Wheel and come again!

Wheel and come again!

Michael Ferrier Michael Ferrier

SINT MAARTEN (COMMENTARY – By Michael Ferrier) - Despite my personal position regarding the current monetary union with Curaçao (I favor dissolving it and officially “dollarizing” the St. Maarten economy; in other words..after 10 years stop wasting more time and energy trying to feed a dead horse), I must commend the management of the Central Bank of Curaçao and St. Maarten (CBCS).

In a clearly worded, professional and instructive five-page letter, they responded to the April 21, 2020 letter from the President of Parliament (PoP) of St. Maarten. In it, the CBCS addressed the six urgent action points listed in the PoP’s letter.

The bank’s management clarified inaccuracies and provided proper context to suggestions/demands made by the parliamentarian. I don’t have any way of knowing if the CBCS expected their letter to become publicly available, but their well-crafted document is written in a way that it can be understood by the man or woman on the street (including me).

The content was carefully explained, the language direct and the tone professional. Monetary economics and central bank policy are complex topics for which I often turn to friends and associates who are smarter and certainly better qualified than me, for explanations and/or clarifications. This particular response/letter, however, provides facts and figures that leave no doubt that the CBCS wants their message to be broadly understood.

Without using technical or complicated jargon, the CBCS management explain what they can and cannot do. They named the applicable rules and regulations and provided references for those so inclined to fact-check (it certainly shows that THEY did their fact-checking).

The bank’s message is loud and clear so there can be no question about the truth and the source of their statements; whether it is the PoP’s suggestion that the CBCS tells local banks how to conduct their business (by for instance telling the CBCS to insist that commercial banks fully and unconditionally postpone mortgages), or explaining the mechanism for protecting the value of our local currency (rather than a haphazard issuance of bonds as suggested by the member of Parliament).

The CBCS management also lists the expertise they have provided to government and parliament over the years. So to sum up what I take away from the now public response: The CBCS uses five pages to explain and educate the President of our Parliament about his 6 urgent action points; but according to me there is a deeper message sent here, which in local parlance could be summed up as follows: Mr. President, WHEEL AND COME AGAIN!

Michael J. Ferrier

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