Column: Myron On Economy, Thinkers & More

April 22, 2024 | 22 Comments

[Opinion column written by Martha Harris Myron]

What is happening to our island? It is almost palpable – in the air, in feelings, in thoughts, and in media commentary.

It is the resignation, almost despair, at the increasing infrastructure disrepair, neglect of nature, and the quality of daily life slowly atrophying down life’s scale.

It is the ongoing frustration offset with complacency that the cost of living really is not so bad, not any worse than years ago, so just get on with it, even as everything you look at as gone up in price.

It is the deepening reservoir of sadness and emotional numbness as friends, associates, and even relatives depart our shores for greener pastures elsewhere, leaving the community diminished of their vitality, skills, and commitments to our island.

The global rating sink [not to be confused with the Government Sinking Fund] is factual, not just anecdotal.

My recent review of Long Finance’s The Global Financial Centre Indexes ratings of competitive global finance centres noted the following position changes since 2007.

The GFCI, published semi-annually, serves as a valuable reference for policy and investment decision-makers.

Martha Harris Myron Global Finance Centres Area of Competitiveness Chart Bermuda April 2024

Source: The Global Financial Centres Index: Long Finance

Methodology: The GFCIndex provides evaluations of future competitiveness and rankings for 121 financial centres around the world.

45 instrumental factors are combined with financial centre assessments provided by respondents to the GFCI online questionnaire. GFCI 35 March 2024 used 48,365 assessments from 8,494 respondents. See attached chart.

Additional quantitative measures are provided by third parties including the World Bank, the Economist Intelligence Unit, the OECD and the United Nations.

GFCI Percentage Ratings Standings score by place. Number one – 1% [one] percent goes to the top rated jurisdiction in each review.

In 2007, Bermuda placed in 17th place out of 45 international centres, a 37% percentile rating. Subsequently, Bermuda’s ratings started a downward trend.

In March 2024 with GFCIndex 35, Bermuda’s rating came in at 106th place out of 121 financial centre jurisdictions – a 50 point drop to 87% percentile rating.

Conversely, while Bermuda was one rating removed from our competitor Cayman in 2007, in March 2024, Cayman stood 29 points ahead with a 65% percentile standing.

From the outside, Bermuda’s economy and place in the international financial center world certainly appears to not be doing so well.

On the inside, Bermuda’s current governance, legislation, program initiatives, and related economical thinking appears complacent, almost stagnant.

Is the current thinking, keeping the status quo, going to change current circumstance for islanders? Do you see Bermuda returning to vibrance and vitality any time soon?

Will this current thinking elevate your personal future? What is going on?

Each of you should consider this question: are you better off than now than five, then years ago? Only you know the true answer!

Do you think it is time for change in thinking on how to move Bermuda forward?

Is it time for independent thinkers, committed individuals who want the best for our island to step forth, to contribute their innovative ideas and then have the courage to get them implemented for the good of all?

Is it time for everyone else, who cannot, for various reasons, step up, seriously consider supporting new independent thinkers for taking on governing roles to change the direction of our economy, to return to Bermuda to its former glory.

We have already lost many of these people. Will we lose more? Will Bermuda continue this downward slide?

Local news have recently reported that Sir John Swan and other independent thinking individuals are considering running for election to the Bermuda House as independent candidates.

Independent thinkers who will represent what their constituents’ need for a fulfilling life and are not conflicted in that purpose.

You don’t have to tell me what you want. You tell these independent thinkers what you want, emphatically! Make your frustrations and needs known – loud and clear.

Talking is not enough. Express your choices by your participating in a free democracy. Vote for the best thinker who will work solely for your interests.

Enough said.

- Martha Harris Myron

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Comments (22)

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  1. Pa says:

    There is always an answer to every siuation ,that is, if people are prepared to give of their time and effort to deal with the many prblems which this island has had and is now’s presently facing , some of which has had its beginnings hundred of years ago.

    There are several major problems which this island is presently facing, which unfortunately our thinkers through lack of prudence, have let go too far without thought, they were banking on the future,
    ” Tomorrow is not promised “!
    Debt can be deviled into several sections, with all sections involving money, that we do not have, or has become unavailable from presumed future business.
    Basically the people of Bermuda have over extended them selves to their own detriment.

    We unfortunately have mismanaged our economy, who are living on the hopeof future economic prosperity.

    “M father told me, never spend your last dollar”.
    “Never borrow more than you have as reserves in the bank”.
    Borowing money increase te debt risk increase cost but not vale e.

    Dependant Bermuda has mis managed our economy, that ,and more , as we now have to face up to reality that this country has over extnded itself, as the interest on all the debts are astronomivcal that in it self, as I have said , has increased the cost but not the value.

    We can look forward to facing years of economic hardship and poverty also is that of our own making also that caused by other countries failing economic policies.

    Inflation ::: price escalation .
    The national debt ::: the countries debt.
    Business debt ::: bank loans to buy merchandise .
    Private debt ::: Loans from friends and family .
    Personal debt ::: Bank loans.
    Mortgage debt ::: Home construction now priced it self out of the market
    Interest debt ::: payment on all debts.
    Increased cost of living ::: Inflation.
    Tax liability::: Moneys due to government.

    Bermuda’s reduced buying power called money devauluation of our dollar which has be reduced as a result of the lack of its buying power .

    Personal Comments.

    For some time in the past I have been concerned when Bermuda was going to devalue our dollar.
    Inflation has caused me great concern.
    Increasing wages to cover inflation puts Bermuda back on par, for some not all.
    Business closure put people out of work.
    loss of jobs sickness and death creates financial hard ship.
    The loss of revenue from the sale of Bermuda’s physical assets.
    I had hopes for Bermuda people who were the worlds greated land lords and renters.
    Why are we paying land tax on an empty houses or apartments .Far too many empty houses and apartment
    With hotel closures , I had hopes that the Air B& B would cover the stop gap.
    Taxation is an open door to poverty.
    Why are we paying import duty on food and medical.

  2. Joe Bloggs says:

    Thank you, Martha. Now I am depressed.

  3. Pa says:

    Subject : Questions relating to comments ::: Bernews 23 April 2024

    I see in your column M. Harris Myron you have several direct questions for which if i may, address with the hope of a some what beter reply than yes or a no.

    Q #1 ::: The current thinking keeping the status quo going to change current circumstance for islanders.
    A ::: NO !
    I do not have much hope for any current thinking to date .
    Unfortunately I do not see any improvement in the status quo.
    It is going to take alot of dedicated people’s work time effort and team work to market Bermuda product back to its former glory just now I will give it a 3.5 and I want a 9 and above.

    Q #2::: Do you see Bermuda returning to a vibrarce and vitality any time soon?
    A::: Yes !
    There is alway hope for better we are all proud of our little BERMUDA.
    We will never give up hope let prudence and good judgement prevail
    We have two ears and one mouth let us use those wisely.
    We have a steep hill to climb playing the blame game never solved any problems and back biting is the same a thowing fuel on the fire ,for any situation we should never give up and it is the hope for improvements even if it results in change if that becomes what it takes .
    Unfortunately Bermuda has turned in on its self , the social fabric on this island has been lost an unfortunately it will not return .
    On the posative note we can not accept responsibility only for things which are our responsibility for and not that of other countries we can only make and lie in our own bed.

    Q #3::: With this current thinking elevate your personal future? ( now we are talking about me and my family) .
    A ::: NO !
    Our personal future is solely up to us in every decision we make and take in our lifves.
    However, if there are those who are hell bent on destroying our reputation and accomplishments then there is a need
    for a change sooner than lafter .

    Q#4 ::: What is going on. ?
    A::: There are several answers to that question which depends on who and how the cherade is being managed , with out money you can not buy gas to cook with .
    Do refer to Q#1 rating 3.5

    Q#5 :Each of you should consider this question: Only you know the answer to that !
    ( Here is where I must contain my anger and not play the blame game) .
    Q$5 Are you better off than now than 5,then years ago
    A ::: NO.
    If a ship sinks an goes to the botton with great loss of life , the captain is responsible and has to go down with the ship .
    If a plane ditches in the ocean and all life is lost then the pilot has too accept the fact that he will go first.

    To be realistic.
    The National debt, over the past years has devistated Bernuda with and empty Airport, we have also see a decline in Tourist business a Pandemic with a sad loss of life, inflation which affect every one, we have had inflation many times before the latest is still on going and our worst. Anarchy on our roads. People leaving the island for good ,
    to top it off an excessive food bill .
    We live in a devided country with a devided Goverment absolute FAILURE is writen on the wall

    • Pa says:

      Introduction :::
      Bermuda has more question than we have workable answers for.
      Go back in history to read of the many empires who have falen from the good life and prosperity.
      Have we not learned anything from them .

      I have found some un answered questions
      Q #6 People
      We have lost many of these people , will we loose more?

      A #6 YES
      The world is a big place offering many opportunities where there is no “Pay Back Time ” with better education, a better way of life to those who are prepared to work for it, all you need is a warm blanket .

      Q#7 Will Bermuda continue its down ward slide ?
      A #7 YES
      The question refers to that which is presently ongoing .
      This is what happens when we do nothing ,we get nothing.
      Lazy begets Lazy.
      When are we going to run out of lies .
      We cannot keep kicking the can down the road, eventually we run out of road .
      ” There are 50 footballs ,nobody knows which one to kick ,and where to kick it”
      We will have to wait for the up coming USA election results to see if we can make a silk purse from a pigs ear.
      I would never vote for a person who I readgard too have less intelangents than I.
      My father said
      ” The man who works from 9 to 5 has nothing.
      The man who works from 9 to 9 has every thing “.
      This is not about how hard we work it is about how smart we work.

  4. Pa says:

    Joe Bloggs .

    Depression the two pills and call me in the morning.

    If you are interested in saving this country from economic disaster.
    There are 8 questions lodged in the post by Mather Harris Myron who is with doubt absolute in my humblr oppinion a brilliant person .
    May I respectful ask you if you would kindly care to answer her questions them all with i hope some thing better than yes or no.
    Hope Bernews keeps the page open for you .

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Very few want to hear my opinions. I am a white male in my 60s. I represent everything the majority of Bermudians are told to hate and distrust.

      • Pa says:

        Joe Bloggs
        Well sir in two years i will be 90 and during that remaining time if i can make it that far .

        i look forward to a better future for me and Bermuda my birth place.

        My parents came here during WW11

        . I worked at the Bermuda Housing Corporation for 17 years last job I was responsible as a mortgage officer for 167 x 2 apartmet standard constructiom houses , that is 606 bedrooms , 303 kitchens and bathrooms not one of those people said thank you .

        Yet I gave my all to those people if it were not for me they would be building castles in the sand .

        You have some to say, then say it, we can go through life biting .
        our lips .
        if you want to mae an omlet you have too break some few eggs
        Martha is a brialiant woman who cares i have kown for years and her parents before her.
        So we all have an axe to grind ~~~~~ ” A life lived in fear is a life half lived”.
        Sorry I can not understand you last sentence kindly re write it.

  5. Pa says:

    Joe Blogg.
    I and my wife are both a WW11 survivors.
    She knows what it is like to have Bombs fall two door down . Mummy will the bombs fall again to night ?

    I hope tha Bermuda has to go back on a money war footing.

    I am Bermuda Born I grew up at the Royal Naval Dockyard both my parents live and worked there all through the war..
    The war was horrible the ” U boats “( submarine ) were out to get Bermuda we all lived in fear of the torpedoes
    they where after the British Naval Ships the one with the debth charge drums , the ones which sank many of their subs.
    You no doubt have read several of my post on Bernews you know that I care that we live in pease and harmony .
    You sir will also know that Bermuda is not perfect no country is and also no person is.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      “You sir will also know that Bermuda is not perfect no country is and also no person is.”

      I do know that Bermuda is not perfect and also that no person is perfect.

      For all its flaws, Bermuda is still better than much of the world.

      With that said, I wish I and others like me were not vilified in Bermuda simply for being white.

      I wish I could go to a town hall meeting in Bermuda without being threatened by “security personnel” for simply asking a question.

      And I wish people in Bermuda could get along, no matter the colour of their skin, or that of their partner, no matter their sexual orientation, and no matter their place of birth.

      • History says:

        If white Bermudians like yourself joined the PLP it would remove party politics. Why is it that black Bermudians are the only swing voters and when we don’t swing some white Bermudians state that we’re racist?

        • Joe Bloggs says:

          I have never belonged to any political party and I am not about to start. I have issues with both political parties in Bermuda (and in the U.S. and in the U.K.)

        • Truth says:

          Because you’re the majority.
          It’s sad that it has to be explained to you, but, I guess that’s why we have such bigoted leadership.

        • Double s says:

          Because one party has always acceoped all while the other not so much.

          Same reason why US minorities overwhelmingly vote for one party.

  6. Answer says:

    The problem is that we have 2 racial political parties. One that is mostly black and another that uses a few blacks 2 look diverse. Remove party politics and we all win.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Sounds like you’re the one with diversity (racial) issues.

      • Come Correct says:

        They’re so correct, which is why the OBA will continue to lose every, every, every election.

        • Truth says:

          …..and it’s the PLP that has put Bermudians in debt to the tune of $3 BILLION…..the opposite of what the evil white party did.

          And you love it. LMFAO

    • Truth says:

      The problem is that we have 2 racial political parties. One that is mostly white and another that uses a few whites 2 look diverse. Remove party politics and we all win.

      The Bermudian educational system reveals it’s ugly head again.

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