Woe is me

| 21/05/2012

CNS' recent opinion piece which focuses on the role of Dart Management's vulture fund in Greece and the implications for Dart's activities in the Cayman Islands was a valuable commentary but only for what it revealed in the blogs that followed. The article itself carried some major flaws and certainly smacks of the entitlement/woe is me culture that encourages people to find someone else to blame for their standard of living.

Regretfully, there is this overwhelming need among many to always conclude that if someone and in particular a business person or investor is making a profit then they surely must be inflicting harm on others to get that result.

It's a common folly for this group that when everything else fails or frankly luck runs against them, they can always find some reason and ideally someone to blame for their "woes".

This cultural position basically says that Dart for example, is doing no more than to inflict harm on the Cayman Islands on his way to yet further profits. It's the kind of thinking and lack of understanding of how the real world operates that continues to serve as one of the major stumbling blocks towards an improved standard of living for too many people.

And anyone who dares raise this issue is quickly thrown into the ugly basket of evil persons who want nothing but to become more wealthy while refusing to give some of their hard earned wealth to the "needy".

Seriously?

Most investors are risk takers. Little is known of the failures of entrepreneurs globally or locally. When they take a risk, some of us assume that "they can afford to do so". Truth is very often they cannot, but their appetite for risk is greater than the average person. They can, and often do, lose their shirts on deals more times than one imagines. But ironically, it is this very risk taking/entrepreneurial nature that drives the local and global economy.

When they gain, we then say they must have hurt people in the process and are doing nothing or not enough (by our own self serving standards) for the country/community.

This hugely flawed position stems partially from a comparison of the magnitude of profits reaped by the investor against what that investor gives back to the community.

If a business donates say an average of 1 million each year to charitable causes and employs 300 to 400 Caymanians, the absolute size of its profits, assuming this is substantial, should not water down the true impact of that contribution to the community and employment. The fact that the investor may incur a profit of 100 million does not all of a sudden mean that those 300 jobs are not important, or that the millions donated to charitable causes has not helped literally hundreds of needy persons within the community.

And neither does it matter if said investor did this "out of the kindness of his heart" or as a result of pressure to be a good corporate citizen. All that matters is whether the investment was carried out in an environmentally sustainable manner, within the laws and if it has been of benefit to the country or community in question.

The CNS viewpoint on Dart's vulture fund not only encouraged this type of "woe is me and people that make money are obviously harming others" thinking, but it also made a huge leap in logic in implying that we must now also be cautious of Dart's investment in this country.

Dart has not loaned money to this country, which is essentially what the organisation did indirectly in Greece and Argentina.

Instead its investment is what's regarded and welcomed as 'real investment' in the Cayman Islands, bricks and mortar type stuff which lead to true employment of hundreds of individuals who get real salaries and purchase physical goods or services in the country.

And yet I heard someone say a few months ago on a local talk show: "If Dart cared so much about this country, why then doesn't he just give some of his wealth to the country. He has made enough money; he doesn't need to make anymore."

There is so much wrong with that way of thinking that there is not enough space here to elaborate further.

However, one thing worth considering is the impact of this way of thinking on the youth of the Cayman Islands.

We teach the youth to pursue an education and that this is essential to a successful career path, and that they should try to enjoy what they do for a living. At the same time they are brought up a country where there is a prevalent culture of pointing at the expat, foreign or investor as their glass ceiling, the reason for a lack of opportunity. There is no denying that some of these so-styled glass ceiling issues exist, but the extent of this blame game is sold at such an incredibly ludicrous level to the youth that there is little point arming them with a good education when their minds and attitudes have been so severely poisoned with this nonsense.

It's time promote the true realities: that the Cayman Islands are part of a global and competitive economy, that the really great opportunities are there only for those who work both hard and smart, that if our youth are not prepared to survive globally they will certainly not survive locally (because global standards are already here and in practice), and that most of these 'bogeyman investors' that mean no good to our country are just law abiding entrepreneurs seeking the highest possible reward for the risks that they take.

There seems to be an increasing culture of blaming everyone else, and if Caymanians continue to swim in this "woe is me culture" they will most certainly never secure the control over this economy that they desire.

Category: Viewpoint

Comments (55)

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  1. Naya boy says:

    They are here for us remember what or Premier said my only comment to this is Two Vultures live and keep hovering over Cayman one inthe political arena the other in the business sector and the old saying is birds of a feather flock together. Big me up now you Dart supporters but remember it aint nothing like the annoying old Truth.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Blaming external factors for personal internal failings is part of the human condition.

     

    Get used to it.

  3. HMS says:

    What about Vulture Governments?? Do they not feed of the stupidity of voters when promising spending packages aimed at securing votes? Do theynot digest the hopes and dreams of their citizen prey through poor fiscal management? Do they then not scavenge in the remains of a failed system in the hopes that someone will rescue them…or if no rescue find someone to blame? Fact: It is believed that the concept of joke first originated in ancient Greece by Palamedes. Fast forward several thousand years and Greece is still the joke.

  4. Anonymous says:

    "All that matters is whether the investment was carried out in an environmentally sustainable manner, within the laws and if it has been of benefit to the country or community in question."

    That is exactly the point: development and investments must be carried out with respect for existing communities. However, two projects which Dart is pushing are against the interest of the specific community targeted, and against the interest of the whole island — the West Bay Road closure and moving the George Town dump to Bodden Town. The proposed dump in Bodden Town is a threat to the existing landscape of a community, and would convert a pristine residential/agricultural area into an industrial zone, without the prior knowledge of the residents and property owners and without consultation. No one can argue that putting a dump in Bodden Town, however state-of-the-art it is supposed to be, can be “of benefit to the community in question".  In fact, given the present zoning restrictions in the proposed area, the very legality of such a move is debatable.

    I had respect for Dart up to now, but not anymore. Behind Dart's proposals is not only a love of risk, but also a desire for power. Of course, it is primarily the responsibility of Government to stop Dart, but as an investor and a developer, I would expect Dart to respect the communities impacted by the proposed projects. With Camana Bay, Dart had shown respect, but not anymore. It seems that a desire to control the island, not his love of risk, is now motivating their actions.

    I thank Wendy Ledger for giving us food for thought. The point is not if there are flaws in her article. The point is that Dart's proposals are going too far and that they must be stopped by the rest of us.

    • Whodatis says:

      Everything you have said makes perfect sense, poster.

      However, please bear in mind that you are speaking to a crowd that have consciously decided to suspend "sense" and logic primarily for the purpose of supporting an issue to which the majority of Caymanians are opposed.

      This is the long and short of it all.

      Their motivations tend to be cynicism, jealousy and plain old "bad-mindedness".

      However, it is up to individuals like you and myself to stay the course and speak up for what we believe is right.

      In the end, those very voices that oppose and try to ridicule us will be quietly thanking us in 10 – 15 years when the lucky amongst them have been granted Caymanian citizenship and they finally suspend their callous mindest and embrace this island-nation as "home".

      * They know full well that had it been a country or community which they regarded as "home" they would not take the same stance. Pay them no mind my friend.

      As for me, I tend to read the majority of the postings on CNS these days and simply laugh and shake my head.

  5. Truly says:

    Look what Dart has done with his money.

    Now look at what Caymanian leadership has done with YOUR money.

    End of lesson.

    • Anonymous says:

      er…..he spent $1BN to create 600 jobs near a dump…….what's so genius about that?

    • Anonymous says:

      The lesson being that if Cayman govt. deals with Dart it will lose a lot of money and Dart will gain a lot?

      • Truly says:

        Really?  Thats what you get?  Lets make it simpler.  $200milllion a year.  What did you get for that?  Unless your in the Civil service gravy train or a Bracker w/paved parking or a Bushit church what did you get?  Now I see how Bush gets away with it.

  6. Reality says:

    There seems to be a bit of a misunderstanding of what Dart Management – DM for short – have actually done in respect of the Greek sovereign debt.  The debt existed already.  DM not create it.  Because of the troubles surrounding the debt and the Greek economy, DM would have been able to purchase it at a discount, and because it has the resources to sit on it and take a risk, it did so and succeeded in making profit. 

    I'm sure DM has tried this on other occasions – sometimes sucessfully, sometimes not.  The bottom line is that DM is not responsible for the creation of the debt, nor the liability of the Greek government to pay it back.  The obligation and liabiliy existed from the moment the Greek government offered bonds to investors some years ago.  The term of the bonds, simply put, would be for a period of years, during whihc time the Greek government would pay interest to the bond holder.  At the maturity date, the debt needs to be repaid.

    If you need to blame somehting for the catastrophic economic mess of Greece – it is simply this:  over a period of years, the Greek government, taking advantage of low interest rates and an insatiable demand in the bond markets for sovereign bonds, sold too many bonds, to the extent that they could not afford to pay them off when they became due for payment.  How is that Dart's fault?

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      There's no misunderstanding on what Dart has done, and there is little misunderstanding as to it's legality…..the point of Wendy's original piece was to make people aware of the type of person that has become the single most influential powerhouse in the Cayman economy….many of us will be shocked at where the Dart money is coming from, many of us will be shocked to learn that Dart sue governments…..it's a question of opening our eyes, rather than simply standing by and drinking the cool-aid that is being constantly sent out from camana bay's publicity machine (a well funded one at that…)

      Dart Management did nothing illegal with Greece, we understand that…but the cosy, lovely support for their methods of making money disappears when we start to understand that their next option was to actually sue, or threaten to sue, Greece…..that's when those of us with concern start to get uncomfortable……again, we understand its legal, and again, we understand its not Dart that put Greece or Argentina or Brazil in the positions they found themselves in….but the morality behind this, and the systematic business practice of a group suing governments is one that we should we wide awake to…….yet we're not

      not until Wendy wrote her article…….hey, the world is an ugly place and the financial games are there for the lucky few to play, thats understood…….but we're a small nation, and we've watched how over the past 25 years or so one group – a very, very secretive group – have made significant strides into our economy through land ownership and business interests…..and its not until now that most of us will really have understood who they are, and how they do it…….and frankly, thats not cool…..and Wendy is simply trying to have us all step back and think, if it could happen over there, it could happen here……and yes, developing tangible businesses is very different to holding bonds…..but the increased influence and potential influence is extraordinary…..and its an encroachment by a group that sue governments……it doesnt mean they'll never show their fangs here in cayman, but it doesn't mean they won't either…..

      anyone remember one of their team being non-commital on the west bay road closure being a deal-breaker?  that's a small showing of teeth right there….

      • anonymous says:

        Dont forget DART CONTAINER CO has US$1.1Billion in sales per year….that is alot of money to develop Camana Bay with….they really do not need to risk purchasing country debt to make money. They take a huge risk doing so and they should make a big profit is it happens.  I am sure you only read about the 1 in 10 that actually makes a profit anyhow.

         

      • Anonymous says:

        Well you just illustrated exactly the point of the editorial by stating the lack of morality of suing governments. The audacity of someone actually expecting a government to live up to their obligations and repay the debt which they issued. What about the morality, or lack thereof, of a government borrowing money, which purely through their own incompetence, can’t pay back? As if a government is some sacred deity Governments are nothing more then a collection of individual human beings who have been elevated to positions of authority over the rest of us. Just like any collection of people, they have the same characteristics. Some are smart, honest and hardworking, but some are lazy, dishonest, stupid and self serving. Unfortunately what seems to be happening all over the world, including here, is we are electing the ones who promise us the most stuff, regardless of wether there is anyway to actually pay for it. Again, where is the morality in that.

        The solution for Cayman is very simple then. Don’t be like Greece and vote for politicians based on all the great things that they will have the government do for you, things the government can’t afford and therefore get into a downward spiral of racking up huge debts which it has no chance of ever repaying. In other words, live within our means.

  7. 3rd Generation loyal Caymanian says:

    Today 60 year old musician and his 91 year old mother jump to their death from a 5 storey building in Athens Greece. I wonder if Dart and all you financial admirers even know that it happen? Not our problem i guess so long as we can get down to Camana Bay to watch movies and admirer Darts architecture.

    • Anonymous says:

       The Greeks themselves need to take care of this. These problems are at their doorstoop not yours or mine.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ever heard Jesus' saying, be thy brother's keeper?  No.  I guess not.  That is why this world is in such a mess, because people like you are blindto the suffering of others.  Do you really think the common Greek person should suffer so badly, because their politicians are as inept as ours?  Well, if you really feel that is justified, I just hope when your own sufferation visits you, which it surely will when this place becomes another Turks and Caicos, that you won't be turning to others expecting them to feel sorry for you.  What goes around, comes around.  Karma, is a bitch.  The sooner you realize we live in a global village and we are not immune to what happens on the other side of the world, the sooner you will wise up.  Feel some empathy in your soul, if you have one.

        • Anonymous says:

          Always go for the personal attack, Mr. Good Christian? Do you really think that it would be different if Dart had not bought those bonds? What a crock.

          • Anonymous says:

            You ought to be ashamed for your attitude in thinking that if it wasn't Dart it would simply be someone else.  Does that make it any better or justify what is happening to these people?If it wasn't Dart, it would be some other rich group, yes, but that is not the point.  The point addressed to you, was – don't coldly dismiss the suffering of the normal everyday Greek citizen who have been caught up in this mess because of the incompetence of their politicial leaders (sounds a lot like us, huh?) and pretend that just because they live far away from us, we shouldn't care that people are committing suicide while cold-hearted people like you can be so dismissive and say "well they are not our problem".   Cayman has become wealthy starting from the early 1970s, largely due to ill-gotten gains being invested here by cold-blooded wealthy entities and individuals.    You are the one that is full of it.  What a crock.

        • Anonymous says:

          The average Greek person, who has benefited from social services and governmental spending that was paid for with other peoples money, that do their best to avoid paying any tax to pay for it all?  I am with the IMF on this one.  Read the article below before you cry too much for the poor average Greek.  Hairdressers retiring at 50!  Railway cleaners earning $100k a year.  What is happening now is that the Greeks are being forced to pay SOME of the money they borrowed from the rest of Europe and spent lavishly (note that the last bond restructuring required European banks and pension funds to write off 75% of the maount due – money that will impact the savings and pensions of other people who were not invited to the party).  What you seem to miss is that SOMEONE has to pay for it all – are you seruiously suggesting that the ordinary people ofthe other nations of Europe should stump so that the ordinary Greek people can continue to enjoy a standard of living beyond the means of their economy to pay for it all.  

          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2007949/The-Big-Fat-Greek-Gravy-Train-A-special-investigation-EU-funded-culture-greed-tax-evasion-scandalous-waste.html

    • Anonymous says:

      Sad 12:27, but not a damn thing to do with Dart or you or the Cayman Islands so stop your bleeding heart nonsense and spend ALL your time petitioning the Greek Government to stop spending money it does not have and has not had for the last christ knows how many years. It's a basketcase lefty country that expcts loads of benefits to come without a price tag. Come to think of it, that sounds familiar.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes Anon 20:00 sounds just like us in fact on the contrary it will be us if we continue down this road and with the type of governments we keep electing thank you for pointing this fact out by simply substituting the word Greek for Cayman should cause some great concern. Boy some of these opposition members sure are quite when it come to these subjects eh?

  8. Anonymous says:

    In most countries there are people who complain that the rich or big guys are taking everything and they have nothing. its actually quite true in many cases but I'm not sure we can do anything about it. in a capitalist system where some work hard or smart etc and have access to resources  that others may not have, or some have relationships that others do not, well…thats just the way the world works. throwing darts at Dart won't help anyone get richer or to put more food on the table. he is simply playing by the rules that exists right now everywhere. all we can do is try to put ourselves in a position to play the game better. whether it is improved education, learn to improve our business relationships, etc etc. 

    I like what another poster said..why don't wealthy caymanians take over if they can. but we now know that they are the ones that have "sold out".. And you know what— if many of us had the wealth we would probably end up playing the same game in order to make even more money.

    Its true that there is a "caution" by cns article that we may rely too much on one company. ok great. so what do we do about it? put laws and rules in place to prevent  others from selling out to foreignors?

    And then what? we wil complain that laws and rules are stopping Caymanians from getting a peice of the economy by selling out (which is precisely how some have been made better off).

    Would we rather have Caymanians "own" everything but have little or no economic activity or jobs being created (because if recent history means anything thats what will happen)

    Outsiders bring infusion of ideas and experience and resources that improve our economy and locals can also contruibute to that as they have in many cases by become partners and helping with the success of these ventures. locals can learn from foreign investors and vice versa. or these locals can stay in a shell and complain about the rich man etc. your choice.

    Globalisation is passing us by so quickly on this little rock its not even funny anymore. Lets stop this feel good poor people mentality and get on with it as best as we can.

     

  9. Anonymous says:

    It is clear to me that these posters who are writing in support of Dart, have not understood the CNS reporter's viewpoint, that given this wealthy entity's ruthlessness in other countries, Cayman would do well to tread carefully and not allow this entity to become too powerful to the point where it dominates the economy.   That is all the reporter was saying, but you die-hard fans of Dart, who probably either work for him or your relative works for him, are too dumb to understand the intellectual merits of the reporter's caution.   No wonder Cayman is in such a mess.  Too many rats following the pied piper and will go over the cliff until they realize what is going on and only too late for them.  

  10. Chris says:

    Every investor will be perceived as big and bad as govt members seem to always have the ability to cut great deals for themselves with these investors but not such great deals for the country.

    For decades the people have been shortchanged and therefore seem to want to blame the investor instead of the representatives who are employed to cut better deals on behalf of the Caymanian people.

    One such example of a bad deal cut by government is the Shetty agreement. An example in that agreement is where Cardiologists, some of the highest wage earners in the world will be exempt from paying government fees and duties for up to 50 years! Now tell me govt couldnt even negotiate a better deal than that for the people? If we cant tax the rich, then lets guess who will have to pay the taxes to run this country….

     

     

  11. john Anonymous says:

    I think that what has been missed in all the debate on the Dart economic stimulus is the fact that the wealthy Caymanians are not willing to invest in their country. They do not want to take the risk. If the accountants, lawyers and business owners who have become millionaires over the last 10-20 years partner in investments in this country we would not have the risk of one major investor. However, the “Government has to do it” mentality is not just the mindset of the middleclass and poor; it’s also prevalent with our wealthy. Naturally, the first step would be to change the jealousy that exist with Caymanians becoming wealthy, far too often the cry from the ignorant is “It is easier for a camel to enter into the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.” This Christian teaching in itself is causing resentment towards investors who provide value to the country’s economy; this bible verse should NOT be interrupted literally.

    The Dart group brings great benefits to this country’s economy; the risk I perceive that exist is the belligerent attacks that may one day cause them to leave. Then what? Is this the reason the Caymanian millionaires do not want to invest? And for the record, I am a five generation Caymanian Man who really has gotten enough of the doomsayers seeking political power placing my children’s future at risk. Either you get the rich Caymanian’s to commit to investing in some of these projects or you debate the real issues rather than name calling of this gentleman and all the other potential investors.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I don’t mind the viewpoint but where is the discussion on education. That has to be the way to get the really great opportunity. If we put more into education we would have more families with wealth who can be good investors for this country

  13. Anonymous says:

    Here’s an idea. Let’s get rid of this old rich guy and then lots of other cayman investors will replace his investment by coming together with theire joint funds to make it all happen.
    Oops sorry that probably won’t happen so safer bet with dart!

  14. Anonymous says:

    The point being made by this viewpoint is a good one. All I ever hear is this constant complaining about the big bad investor. What’s the alternative? It’s not like we can all of a sudden find others to replace the investment so would we rather do without it? And won’t we clearly be worse off then? It’s all fine and dandy to say that we are relying too much on one investorbut unless we can come up with another solution we have to take what the market delivers and do the best with it

  15. Anonymous says:

    Wendy’s article contained a caution. And so does this one because the attitude that this piece speaks to does exist and can only be bad for cayman. It is all too easy to sit around and blame the big guy for the issues.

  16. Slowpoke says:

    Your thinking and reasoning is so convoluted it is quite hard to reply to your commentary.  I think that we cannot make this into a black/white or right/wrong issue and do it justice.  There is in fact a lot of grey.

     

    Has Dart done good and contributed to Cayman?  Absolutely.  Is making a profit an acceptable goal for investors?  Absolutely.

     

    However, is unregulated and unbridled greed beneficial to the world?  Absolutely not.  At times there is a significant difference between something being legal and being ethical.  I personally believe that income disparity, with the significant accumulation in the hands of a very small minority, will lead to dire social consequences.  

     

    Ultimately, a vibrant and successful society and economy needs a middle class.  What is happening in way too many Western countries, is that this group is being decimated.  Vulture funds significantly contribute to this process.  

    • Anonymous says:

      I like where u were going with this but we still have a problem? What do we do about the middle class issue? Do we believe that getting rid of the only investor doing anything positive for the economy right now will improve the middle class issue. I don’t think so.nmaybe there is a role for the government here but other than that I have to agree with the Idea that all this complaining is for nought and does not achieve anything

      • Anonymous says:

        I don't think anyone is suggesting "getting rid" of Dart but rather than he should not be allowed to control the entire economy. It's not an all or nothing situation. 

  17. Anonymous says:

    The basic point of CNS's article was to sound a note of caution:

    "The current administration appears to be placing its hoped for economic recovery in the hands of Dart, and while the group is certainly rich and in a position to help generate jobs, is it really in the interest of the people of the Cayman Islands to become so dependent on one company that has clearly demonstrated how ruthless it can be when it comes to making money".

    I don't see how any thinking person can deny the importance of that point which has nothing to do with blaming anyone for your standard of living or any entitlement culture. An entitlement mentality would say "Dart is rich and most of us are poor, so he should be sharing his wealth with us". That was not the point of the article at all. It is both foolish and dangerous to assume that Dart is Santa Claus and that there are no possible negative consequences to becoming dependent on him when there is much evidence to the contrary. That does not require that the nature of his investments and donations be the same as his investments in Greece.

  18. Jacky Boatside from oldbush says:

    Woe is me comes from we and dem and unfortunately that system and idealogy like Dart have been invited or imported into Cayman.Thank you however for opening the current discussion we are having. Take the time and listen to the lyrics of the Honourable Robert Nesta Marley  "Slogans" to ease ones conscience by sweet talk is to deny one's self of the plain truth so how can one be free to live.

  19. Naya Boy says:

    You bow down before the one you serve 6th generation you are going to get what you deserve. Our freedom is more important than those who think like you good ideas.It is not the young people that degenerate, they are not spoiled until those of mature age are already sunk into corruption….. Mantra of Company A In some of the countries where we operate, there is a tradition of corruption in which the political elites work with business in a framework of unsavory relationships. I think we have pretty much figured out who and what our political elites are?

  20. Owl says:

    To the author:

     

    The griping about Mr Dart's current wealth only comes into play when we are talking about giving up public amenities to add to it.  You must understand this.  It's a very simple test that we're using.  Do we like what we have?  If yes, then we do not need something else.  If, however, we were to have something else anyway, for what reasons would we do that?  That's where the answer, 'profit for a wealthy individual', is not a sufficient one.

     

    It must also be borne in mind that although risk taking is a condition precedent to wealth creation, not all wealth creators are in the 'vulture fund' business.  It is a distasteful business that earns one powerful enemies.  The sort of person who deals in it is happy to have enemies and negative press, and will not miss the cocktail party invitations that will not come.  Most of us like to have as few enemies as we can without compromising our position.  It is perfectly reasonable to look at the nature of a man's business, and the genesis of his wealth, and draw conclusions as to the character and motivations at work.  The reasonable conclusion to draw from Mr Dart's sovereign investments, and the manner in which he uses his interest, is that he is at worst indifferent to the potential consequences for the common man.  

     

    Where other investors choose to accept less in the interest of the regional economy or their relationship with the country, or to avoid negative publicity, he drives the hard line.  In doing so he says not only 'I care not for the consequences for others' but also 'I deserve my money more than the rest of you do'.  He sues or threatens to sue for his take, ahead of the people who made normal, bona fide investments before the trouble started.  Indeed the only conclusion one can draw from this is that Mr Dart is 'all about the money'.

     

    You could make a further argument that he is also 'not much interested in people', because someone who was would at least think about the potential suffering caused by their decisions.  And of course we as a community are very familiar with Mr Dart's lack of interest in us.  You may say 'but look at the investments he has made here!  How can you say he is not interested in us?'  And my answer to you is: he is interested in money.  We represent potential money.  Thus, he has made investments.  He is all about the money, and that is why he does not see it as necessary to make himself known to us.  You say that we are naive to expect him to care, and at the same time, that we must be grateful for his contributions however motivated.  Would you say thank you to someone who gave you something and said 'here, this is worthless to me – you have it'?  

     

    How are we doing him an injustice to say that we fear if there is a choice between his wealth and our well being, he will act for himself?  It is no less than the reasonable conclusion.  We do not blame him for acting in his interest – that is important – so we urge persons in power to limit his interest so that this conflict will never arise – because we know, from past behaviour, what he will do if it does.

  21. Anonymous says:

    If a large group is using it's size to achieve an unfair advantage, it is something we should be concerned about.  This is especially so in the case where that group has a history of doing just that.  It is a Government's job to look out for the best interests of it country.  When the people fear their Government is not doing that, they not only should be concerned, they have an obligation to try to do something about it.

    Even in the lagest free market economies in the world there are laws in place to stop monopolies from existing to the detriment of the overall economy.

    We have every reason to be very concerned about the monopoly Dart seems to be gaining in our economy, especially with thier history, and the concern many have that our Government is not looking out for the best interests of the Caymanian people it is supposed to represent.

    • Anonymous says:

      So true.  Anti-trust laws and anti-monopoly laws are used in first world countries to prevent an unfair advantage by an extremely large group – soCayman, you had better watch out and learn well what has taken place in other countries that did not have the foresight to take preventative measures – this place is too small for a large group like Dart monopolizing the economy and various industries.

  22. Anonymous says:

    thank you….common sense restored to the CNS viewpoint section

  23. Anonymous says:

    I am a 6th generation Caymanian.  It does worry me that this small place is vulnerable to virtually being owned by one company. I do however believe that Dart investments here have been well done and they continue to make a meaningul contributiion to the community.

    In our free market society, small size and with no restictions on land ownership we do however  run some risks and we need to start talking about this objectively, rationally  and openly.

    Caymanians must resist selling their property though and nobody to blame but ourselves for that. 

     

     

     

  24. Anonymous says:

    Here we go again with Dart bashing. Leave Dart company alone you all don't understand how finance is done around the world. Greece problem and our problem soon will be a problem not caused by Dart but by politicians controlling this country. 

    Why did we need 3 high schools built at 100 million dollars each ? Why hasn't the dock been built ? When Royal Watler was built , It was suppose to be 2 piers for cruise ships to tie up too. Why did we give over 3000 caymanian status grants ? A thousand would have been plenty. Isn't it because we gave so many grants that really caused the lost of jobs , the infastructure increases, people going to family support looking for a handout? The increases of civil servants that ultimately we the caymanian taxpayers end up paying for. More people on the island who don't even have a high school diploma? Can't speak, can't write what did you all think was going to happen and let us not us forget the crime. Drugs come from where? We see everyday children who speak bad english . Thats not taught in the school.

    So did Dart do this? Did you do it? So who did it? It wasn't me neither. Poor political leadership . Lets call a spade a spade. Good night sweet dreams.  Lets make sure it doesn't happen again. One man one vote!!

  25. Libertarian says:

    Nobody put a gun to people's head and force them to accept Dart's offers. Dart is just in the business of making more money like everybody else is trying to do. It is for us to learn from Dart and make more money ourselves. I think in order for Capitalism to work for the interest of everyone, two conditions should be met: 

    (1) a new or changed Constitution that has excellent direct-democracy provisions, such as, a better people initiated referendum provisions therein, the power of the people to recall and remove elected official before general elections, and the removal of the Governor's power from interfering with our democracy and economy; and, 

    (2) Less regulations upon businesses and removal of high fees that are preventing economic growth and the creation of jobs. For Capitalism to work it must be laissez-faire in the context of a true democracy with no interference whatsoever from the UK.

    Capitalism is not the real evil here. It is these two governments we find ourselves locked in between.

    • A. Pastafarian says:

      Your points are well taken, Libertarian.  However, in stating, "Nobody put a gun to people's head and forced them to accept Dart's offers", we must keep in mind that we (the people) are never a part of the "deal making".  No one knows what kind of deal might have been made between the actual persons involved,  All "deals" between Dart and the government were consumated without my knowledge.  In fact, I believe some deals have been made without consultation with other members of government.  It just appears that certain "businesses" get preferential treatment for government contracts.  Do you not think this strange?

      • Libertarian says:

        "It just appears that certain businesses get preferential treatment for government contracts." Not strange at all. Such instances occur in the UK and the United States. The government has forgotten its role. It is suppose to protect us from theft, fraud, damage to property, breach of contract, and from all acts of aggression. It's institutions are suppose to be like prisons, fire departments, and police stations. Anything that deals with protecting people's rights and upholding the law is governments sole legitimate function – nothing more.

        There was onetime Cayman's government wasn't involved in man's pursuit of economic development and prosperity. In the U.S. and UK, great minds of creativity and innovation, created jobs and invented machineries of great sizes and proportions. There was nothing stopping people like Linton Tibbetts from easily succeeding in life.

        But over time, whilst the separation of church and state crystalized, the unification of another evil emerged that would thwart rationality and creativity, a subtle move where state became involved with economy. Fidel Castro merge the two alot more than other places in starting a communist state where government plans the countries entire economy. Cayman was once an economic environment where transactions between businesses were free from high duties, fees, government subsidies, and favoritism to a few private entities over others that would cause monopolies to emerge. Government pretty much stayed out of the way of men and women who were able to construct the financial industry on their own accord. Immigration wasn't rediculously complex with rules and policies. Good people like Sir Vassel Johnson was able to come here unmolested as a Jamaican and live almost all his life here as a Caymanian, leaving his noble stamp on the center of finance. And there were only regulations in place to protect individuals from theft, embezzlement, and aggression. But seeing these days from after Hurricane Ivan, threats of recession, terrorism, british rule over us, property taxes and more imposed taxes, and economic loss to the country, I have witness our government leaders, chartering the ship into the wrong direction. Somewhat government has become like a single business, competing with our private sector, and making it hard for small entreupreneurs to produce and succeed by imposing high fees, duties, and implementation of a rollover policy because of fears of overpopulation.

        Government has forgotten its role and it seems like the contracts that are made between them and the favored private entities, will continue, because they have signed deals and made alliances with the view that wealth will trickle down from these entities and benefit everybody else. But seeing the system and alliances, it is hard to believe that there will be transparency as to what happens with the money. Do you smell corruption?  It is time we realize that the sort of governmental system that the UK has cursed us with, is inadequate, nondemocratic, and also supports their special interest. We are at a junction where socialism will spread from the US/UK and may entirely transform Cayman's political system.  

  26. Anonymous says:

    I admire CNS and all that it has done to hold our politicians to account. Wendy's article on Dart came as a shock because in my view it fell short of the standards that I have come to expect from this site. It was inaccurate – as 101 has pointed out in a number of respects – and naive. I will give credit to her for publishing 101's response.

    On a scale of 1 to 10 Mr Dart's deal is no better or worse than any other deal that many of us would do or have done. The difference was simply the amount. involved.

  27. Reality Czech says:

    Most investors are risk takers.>  Tell that toall the people who lost pension savings as the young hot shot brokers working for Wall Street investment firms gambled like drunken sailors.

    Little is known of the failures of entrepreneurs globally or locally. >  Except when they lose. Then they whine like spoiled children and expect the government to bail them out with tax dollars contributed by the same people who's pension funds they pilferred.

    When they take a risk, some of us assume that "they can afford to do so". > And why not? Knowing damn well they had driven the economy to the tipping point with their crazy financial vehicles they in turn held the government to ransom.  When questioned about their risky investments and betting against stocks they sold the response was "These people should have known how things worked of course we can recommend and sell a junk stock and bet against it."

    Truth is very often they cannot, but their appetite for risk is greater than the average person. >  See above.

    They can, and often do, lose their shirts on deals more times than one imagines. > Really? Or more realistically as we recently saw, when they drive a company to brink of collapse with fanciful transactions, CDO's, SPV's and other Derivative inventions pulled out of their a$$ instead of "losing their shirts" the "risk takers"  wallow in huge bonuses and pay outs.

    But ironically, it is this very risk taking/entrepreneurial nature that drives the local and global economy. > Drives it to where?? Unsustainable debt? Collapse of financial markets? Loss of peoples' jobs, livilhoods, homes, pensions?  Over a cliff?

    No wrong on this count also you make it sound as if vulture funds are simply there to help out countries in need at great risk to themselves.  C'mon pull the other one anyone with any knowledge of how they operate knows they NEVER lose money. And they don't care what social programs are cut, how many become unemployed, or WHO suffers they get their pound of flesh. Want to read up on it?  Read VULTURES PICNIC by Greg Palast. It isn't made up of conjecture or a "woe is me" mentality.  It is backed up and corroborated with facts of how global finance works. And it does not paint the rosy picture you have.

    But I hope you get the job or the one you already have as a PR flack.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Well said 101′ whoever you are……well said!

  29. Whodatis says:

    Poster, apparently you and I have read different articles and subsequent threads of commentary, because I fail to connect your points with what was previously discussed.

    If anything the overall gist was one of "DART is a ruthless entity (let us be honest – it is) and we ought to be careful how we view his actions within our own environment."

    How exactly that transcends into "woe is me" and a "sense of entitlement" is beyond me.

    However, you and your friends seem to have found a way.

    Anyway, to each his own, as I always say.

     

  30. Person who understands says:

    Thank you to whoever has penned this.  It is been far too long for someone to finallly state the obvious and more importantly, the truth of the matter. 

    What immature, and absolutely business-naive drivel was spun regarding the Dart groups ability to profit from legal and high risk investments.  When you spend more than you earn, there are consequences, always.  Its very simple, do that and you will pay. Greece's behavior was monumentally reckless and I for one, haveno remorse for them. Good on Dart for calling BS on this and for getting paid.  What an amazing spin a moniker can place on something, "vulture" fund. Right, whatever, its legal and it's business, not personal.  Period, case closed.  

    As for the profits of this specific deal or any investment made on their behalf in the Cayman Islands, do any of these "entitle-ists" really understand ROI much less even a  junior achievement level of business?  People in the know say that the Dart group has invested a billion US dollars in Cayman laregely because of Caymana Bay but also other developments and businesses and real estate. This is REAL money that changed hands on these islands, from Dart to Cayman businesses,  much to the benefit of many.  Do these people really believe that there is a return on that kind of investment happening right now, or better, in their lifetime? Do real estate developers really think Caymana BaY is really a big cash generating machine? Yes, unfortunatley, reading all the bashing here, many people do.  They also think that the dump and the road move is some magic wand that will reap Dart more milions and millions, without any concept of the type of investment required first (100's more millions for realestate, hotels, parks, roads, etc!!!) to even POSSIBLY realiaze a return.  amazing.  Big thinkers think big and think long term and take risks. that is what Dart is doing, most notably the risk part. With things here as screwy as they are right now, their investments are even riskier now, but do we see them running or cutting back? Not from what I see, they keep on investing here because they are long term thinkers. 

    There are also supposed to be 600 or so people employed in all kinds of jobs as a direct result of this billion dollars of investment. the majority of them are caymanians and I think we all know a lot of them. What is more interesting is that these people, both Caymanian and foreigner or even paper Caymanians are the best and brightest of the lot (and isnt that interesting also? ). Have you heard these people complain about their employer or the company or much beyond just the ususal life of working? I havent. actually most of them are always talking about their jobs and companies in something akin to the golden rule. it seems that when you peel the onion into what is actual reality, all the BS of an evil empire seems pretty non-exisitent.  Yes, the Dart companies are very large charity people also, but the employees who know of the larger company and the family also say this is cultural at the highest level, meaning that they aren't just throwing some charity dollars around Cayman to keep the natives at bay.  

    At the end of the day, people thinking they should get somethingfor nothing will find they eventually get what they deserve.  People thinking that other people should take care of them will also find out how life works. It is easier to attack successful people than to work on being successful yourself. It is also easier to attack successful people than to accept that you may never be as successful as them.  Mostly people who attack like this are not successful in one way or another and that's the real truth. Get to work and that work starts on yourself. Look what happened to Greece. 

     

  31. Name changed by moderator says:

    I think this article really speaks to the heart of the problem. CNS first article on DART made sweeping assertions about the company's business practice and how that surely will happen here. Clearly DART's investment in Cayman is different and it is truly a bricks and mortar investment which will be there for the long term bringing immediate and real positive implications to the island.

    Greek's problem's are caused by Greece. They eventually had to  issue financial vehicles engaged in the purpose of raising money and this is what happened, DART came to the rescue and then the company profited.

    Every day on the Port and in public places in Cayman I listen to how "we" are poorer becuase of DART. I ask the taxi drivers, (in particular) tour operators etc to explain what that means, to which I get shouted at with no responce of any value. I then ask, "OK lets imagine now that we take DART out of Cayman's economy! How are any of you again any richer?!" Instead it is made very clear that I am the one who is the idiot.

    The author is right in that this country is now full of people looking to blame someone else for their problems and at the same time expecting something for nothing. These people aren't saying they hate DART they just want their free DART moneywhich they haven't received. If DART was lending money to Cayman I would be worried but shouldn't we worry about the amount we are borrowing anyway from the UK?

    The DART organisation is clearly building for the future and they will be here hopefully after we are all gone. If DART is inlvolved we wont have to worry about derilict hotels, golf courses under administration, and hopefully eye sore garbage mountains.

    If DART has profited from the Greek situation it was after Greece invited DART's participation. If the Greeks could have managed an economy they wouldn't be in this situation, Spain is next hopefully and we can then finally be rid of them telling us that sleeping for half the day is the best way forward! But lets try and be smarter than both of them and balance our budgets and we will never have to worry about borrowing from anyone!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Excellent Viewpoint. Thank you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Really?

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, really!!!! I bet you will not have a lot of intellectual objections to this post. Because many who oppose are like empty barrels; no real substance at all.