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This was the worst decade ever.
Alas the finance ministries in Caribbean countries have not read their economic history well and have not learned their lesson from the debt crisis of the seventies. Same spike in oil prices..high spending on projects and increase in debt to GDP ratios that meant that it was difficult for any of the region's countries to design stimulus packages to dig them out of negative growth. Now social spending is not is not bad as it reaps long term benefits. Perhaps Caribbean countries need to look at both the structure of how money is raised and how it is spent. This is where the answer lies. Debt is unavoidable it just has to be manageable.So again they went to the IMF...and as a student of IMF policies I can tell you nothing much has changed since the 70s or eighties in the way they operate. It is not immediately obvious why countries like st. lucia went to the IMF. What happened in Africa and Latin America regarding the power that institutions like the IMF have to change the political climate and social climate through disastrous policies attached to the loaned money.I heard a highranking official of one of these international agencies admit that he had never been to the Caribbean before and then proceed to analyse the economic and social situation. It is not too late for some to hold back use of the money.....Prime Minister Bruce Golding of Jamaica labelled as 'mendicant' those regional legaders who had qualms about the ability of the region to enter into an EPA of the type proposed by the EU. I am sure they are all pleased that Bharrat Jagdeo was able to get teh five year review. I doubt the EU can make a viable case for forcing the region's countries into this agreement based on the severe economic climate. I say the region needs to shore up its international diplomacy at take this fight to the WTO. Further the Caribbean financial services industry should have been able to mount a successful claim against the TIEA as a trade issue.I hope Sir Sanders does not seriously think that India or China would have ever supported the region in the G20 talks. They want to develop their own insustries and want to attract foreign capital themselves. The Caribbean has tremendous assets when it comes to financial services. Highly educated populations, political stability. democratic governments, respect for law and order and general open economies and cosmopolitan cultures. We may be small but we are serious competition in this area...so there is not way these countries would have supported us unless there was some greater international political calf we coul help them slaughter with our fifteen strong voting block.
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