Proposed debt-exchange programme ludicrous
The Editor, Sir:
I am amazed at the Government's proposed debt-exchange programme and the manner in which they have sought to implement same. While I can understand asking investors to take reduced rates of interest in an effort to reduce the Government's expenditure, I simply cannot understand the arrogance that has been displayed in the process, and 'asking' persons to accept longer maturity dates which equates, in my view, to capturing their hard-earned money.
First, investors invested in GOJ bonds to benefit themselves, but also to assist the Government who was seeking funding via those very same bonds! To make those investors now feel as if they were somehow benefiting wrongly is simply ludicrous.
Worse still are the veiled threats being thrown around to those investors who do not 'voluntarily' agree. Are we in Cuba or Venezuela, or is this Jamaica, land we love? The honourable thing for the Government to do would be to really ask investors to accept the lower rates while disclosing, fully, whatever penalties will apply to those who don't, and the reasons why.
Grouping all who don't comply as 'freeriders' shows that the Government has become so far detached from its people who elected them. What about the thousands who had earmarked those funds at maturity for special reasons? How do they now accept the Government's 'ultimatum' of extended maturity rates up to many more years?
I am, etc.,