Wed | Jul 26, 2017

Shirley's wrong analysis

Published:Tuesday | February 2, 2010 | 2:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

This is in response to R. Anne Shirley's article 'Golding's missed opportunity' in The Sunday Gleaner's In Focus section.

I admire her as a financial analyst, but I was very disappointed with the above-captioned article. First off, the critique about Golding's repetition is unwarranted. Things have to be repeated (ask Claro or Digicel). I am sure that if a poll were done now, you would be amazed at the number of people who never heard of it the first time. The questions she raised were either not substantive or speculative.

Wanting to know how the technocrats got the numbers wrong trying to forecast a crisis is not a question someone of her calibre should be asking. In this global crisis, almost everybody got it wrong. Obama wanted the stimulus package so that he could hold unemployment at eight per cent, it went to 10.5 per cent. Ben Bernankie, the US Federal Reserve chairman, got it wrong; Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of Canada, got it wrong; and Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England, got it wrong. The simple point, madam, is that when things are collapsing, its hard to predict how low they can go. Forecasting for decline is especially difficult since hope springs eternal and one always hopes that it does not get as bad as it usually gets.

Why did she bother to ask question six - "What happens if, despite the JDX, the sale of Air Jamaica and the massive tax package, we get it wrong? What if the BOJ finds it difficult to maintain macro-economic stability and interest rates start to trend upwards once again, and the dollar begins to slide? What will be the consequences? What if there are failed financial institutions?"

It is sheer speculation.

And what would you want the prime minister to say: "If we do all this and it fails, we would have played our last card and we are up effluent creek without a paddle"? You know there is a contingency plan with US$1 billion earmarked should any financial institution fail.

I have watched you a couple times on television. I know you can do better. You should.

I am, etc.,