CL Financial Bailout

This is my series on the CL Financial Bailout, as previously published in the Business Guardian and other publications (* TT Review). Click on the Title links to access the article.

Date of Publication Title Abstract
2nd November, 2013 Pre-action letter to the minister of Finance and the Economy This is the Pre-Action Protocol letter to the Minister of Finance challenging his failure to reply to my Freedom of Information Act request of 18 March 2013…
24th October, 2013 AUDIO: “Forward Thinkers” on More 104.7FM – 24 October 2013 Afra Raymond chats on the show ’Forward Thinkers‘ with David Walker on 104.7FM, dealing with the CL Financial bailout…
18th October, 2013 CL Financial bailout – Lawsuit against Minister of Finance This is my reply to the Ministry’s affidavit of 12 July which seemed to rely on the fact that CL Financial is a private company to refuse publication of the requested information…
1st September, 2013 AUDIO: Heritage Radio Interview: Treasury Scandal Afra Raymond chats with Joseph Berment-McDowall on Heritage Radio 101.7 FM about the Treasury Scandal article. 27 August 2013…
23rd August, 2013 The Treasury Scandal The problem is that despite the obvious movement forward, we are witness to yet another ‘Treasury Scandal’. I am referring to the CL Financial bailout…
7th August, 2013 Ministry of Finance Dance This is the 12th July affidavit filed by the Ministry of Finance in reply to my claim under the Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) filed against them in this matter.
3rd June, 2013 VIDEO: Time to Face the Facts This is the interview on Caribbean Corruption for ‘Time to Face the Facts’
25th May, 2013 Time to Face the Facts Afra Raymond is on ‘Time to Face the Facts’ to discuss Corruption with host Jerry George…
31st March, 2013 Order granting leave to file judicial review in Afra Raymond vs Ministry of Finance and the Economy This is the Order by Justice Boodoosingh to grant me the right to have the Judicial Review heard in Court…our first hearing is set for 1 May 2013
30th March, 2013 Application for judicial review in Afra Raymond vs Ministry of Finance and the Economy This is my filing for the Judicial Review of the continuing refusal of the Ministry of Finance to reply to my Freedom of Information request of 11 May 2012 along with my sworn affidavit.
13th March, 2013 Pre-Action Protocol letter to Ministry of Finance pursuant to FoI Application of 11 May 2012 What is being pursued here is our right as citizens of a modern republic to the details of these huge expenditures of Public Money…
3th January, 2013 Replying to the Ministry of Finance on our Freedom of Information application of 8th May 2012… I was trying to find out these four things –
5th November, 2012 CL Financial bailout – without rhyme or reason The last month or so has spoilt us for choice when it comes to amazing scenes being witnessed in relation to the CL Financial bailout and the ongoing Colman Commission.
17th September, 2012 CL Financial bailout – Call for Order The CL Financial bailout continues to be a major failure on any scale, both in the causes of the fiasco and especially the manner in which it has been handled.
11th September, 2012 Compliance of CL Financial Directors with the Integrity in Public Life Act These are my emails to formally raise the issue of the applicability of our Integrity in Public Life Act—which requires Public Officials to file declarations of their interests and assets as an Integrity safeguard—to the Directors of CL Financial.
27th July, 2012 The Sacred Cow It has been virtually six months since my last commentary on the CL Financial fiasco, my silence was due to other pressing duties…
4th January, 2012 CL Financial bailout – Swearing an Oath The former Minister of Finance, Karen Nunez-Tesheira, is once again in the news, due to her dispute with the Integrity Commission as well as her expected testimony at the next session of the Colman Commission.
14th November, 2011 CL Financial bailout – The Truth about the Truth Continuing from last week’s critique of the revised bailout and its implications, I have further concerns as to the process by which the legislation was passed.
9th November, 2011 CL Financial bailout – The Final Solution? The new bailout formula was approved, as two new Acts, by our Parliament on 14 September.
27th July, 2011 CL Financial Bailout – Lessons from the Financial Crisis This is an edited version of my address to the 4th Biennial Business Banking and Finance Conference (BBF4) held at the Trinidad Hilton from 22 to 24 June, 2011.
23rd June, 2011 The Duprey Letter This is the CL Financial letter of 13th January 2009, signed by their ‘Trinity Chief’ Lawrence Duprey, for readers’ comments.
16th June, 2011 CL Financial Bailout – The big question The current talking-point is the major lawsuit launched by the Central Bank against CL Financial sowatees, Lawrence Duprey and Andre Monteil.
20th May, 2011 CL Financial bailout – The final AGM CL Financial’s final Annual General Meeting was the most interesting meeting in the saga of its collapse.
14th May, 2011 Setting the Standard I am very concerned at the fact that the CL Financial collapse has cast a literal shadow over our country.
28th April, 2011 CL Financial Bailout – Retirement Planning Central to the growth and long-term success of the CL Financial group was its ability to mobilise the retirement savings of the Caribbean people in pursuance of its wider commercial objectives.
23th March, 2011 CL Financial’s Annual Return as at 17th February 2009 This is the official copy of CL Financial’s Annual Return from the Companies Registry, as at 17th February 2009 – it bears the official stamps and is signed by CLF’s then Corporate Secretary, Gita Sakal
14th February, 2011 CL Financial bailout – Sunlight Disinfectant We are attempting to understand our situation in this financial fiasco – how was the entire collapse caused?
10th February, 2011 CL Financial bailout – Smashing the Code of Silence I have been preparing my submissions for the Colman Commission and took some time-out to start reading the Report into the USA’s financial crisis.
7th January, 2011 The CMMB story The audited accounts for CMMB for 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 were obtained from the SEC. They allow a view of CMMB’s financial affairs for the 5-year period 2005 to 2009.
16th December , 2010 Did CMMB collapse or not? Given that all four of KSBM’s Executive Directors are ex-CMMB chiefs, there is an inescapable question… ‘Did CMMB collapse, or did they not?’
5th December, 2010 CL Financial bailout – Testing the Code of Silence The Code of Silence has formed the subject of several columns in this series. I am referring to the unwritten agreement amongst the leadership group in our society to maintain silence in matters of white-collar crime.
30th November , 2010 CL Financial bailout – Amazing scenes Finance Minister, Winston Dookeran, addressed Parliament on the Finance Bill (No. 2) 2010 on Wednesday 24th November.  It was a lengthy and detailed statement, which put things into a necessary perspective.
10th November, 2010 CL Financial bailout: A Season of Unreason We are now entering a bizarre endgame in this rounds of musical chairs. The children’s game has returned for us adults, but with a vengeance.
24th October, 2010 CL Financial bailout: These Turbid Times Last week I wrote about the Code of Silence observed by our ruling class.  I gave examples to support my idea, but there was not enough space to mention everyone.
15th October, 2010 CL Financial bailout: The Code of Silence Throughout this series of articles on the CL Financial bailout I have touched on the existence and effect of a Code of Silence amongst our ruling elite.
3rd October, 2010 CL Financial bailout: Closing the Circle Amidst the raging debate on the rights of the disappointed depositors versus those of the anxious taxpayer, I am continuing to examine some more of the fundamental issues.
29th September, 2010 CL Financial bailout: What is this campaign? We are witness to a second wave of assault on our Treasury.
22nd September, 2010 CL Financial bailout: Disturbing Arrangements in the 2011 Budget Winston Dookeran’s budget proposals to re-order the ongoing CL Financial bailout have sparked considerable controversy.
10th September, 2010 CL Financial bailout – The House on the Corner 2 The examination of CLICO Investment Bank (CIB) continues, based on the affidavits in the Central Bank’s winding-up action.
2nd September, 2010 CL Financial bailout – The House on the Corner I am starting to look at the CLICO Investment Bank (CIB) and its operations, as revealed by the ongoing bailout.
23rd August, 2010 CL Financial bailout – Examining the Horns Once again, I am returning to the need for us to grow a culture of responsible behaviour as a vital part of national development.
10th June, 2010 CL Financial bailout – Testing the terms Analysis of the Sunday Express investigation of the dealings of HCL and FCB
23rd May, 2010 CL Financial bailout: The Peoples’ Partnership position It is impossible at this stage to know what the PP will do on this important public matter, but I have been considering the role of certain major players.
9th May, 2010 The CL Financial bailout and the Special Purpose Entity fiasco – Joining the dots Comparing aspects of CL Financial and the public sector construction industry
25th April, 2010 The CL Financial bailout: Taking in Front – The NGC element One of the abiding questions on the CL Financial issue is – ‘What main event/s caused the group to fail?’
19th April, 2010 Ten to One is Murder We are told that CL Financial will rise again. The picture is even more clouded than a year ago and the rumours abound.
13th March, 2010 CL Financial Shareholders’ Agreement Commentary on CL Financial Shareholders’ Agreement
4th March, 2010 CL Financial Bailout – A Matter of Interest As we move forward into the deep waters of the CL Financial bailout, the picture becomes murkier and less encouraging.
1st March, 2010 * The Official Version – Mystery of the Missing Money The quality of our political rulers has now joined in unholy matrimony with the sheer recklessness of their anointed deal-makers to put our economy into an entirely new and perilous place.
28th January, 2010 CL Financial bailout – The Governor speaks The main development in my view is that we had some truly remarkable statements from the Governor of the Central Bank.
31th December, 2009 CL Financial – The bailout timeline The timeline of the events over the last year or so on the CL financial bailout is set out for ease of reference.
11th November, 2009 Nothing but the truth In terms of race, politics and finance, that statement by the Minister deserves our most sober consideration.
2th November, 2009* Duprey’s Fate The Business Guardian editorial of 15th October raised the topical question as to ‘Will Lee Chin avoid Duprey’s fate?’
19th October, 2009 Open letter to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Trinidad & Tobago I am of the view that we citizens and civil society organisations, such as ICATT, need to be active in promoting higher standards of professional and public conduct.
5th October, 2009 *
Open letter to the Minister of Finance on The CL Financial bailout This letter is intended to form part of the formal record in this matter.
23rd August, 2009 Finding the Assets Where has the money gone?
13th August, 2009 Condonation Did the society condone the CL Financial fiasco?
30th July, 2009 Emancipation The Emancipation journey and its links to the CL Financial fiasco.
16th July, 2009 Figuring it out So just where are these assets?
9th July, 2009 Party of Parties Contrast between the treatment of CL Financial shareholders and taxpayers.
2nd July, 2009 Fit and Proper? Critical examination of the new MoU of 12th June.
11th June, 2009 Do What is Right A review of this unfolding fiasco
28th May, 2009 Judgment time – Moral Hazard, Part III Contrary actions of the politicos and the media.
14th May, 2009 Payback Time – Moral Hazard, Part II What is moral hazard and are we at risk?
7th May, 2009 Moral Hazard, Part I What is moral hazard and are we at risk?
30th April, 2009 Who is Who and What is What The shifting sands and tangled web are becoming clearer.
23rd April, 2009 Rapid De-Rail What did they know and when did they know it?
19th March, 2009 The Meaning of Things The contradictory actions of the CL Financial Board and Gov’t are considered.
12th March,2009 Sagacity & Veracity The similarities between the UDeCOTT and CL Financial fiascos

A quick-guide to key original documents/speeches etc. on the CL Financial Bailout Fiasco.

ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS (from source)

PUBLISHED and CITED DOCUMENTS (from newspapers, other media sources)

  1. #1 by Paulie C on April 8, 2010 - 8:28 am

    Some very interesting details emerging out of the collapse of the CLICO operations in the Bahamas.

    http://www.clicobs.com/

  2. #2 by Felix A. Pereira on April 15, 2010 - 3:39 pm

    I notice that HMB has scheduled their AGM’s for 2008 & 2009 for later in April. Their accounts should make interesting reading. Hopefully, Angostura’s accounts for 2008 & 2009 are not far behind!

    • #3 by AfraRaymond on April 15, 2010 - 8:51 pm

      Thanks for your comments, Felix – of course the HMB dealings on the Lascelles Mercado share purchase were featured in ‘The Bailout TImeline’ published in this series on 31st December 2009 at http://wp.me/pBrZN-5w.

      It will really be interesting to see the current treatment of the subsequent event – i.e. the huge guarantee given to CL Financial to facilitate the $665M USD share purchase.

      Please visit again.

      • #4 by Felix A. Pereira on April 19, 2010 - 3:04 pm

        I have copies of articles on CL/CLICO, dated 30th March 2000, 30th Sept 2001 and 3rd Feb 2002. I can send them to you, if you can’t get them from the Guardian Archives.
        The current regulator, the Central Bank, has often defended itself by saying that it only had oversight of insurance companies since about 2004/5. Assuming that they read the Supervisor of Insurance reports on CLICO for previous years, they had enough time (3-4 years) to bring about orderly, less stressful and dramatic changes to the problems at hand. Unfortunately, regulators always seem to be fighting the last crisis!

  3. #5 by Paulie C on April 16, 2010 - 9:11 am

    Mr. Pereira,

    You wrote an excellent article that was published in the Sunday Business Guardian on 30 September 2001 that I think is of great relevance to the ongoing CLF debacle. Perhaps it can be re-printed here on Mr. Raymond’s blog?

    • #6 by Afra Raymond on April 16, 2010 - 10:28 am

      Thank you for bringing that up, Paulie C – whoever you really are – since I always thought that Felix Pereira was an excellent business writer whose skills/insights are needed more than ever at this time.

  4. #7 by Paulie C on April 16, 2010 - 11:06 am

    There is also an earlier article published on 30 March 2000, which sadly I never got to read but it dealt with CL Financial’s accounts for 1999.

    One thing that Mr. Pereira’s article drives home (and the Ministry of Finance, Supervisor of Insurance and the Central Bank have ignored this) is that the problems with the statutory fund, the poor quality of assets pledged to the fund and defaults on inter-related loans has existed since the early – mid 90′s.

  5. #8 by Paulie C on April 20, 2010 - 8:20 am

    Felix A. Pereira :
    I have copies of articles on CL/CLICO, dated 30th March 2000, 30th Sept 2001 and 3rd Feb 2002. I can send them to you, if you can’t get them from the Guardian Archives.
    The current regulator, the Central Bank, has often defended itself by saying that it only had oversight of insurance companies since about 2004/5. Assuming that they read the Supervisor of Insurance reports on CLICO for previous years, they had enough time (3-4 years) to bring about orderly, less stressful and dramatic changes to the problems at hand. Unfortunately, regulators always seem to be fighting the last crisis!

    Everyone has a lame excuse to protect their lack of competence. Still, I have no expectations that anyone will ever be brought to account, or even punished, for the multitude of transgressions that have been committed. We will have to depend on the Bahamas and US for that. The whole CLF affair shows why Trinidad will never be a financial centre, who in the world will trust us to look after their money?

    Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest I’d love to see the three articles you referred to.

  6. #9 by Paulie C on May 19, 2010 - 9:05 am

    Since the CLF collapse unfolded in public in January 2009, it has become obvious that Karen Nunez-Tesheira and Ewart Williams have a two-pronged plan for tackling this massive problem.

    Plan A – hope and wait
    Plan B – wait and hope

    • #10 by AfraRaymond on July 2, 2010 - 9:20 am

      Hi Paulie,

      I want to go to tomorrow’s meeting of CL Financial shareholders at Marriott – can you please arrange this?

      Many Thanks

      Afra 678 9802

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