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Economist gives series of financial lectures

Strong opinions economist Robert Stubbs says Bermuda has been run into the ground

A series of basic policy errors in the management of Bermuda’s money has left the island in a financial position like nowhere else in the world, an economist said yesterday.

Now members of the public have been invited to a presentation by Robert Stubbs designed to outline the mistakes he believes have been made — and ways to recover.

The analyst will deliver talks at Bungalow 56 from tomorrow evening after months of intensive research focused on the country’s finances.

Mr Stubbs said: “If the authorities of a country don’t know what they are doing, it is possible to take a country and, economically speaking, run it into the ground.

“Unfortunately, as my research demonstrates, that is precisely what has happened here.”

He said there are recognised “industry standards” in economic policy-making that countries are expected to stick to.

He added: “Unfortunately, it is these most basic lessons learnt in economic management that people in Bermuda, in both the public and private sectors, seem to know nothing about.

“This lack of awareness has resulted in us making the most basic policy errors which actually exist nowhere else in the world.

“The policy mistakes I cover in this presentation are entirely unique to Bermuda.

“Not surprisingly, these mistakes have resulted in economic outcomes in Bermuda that are also entirely unique to us.”

Mr Stubbs said: “It is not difficult through a range of our economic data to present Bermuda as an economic anomaly to the rest of the world and much of these exceptional circumstances are directly attributable to our unique economic policy mistakes.”

Mr Stubbs added his research had implications for policy and institutional reforms on the island and it would be easy for audience members to grasp how these can stimulate the island’s economy and “raise our long-term growth potential considerably”.

He said: “The conclusion of this research has very specific policy recommendations with calculations as to how much extra growth we can expect to see from their implementation.”

Mr Stubbs has already presented his research to the Bermuda Stock Exchange and was yesterday making arrangements to deliver it to the Bermuda Monetary Authority, the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce and advisory group Bermuda First.

He said presentations will also be offered to the ruling Progressive Labour Party and the One Bermuda Alliance.

Mr Stubbs added: “With the living wage now slated for adoption and an expected Bermuda tax reform in the pipeline that not only redistributes the island’s tax burden but, importantly, raises additional revenues for the Bermuda Government, many people are wondering how we can possibly expect to grow this economy and create additional jobs.

“This presentation diagnoses some of the Bermuda Government’s most crippling economic policy errors and provides the policy reforms necessary to square just that circle.”

Mr Stubbs said he agreed with the view that the country had reached a crisis point.

He added he believed there had been a “slow burn” to get to that stage.

Mr Stubbs said: “There’s a lot of resistance on the island to facing the facts because people who are doing better economically know it’s going to require sacrifices on the island by everyone and they don’t want to come to terms with that, but this is the time to do it.”

Presentations to the public will be held at Bungalow 56 at 56 Reid Street tomorrow, Thursday and next Tuesday at 6pm.

Tickets cost $50. Anyone interested in attending should send a WhatsApp message to 599-5292 or e-mail glen.wilks5@gmail.com