Archive for the ‘world’ Tag
It leads me to worry about the media coverage in Jamaica as the BBC’s news correspondent Nick Davies has also been returned to London. There is a big difference being there full time and living there, rather than flying in when there’s a big story to cover. The expertise and the daily news that will be lost will have consequences far beyond the loss of jobs and programmes. This relates to holding government and officials in Jamaica to account. The BBC were in a unique position to do this in a place where there is widespread intimidation by the police and by gangsters, protecting their interests at the expense of ordinary Jamaicans.
The World Bank has given Jamaica 400 million US dollars to prop up the economy and reduce the debt to GDP ratio. It’s part of a four year development strategy which it’s hoped can also help farmers and reduce crime and violence.
This comes after the IMF also finalized a $1.27 billion loan for Jamaica on Feb. 4, the first time in 15 years. I have talked about Jamaica and the IMF on this blog before here.
The inter american bank has also put significant money in. All this has come after Jamaica made a $7.8 billion domestic debt
exchange in January. This means they have exchanged bonds already out there, which they repay to bond holders at interest rates of up to 28 percent, they have exchanged these for longer dated, lower yielding bonds. Read more here. It was hoped this would raise Jamaica’s credit rating, but this didn’t happen as ratings agencies deemed this whole thing a debt default. Although the ratings agencies did agree that this move would be good for Jamaica in the long run.
It’s an ambitious strategy, there’s money to play with now, let’s hope the politicians spend it wisely and that there is a real committment to stamp out corruption, so that it can actually lead to growth and stability. If this opportunity is squandered, the next generation in Jamaica will be even more screwed than it is already.