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Arnhim, Leacock and NCB [B]


Fri, Oct 12, 2012

Editor: “I want to make a divergence from your banana and agriculture export subject to revisit a matter which we must keep on the front burner and that is the question of the former NCB now Bank of SVG. Mr President, I want to say, it would appear to me that if the NDP had loved they selves more that it had loved St Vincent, we might have been the Government of today on the strength of that NCB issue alone.{{more}} I want to repeat that, if we had loved ourselves, that’s the NDP, more than the country: we may well be in the government today in that, that bank would have fall and we would have been in government today. The consequences we have been acting out up to today” St Claire Leacock, [Newtimes, Sept 24, 2012].

Was St Claire Leacock positioning himself to be the “fresh pair of legs” to lead the malfunctioning, lacklustre, uninspiring Opposition, NDP, when he suggested that the debacle of the NCB — of which Arnhim Eustace “made a judgment” — be kept “on the front burner”? Read the following excerpt and see whether the man was asserting that one of the reasons “it would appear me [Leacock] the NDP would be in office today” were it not for Arnhim’s “judgment”. For a while, the gentleman had me fooled, which is why I labelled the recording, “Leacock’s NCB Stupidity”. After reading the transcript, I came to the realization that there was nothing stupid about the first part of his call. Consider this line from Mr Leacock: But the specific matter that I want to bring our listeners and the nation’s attention to is the fallout.

What fallout? The ULP is in office, the bank is gone and more and more persons are calling for Eustace to go, because if you buy the argument that the “NDP could have been in office today” then it is only logical that if more persons are feeling the pain, Eustace is to blame. I remind you of Mr Leacock’s famous blowout in parliament while serving as a senator at Eustace’s pleasure, “Ah talking fo meself.” It is too bad that a certain Mr Ballantyne’s comments on a certain religion did not just remain his, but were assigned to Senator Anesia Baptiste. Mrs Baptiste was simply getting too much national attention and far too popular with the rank and file of the NDP. It is three years before the election; the calls for Eustace to go would only escalate, despite the multiple letters published by one of Eustace’s sycophants and the Layou Eggman. Leacock knows that substantial persons, with worth, are calling for Eustace go, but he has a problem: He is not their choice, which is why he has resorted to playing the “race/gold spoon” card.

It was the first part of Mr Leacock’s statement, quoted about, which caused me to immediately label his assertion “stupid”. I remind you that I then sent various recordings to several persons to ask their own questions. I will now republish an excerpt of that email and transcript of a conversation between Eustace and discarded abandoned spokesman, EG Lynch and one of Mr Eustace’s enablers, the owner of Nice radio.

Email excerpt: Fellow citizens,

I want you all to listen to these recordings and do your own analysis or ask your own questions.

Do we now own a bank? How many Vincentians make up the 95 [90] percent of the customers of NCB? If the bank folded, would the government’s debts just disappear? If not, does it mean that the 95 [90] percent would have been able to collect their moneys once those debts were repaid? So AE made a decision to save the “supposed losses of a few” to the detriment of all.

Since according to the NDP the country is worst off now, does it mean that the NDP had no solution?

If AE made the correct decision in his support of the bank, is not the NDP just as culpable for anything negative that happens at the bank? If they took it off the front burner in 2010, what is the relevance now? Is not Mr Leacock’s presentation a direct result of NDP action?

NCB Sale

“Recently I have been hearing some comments which are very critical of the fact that we did have some discussion with the management of the NCB during the time when the NCB negotiations were on for the NCB sale and some of us did meet with the management and he did not want us to release that information then and I notice recently that I have been hearing comments which imply that we had done something wrong and I want to explain that [EG interrupts]

yeah, that is what I am going to explain. I don’t know how many Vincentians really know what the state of the NCB was when these discussions were held. The bank had no liquidity — they didn’t have cash flow basically — they did not have the cash to carry out normal transactions and people were beginning to go and call for their money. And you remember one day the manager called here and thanked us for not facilitating that run. Mr Lynch, 90 per cent of the people who have money in NCB are small people — 90 per cent of depositors are small people who have between $1,000 and $5,000 in that bank. If the bank had fold up because we help to facilitate that run on the bank by announcing information, every one of them would lose their money,” Eustace explained.

“That’s would have been the end of the bank?” EG asked.

“That right, so is not something you encourage and people lose everything — so we had to make a judgment. I made a judgment and I stand by that judgment. The bank is there today and those people still have their money,” Eustace emphasized.

EG interjects, “I listened to that program — well at least to one Friday night [Keeping It Real with Joel Abraham and Glenford Prescott] … I made an attempt to call the program… I think it was mischievous on the part of those fellows to insinuate…they were insinuating you must win an election at any cost and who dead dead…they were trying to tell the public Friday night we throwaway the election…”

Eustace continues, “Listen a run had virtually started on the bank if that had continued the bank; would have fold and all those same people would have lost their money. So people must think.”

EG interrupts again, “… Encourage a run on the bank, the bank fold…you go on to win the election, you would be winning an election without a bank.”

Eustace, “Exactly, you have to start all over again.”

EG, “And the country in serious economic decline.”

Eustace rejoins: “If is the view I can’t subscribe to that and I want to make that absolutely clear. If I had come in here and say ‘NCB ain’t have no money yo go get yo money now’ yeah people would say that is good politics, to me that is not good politics; that is total disregard for your people — total disregard for the interest of the people of this country, And that is all I have to say. If people want to have it differently, they are entitled to it.”

“I think the issue in St Vincent most persons believe that you are in an election you have be – regardless of what the circumstances, you bell the cat — that can’t be so at all,” EG opined.

“I was not prepared, under any circumstances, to have hundreds of Vincentians lose their money and you have to come back now to see what you can do to help those people,” Eustace concluded [New Times, March 18, 2011].

An enabler

On May 5, 2011, Dougie lends his voice, “Mr Eustace plainly said he is not going to destroy the economic stances of this country and he made reference to NCB if that is the only way to win an election. The bank is an important institution; if Mr Eustace had behaved irresponsibly there would not even be a bank for St Lucians to come to salvage to save the people’s investment and deposits in the bank.”

You note the intelligent conversation between Eustace — “an economist of note with many years experience in SVG and the region” — and Mr Lynch. Next week, in conclusion, Eustace’s shocking expose.

Frank E. DaSilva