Search results for : leverage

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News Article

August 23, 2011
Super butler works to become holiday hero

For Alfred, being a butler means keeping the Bat Cave and Wayne Manor tidy. He gets Bruce Wayne up in the morning, prepares Batman for night and generally serves as a sage to the billionaire superhero.
For Vincent Saunders, Sandals Royal Bahamian employee of the year 2010/11, being a butler also requires some special abilities.
Championing his country, his guests and his children's future, Saunders describes his career as dynamic, with each day presenting a new set of challenges.
"Don't knock it until you've tried it," Saunders said.  "It is the most rewarding job ever...once you try it you will realize that it is rewarding mentally, physically and financially."
Saunders started in hospitality at the front desk of the Atlantis Paradise Resort, spending about eight years there.  Eventually, he said, he grew to crave a bigger role in the guest experience, beyond the check-in's and check-outs that typify front-desk work, and moved on to become a butler.
He got what he was looking for.  Saunders said he's now a part of his guests' entire vacation experience.  When Saunders isn't greeting a new arrival, he's busy walking guests to dinner, following up with housekeeping or food and beverage to ensure his guests' expectation are met or exceeded, booking tours and excursions, or sharing information about the property or The Bahamas.
Saunders has been at Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau for the last six years, distinguishing himself through service.  This year he was nominated for Sandal's International Resorts International's "Ultimate Team Member of the Year Award", scheduled to be held in Jamaica this month.
The transition to the new career brought one particular challenge, Saunders recalled.  The nature of the job, which involves anticipating guests' needs and managing their vacation experience, demanded that he knew the resort and its various departments intimately, particularly those with a direct impact on the guest experience.
But Saunders said it was one of those challenges that, once licked, has proven an invaluable experience.
"The challenge for me was having to know the entire hotel and now I have turned that challenge into something that has really worked well for me.  I know everything about the hotel.  Now, I have that - wherever I go," the butler said.
When it comes to his guests' satisfaction, the buck stops with him.
Saunders says he leverages that knowledge of the hotel to his guests' advantage.  Fortunately, the buck often starts with him too - increasing the impact he can have on their Bahamian experience.  The initial contact he has with guests is the favorite part of his day.
"Vacation begins when they see Vincent, and Vincent is there to greet them.  I love to be the first person that guests meet when coming to Sandals.  This is my time with them now, and I get to mold their thoughts and ideas about their trip.
"First impressions are the most powerful, and I get to be there the minute they get out of that Mercedes Benz or Rolls Royce," Saunders said.
The luxury car service is a part of the Sandals experience.
The close interaction with guests at Sandals - a couples resort - means Saunders often finds himself not only at the start of a love affair with The Bahamas, but at the heart of unforgettable moments for his guests, too.
For example, a few weeks ago, a guest wanted some help proposing to his girlfriend.
"Leave it to me," Saunders told him.  He went on to set up an evening complete with champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, roses, and of course a Bahamian sunset at the beach.  The proposal was made, there were some tears, and a very happy lady became a bride-to-be.
For this super butler, it's all in a day's work.

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News Article

January 12, 2012
New brokerage aims to be 'largest dealer in six months'

The founder of a new online brokerage firm says he will be the largest trader in the country within six months.
By removing many of the regulations governing traders in Canada, the U.S. and Europe, the idea is to create an attractive offshore trading hub to short sell and trade penny stocks.
Guy Gentile, the CEO of SureTrader.com, is also the creator of SpeedTrader.com, the U.S. online trading broker with $20 million per year in annual revenue.  Inc. Magazine ranked it 703 on its 2011 list of fastest-growing private companies, with a three-year revenue growth of 451 percent.
However, Gentile told Guardian Business that SureTrader should be able to surpass its U.S. sister company through unique service offerings and the absence of regulations.
"We have been in business for three months and we should run in the black shortly," he said.
"There is no question we will be the largest broker dealer within six months time in terms of the number of transactions per day."
A veteran of the brokerage business for 15 years, the offshore brokerage markets primarily to tourists and
individuals that live in The Bahamas but possess other nationalities.
"I came to The Bahamas because I wanted to build a brand here, as other businessmen I know have done the same on other islands," he said.
Gentile said his online platform has 30 active accounts and more than 100 in the process of being opened.  At present, SureTrader facilitates 500 transactions per day and anticipates up to 20,000 in the near future.
One of the many attractive points, according to Gentile, is clients are not subject to the Pattern Day Trader Rule.  Imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, investors with less than $25,000 are prevented from performing more than three day trades in any five-day rolling period.
Another advantage is the wide margin or leverage it offers clients.
"In Canada you can leverage 3:1, while in the U.S. it's 4:1," Gentile said. "We offer 6:1 to give our clients an edge.  We're also introducing a new product called Flexi-Leverage.  It will give clients 20:1 leverage but forces them to diversify and hedge themselves.  If you're getting that kind of leverage, we don't want you betting the farm."
SureTrader.com charges $4.95 per trade for up to 1,000 shares, he said, making it a cheaper option than conventional online brokerages.  Gentile told Guardian Business the platform is open to all international investors.
He called the business a "numbers game", with the focus on the quantity of trades rather than large sums of cash.  There are currently five people employed at SureTrader, but Gentile expects this number to rise.
Timothy Sykes, an author, educator and celebrity Wall Street enthusiast, has emerged as a valuable ally of both SpeedTrader and SureTrader, sending the thousands of casual investors he had trained over the years to the online platforms.
"What we have done is ally ourselves with educators online, such as Timothy Sykes, and they push trainees our way.  We prefer not to be involved in investment advice.  It doesn't pay for us," he said.

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News Article

November 28, 2010
RoyalFidelity targets region with mutual fund products

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

RoyalFidelity Merchant Bank & Trust is seeking to develop and launch mutual fund products into the wider Caribbean market, leveraging the joint venture relationship it has with Royal Bank of Canada - and the latter's Royal Bank of Trinidad & Tobago (RBTT) merger - for sales and distribution channels throughout the region.

Michael Anderson, the Bahamian-headquartered investment bank's president, told Tribune Business in an exclusive interview that RoyalFidelity was especially interested in developing US dollar-denominated investment fund products, targeting the extensive US dollar stocks accumulated by businesses and individuals region- ...

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News Article

April 11, 2013
Bahamas Social Media Bootcamp invites US Consultant

Crystal Washington

Nassau, Bahamas - Entrepreneurs, corporate
workers, sales people, businessmen, small business owners, churches, and
individuals will convene at The Sheraton Beach Resort for the first
ever Social Media Bootcamp on May 30th & 31st. According to a survey
conducted last December, the average American spends almost 61/2 hours
on social media. These workshops are designed to help participants
leverage the time spent using social media.

 

President and CEO of
The Publicity Agency (Bahamas), Miranda Inniss said "With the
increasing popularity of Social Media globally and its impact on our
personal and professional lives, this is an ideal time to introduce the
Bootcamp to the community. As an entrepreneur, I understand the
challenges business owners face in engaging customers and maintaining
profitability. The Social Media Bootcamp will offer participants
opportunities to use social media effectively to help grow their
business."

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News Article

December 05, 2013
State-owned Chinese company in running for BEC contract

Malaysia-based conglomerate Genting Group; China State Construction and Engineering Corporation; Inter-Energy, a Cayman-based company; Texas-based Caribbean Power Partners and Bahamas-based Northern Bahamas Utilities Holdings Company (NBU), along with U.S.-based Pike corporation and PowerSecure are among the companies who paid the $25,000 fee to participate in the request for proposal for the Bahamas Electricity Corporation, Guardian Business has been reliably informed.
While a confidentiality clause in the terms of their participation has stopped much information from being released to the public on who is involved in the process, this newspaper has been told by several sources close to the matter that Genting, China State Construction and Engineering, Inter-Energy and Caribbean Power Partners were interested primarily in being involved on the generation side, while Pike, who was partnering with NBU, and PowerSecure were seeking the transmission and distribution contract.
The Bahamian group, NBU, a utility engineering and consulting firm composed of four former management and engineering employees of Grand Bahama Power Company, is reported to have exited the process, according to several sources close to the process, as has the Genting Group.
Northern Bahamas Utilities had initially partnered with PowerSecure, but was removed from the submission after NBU is understood to have determined that it would also enter into a partnership with Pike.
Guardian Business
understands that with Pike and NBU now out of the process, this may just leave PowerSecure in the running for the management contract to take over BEC's transmission and distribution functions and assets, which will be transferred into a new company.
Carlton Bosfield, president of NBU, yesterday declined to comment on his involvement in the BEC RFP process, including whether he remains involved.
His exit, however, would fit with recent comments made by Deputy Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis, who indicated that no Bahamian companies were involved in the RFP process, after one fell out in the second stage.
PowerSecure's Senior Vice President for Investor Relations and Corporate Communications John Bluth yesterday declined to comment on any participation by PowerSecure in the RFP process, which calls upon participating companies to be bound by a non-disclosure agreement.
Guardian Business yesterday received mixed signals as to whether KPMG has submitted its final recommendations to the government on which company should be treated as "preferred bidders" in the BEC reform process. While these recommendations are believed to be imminent, enabling the government to move into the negotiation phase, it could not be confirmed if they have yet been put forward.
Based on information received by this newspaper so far, recommendations on the transmission and distribution side will be more straightforward, given the exit of Pike and their partner, NBU, from the process. Meanwhile, on the generation side, three companies could still be in the running.
Bidding for transmission and distribution responsibilities, PowerSecure is a publicly-listed North-Carolina-based sustainable energy company. It made itself known to the Bahamian public prior to the BEC RFP process began in mid-August in an interview with Guardian Business in which it touted its "smart grid" solution with "distributed energy" that would see smaller-scale "firm solar" power generation throughout The Bahamas.
PowerSecure Chief Sales Officer Mark Martyak said at that time, which was prior to the government issuing the redefined RFP, that PowerSecure's intention was to take advantage of The Bahamas' abundant solar resources, while backing this up with diesel or natural gas-powered generation.
Guardian Business understands that among the "core competencies" highlighted by PowerSecure as relevant to its bid to take over transmission and distribution responsibilities - these include having installed over 1,600 miles of T&D lines in the last five years; having 300 commercial vehicles involved in construction and maintenance of power lines, most of which are based in South Florida; serving numerous U.S. utilities; having over 1,500MWs of distributed generation capacity installed and controlled on a "turnkey basis" for U.S. utility demand response and load management purposes; and specializing in utility scale solar power, among other factors.
On the generation side, the Genting Group is best known for their investment in the resort sector, in particular in Bimini, in the form of the currently controversial Resorts World Bimini project.
That project saw the Malaysia-based conglomerate purchase the former Bimini Bay Resort, and swiftly begin to significantly expand the development.
The company's plans to build a ferry terminal on the island are now the subject of a legal action by the Bimini Blue Coalition, which hopes to obtain an injunction and a judicial review of the project in light of concerns as to whether permits were properly obtained, and potential damage to the surrounding environment.
The multinational company is primarily focused on the leisure and hospitality sector, but does have some experience in power generation.
China State Construction and Engineering Corporation is a state-owned Chinese company that primarily focuses on large-scale construction projects. They are presently best known as the parent company of Baha Mar general contractor, China Construction America.
Guardian Business understands that they have also been involved in installing significant generation capacity globally.
Caribbean Power Partners, led by Texan principal, Taylor Cheek, also came forward prior to the official launch of the redefined BEC RFP process, touting their $700 million proposal for a power plant in Nassau that they suggested could have $15.4 billion impact on the Bahamian economy over a 25-year span.
Their build/own/operate solution, in partnership with Fluor Corporation, a major power plant construction company which has installed the largest volume of generation capacity globally of all of the entities bidding, would have seen the company become an independent power producer selling power back to BEC as a means of reducing energy costs. It is not clear how their proposal has evolved since they entered the RFP process.
Inter-Energy, meanwhile, is one of the largest investors in the power sector of the Dominican Republic, and describes itself as a "renewable energy pioneer" in the country where it established its first wind generation park.
The company's website sites plans to leverage its experience and expansion in the Dominican Republic in order to enter other markets in the Caribbean and Latin American region.

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News Article

April 12, 2013
Bahamas Social Media Bootcamp invites US Consultant

Crystal Washington

Nassau, Bahamas - Entrepreneurs, corporate
workers, sales people, businessmen, small business owners, churches, and
individuals will convene at The Sheraton Beach Resort for the first
ever Social Media Bootcamp on May 30th & 31st. According to a survey
conducted last December, the average American spends almost 61/2 hours
on social media. These workshops are designed to help participants
leverage the time spent using social media.

 

President and CEO of
The Publicity Agency (Bahamas), Miranda Inniss said "With the
increasing popularity of Social Media globally and its impact on our
personal and professional lives, this is an ideal time to introduce the
Bootcamp to the community. As an entrepreneur, I understand the
challenges business owners face in engaging customers and maintaining
profitability. The Social Media Bootcamp will offer participants
opportunities to use social media effectively to help grow their
business."

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News Article

September 16, 2011
Eleuthera forms Chamber of Commerce

Eleuthera has been granted its own Chamber of Commerce, which will change the way the island - and indeed the country - conducts business.
Thomas Sands, a prominent entrepreneur on the island - with interests in retail, property, insurance and tourism - takes up the post of president.
He told Guardian Business the paperwork has been approved to become a legal, incorporated entity.
"We questioned the viability of acting as a club versus an incorporated Chamber that is recognized throughout The Bahamas and the world," Sands added.
"It was important, going forward, to legitimize the organization prior to establishing membership or activities.  We will now have influence over our own economy and communication with any developments that may take place."
However, it took a lot of hard work to get to this point, he said.
In July 2010, Guardian Business reported that executives announced their intention to launch a Chamber of Commerce for Eleuthera.
Since then, hundreds of discussions, memos and proposals have taken place.
With the approval now in place, the next task is to develop the membership, which will include business owners, stakeholders and individuals of influence on the island.
Elizabeth Byron, the editor and owner of 'The Eleutheran', will serve as vice president.
Unlike some other Chamber of Commerce entities in the Family Islands, Sands said making the organization incorporated gives it real teeth when dealing with the government.
In other words, it is expected to have significant clout in all future business dealings on the island.
Winston Rolle, the Chairman of The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employer Confederation (BCCEC), told Guardian Business that, in the past, there was only one real economic center in the country.
That, however, has changed over the years as the islands develop industry and work to address their specific needs.
He believes the Eleuthera Chamber of Commerce will only strengthen business in The Bahamas.
"The way we see it, while we are focused on things in New Providence, we can now focus on the more macro items - the things that affect us as a country, and that shall facilitate business as a whole," he said.
"We envision other chambers will provide focus on issues in their areas, and we can leverage and exchange resources, training and contacts.
"We want a better relationship with our Family Island chambers."
For example, Rolle pointed out that this week, in collaboration with the International Labour Organization, the BCCEC has put on a free training seminar for aspiring entrepreneurs in Grand Bahama.
The 40-hour training program at the Sunrise Resort and Marina is giving participants access to top business and financial consultants.
"The idea is to have a partnering relationship and leverage our resources," he added.
Accessing these resources is a top priority for Sands, he told Guardian Business, and it should be on the agenda for their first meeting in the next 30 days.
Sands said he would like to establish more educational programs with the BCCEC and be involved in the small-to-medium-sized business legislation currently being worked on in New Providence.
The hurricane, he said, has set them back somewhat in terms of progress, and businesses need time to get "their priorities sorted out" before turning attention to the new chamber.  Other issues on the agenda will be tackling the tourism challenges faced by Eleuthera, with a focus on improving the number of flights and increasing the island's overall exposure in the market.
But Sands felt the most important function of the new chamber is communication.
"We have spoken a lot about communication between developers and business," he said.  "There is a sense of working together to develop the island and eliminating the idea that people do their own thing and feeling threatened.  That dialogue is a priority."
He said, at first, progress will be slow as they gather momentum.  The most important thing is Eleuthera now has a united, legal voice.
"It will make business more efficient," Rolle agreed.
"All of the islands have their uniqueness.  I would not try to sit in New Providence and indicate what is going on in Exuma or Eleuthera.  But that doesn't preclude us from working together and forming a better relationship."

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News Article

September 29, 2014
Crossroads

Fort Charlotte MP Dr. Andre Rollins has had a long, intoxicating run in the headlines.
After repeatedly incensing his party with his highly critical statements in and outside the House of Assembly, Rollins must now decide whether he will apologize in the House of Assembly for verbally attacking Prime Minister Perry Christie on the floor of the House.
The demand for an apology was made by the National General Council (NGC) of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) at its meeting on Thursday night.
On August 20, Rollins declared that "it is evident we need new political leadership" in the country.
Rollins expressed anger over the fact that Christie spent a majority of his contribution to the value-added tax debate to "threaten" backbenchers for their dissenting views, instead of providing "hope and comfort" to Bahamians who are concerned about the impact of VAT.
He also said he was tired of listening to the prime minister quote scripture.
We noted in this space before that Rollins resonated.
He did so because he echoed what so many Bahamians are feeling: The country needs new leadership. We are without clear direction.
While Rollins' stunning criticisms of Christie last month drew him applause in many circles, his recent comments on the controversial matter of a letter of intent (LOI) his friend Renward Wells signed with a waste-to-energy company in early July without Cabinet approval signaled that Rollins may be losing momentum.
His clarification notwithstanding, Rollins left many people with the impression that he knows of something untoward about the matter.
It is easy to see why so many people were left with the view that the MP knows of some wrongdoing in relation to the LOI affair.
Rollins himself acknowledged: "I can understand how I may have created this impression. I certainly regret that such an impression was created."
In his original statement, he seemed to have issued a direct threat to the government.
Rollins said if Wells is fired over the matter "some other people need to be fired too".
His comment was directly in response to the question, "Do you think Renward Wells should be fired?"
Rollins said, "In time, if that happens, I am prepared to say who also should be fired, because there is more than meets the eye when it comes to this whole, as you call it, LOI affair," he told NB12's Vaughnique Toote in an interview.
Rollins added, "If Renward Wells needs to be fired, he is not the only one, and I have a problem with you trying to scapegoat my friend. So when I say that I believed we were used as tokens, I was also referencing that matter."
While he later said that he did not impute corrupt motives to anyone, many people have had a hard time accepting that he did not make a clear suggestion of wrongdoing based on his statements.
Amid widespread negative reaction to his comments to Toote, Rollins explained: "I was referring to the principles of ministerial and collective responsibility as defined by the Westminster system of government and in that regard, I sought to convey that any shortcomings or failings with respect to the LOI matter cannot be leveled solely at the feet of a junior member of the government".
He said to do so would make the individual a scapegoat, which would demonstrate a clear lack of respect for that individual and the system of government we are supposed to be guided by.
Rollins should be guarded in his choice of words, particularly as there is great public interest in him at this time and in the LOI matter.
His statement in response to the reaction to his comments in the NB12 interview seemed to reflect a backtracking of a very clear impression he left.
While Rollins is shaking up the status quo, we would hope that he would not make comments that suggest he knows something the public should know, and is using that knowledge as leverage to have his way.
If Rollins does know of some wrongdoing we would hope he would reveal it, whether or not Christie takes action against his friend.
Not surprisingly, Rollins' statement to Toote drew a strong response from PLP Chairman Bradley Roberts.
"We will see hell freeze over and the second coming before Andre Rollins blackmails a PLP government or organization because his egomaniacal and selfish genotype prevents him from reasonable and balanced behavior and being a team player," he said.
"If he is so dissatisfied in the leadership of the PLP, he can freely leave just as he freely joined the organization."
Roberts challenged Rollins to "put up or shut up".
By his statement in response, Rollins appears to have put his tail between his legs and scurried away.
Interestingly, Roberts and the PLP were quiet when Tall Pines MP Leslie Miller made his own strong statements on the LOI issue on July 31.
Miller's statements were not so far off from the recent comments made by Rollins.
"I think he was coerced in [signing] this so-called document that he signed, by people who should know better, by seasoned men who have been around for a long time and they know why they would have gone to him to sign this so-called document and he signed it," Miller said.
"So he may have signed it out of ignorance or just out of trying to be helpful to people who he knows are friendly with other people.
"Should his whole career go down the drain because of a letter he signed where the [permanent secretary in the Ministry of Works] says the government is not binding?"
Are Roberts and the PLP concerned that Miller accused senior men in the party of "coercing" Wells to sign the document?

Soul searching
Clearly, Rollins is on a war path with his party. His relationship with the PLP is turbulent.
If he decides to stay with the PLP it could be in for a very rough ride with this vocal backbencher who took the gloves off weeks ago.
If the party expels him, it may face even more problems from Rollins.
We see no benefit to the party in kicking Rollins out.
If Renward Wells decides that his alliance and friendship with Rollins is more important than his love for or commitment to the PLP, this could present another dynamic.
Deciding how to deal with Rollins then is a tough decision for the PLP.
The party revealed after its council meeting on Thursday night that Roberts appointed a four-person committee from the National General Council to decide what sanctions, if any, Rollins should face for his public comments regarding the party over the last few months.
Rollins told us in an interview earlier this month he has no plans to leave the party.
"The PLP is where I am," he said.
"I believe the PLP has the capacity to effect change. If I see things happening that I don't agree [with] and I don't support, I make it known to the public.
"It may be that I have no future in the PLP. If the PLP decides that they don't want me, I cannot force myself on the PLP.
"But I'm not about looking for political cover or trying to do what is politically expedient in the hope that I would be re-elected as some would suggest.
"But I don't have time to suffer fools. If you are doing nonsense, I will say so, and if you have a problem with me speaking my mind because I am echoing what the Bahamian people are saying and feeling, tough.
"And if that means you have no place for me, so be it, but I hope you understand that just because you have some in the party who want nothing to do with me, that should not mean that I should be out there finding out who does in fact want me.
"I can't do that, and I haven't met with any other political party or parties. I can assure you of that."
The jury is out on Rollins' political fate and his future with the PLP.
Valentine Grimes, the former parliamentarian who heads the PLP committee looking into the Rollins matter, told National Review there is nothing wrong with members being critical of the leadership and of the party.
"It is where they are critical and if they do so publicly how they do so, and I think that's the difference that may have arisen within the PLP family," he said on Friday.
"I think it is important for any member of Parliament to understand the workings of the party and understand the make-up of the people who are part of the organization.
"PLPs have said from time immemorial, the PLP was bigger than [former Prime Minister the late] Sir Lynden Pindling and Christie would say the PLP is bigger than Perry Christie and it's important for those MPs who are part of that to understand that."
Grimes added, "I think that Rollins has a tremendous future in the country. There may or may not have been a misstep. The team appointed will properly investigate the matter and come up with the best solution and hopefully the best solution will be what is in the interest of the party and what is in the interest of Dr. Rollins."
Grimes said it is important for the party to put the Rollins matter behind it, as it is an unnecessary distraction. The government has more important issues to focus on, he noted.
For Rollins, this ought to be a period of soul searching.
If he still believes he has a place in the PLP, he must seek to strike the right balance between being an effective backbencher who helps keep the government on course, and being a team player.
If he continues to attack the leadership, he would be increasingly ostracized by his party.
If he does this, he might still have a political future outside the PLP.
But Rollins must be careful not to come across as an angry, self-absorbed man seeking to grab more headlines.
While his brand of politics has been largely welcomed and refreshing, his continued public fight with the PLP could become tiring, and in time less entertaining to many political observers.
The young MP clearly has a lot to offer. He is bright. His stock is high. He is well liked and respected for his courage.
But he should also be sound and measured in his statements moving forward.

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News Article

February 21, 2014
The Caribbean church coming out of the closet on homosexuality

Valued theologian-therapist Dr. Lazarus Castang's response to my article is a treasure (The unbridgeable moral divide between the Caribbean church and homosexuals). It represents a clarity that is both concise and thorough. I see a rare pastoral willingness to jump out of the closet of internal church talk into the burning bush of public discourse.
This attitude elaborates a thoughtful view of subjecting the chaos of human sexuality under the ideal of faith. By uncovering a powerful vernacular located within a broad and deep knowledge of the Caribbean Christian tradition, Castang does not assume his faith. He chooses to wrestle with the morality of homosexuality so that we can see an ancient truth through new lens. Four concerns rivet my attention.
First, Castang stays clear of religious polemics. Although he conveys that the Caribbean church is morally committed to a heterosexual norm, he demonstrates that the distinction between law and religious practice is not sufficient to encourage a humane culture within the Caribbean. I couldn't agree more. My judgment is that the insistence on the truth of doctrine going up against the majesty of individual choice and civil obligations will not automatically produce ethical restraint within a culture that resists an exclusive morality.
Second, his critique that I left uninvestigated the impact that homosexuals have had on the Caribbean state and church is fair. I could have more fully explored how the openness of homosexual lifestyle has invaded our rigid morality about the role and function of human sexuality, while expanding our culture to live with diversity through an anthropology of wholeness. Further, I could have underscored the possibility of advocacy for a more inclusive democratic civilization that homosexuality has evoked. These effects deserve finer articulation.
Third, he opines that homosexuals must be prepared to bear the moral burden of Caribbean culture that frowns on their sexual practices. This keen observation, however, does not erase the manifestations of mental, spiritual and psychological anguish the church inflicts on homosexuals in its sincere efforts to condemn the sin and affirm the sinner. The church's uncompromising moral stance has far-reaching consequences. It shapes and informs wider communal behavior toward homosexuals, which often breeds callous practices, all of which fall outside a Christian love ethic that screams for justice.
Therefore, the church cannot merely acknowledge this problem with deliberate speed. If it is going to pragmatically merge its spiritual intelligence with this social dilemma, a transformative attitude towards homosexuals within Caribbean societies should produce a more genuine Christian disposition as well as a more just society.
Fourth, Castang is fully aware of the focus to make sexual choices in our pluralistic society realizable but affirms that the Caribbean church must act in accordance with the discernible heterosexual order of creation that Genesis explains, even though our fallen nature has put us at odds with the ideal of human sexuality.
My question to Castang is this: What do we do with this moral schism that is too wide for any bridge? If this is the case, then the church would have to abandon its efforts to employ the power of God to deliver people from sexual behaviors that it condemns.
I understand that the Caribbean's conservative morality is on display in a churning progressive political culture, and that clashes around issues of personal liberty and equality will occur. Yet, I believe that the Caribbean church should construct an ethical bridge where private virtue and public conscience form the matrix for doing good, bearing witness to the truth, and eliminating stereotyping in order to preserve the common good.
If not, the church will find itself trapped in an irony where the qualms of social conscience arise in the most intimate of human relations but the principles of Christian love become ineffective to these challenges.
If any movement is to be made in this moral standoff, either the church admits defeat or takes some risks. These risks should both affirm the gospel of Jesus Christ and respect the efficacy of a diverse society and, consequently, the humanity of homosexuals.
It strengthens Christian beliefs in the Caribbean to know that a pastoral voice could leverage the tensions between faith and feelings with sensitivity.
Castang offers conscientious citizens enough room to breathe, albeit without a sigh of relief. As an act of redemptive love, this may be a time to combat every injustice that paralyzes human life from within the sacred space of the church.
Even if his voice does not reform society, Castang's view can become an agency of the Kingdom of God for preserving one's integrity. An honest enthusiasm for resolving these tensions is superior to a disconnected existence. Still, the tragic limitations or sublime beauty of sexual tolerance in the Caribbean is dismantling.

o Dr. Isaac Newton is an international leadership and change management consultant and political adviser who specializes in government and business relations, and sustainable development projects. Newton works extensively in West Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America, and is a graduate of Oakwood College, Harvard, Princeton and Columbia. He has published several books on personal development and written many articles on economics, leadership, political, social, and faith-based issues. Published with the permission of Caribbean News Now.

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News Article

January 19, 2012
Kerzner lenders faced 'irreparable harm' threat

A read of the ruling handed down by a U.S. judge in relation to the investor squabble over Kerzner International's Paradise Island assets, shows that the judge agreed with the position of a group of Kerzner lenders that there existed a 'threat of irreparable harm' had the Brookfield ownership transfer deal proceeded.
Brookfield, meanwhile, had argued that such concerns expressed by the other Kerzner International creditors that they would be negatively impacted by the deal were 'speculative'.
As was widely reported yesterday, Brookfield, a Canadian-based asset management group, canceled its proposed transaction to swap $175 million in debt for ownership of Kerzner International's Paradise Island properties.
Vice Chancellor Donald F. Parsons granted a restraining order on Friday, which resulted in Brookfield canceling the deal.
The lawsuit was brought by Kerzner lenders more senior to Brookfield. It was filed in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware.
In the ruling, Parsons concluded that "the senior holders have stated colorable claims and made a sufficient showing that they would suffer imminent irreparable harm if the proposed transaction was allowed to close.
"Furthermore, I find that this potential irreparable harm outweighs the harm that would result to [Brookfield] of delaying the closing for a few weeks until an injunction motion can be heard."
Brookfield had dismissed as speculation the other lenders' argument that as a result of the transaction proposed between Brookfield and Kerzner, their (the other lenders) investment would have faced greater risk, and that the risk itself constitutes irreparable injury.
Brookfield had asserted that the proposed transaction would have benefited all lenders and avoid the undesirable result of foreclosure on the Kerzner properties, which would leave all parties worse off.
The judge determined that if the proposed transaction was allowed to close, the lenders more senior to Brookfield stood to lose the benefit of contractually-negotiated rights attached to the loan to Kerzner.
"These rights are valuable to plaintiffs (the creditors who filed the lawsuit) not only because they increase the likelihood that plaintiffs will be repaid the principal and interest owed to them under the loan, but also because they provide a certain degree of leverage relative to other participants and the borrower (Kerzner) in situations where, as here, modifications to the loan are being negotiated," the ruling said.
"As a result, the risk to plaintiffs from the proposed transaction is not simply that their investment may be less secure, but also that plaintiffs will be deprived of the opportunity to assert these rights as leverage against the other participants and borrowers in modifying the loan and reshaping the commercial relationship between the participants and the borrower."
The judge had set a trial date for January 27, but that became unnecessary after Brookfield walked away from the deal.
Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham has said the various lenders will meet and the government expects to have an update on the matter by Friday.

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