PLP & OBA On ’53 New Companies’

January 20, 2012

Once you subtract the number of Bermuda-based companies that liquidated during 2011, it was the worst year in 11 years, Shadow Finance Minister Bob Richards said.

Mr Richards continued on to say that job creation is the most important issue in Bermuda today, but “mere incorporation statistics do not tell us whether there will be more jobs. The news and commentary surrounding ’53 new companies’ gave Bermudians a false impression.”

The PLP responded to Mr Richards statement, saying: “The only voodoo statistics that Bob can conjure up are to compare our 2011 growth to growth during global economic boom times.”

“Bob knows that this is disingenuous, but, he, Craig Cannonier and Michael Dunkley are so desperate to gain power that they have absolutely no problem misleading you.”

Mr Richards’ full statement follows below:

The One Bermuda Alliance is committed to presenting the public the truth, whether good or bad.

A week ago, there was an explosion of cheers with news that “53 new companies” had formed in Bermuda in 2011.

Some international business marketers said it signaled confidence in Bermuda by the international marketplace, and PLP operatives boasted the development represented a 50% increase over 2010.

My approach to the “53 new companies” was to look below the surface to see if the news lived up the hype.

Of the “53 new companies”, we found that 23 were ‘paper companies’ or ‘special purpose insurers’ formed for specific insurance transactions.

These companies don’t actually have a physical presence on the Island with staffing jobs, though they do generate business for accounting and law firms and management companies.

Just two were significant companies – Third Point and PaC. For pointing out these facts and the need to “keep things in perspective”, the PLP attacked me for being negative.

Now, there is more to report.To get a true picture of incorporation trends, one also has to look at the number of liquidations; that is, companies that folded up their Bermuda operations during the year.

The attached graph and the table below shows new insurance incorporations net of liquidations for the past 11 years.

Contrary to the claim of Government spin doctors that 2011 represents a new dawn for Bermuda, the chart clearly shows that, once you subtract the number of Bermuda-based companies that liquidated during the year, 2011 was the worst year in 11 years.

These are the facts, unvarnished. And what is the point of this little dust-up?

The first is that job creation is the most important issue in Bermuda today, but mere incorporation statistics do not tell us whether there will be more jobs. The news and commentary surrounding “53 new companies” gave Bermudians a false impression.

The second point is that the people of Bermuda need to know the truth of any matter. I would have tipped my hat to the PLP if they had handled the news more responsibly. Alas, the spin will spin faster the closer we get to an election.

As Finance Minister, I will be committed to providing the people of this Island with the most accurate possible picture of where we stand economically at any given time. Bermuda will perform better if the decisions we make together are based on reality.

-
The PLP’s full statement follows below:

Instead of acknowledging the consensus among international business experts, Bob Richards has committed himself to the same “sky is falling” message that the UBP now OBA has been parroting since November 1998.

In his most recent statement, Bob once again refuses to acknowledge that there is a global economic crisis that is raging.

He refuses to look at all of the data that shows the Eurozone on the brink of collapse. He refuses to cite statistics about the stubbornly high unemployment rate in the United States that is crippling the American economy.

And, he refuses to compare our jurisdiction to other small island jurisdictions that are suffering from huge drops in tourism, banking, international business and have suffered from far worse job losses than we’ve seen in Bermuda.

No, instead of acknowledging the reality of the global economy crisis, Bob Richards is trying to fool you into thinking that Bermuda is a special case and that what is happening in our economy is somehow unique to Bermuda.

Bob is doing this not out of a motivation to improve Bermuda’s economy – but, out of a motivation to gain power so that he can implement the same deep cuts to jobs and budgets that we’ve seen from the right wing Tories in the UK and the right wing Republicans in the United States.

The only voodoo statistics that Bob can conjure up are to compare our 2011 growth to growth during global economic boom times.

Bob knows that this is disingenuous, but, he, Craig Cannonier and Michael Dunkley are so desperate to gain power that they have absolutely no problem misleading you.

But, you know who doesn’t have an interest in pushing a political agenda? Bermuda’s IB executives. And, they’ve said resoundingly that our corporate growth during 2011 is great news for Bermuda’s economy.

They’ve called the news “fantastic,” “great” and note that it “bodes well for our future.” These are not PLP leaders saying this – these are non-partisan IB executives who are praising our economy.

Is there a global economic recession that is impacting Bermuda? Absolutely! And, that’s why we’re taking action to soften its blow on Bermuda with work permit reforms and the Incentives for Jobmakers Act.

But, to claim that a boom in corporate registrations during a global economic crisis is bad news for Bermuda is just wrong.

We challenge Craig Cannonier to truly turn the page from the UBP and stand with our non-partisan IB executives who know that in the midst of a global economic crisis, this is great news.

-

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  1. duno says:

    Why cant this election be sooner… My entire family has voted PLP in the past including me (yes we were fooled too but not this time around) but come on PLP….what has happened to you? you sound like a bunch of babies. Instead of telling us what good you have done you instead just try and make the opponent look bad. “UBP turned OBA”? you really are trying your best aren’t you? hah too bad it sounds like an argument id expect from a child, not a political figure, especially one in power.

    Either do something good and promote that or keep your mouth shut. Bad mouthing others makes you look even more incompetent than your financial record.

    • solid! says:

      My Whole family voted PLP last time too, guess what, we’re going to do the same thing again!

      We were not fooled, we got exactly what we voted for, a Government that puts the people ahead of business.

      Forget what you heard or read on here, the plp is the People’s Party!

      • Sinking says:

        A family of fools.

      • Noel Ashford says:

        LOL … You must be a paid blogger. Your comment is just too stupid not to be… Yeah, thats the issue.. they didnt put business first…. now theres no business. How can you “take care of the people” when theres no jobs? That level of intellect cracks me up… They going to take care of you on debt?!? LOL i’m laughin at that one ;0 “SOLID LIKE A FLIMSY ECONOMY” I can guarantee you plp wont be flying that stupid SOLIDDDDD chant anymore because the island is about as solid as what surrounds it…. WATER ;0

        -Noel

        • Voice of Reason says:

          Noel,

          Why does everyone who doesn’t agree with you have to be a “paid blogger”?

          • Tired of nonsense says:

            Why are any people that are associated with the Opposition labelled as racists and/or uncle toms?

      • duno says:

        well i think it backfired. There is no business sense in the PLP…Which is why our national debt has NEVER been so high and as a result we the PEOPLE of Bermuda are suffering.

        The PLP has BUTCHERED the tourism industry that has the potential to create hundreds of jobs, scared the IB industries s**tless to the point where they are considering leaving this island (which will show a sever decrease in jobs).

        There are MILLIONS of dollars that are unaccounted for that have been tied up in ridiculous projects (TCD, Berkley) The last premier robbed us blind and where is he now? Possibly on his yatch in turks and caicos? Where are Bermudians? STILL STRUGGLING FOR JOBS (unless you want to wash dishes for a living).

        Everyone has the right to vote for who they want but i BEG you to look at the content and not the cover. Do not vote for a party because your family has always voted for that party. Dont vote for a party because of race, that only encourages racism, vote for what they are willing to do for the people of Bermuda.

        The PLP gave it a good shot but can you HONESTLY say that you are proud of what they have done for Bermuda as a whole. Are you proud of our lack of tourists? are you proud of our national debt? are you happy that we now have to pay higher rates to make up for their financial mistakes?

        Anyways, continue being solid and please vote for who you think will make Bermuda a better place. We can only rise together!

      • duno says:

        Another thing….If the PLP were for the people, why wouldn’t they take a slight pay cut for the people?

        We continue to struggle while they continue to party on OUR expense…you must be blind if you think they are for the people.

        • Voice of Reason says:

          Agreed, was silly not to take that pay-cut!

          But to say they party on your expense I think it taking it a bit out of proportion.

        • Renee Webb (PLP & Proud) says:

          Just to ad a little fact of reality, the did take a 5% pay cut.

      • pebblebeach says:

        That Kool-Aid must really taste good…

      • mediaguru2 says:

        This is exactly what the PLP are looking for – Blind faith. I might aswell give them the slogan for the election. The PLP “Don’t worry we’ve got your back”. It’s going to work for the diehards no doubt, but it’s those swing voters that the PLP has to really be worried about right now. The swing voters are not going to buy it so easily this time.

      • specialgirl4you says:

        @dunp & solid ! Stop it, Stop it, your not telling the “truth”, “re-read” carefully what you wrote. There is a hole in it, that clearly suggest that you did not vote PLP last time around, but instead are long-term supporters and members of the OBA/UBP. WHo do you think you are fooling?

        The PLP have listed and stated over and over, in many ways, what good they have done over and over again. The OBA/UBP continue to present false facts, that you are willing to accept? The OBA/UBP fail to acknowledge anything the PLP government has done well. Even when IB executives clearly, said resoundingly “that our corporate growth during 2011 is great news for Bermuda’s economy. They’ve called the news “fantastic,” “great” and note that it “bodes well for our future.” These are not PLP leaders saying this – these are non-partisan IB executives who are praising our economy. Why would you not believe the words of the IB Executives?

        It is clear that the OBA/UBP are “politicking and tricking” the people in a desperate race for votes. Maybe your falling into a double trap of politicking and tricks as well.

    • Bob Care says:

      Bob you sound like the Republican fools on last night blaming Obam. Calling it the Obama Care. Everybody knows the World economy is suffering, but you continue to chop at the economy in Bermuda. Even your own supporters know this because 25% of my friends are supporting you. I went to a party over the holidays and they all echoed my words about the economy. Want to guess what they said “we have to knock at something, so why not blame the economy on the current government even if it’s not true, it’s all about getting the OBA in as government”.

      Whatever effects the USA will effect us it’s that simple. Come election it will be your fault for falling to win. Your going to have to compete against the World Media because they are laying out all the facts. The economy is doing bad everywhere I have 2 expat friends who work in the business field, I asked them the other day what’s the construction like in their country right now? They both told me the samething that’s happening in Bermuda is happening in their country. BLAH

      • mediaguru2 says:

        No, the OBA cannot blame the World Economic Crisis on the PLP. They can however blame them entirely for not being in any way prepared to cope with the fall out from it. The high debt level was there before the World Ecomomic Crisis. Now that we are in a desperate financial position the PLP have left us with very limited options. If the debt was not as high, the Government could have quite sensibly borrowed large ammounts of money to stimulate the Economy and help struggling Bermudians in all sorts of ways. We can’t do that because they took a big gamble that failed, thinking that they could keep borrowing and revenues would keep rising to pay for everything. That did not happen. Now their only viable option is to borrow more money, once they raise the debt ceiling, which will not help in any way other than pay salaries and debt obligations. Do you really think that the PLP are in any position to get this island out of this situation having caused so much of our current economic decline?

      • star man says:

        Canada seems to be doing quite well… and many of the islands to our south had hefty increases in visitors last year… even the Gulf Coast (which was damaged by the oil spill) had its best tourist season to date. So don’t give me that guff that everyone in the world is suffering. With proper Gov’t planning, some frugality and cooling of the economy, we could have avoided most of this! Too bad Brown had his own agenda, and the rest didn’t have a clue.

  2. Bewildered says:

    Wouldn’t it make a pleasant change if the PLP would be transparent and put a name to their releases. The faceless and nameless attacks continue, probably because their releases are written by someone in the US, or St Kitts.

    • LaVerne Furbert says:

      Like most, if not all, political parties, the PLP has a Public Relations Officer. The PLP’s Public Relations Officer, Curtis Williams, was elected along with other executive members of the Party at the last Delegates Conference.

      It is Mr. Williams, who on behalf of the PLP, issues press releases to the media.

      I’m not sure if the OBA/UBP has an elected public relations officer, but they do have a person (Don Grearson) who is paid to write their press releases, albeit he may attach someone else’s name to the release.

      • Real Talk says:

        Perhaps you should tell Mr Williams that it is disrespectful and unprofessional to release statements on behalf of the Party that refers to an elected Member of Parliament as “Bob”. Surely if the armchair critics are to be denounced for their anonymous criticisms of “Ewart” and “Paula” (and indeed yourself), which I wholly abhor – (public officials should be referred to by their respective titles), official statements from the PLP should no doubt show the same courtesy, no?

      • Question says:

        Wasn’t Don Grearson the same guy who did it for the UBP? Seems like a lot has changed over there. LOL.

  3. Bob stop misleading says:

    Bernews,

    You should ask Bob Richards how he got his figures? He says that he is showing us insurance “registrations” when in fact he is using another figure from a different source. In other words he isn’t comparing apples to apples in order to make his point.

    In this case, he picked the a different set of numbers and statistics so that he could make his case.

    Insurance Registrations are the accurate measure of new insurance activity, not incorporations as companies can incorporate, but if they don’t raise the money, they don’t register and start doing business.

    Doesn’t matter to Bob Richards though, he’ll find any statistics to pour cold Water on positive news.

    Bernews, please follow up with him and ask why he is using “Incorporations” and pretending they are “Registrations” which are 2 different things.

    Sad indeed!

    • Bewildered says:

      Why should Bernews do the work? You sound as if you have the answers, and if not let’s have the PLP provide a statistical rebuttal instead of the template “shoot the messenger and provide no alternative figures” approach. Since the PLP never refute statistics they must be accurate. It is similar to the continual comments from LaVerne Furbert where she critizes but never provides information to back up her comments. Maybe she is the writer for PLP releases?

      • Voice of Reason says:

        Media organizations ask questions, that is what they do. Bernews is always good at taking its reader’s questions and posing them to people.

        You must be one angry person

    • C. Anthony Francis says:

      The source is the Registrar of Companies. It kinda says it on the graph.

      • solid! says:

        Registrar of Companies does not issue Insurance Registration data.

      • Voice of Reason says:

        Anthony, you should stop taking everything that the OBA feeds you ask gospel and do your own homework. The information presented by Bob Richards is in fact misleading and the unbiased people will tell you as such.

        You are a good guy, and I honestly wish you the best. I hope for your sake that the OBA is different than the UBP and are not just using you like many others they have used in the past. We’ve seen that story many times, and it would be a shame for it to happen to you.

        • Tired of nonsense says:

          Then why don’t you clarify the misleading stats so that all the idiots can be enlightened?

          Why didn’t the PLP in their response note the figures as being misleading?

          • Voice of Reason says:

            I can’t tell you what the PLP did or didn’t respond to.

            What i do find curious however is that Bob Richards can find a way to turn a 50% increase in insurance registrations into a negative.

            That takes serious skill

            • Tired of nonsense says:

              I guess you don’t understand that the liquidation/striking off bit…

              We don’t have 53 more companies here…as 29 left bermuda in the same year…

              The 50% increase is an increase from 2010 which saw record lows…

              On top of that if only 2 out of those firms will actually hire staff why do you expect a ticker tape parade and note this as an accomplishment…

              Not that exciting and that big of achievement…if the 50% increase was following a trend of persistent increases then there would be need for praise…

              Lets put it this way…you see a 50% increase in regstrations…others see a 222% year-on-year increase in liquidiations/striking off…

    • Think About It says:

      Oh shut it PLP dillybop

      • Ryan says:

        Actually, he DOES have a point… and I am in *no* way a PLP supporter. However, I do understand that Bob is being a bit disingenuous in this case.

        • Think About It says:

          Yes, and the PLP are disingenuous with EVERYTHING they say and do

          • Ryan says:

            … and? Yes, we know that, but does that suddenly qualify Bob Richards to do the same?

            Honestly, that was one of the worst rebuttals to any argument I’ve seen on here. Have we really gotten to the point where to hold *both* sides of the political spectrum is considered taboo? How ignorant indeed.

            • Ryan says:

              Er… “… Where to hold *both* sides of the political spectrum accountable for their actions is…” Correction.

            • Think About It says:

              I was just pointing out that the PLP does what you are accusing Bob Richards of doing. I wasn’t excusing his actions at all. I just find it funny how all you PLP Kool-aid drinkers are so quick to point out what the OBA does wrong, but can’t do the same for your party. And trust me, if I was trying to argue with you, you would know it.

              • Ryan says:

                Please do not call me a ‘PLP Kool-aid drinker.’

                Does my remark against Bob Richards automatically qualify me for that camp? Again, how ignorant.

                If I can recall, my very first reply to you clearly stated that ‘I am in *no* way a PLP supporter.’

                Still it seems that one cannot critize both political parties on this island without automatically being labled as a champion for one.

                • Think About It says:

                  It’s easy for you to say that you are not a PLP supporter, especially on this site seeing as they are always looked down upon.

                  Tell me, what is your age, gender and ethnicity? That will tell me whether or not you are a PLP supported Lol

                  • Ryan says:

                    Male. 18. Caucasian-Bermudian.

                    Want more details? Check my site.

                    You are an utter moron, by the way, and represent everything that is wrong with this island, race relations-wise.

        • specialgirl4you says:

          Bob Richards is always disingenuous, and the OBA/UBP Fans have difficulty accepting this. They instead will turn the words around, and forget the real issue that is up for debate. Bob, seldom reports accurate facts, some how they continue to fall for him as the “great economist”, but that he is not. @Voice of Reason you do mention an important point that does need review. As Mr. Richards may have presented the wrong statistical data to try and decry the PLP down.

  4. Real Talk says:

    Agreed duno. I am sick and tired of these childish statements being released by the PLP. The fact that the PLP cannot let it’s track record speak for itself speaks volumes to me as a voter. The fact that they have lowered the level of political discourse once again is disgusting and an affront to the intelligent, hard-working Bermudians on whose shoulders the current lot stand.

    Premier, please call an election soon. I am so sick and tired of this. I used to support the PLP, have no faith in the OBA, but at this point I just want to get it over with.

    Hopefully the people of Bermuda can see past all the hype and empty rhetoric (on both sides) and do what they truly feel is in the best interest of this country.

    • get real says:

      The PLP talks endlessly about their record. Do you really think the OBA is really going to echo something good.

      The OBA will harp on the negative to gain attention. It looks like this time they are making up figures.

      This whole thing is so funny as it wasn’t even the PLP who said anything it was the people in International Business who said good things and OBA went after them.

      I agree waay too much rhetoric though, it would be more helpful to everyone if we actually debated policies, however all OBA do is attack which, in their case, is a mistake. They should have learned from the PLP.

      I don’t know how the OBA can manage to find something negative in a 50% increase in Insurance Registrations… But yet they did!

      • Real Talk says:

        I was hoping that was satire, but something tells me it wasn’t.

        Look, I’m not even interested in debating policy. I’m a real Bermudian with a real mortgage, a real job could disappear tomorrow with the way things are going.

        I don’t want more talk. I want action. I want real solutions. I want to be able to rent my apartment, assurance that the public school education my children are receiving will prepare them for the future. I want to know that my job will not pick up and relocate tomorrow because an ignorant government minister opening his trap and spewing out something nonsensical was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I want to wake up in the morning and not cringe at the news reports.

        There is a civil war taking place in this country between young black men that the government have paid nothing but lip service towards (but could pass an SDO in 2 weeks).

        People need to wake up and smell the roses. This isn’t the ‘New Bermuda’ I voted for and the PLP couldn’t BUY my vote. Am I endorsing the OBA? Hell no. But real talk, I’d be willing to give them a shot. They can’t screw things up any more than the current government. And that’s a piss poor reason to vote for ANYBODY (cuz they’re not the other guy). But there you have it. The only people eating under the current Government are their own. And I need to be able to put food on my table.

    • Meltdown says:

      Most people that I discuss politics with will go directly negative toward the PLP because they are government. Instead of going negative and being heavily influenced by the opposition’s bombast take a look at the PLP’s record. Listening to what the opposition says and not being objective on the governments record is actually the reason why the political discourse is in poor condition. It is true, if you are going to compare 2011 to years of boom then you are being misleading!

      • Cha says:

        The PLP have been consistently been operating at a negative financial position since 2000. The discrepancy has just become larger in the last 4 years. Yes this is partly due to the recession Bermuda is experiencing but the mismanagement of funds under E. Brown and Paula have exacerbated the recession. There is nothing misleading about that it has happened and continues to happen. That is the PLP’s record it is fact and it is not good.

        • Meltdown says:

          I think most governments operate in the negative. Economic growth and capital influx has been a true factor of the majority of this government’s years in power. Thats because we provided a good regulatory environment. UBP layer the foundation and PLP took it over and beyond.

          • Cha says:

            During the times of economic boom in the 1990′s the island operated at a surplus. Yes majority of nations operate at a deficit though this is contributing to the “Global Recession” that we are experiencing; countries are over leveraged. The US debt and trade deficit is beyond control, much like countries in Europe.

            Now this is something you should consider; countries that do not have incredible deficits such as China are weathering this “Global recession” quite well. This is mainly due to the fact that they have a competitive advantage on the manufacturing and production side of business. At the end of the day despite the downturn the US is still increasing its trade deficit with China, and their economy and influence is growing with that. They are also now acquiring an advantage in regard to white collar workers as well since they are graduating university educated individuals who will work at 1/8 of the rate of a westerner. China and countries like it are what is threatening jobs in Bermuda, US, London and any other developed country even some developing countries such as India.

            The point is that they are still growing despite the downturn, yes there has been Capital in fluxed into Bermuda but that capital cannot be considered “realised” because it is not taxable (hence the reason companies are here). The taxable income for Gov has steadily declined as companies have re-domiciled elsewhere. The result is the top executives; who offer the most in regard to tax revenue (often in excess of $1m taxable per executive) are no longer registered on island and other countries receive the benefit of that payroll tax. As a result Gov overall revenue has decreased despite capital influx.

            Now part of the reason for these companies leaving will be financial though political certainty and good governance are also large contributing factors to this exodus.

            The foundation was laid by the past party though to say that the PLP have taken it over and beyond is a bit of a farse.

            • Voice of Reason says:

              Not really, international business HAS grown from 1998 until now.

              What’s more its inaccurate to say that the Govt operated in Surplus in the 90′s when that was NOT the case.

              • Cha says:

                I didn’t say that there hasn’t been growth since 1998 in IB. The scope I am referring to is much more confine, within the last 3 – 4 years of which companies have re-domiciled. Yes Captives have started but they often do not add additional staff (maybe 1 – 2ppl) which despite an increase of capital on the island (a few hundred million for most captives) not all of that money or the earnings from that are taxable. Hence, their may be more capital on the island today than there was in 2006 but a smaller amount of that is revenue to Gov.

                When the UBP left power there was roughly $600m of liquid assets in Gov accounts. I am not sure where you are getting your information from but it is inaccurate.

              • navin johnson says:

                IB grew because of two of the biggest disasters in history namely 9/11 and hurricane Katrina and I do not intend to blame the PLP for those two disasters(sarcasm) its what they did with IB that is the issue….The previous Premier and his Immigration Minister laid the groundwork for what we are facing today with comments and attitudes and policies relating to term limits and ex-pats…they literally forced people and companies to seek other venues to conduct their business…foolish policies like the tax increase of 2010 had a devestating effect of business because it was done without consultation and forced many companies to evaluate the viability of continuing to conduct all of their operations here…you may deny that was the case but I was forced to let people go and forego salary increases in order to maintain a level of profitability..the tax was rolled back in 2011 but the toothpaste was out of the tube….not every company who is leaving or cutting back goes to the Royal Gazette with announcements and I know of one IB company who is winding down in a month and it has been kept quiet…There are many people on these sites who are informed because they are in the business and there are others who listen to what their political press releases say….I rely on the former….

        • Think About It says:

          Agreed.

  5. Cancer says:

    Bob Richards got his information from the government statistics department. So what are you talking about? Obviously you don’t know anything so you sit back and relax. In June bob Richards will be the new finance minister altho I feel sorry for him having to clean up all this mess made by the PLP

  6. Wondering says:

    I have said it a few times and I will say it again…. I am tired of people complaining, moaning and groaning about the BB/PLP ….. OBA is up and coming, get on board, make sure your voting information is correct, join up – all are more than Welcome. Attend meetings, get involved, state your position and work to ensure that everyone’s thoughts, ideas, suggestions are carried out and contact with the electorate continues well after election is over. The time for change is now and now is the time for a great change in Bermuda for Bermudians of all colors, nationalities, races and religions… ONE doesn’t mean all black it means everybody…

  7. RobbieM says:

    “Agreed duno. I am sick and tired of these childish statements being released by the PLP. The fact that the PLP cannot let it’s track record speak for itself speaks volumes to me as a voter. The fact that they have lowered the level of political discourse once again is disgusting and an affront to the intelligent, hard-working Bermudians on whose shoulders the current lot stand”.

    Totally agree Real Talk.

    • Meltdown says:

      The way you sound it leads us to believe you never took the time out yourself to look at the PLP’s record. Be honest you perhaps never gave the PLP a chance so blah blah blah on!

      • LOL (original) says:

        He’s quoting some else so is your comment directed to Robbie or the original poster. The way you sound is as if you vote on how your family or some predisposition has all ways voted.

        LOL

  8. Triangle Drifter says:

    After awhile it gets real tiresome hearing the bleating of the PLP, whoever the source is, that Bermudas problems are the result of the world recession.

    No they are not.

    Sure the world recession has an effect on what happens locally but the severity of the recession locally has been caused locally. It has been caused by none other than the ineptness & corruption of the PLP.

    The world has had recessions & downturns before. Through good governance they have barely been noticed locally.

    Employment in the US is up. In some areas such as N Dakota, the economy is booming. Tourism within the US is up in all states except Alaska where gas prices have driven travel to the state down last year. Seen it, first hand in past few years. Despite what the PLP would have you believe tourism in our competing islands is up.

    When will the PLP take acountability for their hopeless governance & call an election so we can turn onto the long road of recovery?

    • solid! says:

      Weren’t tourism numbers in Bermuda up last year and this year?

      • Tired of nonsense says:

        Not that hard when the numbers for the previous two years are the lowest they have been for decades…

        • Voice of Reason says:

          Ahh, so they start recovering after a Global recession but that is not good enough… Typical!

          • Tired of nonsense says:

            After the global recession?

            According to the PLP it is still raging?

            Which one is it?

            Spin and lies…how typical from we had and must continue to deceive you type of party

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        Were they? I mean really? So we got a few more ship passengers. What are they worth? 1/10 of an air visitor? How many of those extra air arrivals, if any, were leisure visitors spending money on activities? The real important stat is, what, if any, was the bed/night count?

        Tourism, air arrivals, the ones who spend the real money, has been spiraling down the toilet since 1998 when we had the great “We will fix tourism in 100 days” promise from the PLP.

        No it is not the fault of any world recession. It is the fault of the inept PLP & its hopeless string of tourism Ministers who have no experience in tourism other than sleeping in hotel beds.

    • Meltdown says:

      Might you believe companies like Jupiter and Bank of New York and Mellon consolidated because this has been one of the worlds biggest and deepest recessions in history. If you call th US unemployment rate of 8.5% healthy then I would like to snack on what you snack on. If you believe only Bermuda received a downgrade rating and not other nations and that Europe isn’t going through more hell than us, again please give me what you are snacking on. Has not DOT reported higher numbers? And what corruption you speak of?

      • Think About It says:

        Wow! You really need to stop gupling down that PLP Kool-aid. You’re asking what has the PLP done that is corrput? Are you f*cking serious? There isn’t one good intention in the whole PLP camp.

        Paula Cox please call an election already. I used to have hope and believe in you, and now I see that it was misplaced. I don’t know why I thought you would make anything any different, when you were the one allowing E.B. to do what he wanted and signed all the cheques

        • Voice of Reason says:

          Thanks for the OBA Kool-Aid (see how that works).

          Nothing of substance so you talk about a talking jug.

  9. Can't Take It Anymore says:

    So Of the “53 new companies”, we found that 23 were ‘paper companies’ or ‘special purpose insurers’ formed for specific insurance transactions.

    Just two were significant companies – Third Point and PaC. For pointing out these facts and the need to “keep things in perspective”, the PLP attacked me for being negative.

    So what about the remaining 30 companies that no one has made reference to? What are they?

    • Tired of Party Lines. says:

      Hello!! Trust only the opposition and their supporters do not want to do the math on this one because many outside the OBA’s bubble know 53-23 leaves 30. So what about the 30?!

      • navin johnson says:

        they are most captive companies that are managed locally by people already here just like the 29 companies that are no longer here were most likely captives that were wound down….they only way to compare apples to apples is to look at net numbers 53 minus 29 equals24 of which 2 employ people and that number is far less than any year in the last decade….2 companies employ real people and 3 companies have announced many more departures this week than those companies will employ….that is the reality…yes the last 4 years under the Brown regime showed a steady decline the so called Platinum Period the period when Brown and Burch were in charge of the PLP and they set the stage and made it easy for people and companies to leave or not come at all…That is the fact! We are, in reality, not the friendliest place to do business despite statements like “more red carpet” “less red tape”. and under the system of Government we are stuck with it is the responsibility of the opposition to call the Government to task…we are not in a recession…we are in a depression ….

  10. LaVerne Furbert says:

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The World Bank Wednesday slashed its 2012 growth forecasts for both emerging and developing economies from its estimates of only six months ago, and warned the world is on the cusp of a new global recession that could be as bad as the crisis four years ago.
    It warned that an escalation in Europe’s sovereign debt crisis, a new oil shock, or a “hard landing” in one of the larger developing economies could trigger a global economic downturn. The bank added that the risks of those events makes even the bank’s lowered growth forecasts “very uncertain.”
    A meltdown in financial markets triggered by the sovereign debt problems in Europe poses the greatest immediate risk, according to the report.
    “An escalation of the crisis would spare no one,” said Andrew Burns, manager of global macroeconomics and lead author of the report. “Developed and developing country growth rates could fall by as much or more than in 2008 and 2009.”
    A full-blown European crisis would shave a full 4 percentage points off of global growth, which would tip tBut even if the crisis doesn’t worsen in Europe and other shocks are avoided, the World Bank projects that the global economy will grow at 2.5%, down from estimated growth of 2.7% last year and 4.1% growth in 2010.
    The report says developed economies are expected to experience anemic growth of only 1.4%, down from the earlier estimate of relatively solid 2.7% growth.
    The eurozone economies are expected to shrink 0.3%, rather than grow 1.8% as previously expected. Excluding the eurozone, the rest of the developed world is expected to grow at 2.1%.
    The World Bank, a multinational organization that provides financial assistance to developing countries, said emerging economies are forecast to grow at a 5.4% rate this year, down from its earlier forecast of 6.2% growth.

    • Sinking says:

      Oh Dear God, please give LoooVerne a job so she can stop trolling Bernews and the RG. TROLL!

    • Noel Ashford says:

      LOL Where did you get your economics degree again?! Google, cnn.com? you going to use this to blame whats going on … get real ;0 The PLP wasted the money – anyone with intellect knows this. They blew every single budget in existence. LaVerne, list the projects that they did on budget and on time please….

      -Noel

  11. blah blah says:

    As Craig tries in vain to distance himself/OBA from the UPB he furthers our concern that nothing has changed. Remember the 80′s we went thru similar economic difficulty, who was the government then? How about the 70′s? Do we remember the struggles of the majority and economic minority to be treated equally. It may be just a coincidence that after the civil rights struggles settled we faced an economic down turn, but it also possible that the economic power made a concerted effort to break the back of those pestilent black folks. Let us not forget the PLP brought prosperity to a broader section of our population. Let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture here, the PLP has been bad, Mrs. Coxs should have done more to resist Dr. Browns actions and over spending. But, the party as a whole is good and cares for its people, i owe them my support. Not blindly I might add, hold them to account for their actions. The OBA seems quite good at being backbenchers, lets support them in that role. Keep the government honest. Voice your complains, do your jobs! People of Bermuda, the ones who count, the ones that are able to vote, the ones that have a say, do you trust the OBA or their puppet to look out for your interests? if you do, then vote for their MPs. But if you can see the UBP’s hand up the puppet’s backside then don’t.

  12. LaVerne Furbert says:

    Bermuda’s Unemployment Figures:
    2009 – 1,714
    2000 – 1001
    1991 – 2,012
    Figures provided by the Department of Statistics

    Which party was in power in 1991?

    • Tired of nonsense says:

      How come you didn’t use the 4,000 figure that has emanated from the 2010 census?

      • Voice of Reason says:

        The figure was not 4000 from the census. Stop making sh!t up!

        • Tired of nonsense says:

          I admitted that below…

          However, that was 2 years ago and if you think that the number has not increased since then…then you and I live in 2 different Bermudas…

          • Voice of Reason says:

            I didn’t say that, I’m sure its higher than May 2010. But you were incorrect in your first statement, I’m happy you corrected it.

        • Tired of nonsense says:

          Making sh!t up?

          Telling lies of how the Opposition want to grant thousands of long-term residents status is making sh!t up…

          Saying that the Opposition cares more for guest workers than locals is making sh!t up…

          Claiming that the Opposition are neo-fascists that want to lock us (black people) all up is making sh!t up…

          Stating that the Opposition wants to send black people back onto the plantation and place shackles around thei rfeet is making sh!t up…

          Stating that all black people wihtin the Opposition are simply puppets is making sh!t up…

          I could go on…

          So where is your moral outrage at these fabrications? At least I am man and mature enough to admit I was wrong…

          Bet you can’t claim that…and if you do claim it you simply will be making sh!t up….

          • Voice of Reason says:

            You really seem a bit angry and unstable today. Last time i checked i said none of those things. I did however say that to say the census said 4000 unemployed was making things up.

            You accepted the error, and i acknowledged your response.

            No need to get all upset over something you’ve already admitted that you were wrong on. I simply pointed it out.

            Happy Hour is near, have a Guinness on me. Kool out! 8)

            • Tired of nonsense says:

              I am as kool as a kukumber…

              And I do apologize for the tone…

              But I am absolutely tired of PLP supporters claiming others lie, Opposition bloggers are just hareful etc…without even acknowledging the fact the PLP are just as bad if not worse then who they rail at…hence my references to the above quotations from the PLP camp…

              The perpetual victim portrayal is absolute nonsense…

              Again I apologize for the tone but I am just tired of all this stupid nonsense in this island…the PLP isn’t totally bad or useless as is the same for the OBA…

              Thanks for the offer but guinness is too thick for my taste…give me a green bottle or an amstel slight and i just might be alright on this suuny january afternoon…

          • LaVerne Furbert says:

            The Opposition at that time was the UBP and we know the UBP and the BDA are too different entities. Remember, Craig Cannonnier said he wanted to turn the UBP lights out.

            • Tired of nonsense says:

              So any reason why you “forgot” to include the 2010 unemployment figures?

    • navin johnson says:

      how about 2007,08,09,10,11 Laverne? or 1994? Department of Statistics gives you information 2 years old….its probably closer to 4000 now and that would be higher than the US after years of NO unemployment….do the curve for the years your hero was in power…..

      • Voice of Reason says:

        How do you say after NO Unemployment, when clearly Bermuda (as by the figures) has always had unemployment.

        Is our current problem bad, certainly. Worse than in the last 20 years, absolutely.

        Is it the first time we’ve had unemployment? NO!

        No need to distort the facts.

        • navin johnson says:

          for many years anyone who wanted to work two jobs could and often did in order to make ends meet…If one person holds two jobs and 2 people in a household have two jobs that contributes to my comment about NO unemployment…you will always have a small group of people who do not want to work but few could argue that for most of the 90′s up until the last few years you could work 24 hours a day if you wanted to….now you are lucky to find a job….no distortion I leave that up to the PLP to do….

          • Voice of Reason says:

            I agree with what you’ve said above exactly, I have a few in my family without work so i got it.

            However it is wrong to say, “NO Unemployment” previously as that is not accurate. Simple comment.

            If we are going to debate, we must start with facts.

            • navin johnson says:

              Voice when times were good in the 90′s and early 2000′s there were more jobs then there were people to fill them…people worked 2 jobs….myself included..if there are more jobs then people then you have NO unemployment thats all I’m saying and right now we have more people than jobs….I’ll leave the politics out of it….

    • Tired of nonsense says:

      As at 2010 the unemployment rate was 6% and equated to approximately 2,500…

      However that figure has inevitably increased due to persistent redundancies and closure of businesses.

      The first figure was from Prem. Cox herself:

      http://www.royalgazette.com/article/20111014/NEWS/710149918

      So Ms. Furbert would like to enlighten us as to why you would leave this particular figure out of your very selective comparison?

      • LaVerne Furbert says:

        Actually, I was trying to find the 2010 figure but I had to leave my office. But I see someone else has provided the figures.

        Others have made the point that I was trying to make, there has always been unemployment in Bermuda (and there always will be).

        I don’t think that anyone will argue that Bermuda and some Bermudians are having hard times now, but to continue to blame the current economic climate in Bermuda on the PLP Government is ludicrous.

        • Tired of nonsense says:

          To continue and think that the PLP is completely blameless for our current economic position is ludicrous…

          The recession didn’t create the debt which consumes 15% of Govt revenue, nor did it create the bloated civil service which devours 60% of Govt revenue…that’s 75% of Govt revenue spent on two expense items…that is far from sustainable

          The recession did not enact term limits on IB companies that have been an hindrance for many IB companies…you know the ones that create almost 80% of BDA’s total GDP figure…

          The recession did not mandate the tax increases in 2010 which deepened the recession…eco 101 DO NOT RAISE TAXES AND CURB CONSUMER SPENDING POWER even further during a recession…

          The recession did not mandate the PLP stagnate the housing market by placing many restrictions and red tape on this sector…

          And so on and so forth…

    • media says:

      @Laverne – Be careful where your heading with that information. The real unemployment figure is over double the 2009 figure right now.

      The difference between the 1991 recession and now is that the UBP at the time actually took measures to cut Government spending. How do I know, my Temporary Full Time Position within Government was axed. It helped slash 10% off there expenditure across the board. Tough decisions were made. The Government back then had the resources to stimulate, without borrowing and Bermuda weathered to storm fairly well. The PLP Government has taken on way too many positions and can’t get rid of any of them before an election and wont after an election, I imagine. Their only solution is to borrow more money, after they have increased the debt ceiling, just to sustain existing expenditures and pay the interest on debt.

      The PLP cannot be blamed for the Global Economic Crisis but they can be blamed entirely for not being prepared to handle the fall out from it. WIth enormous debt levels before the crisis hit, the PLP are in no position to respond to it with anything other than what we see now. Very little. Their hands are tied. They have no financial flexibility to get us out of this at all. They gambled big time with the idea that revenues would keep rising to pay for everything. Their gamble failed and we all are suffering because of it.

  13. Claudio says:

    People make me laugh… I would like to know how the OBA intends to create jobs. Craig is bickering about Gov’t pushing people to wash pots… what jobs would the OBA create for Bermudians??

    The days of large Reinsurance domiciling here are over, the model has changed. Fund companies are leaving and even if Immigration was lenient they would come or stay here, it does not make economic sense for any fund companies to locate here in a bear market, they took a loss and Bermuda is way to expensive to do business here.

    The construction industry is bust, we wont see a boom for at least 15 yrs if we see one at all, Bermuda is way too overdeveloped.

    So lets see, reinsurance companies wont add several jobs here due to a change in trends, fund companies are hurting worldwide especially with the Europe crisis and soon the Chinese property will burst which will have another impact on local companies, and construction will never return to what it was.

    So what jobs will the OBA create for Bermudians??? You say a business exec creates jobs in Bermuda how many of those jobs go to Bermudians… lets see, what are the chances a Bermudian is cutting his lawn? Cleaning his house? A Bermudian nanny perhaps? Bermudian waitress at the resturant he/she eats? etc etc…

    I do not have anything against expats, I know the role they play in our economy. I am interested to know what plans the OBA has to create jobs for Bermudians.

    Please post it on your site.

    • Claudio says:

      Can an OBA representative please answer my query? I went on the OBA site and I dont see anything.

  14. Portia says:

    Blah Blah – no, we did not go through “similar” economic difficulties in the 70′s and 80′s. I think most people would have to agree that the economic situation we are in NOW is much more serious than previous times – your Government itself has admitted that we are going through a rougher economic downturn now that any in Bermuda’s recent history.

    And what prosperity do you speak of that was brought to “a broader section of the population”? Whom do you mean specifically – cause from what I’m seeing, the majority of Bermudians – espcially black Bermudians – are struggling.

    • blah blah says:

      Clearly you have no idea of Bermudian history. Firstly, there were economic difficulties in the 80′s. Yes, similar, not the same. The real point is that if we the people did not make a stand and demand changes wealth would not have spread. That came from a government that represents the population. I did not say that the majority of Bermudians were not struggling. Even though I can’t believe that the majority is. I said a broader section of the population was able to prosper.

  15. Cancer says:

    This PLP government has shown they are the worse ruling party since politics in Bermuda! Look at the state of this country since the great Ewart Brown left us in so much debt with Paula as his right hand man signing all his cheques. Then she has the nerve to say she’s just Cog in the wheel. You PLPers want blame the world recession – ain’t no world recession to blame on this. We are were we are because of overspending, mismanagement, people within the PLP afraid to speak up and a past premier who only thought about himself. If Paula wud have been straight with the public and said “look we made some mistakes, we could have listened when implementing laws and I am sorry for that” then she would have kept the respect of many people – but she confinues to up for Ewart Brown. Until this is done people will continue to think the PLP has been full of issues and that’s why we can’t wait for the auditor generals report to be released which is being held up by the PLP – we know why…..

    • Voice of Reason says:

      You really expect anyone to believe you that Paula Cox could say something to get you to like the PLP. Ok buddy.

      I, like you, anxiously await to see what are in those reports. But lets not get carried away.

  16. Cancer says:

    Claudio the OBA is not the government. Go and read our reply to the throne speech ! PLP need to come up with their own plan – they broke it – the are still government – the need to start and fix it

  17. jt says:

    The math is not hard…and it is not good.

  18. specialgirl4you says:

    Okay the OBA/UBP and John Swan & Larry Burchall have all the correct answers to how to boost our economy, or so they say. If this is true, why have Sir John and Burchall failed to put any workable solution into place. “Plenty of talk”, but little action! There is little to stop Sir John, Burchall and OBA from getting started. As a strong business man, Sir John can get some business started, and moving in Bermuda towards economic growth. He speaks a good game. Talk is great, but actions speaks louder than words. Sir John/Burchall do not have to relied upon the government to do everything. Sir John has done this before. What the hold up ?? If they are the persons and party to save Bermuda, why have they failed to do anything except to criticize every thing the government is attempting to do. Maybe because it is “easy to criticize but difficult to bring forward real action, real ideas, real business investments.”…… I think there has been enough talk, start real action. At least the government are not just talking but also putting into place real solutions and business investments and seeking to ensure that Bermudians that want to work have a shot at it.

    • Real Talk (original) says:

      … for starters a number of the proposals John Swan and Larry Burchall have put forward would require legislative changes. Last time I checked neither were in a position to change legislation. That would need to come from the current administration who seem more pre-occupied with kicking foreign potwashers out than addressing the real issue.

  19. Cancer says:

    Specialgirl there you go again running on your mouth. Just admit PLP put the island in a financial jam and they ain’t got a damm clue on what to do. You along with them looking for answers from Larry sir John OBA and UBP. You guys are so ridiculous – work it out PLP wannabes – you put us in this mess!! Now you want ideas from everyone else on how to get us out. P lease L eave P olitics alone if you don’t know what your doing!

    • specialgirl4you says:

      @Cancer…………….The government are not looking for answers, we have put specific ideas into place. Most of the recommendations made by your Mr Richards, Sir John and Burchall had been already done. However when one goes around talking or promoting an idea, they should also take an active part in putting it into action. Why continue to talk…..yet have not actions to back it up. Action on a plan often speaks to the realness of the issue you are promoting. So I am tired of the talking and forums, get started, if they believe in everything they are promoting.

      Since criticism is easy to do, and is an easy way out, it would be best to also suggest what you would do if you were government, and then people can determine if the OBA/UBP could also solve all the world problems, as well as Bermuda’s problems. It is without no doubt that the OBA/UBP will be faced with many of the same issues, and I doubt it will be any easier to fix just because they are now the government. It will take time to address and reverse every issue that faces Bermuda now or in the near future.

  20. sticky says:

    The election is on the horizion, the results are already in.Once the polls close all will be released, i hope we don’t have any blogers who are mad as hell.

  21. Cancer says:

    Specialgirl if only you could stop refferring to the OBA as the UBP I would definitely accept your posts as more intellectual and what you say may be taken more seriously – therefore my only response will be the OBA is the UBP as much as Lady Cox is Lady Cog (eye for an eye)! Tks

  22. specialgirl4you says:

    @ Cancer………….OBA/UBP How can one not see them as different? Same MPs, Same Ministers, Same supporters UBP turned OBA, Same leaders, Same attitudes, Same Plans of the UBP, Same ideas, Same almost in everything……now how can I not call the OBA the UBP? Help me see the difference? Please help me see it another way?

  23. Cancer says:

    Specialgirl nothing I say to you will help you see differently. But you shudnt talk and chastise my party when the hardest working person in the PLP is the ex-UBP leader! Your backbench ain’t even worth getting a position according to your Premeir… Also shows no trust there!!!!! Now thats ridiculous!!!