Caribbean Political Economy

A Jamaica 50 Message, Hope McNish

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A nation that is not subject to manipulation by external powers and the dictates of international funding institutions,,   scientific and technological support and for farmers in organic farming, a strong manufacturing industry and one in which all natural resources are harnessed for the benefit of the nation; are among the main wishes outlined by this Jamaican on the 50th Independence Anniversary.


Jamaicanisation of the eurozone, Mark Weisbrot

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Jamaica appears to be approaching the 50th anniversary of its independence in a state of virtual debt bondage and IMF trusteeship. Mark Weisbrot argues that the austerity programme being imposed on the country, and on the eurozone countries, will push these economies even further into recession and ultimately make it harder for them to service their debts.

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Jamaica: debt, the IMF and economic stagnation; CEPR Report


“The paper notes that Jamaica remains one of the most highly indebted countries in the world, and that its interest payments as a percent of GDP were higher than anywhere else in the world in 2011, including even crisis-stricken countries in the eurozone. Jamaica’s large debt burden has displaced most other public expenditures, taking up almost 50 percent of total budgeted spending over the last four fiscal years while health and education have been only around 20 percent combined.”

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The Case for a Forensic Audit of Jamaica’s Public Debt, Lloyd D’Aguilar

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It has been suggested that as much as 70 percent of Jamaica’s public debt may be illegitimate.,   The following is a list of twenty-one questionable projects and dealings which need investigation. It is by no means exhaustive, but there is a pattern which suggests recklessness and lack of accountability for the spending of public funds…


Wanted: An Audit of Jamaica’s Debt, Lloyd D’Aguilar

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Webmaster’s note: as Jamaica faces yet another round of austerity measures in a desperate attempt to get back on track with its latest IMF programme, a call has been made for debt repudiation backed up by an audit of its national debt. While we do not agree with everything in Lloyd D’Aguilar’s article, we share the view that a rebuilding of Jamaica’s shattered social infrastructure and the achievement of sustained economic growth will not be possible without substantial debt restructuring to reduce the crippling burden of its national debt on the public finances and on the national economy.

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Watch Debtocracy–the acclaimed documentary on the causes of the Greek debt crisis and its solutions, that you won’t hear about from the corporate media.

Video on IMF Programmes in the Caribbean, CEPR

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Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, debates Therese Turner-Jones, Deputy Caribbean II Division Chief at the International Monetary Fund on the IMF’s policies in the Caribbean.Hosted by Paul Tennassee.This show aired on CaribNation TV, on July 24th, 2011.

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Growing Out of Debt: Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis and the IMF, Colin Bullock

Address to the St Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Commerce on June 23, 2011. Colin Bullock is a former Financial Secretary and senior central bank official of Jamaica.

I thank the Chamber of Commerce of St Kitts-Nevis for inviting me to speak on the nature, prospects and challenges of an IMF borrowing arrangement. The timing is opportune as I understand that St Kitts-Nevis has recently concluded arrangements for a Standby Borrowing Arrangement with the IMF and Jamaica signed a similar agreement some 16 months before…

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Lessons for Greece of Jamaica’s debt crisis, Mark Weisbrot

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From The Guardian, UK, 22 July 2011

Some have pointed to the Jamaican debt restructuring of last year as a model for Greece…It is worth a closer look at what has been done to Jamaica, not only as a warning to Greece, but to shed some light on the damage that can be done when “the international community” is willing to sacrifice a country for the sake of creditors’ interests…

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Jamaica: Macroeconomic Policy, Debt and the IMF, Jake Johnston and Juan Antonio Montecino

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IMF Agreement Could Worsen Debt Burden, Harm Health and Education

Published by the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C., this paper finds that Jamaica’s economic and social progress has suffered considerably from the burden of an unsustainable debt; and that even after the debt restructuring of 2010, this burden remains unsustainable and very damaging. Pro-cyclical macroeconomic policies, implemented under the auspices of the IMF, have also damaged Jamaica’s recent and current economic prospects…

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Jamaica’s Budget and IMF Agreement, JUST

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Jamaicans United For Sustainable Development

We commend the efforts of the Minister of Finance in coming to grips with some of the most difficult problems in the economy (but) relentless efforts must be made to root out corruption, non-performance and waste in the society as well as crime. Civil society and the Trade Unions have to become fully engaged in the co-management of the economy and see to it that every initiative announced through the Budget is implemented without delay…

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Jamaica: Budget Expenditure Highlights 2009/10, Michael Witter

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Presentation to Department of Economics, UWI, Mona, Seminar, May 7, 2009

Recurrent Expenditure is

- rising as a share of total expenditure : the share of capital expenditure is falling;
- rising faster than revenue and grants.,   It has been as much as double revenue and grants, and currently is more than 50% greater
- Rising faster than GDP, and therefore the percentage with respect to the GDP is rising
–Interest payments, particularly on domestic debt is the largest and fastest rising component of recurrent expenditure

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Jamaica’s fiscal deficit could reach ’20% of GDP’ 08/10/09

New Report Finds IMF Agreements Have Included Policies That Could Worsen Economic Slowdown in 31 of 41 Countries CEPR

Prime Minister Says Budget To Be Slashed by J$16.8 billion

IMF Shock Attack: Lessons from Latvia and Ghana for Jamaica Don Robotham

IMF Programme Drafted Anne Shirley

Jamaica’s Financial Crisis: The Lessons of History Edward Seaga

Fitch Downgrades CAP: Says Investors Losing Confidence in Jamaica Jamaica Gleaner 28/11/09

Jamaica: Debt Analysis and Policy 2009/10, Colin Bullock

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Presentation to Department of Economics, UWI, Mona, Seminar, May 7, 2009

  • Public debt is the major constraint on socio-economic policy and its resolution is a necessary condition for sustainable economic growth
  • The burden of public debt is exacerbated by the emergence of external financing constraints in the context of the global financial and economic crisis.
  • Resolution requires a mixture of adjustment, financing and optimal structuring of revenue and expenditure.

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The Debt-Propelled Economy: A Failed Economic Strategy Donald Harris

Jamaica: Revenue Measures and Tax Administration 2009/10, Shirley Tyndall

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Presentation to Department of Economics, UWI, Mona, Seminar, May 7, 2009

Ministry Paper 26/09 which outlined nine tax measures: Increase the General Income Tax Threshold ; An adjustment in the Threshold applicable to Pensioners; Removal of Personal Income Tax Preferences ; Reduction in rates of Stamp Duties and Transfer Tax ….

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