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The co-author of a World Bank report measuring the ease of business said The Bahamas is "falling behind" other countries in implementing meaningful reforms, with its recent drop in the rankings indicative of inaction.
Jean Michel-Lobet, a key figure behind "Doing Business 2013", told Guardian Business that the country is not falling because the government is taking negative actions. Instead, The Bahamas is simply being passed by other nations taking proactive steps to attract business.
The report, measuring 108 countries, placed the country in 77th place in the ease of doing business, declining more than six notches. The country suffered a particularly low grade in the categories "starting a business" and "dealing with construction permits".
"This low grade is a consequence of inaction," he told Guardian Business from Washington D.C.
"We see globally a clear trend to simplifiction, in terms of sophistication to start a business and make it easier and transparent, and the reduction in the cost to start a business. In The
Bahamas, you have to interact seven times with different administrations and spend 31 days to get a business licence. In Canada, for example, it takes one interaction and you receive a license in five days."
The grim assessment from the report's author paints a more vivid picture of the challenges facing the government and private sector. In fact, The Bahamas has fallen 25 places since 2009, plummeting from 55th place to 77.
While The Bahamas might be behind nations like Canada, what is particularly concerning to Michel-Lobet is the country's place among more equivalent nations. In other words, developing countries around the world are stepping up their game and improving the ease of doing business.
"The world is moving very fast. We have recorded 2,200 reforms. At least two-thirds were dealing with simplifiction and reducing the cost of business," he explained.
Michel-Lobet said The Bahamas is falling behind. He cited another example regarding the transfer of property. It now takes four interactions and 122 days, especially taking someone nearly half the year to receive a property title.
"That is too long," he said.
Economies that reform tend to enjoy economic properity, he added. Mexico and Columbia have made strides in recent years, he told Guardian Business. The result is a 5 percent increase in new companies, which means more jobs and wealth for the county's citizens.
"I would say, right now, The Bahamas' regulations are quite cumbersome and not aligned with international best practices," Michel-Lobet revealed.
Dionisio D'Aguilar, a former head of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce, went so far as to say The Bahamas is "unfriendly" to business and in some respects "stuck in the 20th century".
Inflexible immigration laws, an onerous banking system and an out-dated judicial system are preventing the country from achieving its potential.
"We want foreign investors, but we don't trust them. We don't welcome people with open arms," D'Aguilar claimed. "It's a long and hard process to invest in this country. You could almost term it as unfriendly."
D'Aguilar, the president of Superwash and chairman of AML Foods, felt there are many factors that make The Bahamas an attractive place for business, such as proximity, its time zone and political stability.
But he told Guardian Business that the country must be careful and not display "arrogance".
He blasted the immigration laws, pointing out it takes far too long for foreign investors to get the assistance they need. D'Aguilar called the banking structure "onerous" and flooded with the need for too many documents and hoops to jump through.
And in terms of technology, The Bahamas "has a mindset that is too 20th century" in terms of government and business processes.
"The bureaucracy is too low and cumbersome. You have these bureaucrats that run it, but as much has politicians try, they slow it down too. The throw up barriers you don't see coming," he noted. "We will continue to slip until we get a grip. We are very arrogant and we're letting it slip away because we are not adjusting."
Steven Wrinkle, former president of the Bahamas Contractors Association (BCA), said the marked fall in the construction permits category stems from poor efficiency between departments and out-dated zoning techniques.
He identified a "tremendous grey area" in most communities on whether it is classified as commercial or residential, which leads to disputes and delays. In fact, Wrinkle told Guardian Business there is "no clearly defined database" for zoning, and what exists "has a lot of variation and inconsistencies".
The former BCA president noted how offices for construction permits do not enjoy synergy and close proximity to efficiently process requests.
Environmental services, required for plumbing permits, for example, is located somewhere else entirely from the Ministry of Works. This disconnect creates not only delays, but discrepancies and even lost paperwork as contractors seek approvals.
The Bahamas also fell three notches in both the "getting credit" and "protecting investors" categories. It actually improved by one notch in "paying taxes" and "enforcing contracts".
The Bahamas has moved up two positions on a prestigious international ranking of specialized offshore financial centres (OFCs), placing fifth on The Banker's October 2011 ranking. The Cayman Islands landed the top position, with Guernsey, Cyprus and Jersey taking second, third and fourth respectively.
Band of the Bahamas International has hit back at an analyst's report expressing concern over its loan loss provisioning levels, especially those relating to its $100 million worth of overdrafts, arguing it fails to account for its asset composition.
By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
A Bahamian trust company and investors who became embroiled in the bitter legal dispute between ex-MP Lester Turnquest and his former business partner, slain banker Hywel Jones, yesterday failed to overturn the receivership of their assets, although attorneys for both parties reached an agreement to minimise their cost burden.
The Court of Appeal yesterday rejected the attempt by Experta Trust Company and four investors to overturn the receivership of client companies/assets imposed, via two different Orders, by the Supreme Court, although it did rule in favour of the Bahamas-based financial institution's submission that it was "an interested ...
A man who carried out the "premeditated murder" of popular businessman Keith Carey during an armed robbery was jailed for 57 years yesterday.
Carey, who operated a gas station, willingly handed over a deposit bag that contained $40,000 when a gunman confronted him on the steps of the Bank of The Bahamas at Harrold Road on February 27, 2006, according to the evidence.
Nevertheless, the gunman, whom the jury found was Glinton, shot Carey three times.
A jury unanimously convicted Glinton of Carey's murder and armed robbery during a third trial on April 5, 2012.
According to probation officer, Lisa Bowleg, Carey's widow, Michelle, told her, "Each trial made it seem like it was just yesterday."
Justice Roy Jones told Glinton that he had been found guilty of serious offenses for which he had shown no remorse. He added: "From the evidence, the murder and armed robbery were premeditated and carried out in a brutal and merciless manner."
The court heard that the murder has affected the standard of living of Carey's widow, Michelle, and their three daughters. Owing to the loss of the family's sole breadwinner, two of Carey's daughters could not complete their tertiary education, Bowleg reported.
Referring to the probation report, Jones said the crime had "affected the dreams and aspirations" of Carey's children.
Glinton, a high school dropout, has maintained his innocence throughout all of his trials. The court heard that Glinton's father, who has sired 33 other children, was absent during his childhood.
Although he did not finish school, Glinton obtained regular employment and his mother supplemented his income, the court heard.
Another judge sentenced Glinton to death for Carey's murder on May 29, 2009, but the conviction and sentence were overturned on appeal in December of that year.
Carey's widow told the probation officer that learning of Glinton's successful appeal was "the second worst thing that had ever happened to her, next to her husband's death."
Carey said, "Keith's life was taken in a flash but there seems to be no cost to spare Jamal Glinton's life."
Darnell Dorsette appeared for the Crown. Craig Butler and Erica Darr represented Glinton.
Two exhibitions of work by veteran artist Dave Smith will open in Nassau during March.
A long awaited show of new paintings will open at the Central Bank of The Bahamas Art Gallery, while an exhibition of large format photographs of Nassau movie theatre marquees from the 1970's and 1980's, will open at Popopstudios International Center for the Visual Arts.
Smith established a presence on the local art scene over 30 years ago with a series of solo shows of socially conscious paintings, and was a frequent exhibitor with his contemporaries Brent Malone, Jackson and Stanley Burnside, Max Taylor and Antonius Roberts, playing a pivotal role in the development of Bahamian art. He is also one of the 1 ...
THE Bank of the Bahamas and the Kiwanis Club of Nassau AM launched the Toys for Tots Drive yesterday.
Members of the public may drop off new, unwrapped toys suitable for children up to 12 years old, to any BOB location in New Providence until Wednesday, December 21.
Children in the Bain and Grants Town area will be presented with the donated toys on Christmas morning.
"We very much appreciate BOB's participation in our Toys for Tots Drive. This gives us invaluable exposure at BOB's many branches to allow BOB customers and the general public to donate toys to less fortunate children of the Bain and Grants Town communities," said Natila Saunders, director and Young Children Prio ...
Trust Relationship Manager, Societe Generale Private Banking
What attracted you to the sector?
As The Bahamas continues to provide more and more sophisticated products and services to an international market, I recognize that there is a desperate need to remain relevant. With an economics and legal background, a natural transition was to gravitate to the Financial Services Industry, which I believe harnesses my collective experiences. A specialization in Trust and Fiduciary services and products impresses upon you the need to be continually inventive as well as compliant by international standards. I have been involved in the sector for three years now.
What keeps you motivated?
My professional mantra is that the client and his money is always first, needless to say, whilst operating within our regulatory regimes. It is always gratifying when a client looks forward to doing business with you. This starts with building a relationship with clients with a view of understanding the unique dynamics of each client structure.
Did mentorship play a part in your success?
The management and staff of SG Hambros Bank & Trust have both individually and collectively fostered a culture of professionalism that promotes open and revolutionary thinking. I am in the company of some brilliant people and any success I have enjoyed is attributable to them all. I continue to learn from them and understand that everyone along the corporate chain, from top to bottom, is vital to the success of my work.
What qualifications do you feel are the most useful?
Apart from the relevant academic and experiential prerequisites, I believe that approaching your work on an open canvas continues to assist me in the performance of my duties. By this I mean, I don't know it all; I accept my mistakes and pledge to always get it right. In summary, it is humility, tenacity and a spirit of teamwork. Somehow, they have proven to be greater attributes than any of my academic qualifications.
Why is it important to encourage our youth to think of careers within financial services?
It is important to encourage our youth to do an honest day's work for an honest pay "period". A more material response to this question is simply this: The financial services sector is a seminal part of business in this country. It has been the oil that has greased the financial engines of man, many households, providing many with comfortable lifestyles and educational opportunities. Without the preservation of this industry, together with a campaign to embark upon more diversified industries, this country very well may fall into a depressive financial ruin. This succession plan to identify and promote new leaders is imperative to the development of the industry.
Any suggestions for growing the financial services sector?
Today High Net Worth individuals are perpetually concerned about ways in which they can protect their assets. The industry leaders must make it their business to deepen our Bahamian financial services presence with regards to our financial products and services throughout the world. We have been over- taken by smaller jurisdictions because in many ways they have been more visible than we have been in more recent times.
Nassau, Bahamas - EFG International, represented in The Bahamas by EFG Bank & Trust (Bahamas) Ltd.
By NOELLE NICOLLS
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE firing of seven FirstCaribbean employees last week was "malicious and mean," union leaders, who claim the bank has violated labour laws and the industrial agreement, have alleged.
Theresa Mortimer, president of the Bahamas Financial Services Union (BFSU), which represents more than 450 line workers, said the claimed "redundancy" was nothing but an exercise in "firing" hand-picked employees for personal reasons.
"When it comes to trust, honesty and integrity, FirstCaribbean is far from it," she claimed. "Management has broken every rule when it comes to trust and integrity."
Bank of the Bahamas is helping the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) to provide safe and stimulating activities for youth ages 8-17 this summer in the RBPF’s summer youth programme. The six week programme began in July with the mission of positively engaging youth and inspiring them to reach their full potential as productive citizens...
‘Bubbles’ catches the essence of The Bahamas and embodies and represents all the qualities we associate with our water – clarity of light, floating, weightlessness, translucency, freedom of movement. This body of work includes acrylic studies on canvas and paper which influenced the blown glass pieces inspired by the merging of the vast, mysterious life between the water – plants, corals, creatures and bubbles – man’s interaction with the ocean.
Nassau, Bahamas -
Track and Field fever is alive and well in The Bahamas this spring and
Bank of The Bahamas is helping to keep the heat going. The Bank recently
took the decision to expand its relationship with Olympian Gold
medalist Chris Brown by becoming a partner of the first Chris Brown
Bahamas Invitational Meet. This exciting event, set for April 13, 2013,
at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium, is expected to feature fierce
competition amongst 100 top professional track and field athletes many
of whom are Olympians.
During a recent cheque presentation at BOB
Head Offices at Claughton House, Shirley and Charlotte Streets, Hubert
Edwards, Deputy Managing Director...
Royal Bank recently sponsored a team of students from the UWI/COB LL.B
Programme to compete in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot
Court Competition. The four member team includes Destiny McKinney, Tamar
Moss, Theominique Nottage and David Whymns. The team traveled to
Washington D.C from 31 March - 6 April 2013 to represent The Bahamas at
this prestigious international law competition.
Competition was conceived at Harvard Law School in 1960 to provide
students with a courtroom simulation experience grounded in
international law. The Jessup is administered by the International Law
Students Association ("ILSA"). Each year, over 600 schools from more
than 80 countries participate in the Jessup Competition, representing
more than 2,000 students worldwide...
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- Song and sword leads the geopolitical mission of oceanographers and scientists to gather information about the impact of ocean pollution on the coral reefs of The Bahamas. The Living Oceans Foundation opened its Global Reef Expedition in Freeport, Bahamas to be in the Cay Sal Bank from April 26 to May 18 and will sail across the globe, studying the health of coral reef environments for the next five years.
"It is not always clear to the casual observer that ocean health is in serious trouble. But it is. If we do not take aggressive steps to care for our ocean now, our inaction will have dire consequences for the future," said Saudi Arabia Prince Khaled bin Sultan, founder and chairman of the Living Oceans Foundation.
"Our children and grandchildren will certainly suffer the consequences. Over the past 50 years, 20 percent of coral reefs worldwide have died. It is conceivable that over the course of one human lifetime more than half of coral reefs worldwide will no longer exist."
Prior to April 26, researchers conducted aerial surveys and sonar reconnaissance of Cay Sal Bank in The Bahamas and decided it will begin the first expedition there. The Foundation has 10 years experience and its strength is in its multi-disciplinary network of marine scientists, a state of the art research ship, the M/Y Golden Shadow. Team and technology are joined in the dedication to applied science and leveraging technology for rapid ecological assessments.
The Bank of The Bahamas joins in support of Chris Brown Bahamas Invitational.
Bank of The Bahamas has stepped up to the plate in support of the Chris Brown Bahamas Invitational. Deputy Managing Director Hubert Edwards and Senior Manager Ian Thompson present cheque to the Olympian Chris Brown for the April 13th event that will feature Olympians in an Elite Meet at the Thomas A Robinson Stadium. Tickets on sale now at the stadium and online at the www.nsa-bahamas.com and www.bahamasinvitational.com
For more information contact Capital City Marketing 323-5589.
Nassau, Bahamas - RBC
Royal Bank recently provided sponsorship for the installation of 565
Rangers through the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF). In three
separate ceremonies held during the past month, the RBDF inducted 380
Rangers in New Providence, 140 in Abaco and 45 in Freeport.
RBC, one of our top community-giving priorities is to support youth and
education," said Mr. Nathaniel Beneby, Market Head, Personal Banking in
The Bahamas, Cayman and Turks & Caicos Islands. "The RBDF Rangers
Program focuses on developing a cadre of young leaders who have
character, discipline and a sense of national duty. This outstanding
program provides our youth with training and tools they need to succeed
An exhibition of photographs by renowned photographer Roland Rose opened on Wednesday at the Central Bank Art Gallery.
The focus of the exhibition is photographs Rose has taken over the decades of Bahamian children. In addition, a retrospective of his work will be featured showing the great range and historical importance of Rose's work.
Roland Rose (born 1937, Italy) has been called The Bahamas' "Dean of Photography". He came to the country in 1946, taking up photography as a hobby at the age of 12. In 1951, he joined the Bahamas Development Board as a professional photographer. This later became the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, and Rose's photographs of people and scenes of The Bahamas were instrumental in attracting many visitors to the islands. After chronicling the country's history for decades, Rose started holding solo exhibitions of photography in 1996. His first exhibition was at the Marlborough Gallery in Nassau and then consecutive exhibitions at The Central Bank of The Bahamas from 1996-2002. He was the recipient of a Cacique Award in 1996.
o Source: Smith and Benjamin's Bahamian Art & Culture.
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 6:00 PM
Join us for the official opening of Small Business Week with a panel discussion as we recognize Women in Business – Success Secrets. Panelists include: Joan Albury, CEO of The Counsellors Limited Dionne Smith-Benjamin, Owner, Smith& Benjamin Art & Design Latoya Hanna-Moxey, Owner, Maven Candle Company & Minka Swimwear Glennette Reckley, Scotiabank Bahamas, Senior Manager of Compliance and Legal Services Tuesday October 2, 2012 at 6pm at the British Colonial Hilton, Windsor Room.
A reduction of the stamp tax will undoubtedly be welcomed by those in the real estate industry, making home ownership easier for the consumer, according to the president of the Bahamas Real Estate Association (BREA).
The newly-elected Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) administration has proposed to reduce this form of taxation, after a two percent increase was implemented, rising from 10 to 12 percent in July 2010.
Franon Wilson, the head of BREA, said the move is a win-win situation, especially as the country's real estate sector has taken quite a major hit in recent times.
"For us, that is welcomed news. Any reduction would be welcomed by this industry. That would result in the consumer buying the home and not having to come up with as much funds, making home ownership more possible for a greater number of people," he noted.
The reduction, he said, would lead to even greater benefits for the government.
"The government will get more money back because when a person moves in a home, money will be spent to fix up the home. In the long run, the government will actually make money as a result of the funds that are spent after the home is purchased. Realistically, any reduction is welcomed news for our association," Wilson explained.
The much dreaded stamp tax, tacking on 12 percent on the purchase and sale of property, was met with considerable skepticism when it was first brought on by the Free National Movement (FNM) in July 2010. Many leading realtors have remained vocal on its negative impact on the property market.
Ryan Knowles, an estate agent and associate appraiser at H.G. Christie Limited, pointed out the urgent need for the stamp tax to be reduced.
"Getting a reduction would be a huge boon for the industry to have and it would act as an incentive for transactions. I think that the government should commit to doing it for a certain time period, say for 24 months," he noted. "If there is a time limit, then people would be encouraged to move faster in their transactions and not waste too much time. Doing this would make home ownership a bit easier on the consumer."
Meanwhile, Wilson said he would like to have open dialogue with the incoming government. He believes meeting with them is the initial step in seeing improvement in the industry overall.
"Firstly, we look forward to having communication with government. We need to have an opportunity to sit down with the new government because we are the ones on the frontline and selling," Wilson added. "If we can sit down just to talk, so they can hear, that would great. We are not expecting them to act on everything, but listening is the first step to the industry seeing an improvement."
However, going forward, Wilson shared with Guardian Business that BREA would like the government to address two areas, including both stamp tax and reintroducing the ceiling on the real property tax.
He continued: "Banks in The Bahamas have put in certain steps recently to come up with the stamp duty. They ask for the stamp duty to be placed on an account and then when the government confirms that they are eligible for it, the monies are released back to them. Doing small things like finding ways that the banks can be satisfied and the person doesn't actually have to come up with those funds, that would be a huge help as well.
He continued, "For BREA members, we are on the frontline and so we see and understand that the financial institutions need their collateral to be straight, and to make sure that when a person gets a home that they don't have to come back to them to receive the additional funds."
Nassau, Bahamas -- Recent changes to stamp tax on electronic
transactions in the 2013/2014 Budget are being welcomed by providers of the Mango
card, with the removal of fees seen as a catalyst to growing a cashless
Transfer Solutions Providers (TSP), the parent company of
Mango, is hoping the government's
decision to remove the stamp tax fee on electronic banking payments from .40
cents to free will have the desired effect on e-commerce in the local market...
At the opening of the legal year at the Court of Appeal yesterday its president, Anita Allen, called on the government to provide resources for the expansion of the court's facilities.
"We need more space urgently," she said to The Nassau Guardian following the special sitting of the Court of Appeal.
"[We] are in need of space for the expansion of the registry, the establishment of a proper library, the expansion of judges' chambers, the provision of a conference room for judges, and indeed a larger court room for events such as this."
She added: "At present, because the library is so small, the majority of our books must be housed in judges' chambers which is most inconvenient. Further, the judges' chambers are so cramped that once the month's pending files are brought in, there is no space to hold chamber hearings; these must be held in the court room, limiting our ability to hold more than one single judge hearing at a time."
The space the court occupies above Bank of The Bahamas International on Shirley Street obviously should not be the permanent location for a country's appellate court. Ideally, there should be a new court complex constructed in The Bahamas for the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.
The current government has chosen to upgrade the old Supreme Court complex. This makes discussion of the construction of a new high court complex more complicated, as millions of dollars are being spent on the Bank Lane buildings.
What needs to be considered regarding the higher courts, however, is what will be needed in terms of space and facilities for the next few decades, rather than what will keep them going for now. The current upgrades will help the Supreme Court for now, but we must also look forward with our limited resources to the decades to come.
This issue of space for our institutions goes beyond the courts. Two of the Parliament buildings were constructed in the early 19th century and the third in the late 18th century. The Hansard Building has been refurbished and the House of Assembly and Senate have been partially refurbished. At some point, though, as an independent people and as an independent country, we must build a place adequate for these times capable of housing Parliament. Strangely, there has been no recent public discussion of the construction of a new Parliament.
We also have no official residence for the prime minister - our functional head of state. With the government owning Crown land in New Providence, it would not be difficult to find a place to construct such a structure.
These permanent institutions deserve suitable facilities. We can continue to patch up what we have or rent accommodations but what will happen is that after a few more years, more patching up will be required of those old buildings. Additionally, as appears to be the case with the Court of Appeal, when the space occupied by an institution is inadequate to the times, the services it delivers are compromised.
There are many other offices of state in The Bahamas that could use better accommodations. No one government in one term could build enough buildings to ideally accommodate all of these institutions. Under the term of this administration, new airport terminals are being built, a new port and numerous other things.
Governance is about making choices. But in doing so going forward, let's consider some institutions that usually get left out, for whatever reason, when it comes to permanent, new or first-time faculties.
Royal Bank of Canada partners with Oyster Global Publications to bring 2nd Women's Empowerment Summit
NASSAU, Bahamas -- Royal Bank of Canada (Bahamas) is seeking to do its part in improving society through female empowerment, recently inking a deal to sponsor the 2nd Women's Empowerment Summit that will be hosted by Oyster Global Publications on October 18 and 19 in Nassau, Bahamas.
The world has "never been this close" to a U.S. debt default, an event which a former minister of finance yesterday indicated would trigger "pandemonium" in the global, and by extension the Bahamian economy.
As the two sides of the U.S. political divide yesterday entered 11th hour negotiations over the question of whether to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, former Minister of State for Finance and CFAL Chairman James Smith said that he is "hoping" we do not see the "far reaching consequences" for the global economy of a debt default that would be triggered tomorrow if the U.S. fails to reach a compromise.
"I am hoping it doesn't go, because we've been very close before but never this close. The implications are much more far reaching for the wider world than for The Bahamas, in the sense that the U.S. dollar is the reserve currency and the investments in U.S. paper - treasury bills and bonds - most countries' central banks are holding that paper, and they hold it for the simple reason that they regard it as a very good, sound investment in the most productive country on earth. If that confidence is shaken on a global basis it could have repercussions around the world. I think there's a school of thought in the U.S . who think it's not a big deal, but believe me it is."
Smith said a default would lead to an end of the confidence in the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency that has undergirded the international monetary system for decades, and could essentially result in a "new world order" from a monetary perspective.
The possibility of such an unprecedented event comes as the country, the world's largest economy, is in the midst of a shutdown of the federal government that has extended for 15 days so far, precipitated by Republican politicians who have made the passing of a new budget to fund the government's operations conditional on unravelling U.S. President Barack Obama's flagship healthcare law.
The U.S. Treasury itself has warned of the "profound" consequences of a potential default that "could last for more than a generation", including high interest rates, reduced investment, higher debt payments and slow economic growth.
"A default would be unprecedented and has the potential to be catastrophic. Credit markets could freeze, the value of the dollar could plummet, U.S. interest rates could skyrocket, the negative spillovers could reverberate around the world and there might be a financial crisis and recession that could echo the events of 2008 or worse," said the U.S. Treasury in a report issued this month.
Smith said he hopes "saner heads will prevail" and an agreement can be reached to extend the debt ceiling.
Highlighting the implications of a default, Smith said it would have massive knock-on effects throughout the global financial system given the extent of U.S. debt holdings, including by the Central Bank of The Bahamas.
"Every day, every hour the U.S. has to make some payments to its creditors, its bond holders, who in turn have got to make payments to settle their commitments as well. It's one thing to say 'well they'll get around to paying me', but if you're late then I'm late, and we've got a problem..." said Smith.
"The whole economic system is based on a high degree of confidence by participants and when you have a leader like the U.S. you expect to be paid, you hang our hat on that, if that is disrupted you have to go back to the drawing board and establish new relationships."
Meanwhile, the economist added that financial markets have as yet failed to react all too negatively to the possibility of a default, suggesting they do not believe it is likely.
This would make "pandemonium" all the more likely should a default in fact occur, suggested Smith.
House Republican leaders rushed out a new proposal Tuesday afternoon that would reopen the government through December 15 and extend the government's borrowing authority until February 7. Speaker John Boehner was hoping to bring a bill to a vote as early as Tuesday evening, although it was unclear if this would happen up to press time, or what the outcome of the vote would be.
Meanwhile, even if passed, the result would only be further negotiations before the next deadline early next year.
Zhivargo Laing, former minister of state for finance under the former Ingraham administration, said he too is "hopeful" for a deal.
"I think we have significant reason to be concerned about it because if there is a default it could have a significant negative impact on the U.S. economy, and impact not only global economic prospects but certainly The Bahamas."
"All the information I have says that it's likely they will reach a deal. I think there are sufficient people on both sides of the divide that appreciate the U.S. economy cannot afford a default, that the economy is still vulnerable, that growth is not at the level they would like, and that a default could send a very bad shockwave through the financial community and have real consequences for Main Street."
Nassau, The Bahamas - Minister of State for Finance the Hon. Michael Halkitis, told the House of Assembly, on August 15, 2012, that the Mortgage Relief Plan that he presented that day represents the culmination of work among his
Ministry, the Central Bank of The Bahamas, the Clearing Banks...