "Our worst enemies here are not the ignorant and the simple, however cruel; our worst enemies are the intelligent  and corrupt."

    Graham Greene

    The Human Factor (1978)

    • Anonymous says:

      What about the corrupt who are ignorant, but think they are intelligent?

  10. Caymanian In Distress says:

    Politicians are wonderful people as long as they stay away from things they don’t understand, such as working for a living.
     

  11. born yah says:

     Not surprised last time the UDP was in power they brought a overseas company to clean up after ivan.The funny part of that was they told local heavy equipment companies they could make good $ money working for the foreign Co.Personaly because I new my country was being ripped off I would not work for them.The last straw a UDP  minister brought in dump trucks to work with company which he had part in hiring…  

  12. The Cleaner says:

    Is there a provision in the constitution or is there a law that says anyone can file an injuntion against the goverment to stop their excessive spending until the AG can have an audit to say  yes or no that their spending is justified ?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Have the complete terms of the competing loans been published? If they have, I have not seen them.

    It is not difficult to analyze loan offerings to determine which is the best. For example is the interest rate fixed or variable? What is the term of the loan? How is the principle repaid? Are there balloon payments?

    Bush is trying to assure us that he did the best for the country.

    We do not know how he negotiated this best loan because he bypassed the tenders committee, thus cutting off all further negotiations. All should have been allowed to vote on the alternatives.

    That is what is most unfortunate

  14. Anonymous says:

    instead of borrowing money and defending his decision can he make a decision on the crime? its f*****g out of control and no one cares it seems. they atacking people as they enter their homed and STILL nothing??????

  15. Anonymous says:

    Let the country see……line up the 3 proposals and breakdown all fees, interests etc.

    I bet that cannot be done

  16. IRON CLAD says:

    Don’t let this man fool you, People!!!

     

  17. Anonymous says:

    As an older Caymanian I am saddened and disgusted by the total disregard for the safeguards which exist to minimise corruption in our country. I blame those who break the rules and those who stand by when they ought to intervene. 

    I have come to expect this type of stuff from Mr. Bush. I loathe it, but I expect it.

    What I am truly saddened by is that people who I once thought more highly of seem to say and do nothing in relation to the callous disregard for the way things ought to be done. Theopposition is mostly missing in action and the people in the UDP whose parents I am sure raised them to know right from wrong, like Mr. Anglin, MrAdam and Mr. Scotland just seem to hold their noses and turn a blind eye. What a very sad state of affairs in my country. Where are the people of conscience who put country before party politics and before the 30 pieces of silver that the corrupt offer?

    • Anonymous says:

      It is also sad to see that there are no whistle blowers in this process, there are Civil Servants in place who are suppose to provide some checks and balance, are they all a part of this or are they to scared to speak out?

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

       Forget about defending borrowing money to support the CIG, time to stop ignoring crime. It is now to the point that the elected members should no longer play the blame game and just pass the buck/ coconut back to The Governor. Leaders should take care of their people. Do something about crime instead of inward investment with the peoples money.

    • The Cleaner says:

      I completely agree with you, but the problem is, everyone is infear of LITTLE BIG MAC.

  18. Sick and Tired of the B...S... says:

    A couple of issues not raised so far. The premier has commented that the Cohen loan allows for consolidation of old, with new borrowings, and specifically mentioned Cayman Airways. Perhaps the local syndicate were not prepared to lend money which although "Capital", is clearly going to be used to cover day to day expenses, as Cayman Airways is never going to generate enough revenue to cover it’s expenses and be profitable. Likewise there is $9 million + set aside for the Boatswain Beach project – another bottomless financial hole, which can never be profitable by any normal acceptable standard of accounting.

    "Consolidating" debts was the flavour of the month in the US a few years ago when people were drowning in mortgages, car loans, home improvement loans and maxed-out credit cards. All sorts of schemes were offered to consolidate debt and have just ONE monthly payment. The trouble was it did not hammer home the point that for the scheme to work you had to completely change your way of life and literally stop spending money except for absolute essentials.

    XXXXX

  19. Anonymous says:

    This proves that there is absolutely no need for anti-corruption legislation with teeth.

    There is simply no connection between this type of outside the rules activity and the government’s delay/refusal inrelation to providing enforcement capacity for our anti-corruption legislation.  Its true, just like there is no connection between the death of the proposed conservation legislation and the scorched earth  and dead sea projects being implemented by Beloved Leader’s cronies.

    No really. There is absolutely no connection at all. How could there be. There is not even a remote possibility of corruption in any of the back room deals that are happening.

  20. Anonymous says:

    The question still remains did Mr Bush pay any of his supporters a finder’s fee like he paid David Berry and Suresh Prasad for the so-called arranging the Turtle Farm financing? No-one is saying a UDP suppoerter has an interest in
    Cohen& c0.

  21. Absurdistani says:

    The entire point of the CTC and the procedures in place is to prevent undue influence and corruption.

    The frequent bypassing, unwillingness to observe,and willful blindness by others involved is questionable.

    Mr. Premier, respected leaders go ‘off-book’ in extreme circumstances not at their whim and fancy. We are seeing you go make this type of choice far too often in situations that do not warrant this type of action.

  22. Dred says:

    As Minister of Finance my duty and that of my government is to make sure that we are managing government’s finances in such a way that we are not creating tremendous hardship on our own people and not recklessly mortgaging the future of generations to come,”

    I almost swallowed my gum on this one!!

    Really!! Seriously!! Truly!!

    Hold on a second.

    – Duty Hikes – On everything including food.

    – Increase Duty on Gas – This affects everything and everyone.

    – Increase fees such as work permits and business licenses which as you know is passed on to the people of the Cayman Islands

    – Okay of CUC rate hikes

    And…….ALL…..OF……THIS……IS…..DURING……A…..RECESSION>>>>DAMN>>>>>IT!!!

    Forgive me if I am the first to call Bull Crap on this one.

    Generally the way BIg Mac does business is there is a good side and a bad side. The good side is generally more evident than the bad side but generally the bad side is far worse than the good side is good.

    So far during his tenure he is been responsible for…

    – Causing fleet loads of businesses to pack up and leave Cayman

    – Causing fleet loads of small businesses to close their doors

    – Causing fleet loads of small businesses to lay off staff just to survive

    – Caused many small business to decide not to open up

    – Caused many interested larger businesses decide not to open in Cayman

    – Proposed a fleet load of sheer stupid ideas

    – May have single handedly caused a millions if not billions of lost revenue for the Cayman Islands over the next ten years.

    This man is a train wreck waiting to happen, problem is WE ARE ON THE TRAIN!!!

    What we need to do is get back to lower priced tourism. PUT CAYMAN ON SALE!!!

    I say lower the cost of Cayman Airways tickets on a more permanent basis to where it is dirt cheap to fly here. Request that all tourism related businesses drop rates by 10% to 20% also. In turn lower the cost of hotels duties on certain items and request they pass on atleast 50% of the savings to their guest in the restaurants, bars and shops.

    Launch a new ad Campaign called "Cayman is ON SALE!!"

    We need to focus on Stayover tourism and less on Cruise because the Cayman Islands makes far more on every level from Stayover.

    For far too long people having been leaving the Cayman Islands saying the same thing. "It’s a beautiful Island but it’s so expensive". People have to be able to afford to come the first time and come back. I am thinking hotels and possibly CAL can offer a special "Come Back to Cayman fare". Bring us your ticket stuf or proof of last visit and get 10% off.

    We need new thinking about getting people to Cayman and getting them back again. Build repeat business, people who will tell their friends about us. So farall we have been doing Sales and Marketing wise is what is termed as spin. We need to offer tourist real savings that they can see.

    We also need to get back to Customer Service that means something. It’s not just about being able to get here but once they are here giving them good service and that’s from the luggage guy at the airport to the hotel and back to the airport.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Bank foreclosure on Caymanian houses will result

    The Cayman Government  asked the local banks, solely on the basis of trust, to not foreclose on unserviced mortgages as they didn’t want to see Caymanians out on the streets. Now that the Cayman Government is in a position to honour this relationship of trust by passing the profits from this loan  to these banks, and thereby stimulating the local economy, they instead choose to save a few cent by sending the business to NY.  It is not surprising that the local banks will view this as a breach of the trust relationship and we Caymanians should not be surprised to see a rise in home foreclosures in the near future. After all if the Cayman Government is only concerned with profit and not social policy, why should we expect our local banks to care about social policy and not profit.

    • Kung Fu Iguana says:

      I would be disappointed if banks did not foreclose on those who cannot pay their debts.  As someone who does pay on time I am angered that the costs of borrowing go up to subsidise these defaulters. 

    • New Party says:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BELebHLIqzQ&feature=related

       

      Just based on the implied promises in this speech alone they have failed. Transparency? Rushed Legislation? They accused the PPM of these things and what are we witnessign now? Thsi is why we need a New Party to take back our country, otherwise you will be getting the same old set of promises and propaganda next election.

       

  24. Anonymous says:

    Here are the facts on Cohen:

    They are extremely small and therefore highly susceptible to liquidity/balance sheet risk. Cohen’s assets under management (AUM) are just $10bn, a tiny amount in today’s market. For comparison, the stronger (i.e. best long-term financing/investment partners for a sovereign borrower) investors in today’s market that buy assets such as Cayman Islands bonds are anywhere from 10x – 150x larger than Cohen, for example:

    – Fidelity Asset Management: $1.5 trillion AUM

    – PIMCO: over $1.3 trillion

    – Franklin Templeton: over $500 billion

    you get the point

    Although Cohen’s website shows a "capital markets" division, Cohen does not appear ANYWHERE in ANY bond underwriting league tables. As a matter of fact, please note the following with regards to their ranking in the financial industry:

     

    – not in top 65 underwriters of All Latin American Bonds

    – not in top 343 for All USD Bonds

    – not in top 343 for All International Bonds

    Additionally, Cohen has apparently never done a capital markets transaction for a sovereign entity before and the Cayman Islands Govt will be a "guinea-pig"/experiment for them. Bulk of transactions on their website are by issuers of MUCH less stature and importance than the Cayman Islands sovereign, and also typically very small in size.

    And if these guys are such financial geniuses….if you check their 10-K filings they have consistenly lost money in the past 4 years…..US$55.2million to be exact.

     

    How are these people to help us when they cant help themselves?

    In the immortal words of Melvin Udall from As Good As It Gets…. Sell crazy someplace else, we’re all stocked up here.

     

    PS….it took me 27 mins to research the above….disband the CTC and come to me

    • Pending says:

      Great research, but Mac won’t go to you unless you have an interest.

    • Dred says:

      Old people use to say if it sounds too good to be true generally it’s not true.

      Another outlandish thing from Big Mac.

      As I said in a previous post most if not all things from Big Mac usually has good and bad in it. The good is usually what he shows us and it generally looks really good but the bad usually outweights the good by a fair margin.

      He is a train wreck waiting to happen and we are on the darn train. Someone really needs to draw the breaks for us or we’ll all end up off the cliff.

      We keep (and he helps us) complaining about PPM but UDP is going to do far more damage than PPM ever did. AT LEAST PPM was building stuff for our future which we can use. XXXX

      • Anonymous For Cause says:

        I couldn’t agree with you more and also the poster who asked the very pertinent question "Who Benefits" ?

        In addition to by-passing proper procedures and a total lack of transparency in this whole affair and sending Government revenue abroad, what I also find disappointing is that we, the ordinary people never get a chance to participate in these higher interests rates. Yes, most of us are broke, but whenever possible we have learnt from the hard lessons of life to save the few dollars whenever possible.   The problem is that now a day’s, safe savings do not earn any interest in the bank.
        It is a disgrace that “the better way forward” McKeeva and his UDP Cohorts are sending all of the interest paid out of the country and are not financing part  of the debt through local financial institutions and apparently did not think of financing part of the debt with national saving bonds (or something similar). Perhaps they realized that local people would not trust the present Government enough to put any of their hard earned savings where the Government can get hold of it.
    • bushwacker says:

      Do not forget our beloved leader’s experience as a banker. It has kept him in good stead. We need a Minister of Finance like him and by the way can the Auditor General please look at this as it does pass no sniff test.

      • Anonymous says:

        Experience as a banker? I believe he may have been a cashier/teller at one time many years ago. I guess his directorship at the bank that failed counts??

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks very much for this piece of work. It naturally begs the question as to where does he meet these people? Where do they come out from? Who owns them? And more importantly; who will now own our debt. This is a sad day in the Cayman Islands. God help us all.

      • Anonymous says:

        He would meet these people in one of three places.

        Casino, UN conference, bar or church. Oops that’s four.

         

    • Kmanite says:

      Let me add to this from my research:

      Cohen has -17- clients. Any loss of a large client would create liquidity problems for this tiny shop.

      Given Cohen’s lack of size, stature or experience in bond market as set out above, it is difficult to ascertain how Cohen could competitively out-bid any established retail bank. Cohen does not have the ‘pull’ or influence or even the asset base to make a viable offer.

      Also, as CIG is the only rated entity in Cayman, the rating agencies will take a very dim view of the fact the McKeeva was either only able or willing to secure financing from such an "unusual source".

      The reasons no other soveriegn would take financing from a private equity company are too obvious. So this is an highly irregular move, which will invite scrutiny from Moodys, the FCO and international regulatory bodies.

  25. Cayman Conch says:

    Well well well… McKeeva has his hand in the middle of everything again.  Why can’t he trust his professionals to the job at hand.  It may have been a better deal and the CTC should have received the bid but for Mac to keep acting like a dictator has got to STOP.  He is trying his best to ruin the country and the other MLA’s need to step up and say something.  I hope that in the next term a real AG will have some back bone and hold these ruthless politicians accountable!

  26. Eeva McBush says:

    One thing you can say about Mac is that he gah jokes, foh shure.

  27. Macman says:

    If this contract is going to save the island "millions and millions" then why is it not being made public?

    As usual under the counter dealing by Mac!

  28. Anonymous says:

    The explanation of this deal leaves more questions than answers.

    It seems that whoever wrote last night’s little speech chose the words in a very careful, even Clinton-esque, manner. (Remember when Clinton carefully chose his words, looked into the camera and stated on US television, "I did not have sex with that woman".)

    Even if no member of the UDP has an interest in a particular company which stands to profit at our expense, the denial clearly did not extend to stating that no one is getting a "commission", "finder’s fee", "fixers fee", condo, yacht or fat brown envelope in relation to this little deal. Why was the denial so limited in scope? Why was there not a simple statement that there is no conflict of interest involving anyone in, or associated with the government, the party or their family, friends and cronies?

    It is beyond ridiculous for anyone to believe that sending tens of millions of dollars in interest payments out of the country to parties unknown is good for the country, particularly when there are local institutions willing to follow the tendering rules and willing to lend the money while keeping the interest payments circulating in the economy.  If this deal was above board there is simply no reason why the same terms could not  be offered to any local institution.

    Cicero used a simple question as an aid to pointing out why questionable and frequently corrupt things happened in the politics of ancient Rome. That question was, "cui bono" – "who benefits"?

    Perhaps the answer to question, "cui bono", might offer some clarity regarding the wastage of our hard earned money on luxury travel, luxury vehicles and personal servants for politicians, as well as clarity regarding the reported failure to collect certain customs duties due to the Treasury and the most recent "arrangements".

  29. Anonymous says:

    If the terms were different than those offered by the local Banks then the local businesses should have been given an opportunity to bid on those differing terms.  If they could not compete then so be it but if they could then an even better deal could have been struck and with companies locally licenced, doing business here, employing many Caymanians and paying huge fees for licences and permits.  Very unfair and unreasonable to make such an arbitrary decision without all playing on a level field.  Outrageous misuse of public trust and tried systems with out the public, in whose name this loan is being sought, and who will pay for it, knowing the terms and conditions.  Reliable and trusted local businesses kicked in the teeth once again and some unknown just handed a deal on a plate with no fair competition XXXXX.  I would like to know the terms and find out commitment fee, finders fee, interest rate, time period and whether the lender can sustain the loan.  What if this deal falls through in a couple of years, and we all know the recent financial meltdown, who do we then turn to.  The local Banks who have been cast aside and on whatterms ?. 

  30. MER says:

    I guess it is a better deal to allow the interest on this loan to go somewhere else in the world since the local banks only employ thousands of Caymanians and provide millions in house, vehicle, personal and commercial loans in the Cayman Islands. AND

    *******"As Minister of Finance my duty and that of my government is to make sure that we are managing government’s finances in such a way that we are not creating tremendous hardship on our own people and not recklessly mortgaging the future of generations to come,” *****

     

    Did Big Mac really utter the words above????????????

  31. Anonymous says:

    If this Cohen deal is so wonderful then why would then have not simply been "encouraged" to submit their bid via the CTC process? The financial minds that review & rate these bids are better that the Premier’s, so I cannot see why they would not have also come to the same conclusion that this proposal was the best. Or is that real financial minds would finds some issue with the long term payments and the associated fees?

  32. Anonymous says:

    "As Minister of Finance my duty and that of my government is to make sure that we are managing government’s finances in such a way that we are not creating tremendous hardship on our own people and not recklessly mortgaging the future of generations to come,” the premier stated."

    All evidence to the contrary. But yes go for it.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Shouldn’t the negotiated contract have gone back before the tenders committee? If it was then the best choice it would have been recommended, correct.

    Has the tenders committee seen the new contract? Can they say if it is the best deal?