On last Sunday evening, the Honorable Audley Shaw held a national address to share with the nation and the diaspora the state of the economy, and steps being taken to shepherd the nation through the turmoil of the world economic troubles. His calm, yet commanding persona communicated a credibility that will serve the Island well.
He presented a coherent plan, and did a great job in anticipating the questions that would surface. He first diagnosed the genesis of the meltdown as related to the sub-prime debacle. He then shared that Jamaica did not have any exposure here, but suffered from the related credit crunch.
Here is an executive summary of his presentations:
- Set up credit monitoring unit to observe world, and local credit challenges.
- Of the US$600M in credit needed for fiscal year 2008/2009, US$350M have been secured to date.
- Development banks have been re-engaged to secure the remainder US$250M, with a solid down payment anticipated to be secured on December 3, 2008.
- The spike in oil prices along with other commodities caused inflation to rear its ugly head. However, the recent reduction has reduced inflation to 0.3% in October, 2008.
- Currently the reserve fund is at US$1.7B. He expressed discomfort with this level, but see this getting up to US$1.78B shortly.
- Remittance was up 7.5% year over year when measured in October, 2008.
- Aggressive initiatives both in the private, and public arena are being engaged to stimulate tourism given the consumer reluctance in this climate.
I am thankful that we have a man of such competence, and character steering our financial ship through troubled waters. Let’s hold up and encourage our leaders when they do the right thing.
What question(s) do you have to further encourage your trust in his leadership?