Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Central Bank SXM CURJuly 24, 2020    WILLEMSTAD, PHILIPSBURG - “The corona crisis combined with the spillover effects of the economic crisis in Venezuela on Curaçao and the impact of Hurricane Irma in Sint Maarten have caused a deep imbalance in the public finances and the budget dynamics of both countries,” Centrale Bank van Curaçao en Sint Maarten (CBCS) interim president Dr. Jose Jardim stated in the Central Bank’s 2019 annual report.

“Given the magnitude of this imbalance, single-track fiscal policy will not be effective in achieving recovery,” he argued. “The current situation demands an integrated approach in which the countries in the Dutch Kingdom work closely together on a medium-term adjustment plan of fiscal consolation and growth-enhancing structural reforms tied to a strict timeline.”

The economic repercussions of the global pandemic for Curaçao and Sint Maarten are immense. “The economies of both Curaçao and Sint Maarten are projected to contract by more than 20% in 2020. This severe economic contraction will result in rising unemployment, more poverty, and a further worsening of the public finances”, Dr. Jardim stated. “The corona crisis has exposed our macroeconomic weaknesses and vulnerabilities including unsustainable public finances, rigidities in the labor market, and an overall poor investment climate. If these weaknesses had been addressed effectively earlier, the countries would have been in a better position to cope with the current crisis”, he continued.

The Kingdom Council of Ministers agreed to deviate from the budgetary rules stipulated in article 25 of the Kingdom Law on Financial Supervision for Curaçao and Sint Maarten. Furthermore, both countries requested financial support from the Netherlands to mitigate the negative social-economic consequences of the corona crisis through stimulus and relief measures, including payroll subsidies for businesses and income support for the most affected groups in society. In addition, part of the financial support from the Netherlands will be used to compensate for the loss of tax revenues incurred because of the deep economic contraction.

However, financial support has been tied to strict conditions by the Kingdom Council of Ministers. “Tying financial support to structural reforms is in principle not unreasonable. However, the current conditions imposed by the Kingdom Council of Ministers are not addressing our macroeconomic weaknesses in a structural manner,” Dr. Jardim pointed out. “Some of these conditions include measures that are counterproductive due to their procyclical nature exacerbating unemployment conditions and poverty”.

Instead of a single-track fiscal policy that will not be effective in achieving recovery, Dr. Jardim argues for a medium-term plan of fiscal consolidation and growth-enhancing structural reforms. “This plan should include economic reforms that increase the growth potential of Curaçao and Sint Maarten. Both countries should finally draft and implement measures that improve the investment climate, address labor market rigidities, and foster a better match between labor demand and supply”, he explained. “In the area of fiscal policy, government expenditures should be controlled by reducing spending and changing the budget dynamics, i.e., expenditures should grow less than revenues. Therefore, the annual increase in wages & salaries in the public sector is not sustainable.” In addition, Dr. Jardim recommended taking measures to improve tax compliance to increase government revenues without undue reliance on raising tariffs.

“Curaçao and Sint Maarten should also negotiate with the Dutch government to transform part of the financial support into a grant to reduce the public debt burden,” Dr. Jardim recommended. After all, the borrowing due to the corona crisis will not only result in unsustainable public debt levels but also increase the foreign indebtedness of the monetary union, which will affect the balance of payments in the future. “Turning these loans into a grant could be conditional on progress made with fiscal consolidation and structural reform,” he proposed.

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Entertainment

September 7, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Michael K. Williams, who as the rogue robber of drug dealers Omar Little on “The Wire” created one of the most beloved and enduring characters in a prime era of television, died Monday. Williams was found dead Monday afternoon by family members in his Brooklyn penthouse apartment, New York City police said. He was 54. His death was being investigated as a possible drug overdose, the NYPD said. The medical examiner was investigating the cause of death. Little, a “stick-up boy” based on real figures from Baltimore, was probably the most popular character among the devoted fans of “The Wire,” the HBO show that ran from 2002 to 2008 and is re-watched constantly in streaming.

September 8, 2021 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Britney Spears’ father filed Tuesday to end the court conservatorship that has controlled the singer’s life and money for 13 years. James Spears filed his petition to terminate the conservatorship in Los Angeles Superior Court. “As Mr. Spears has said, again and again, all he wants is what is best for his daughter,” the document says. “If Ms. Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance.” Judge Brenda Penny, who oversees the case, will need to approve the move. Britney Spears attorney Matthew Rosengart said in an email the filing “represents another legal victory for Britney Spears — a massive one — as well as vindication for Ms. Spears.”

September 8, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — With Katie Holmes and Lil’ Kim on his front row and singer Marina on the mic high above his runway, Christian Siriano helped kicked off New York Fashion Week’s first big pandemic round of in-person shows Tuesday with a flurry of neon and lace-inspired in part by all the Italian women in his life. From ornate Gotham Hall, beneath a stained-glass skylight 70 feet up, Siriano’s commitment to size inclusivity was never stronger as he opened and closed the show with plus-size breakout model Precious Lee. She first walked in a stunning yellow trouser suit with wide loose pants and an asymmetrical jacket, a matching crossover bralette underneath.

September 7, 2021  VENICE, Italy (AP) — Paul Schrader knows he has a limited number of films left, so whatever he does from here on out is going to be for himself. At 75 years old, the writer of “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull” and director of “American Gigolo” and “Mishima” was even somewhat prepared to call it a day after his 2018 film “First Reformed,” for which he got his first Oscar nomination. He didn’t want to. He just knew it might be the reality. “I thought I would go back to this character again for about the fifth time,” Schrader said in a recent interview. By “this character” he means “the man in the room.” It’s Travis Bickle. It’s John LeTour. It’s Julian Kay. And it’s a formula he’s been working with for 45 years.

Business News

September 8, 2021  -Stocks were mostly lower in Asia on Wednesday after a lackluster session on Wall Street, where weak jobs data and pandemic concerns weighed on sentiment. Shares rose in Tokyo after economic growth for the April-June quarter was revised upward to an annualized 1.9% from an earlier estimate of 1.3%. “Any feel-good factor was ignored, though, given the climb was less than half of the 4.20% fall in Q1,” Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a commentary. “Japan will be lucky to break even this year as the current Covid-19 wave will almost certainly have weighed on domestic consumption,” he said.

September 8, 2021 NEW YORK (AP) — There will be something missing at two Whole Foods stores opening next year: the rows of cashiers. Amazon, which owns the grocery chain, said Wednesday that it will bring its cashier-less technology to two Whole Foods stores for the first time, letting shoppers grab what they need and leave without having to open their wallets. Cameras and sensors track what’s taken off shelves. Items are charged to an Amazon account after customers leave the store with them. But there will be an option for those who want to shop the old-fashioned way: Self-checkout lanes will be available that take cash, gift cards and other types of payment. Amazon first unveiled the cashier-less technology in 2018 at an Amazon Go convenience store and has expanded it to larger Amazon supermarkets. But it will be the first time it has appeared at Whole Foods, a chain of more than 500 grocery stores Amazon bought four years ago.

September 8, 2021  BEIJING (AP) — An avalanche of changes launched by China’s ruling Communist Party has jolted everyone from tech billionaires to school kids. Behind them: President Xi Jinping’s vision of making a more powerful, prosperous country by reviving revolutionary ideals, with more economic equality and tighter party control over society and entrepreneurs. Since taking power in 2012, Xi has called for the party to return to its “original mission” as China’s economic, social and cultural leader and carry out the “ rejuvenation of the great Chinese nation.” The party has spent the decade since then silencing dissent and tightening political control. Now, after 40 years of growth that transformed China into the world’s factory but left a gulf between a wealthy elite and the poor majority, the party is promising to spread prosperity more evenly and is pressing private companies to pay for social welfare and back Beijing’s ambition to become a global technology competitor.

Fashion News

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