BVI News

A Virgin Islands treasury note (Part A)

By Dickson Igwe, Contributor

A Virgin Islands treasury note for specific projects is an effective means of finance and development in a world of low-interest rates.

A Virgin Islands Bond – well managed and trusted – could become legal tender for business deals internally, and on the international money and stock markets.

Now this Olde Boy was at the lunch table with his Alma Mater and flamboyant buddy, on a brilliant and sunny Friday afternoon, in Road Town, British Virgin Islands.

His friend is a ‘hotelier extraordinaire’, and well-known financier in these parts. Both men attended the same business school in West London, obtaining Higher Diplomas in Finance and Management, although they never met while living and studying in London until they migrated to the luxuriant and majestic British Virgin Islands.

Such are the mysteries of life. OK. The talk was all politics. This Writer’s ‘’cosmopolitan’’ friend was very pleased with political developments in the territory. The man is a great supporter of the Virgin Islands Party.

This Old Boy suspects that his love for the Incumbents is unlike a number in his demographic, Caucasians with 10 figure incomes – multi-millionaires — and great pals of one former ‘Virgin Islands Senator’ who has gone into early retirement, enjoying the ‘high life’ with his ‘rich white friends’.

The belief that a ‘specific demographic’ is in love with the National Democratic Party is a ‘fairytale’. There are hundreds of the nine percent – professionals and business types earning $250K and above – who make up this voting bloc, but who are fanatical supporters of the ‘incumbents’.

A look at the comments on the online news can leave the incorrect impression that a specific demographic dislikes the incumbents. That is invalid. There are hundreds of expats and Caucasian residents who are very supportive of the Virgin Islands Party.

Enough said! ‘Jack the Bohemian’ was hugely impressed with the level of economic growth at street level.

“The Trucks have started to roar loudly, and at greatly increasing decibels Dickson,” he quipped in his perfect ‘Queen’s English’.

He stated that he was pleased with the quiet but effective way the country was being governed. ‘Things are happening, at last, my Dear Man’. He smiled from ear to ear. His eyes glowed and sparkled, in a newfound faith, as he looked up to the heavens.

His cash tills at his restaurants were obviously ringing in rhyme. Hotel bookings were clearly on the up and up. He elegantly brushed his silvery mane back in a well-practised manner, his hand readied, for grasping at the glass holding an ice-cold sparkling white, deposited on the table by the divine Guyanese Waitress. The ‘great conversationalist’ is clearly a Virgin Islands Patriot with a great love for natives, who he employs in droves.

A constant piece of banter between the two old friends at bars and restaurants the length and breadth of the territory are the goings-on with staff at his business: their affairs, idiosyncrasies, and other ‘unmentionables’.

The one deficit: he is also a ‘rabid Brexiter’. That great divide between this Old Boy Europhile and ‘Democratic Socialist’, and his cultured and urbane ‘right-wing’ English friend, has not caused any rift in their friendship: ‘buddy-hood’.

The subject at the lunch table was Prospect Reef, and an idea he had on his mind for financing big projects in the territory, without the headaches.

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19 Comments

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  1. Headless Chicken says:

    Bro, I am sorry but each and every week your writings get more and more twisted and fanciful! In all seriousness, this is the last article I will read.

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  2. Hot Air says:

    My goodness. This man just spouts hot air and farts. Does he not realize that there is no interest in his jibberish. Take your B. S. (Bulls**t) degree which perhaps allowed you to do simple math. That’s math only using fingers. You never reached higher math requiring toes. Keep your opinions in your fat a** and just shut up.

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  3. E. Leonard says:

    The structure of budget process needs to be reformed; there should be two budgets to authorize and appropriate funds annually: Operations and Maintenance (O&M); Capital. Further, Government issuing general obligation and revenue bonds are a win-win for the public sector/government and residents. General obligation (GO) bonds are funded/repaid by the full faith and credit of government while revenue bonds are funded by the project in which the investment is made, ie, a water project is funded by water revenues.

    Moreover, residents are looking for other investment opportunities while government needs capital to invest on capital projects, ie, roads, schools, water, sewage, telecommunications, gas, drainage, tourism, health, recreation………etc. Bonds could be an effective finance source.

    Residents having the opportunity to invest on local projects creates a multiplier effect on the economy, local investing to rebuilding the territory. Perhaps, the Financial Services agency can be tapped to manage the bond programme, paying out interest and repaying principal.

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    • Former Budget and Finance Analyst says:

      @E. Leonard, holiday greetings! Great out of the box thinking on budget process changes and issuing of bonds to fund construction and other projects. Nonetheless, the BVI does not need to revolutionize its budget process; it just needs to make some structural adjustments. The process(budget) needs more accountability and better review on execution.

      Further, the territory does not yet have the capacity to set up and run a bond programme. The territory has advanced a long way in managing its own finances. Under the Willard Wheatley Admin it weaned itself off of grant-in-aid, it transitioned from a subsistence agricultural economy to a service-based economy (having one of the highest standard of living, quality of life and per capita income in the region), and finance responsibility shifted from Governor to local government. Earlier I made the statement the territory was not yet ready to run a bond programme. Well, the capacity and capability can be attained in short order.

      • Disinterested says:

        I may come across as a contrarian but I love me some BVI and its people so in this case I feel compel to defend the hard working civil servants,, the work horses. The BVI has some challenges but it is not that ”less.” Between the FSC and the Financial Secretary’s office there is plenty of talent to make this happen. We need to build our brothers and sisters, not belittle them. I’m ready to loan the government some money by buying bonds that invest in rebuilding the country.

  4. Anonymous says:

    “My . goodness, you would swear the hot air and farts ” the first two commenters spewed out, in comparison to Mr. E. Leonard’s were from knowledgeable, knowing minds, who had contributed significantly to the topic and in the process, had informed and enlightened other inquiring minds.

    Whew!! Indeed, each are entitled to his her opinion, even when it tinged with hate and shallowness, and even when such is self belittled in cyber space.

    It such a sad and pathetic practice to belittle one self in public, especially when that belittlement is driven by hatred, jealousy, envy and an inarticulate inability.

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    • @Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous, indeed, some people only look for and see the dark cloud; they never see the silver lining in the dark clouds. For example, two prisoners were looking out through the steel grate from their cell at the clouds swirling around. One saw the dark clouds and equate it to hopelessness, doom and gloom. The other saw a silver lining in dark cloud and equate to hope and a brighter future ahead. Commenters on the commentary falls in two camps; some see only the dark cloud and some see the silver lining.

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  5. Major Bay/Willard Wheatley Primary Alumni says:

    @E. Leonard, fellow Major Bay Alumni here. Though, theoretically, the general obligations and revenue bond idea sound viable, not too sure it workable in the BVI. The BVI has a population of population of approximately 30,000 and there nay enough people with disposable/discretionary income to invest in these bonds. Government needs to look primarily to external investors with the resources and a demonstrated history of successful investment, ie, public private venture or public private partnership…….etc.

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  6. Igwe stop says:

    Can please someone please stop this guy from posting these rubbish contributions.

    What a nonsense once again.

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  7. @Igwe stop says:

    then would you please post some non “rubbish” that we can be enlightened by and learn from?

    Think everyone, including Igwe, knows “rubbish” when it is read. Noone needs you to tell Igwe . or the rest of the reading public what “rubbish” is.

    So, instead posting one “rubbish” why not post something that will enlighten us all, including Igwe.

    That would so much more uplifting than what was posted in crirism of him.

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  8. To Igwe Stop says:

    No one asks you to read Igwe’s column- hypocrite

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  9. Bombastic says:

    And the point of this piece is….?

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  10. @Bombastic says:

    Ask your own comprehension, linguistic and economic knowledge base.

    If all of those are deficient, then ask not of that which needs to be learnt. That is an exercise in futility.

    Nothing in, nothing out. Ever heard that phrase?

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  11. Billfargo says:

    The Miss-Education of The Negro!

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