Friday, June 05, 2020

May 17, 2020    -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

St. Maarten

May 17, 2020

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar’s metamorphosis from refugee to the first Somali-American in Congress has been well-documented. Now, Omar is out with a new memoir that offers her own spin on her path to prominence, starting with her childhood in Mogadishu. “This is What America Looks Like: My Journey from Refugee to Congresswoman,” set for release Tuesday, offers no revelations on some of the controversies that have dogged Omar. Instead, it sketches rugged years that Omar says made her a fearless fighter, unafraid to skirmish with President Donald Trump and her frequent conservative critics.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tyler Perry is planning to make his Atlanta-based mega studio one of the first domestic filming grounds to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic. But while Perry is looking to restart production in July, other studios in Georgia and beyond are anxiously waiting for Hollywood’s green light. “We’re taking the lead from our production partners,” said Frank Patterson, president of the sprawling Pinewood Studios, located in suburban Atlanta. The studio has been home to big-budget films such as “The Avengers: Endgame” and “Ant-Man” along with the television show “The Walking Dead.”

NEW YORK (AP) — Canadian-Indian rapper Nav has no problem being signed to one of the biggest artists in the world. In fact, he says The Weeknd doesn’t overshadow him but pushes him to the forefront. “It’s a real family over here. He has so much success. I don’t think he really cares about who’s (also successful),” said Nav, whose real name is Navraj Singh Goraya and is signed to The Weeknd’s XO imprint. “He just wants everybody to win.” With fellow Canadian stars like The Weeknd and Drake, it’s an understatement to say Toronto has had a signature run in music the past few years. But Nav, whose new album “Good Intentions” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart this week, is taking notes and hoping to one day draw the same acclaim

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The first season of “The Kelly Clarkson Show” received Daytime Emmy Awards nominations for a best entertainment talk show and host, while “Jeopardy!” veteran Alex Trebek’s nod for best game show host could give him a second consecutive win in the category. “General Hospital” earned a leading 23 nominations Thursday, including best daytime drama, lead actress nods for Finola Hughes and Maura West, and lead actor nods for Steve Burton and Jon Lindstrom. Other top nominees are “Days of Our Lives” with 22 bids, “The Young and the Restless” with 21 and “The Bold and the Beautiful” with 13.