MOODY’S NOTIFICATION OF DOWNGRADE

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COMMENTARY BY BAHAMAS SCOOP

On the 6th July 2017, Moody’s Investment Services placed the Bahamas’ Baa3 ratings on review for downgrade. They claimed that their decision was “prompted by official statements that the Bahamas’ fiscal position was weaker than previously estimated and that the government’s debt ratios will continue to worsen over the coming years.”

Translation? Well, all of that drunken firewater infused talk about the need to borrow almost $1 billion ($722 million actually) as a matter of emergency; talk of “the cupboard is bare” and talk of the country being “insolvent” – all lies by the way – simply backfired on the FNM government; this level of borrowing was not necessary and caused international alarm no doubt. Just as they did during the 2017 election campaign, the FNM continued their campaign of lies and deceit into governance. A budget debate is intended to lay out the government’s fiscal priorities such as creating jobs, fueling economic growth, protecting our sovereign borders, improving national security and public safety, improving education and training and strengthening the country’s social fabric just to name a few.

Bahamians heard none of that during the recent budget debate. In one tirade after the other, FNM Parliamentarians sought to make a singular political point by excoriating the PLP and characterizing it as corrupt without evidence but by opinion and conjecture. The international financial community listened and took them at their word. They did not hear a cogent and practical plan by the FNM government to move the country forward; they heard gloom and doom and how all the problems are the PLP’s fault.

The meddling in the private Baha Mar deal by the government and the statement by Sarkis Izmirlian to halt the sale of Baha Mar no doubt reverberated throughout the international investment community and hurt the country and the government. The heads of agreement between the Christie government and the China EXIM bank to complete and open Baha Mar was no secret after all. Attorney General Senator Carl Bethel proved that when he revealed the contents of the agreement and pronounced the agreement “safe.” He revealed nothing new. As a matter of fact, former Prime Minister Christie called a press conference at Baha Mar in August 2016 and explained the contents of the agreement, but the FNM waged their dishonest “secret deal” political campaign.

Bahamians remember well that the FNM government scorched the earth in the wake of the Standard and Poors downgrade of the country’s sovereign credit ratings. They said it was the result of economic mismanagement and pure incompetence on the part of the PLP government. They used the downgrade as another example to characterize the PLP administration as a failure.

Talking smack is fine and good while a party is in opposition but the proverbial rubber meets the road in governance. If the FNM is true to form, they will accept no responsibility for this latest move and revert to their default position: “IT’S THE PLP’s FAULT!”

I offer the FNM government the same unsolicited advice PLP Chairman gave to DPM Turnquest recently: “CUT THE CRAP AND GET TO WORK!” Your dishonest and harmful vitriolic invective and diatribe are only hurting The Bahamas, not the PLP. The evidence of this is clearly before you.