My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: JDX and the Economy - The Winter of my Discontent

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Monday, August 23, 2010

JDX and the Economy - The Winter of my Discontent


If winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

Shelley, Ode to the west Wind

The Jamaica Economy is in a depressed state, with almost every company in Jamaica recording losses. Here comes the barrage of references: CEO Douglas Orane’s Grace Kennedy, a manufacturer of consumer food products, had it profits plunged 33% since the end of the Second Quarter of 2010 as stated in the article “GraceKennedy profit plunges”, published Wednesday, August 04, 2010, The Jamaica Observer, (http://www.jamaicaobserver.com), Lascelles profit plunged 74% for the Second Quarter of 2010 as stated in the article “Lascelles' profits plummet”, published Friday, August 06, 2010 by Alicia Roache, The Jamaica Observer, (http://www.jamaicaobserver.com).

 Seprod, another manufacturer, also recorded a 33% plunge in profits  for the Second Quarter of 2010 as stated in the article “Seprod to maintain currency position despite FX losses in June 2010 quarter”, published Wednesday, August 18, 2010, The Jamaica Observer, (http://www.jamaicaobserver.com) and surprisingly, Supreme Ventures Limited, a gambling company and the one source of revenue that one would expect would still be profitable in a Recession, plunged a whopping 71% plunge in profits  for the Second Quarter of 2010 as stated in the article “Supreme Ventures' profits drop 71%”, published Wednesday, August 18, 2010, The Jamaica Observer, (http://www.jamaicaobserver.com). All because they were floating their profits on Government of Jamaica Bonds. They were never profitable to begin with, as their inflated profits, like the banks, was based solely on the over-inflated Government of Jamaica Bonds. So much for management………….

Why do I get the feeling that everyone will be looking towards Winter, despite is harsh coldness? Because, as cold as Winter in any country may be, Canada being a prime local to which many are fleeing, it is far warmer than the lukewarm Jamaican Economy that is now a frozen tundra, a frustration to many young and out-of-work looking towards immigration as a way out, as they have no links or contacts to find any jobs in Jamaica. Throw in the recent corruption cases and maybe you can start to warm up the tempers of many Jamaicans and students just graduated who have Student Loans oweing, whose shivering in this now frozen Economy, may feel their toes again in glowing embers of the sacking of the evil Executive Director, Lenice Barnett “Students' Loan Bureau boss sacked”, published Wednesday, August 11, 2010, The Jamaica Observer, (http://www.jamaicaobserver.com) and the resignation of the entire board as stated in the article “Entire Student Loan Bureau board resigns”, published Wednesday, August 11, 2010, The Jamaica Observer, (http://www.jamaicaobserver.com)

With news now coming that the SLB is now bankrupt as stated in the article “SLB in Big Trouble”, published Thursday, August 12, 2010 by STEVEN JACKSON, The Jamaica Observer, (http://www.jamaicaobserver.com) warming them further still. We, as Jamaicans, are all frozen numb by the frigid cold harshness that is the now stillborn Jamaican Economy, now just showing nascent signs of growth of about 1% as projected by the Bank of Jamaica for the Third Quarter of 2010 as stated in the article “Economy to grow by 1% by October”, published Thursday, August 12, 2010, by CAMILO THAME Business co-ordinator thamec@jamaicaobserver.com,  The Jamaica Observer, (http://www.jamaicaobserver.com), an Economy that John Public estimates will take another seven (7) years to recover. Winter, as far as John Public is concerned, is already here, as if the American economy does not recover, the whole world, like the Local Telecom Providers vs Dekal Wireless, the Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Network, will be screwed.

At least we will have Novia’s Fashion Night Out, with a real fashion house, Vogue, tripping along in high heels to Jamaica, a fancy flight and delight for the eye to watch on Black Friday as stated in the article “Observer secures Vogue endorsement for Fashion's Night Out”, published Monday, August 16, 2010 by ALICIA ROACHE Observer, The Jamaica Observer, (http://www.jamaicaobserver.com)! Also, Butch Stewart, the entrepreneur turned hotelier and newspaper baron is providing some well needed entertainment with his usual tirades that usually get some dialog going as stated in the article “Stewart blasts Government for investment difficulties”, published Wednesday, August 11, 2010 by PATRICK FOSTER Observer writer fosterp@jamaicaobserver.com, The Jamaica Observer, (http://www.jamaicaobserver.com).

He is right though. The Government has many levers it can pull to encourage investment, particularly as it relates to electricity prices, such as granting tax waivers to JPS in exchange for converting their generators to run on LNG as stated in the article “JPS ponders Using LNG”, published Thursday July 22, 2010, by  Philip Hamilton, Gleaner Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner, (http://www.Jamaica-gleaner.com) and getting the banks to lower their interest rate spreads by passing the Credit Reporting Bill and setting up the Credit Bureau Database and thus make it easier for them to track loans and selectively lower interest rates based on individual credit history

This would help in avoiding racking up such a sizeable debt portfolio, and hence their nervousness about going back into the business of lending loans in such a depressed economic climate despite reports of it stability as it relates to inflation as stated in the article “Inflation tamed - BOJ forecasts hit the mark”, published Friday, August 13, 2010 by Alicia Roache roachea@jamaicaobserver.com, The Jamaica Observer, (http://www.jamaicaobserver.com) and stability of the Economy overall as stated in the article “Stability in the bag, investment now the target - Shaw”, published Friday, July 30, 2010, The Jamaica Observer, (http://www.jamaicaobserver.com).

On a brighter note, at least our students in Jamaica as stated in the article “Jamaica gets good review for CXC performance”, published Tuesday August 17, 2010, The Jamaica Gleaner, (http://www.Jamaica-gleaner.com) as well as A-Level students in the United Kingdom as stated in the article “A-Level results 2010: A* grade boosts new exams record”, published 19 August 2010 Last updated at 18:24 GMT, the BBC News (http://news.bbc.co.uk) are doing well in their exams, as they can now see that this Recession thing is not a fairy story being told by adults to scare them into submission.

The future rests solely in their hands alone, an indication of either an easier year, smarter children, or simply more improved cheating techniques, the latter being more probable, as possibly a large set of students learned Morse Code this year so they could literally tap their way through an exam, which is ironically the same thing I have been doing since CXC’s at Glenmuir High in 1995, as I have been cheating in every exam since high school till UWI using Morse Code and my friends, as the examiners do make it abundantly clear that the punishment rests on being caught cheating, hence by logic, one merely has to devise a scheme of cheating without being caught, and Morse Code is the perfect fit, my salutations to Samuel Morse and the WWII veterans. Perhaps in another article I will have something more positive to say……if I survive eating some lionfish I prepared myself, as per the orders of Dr. Christopher Tufton, Minister of Agriculture.
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