THE AIRBUS 380 THAT NEVER TOOK OFF

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By admin August 15, 2011 10:44

THE AIRBUS 380 THAT NEVER TOOK OFF

The Editor
The Anguillian

THE AIRBUS 380 THAT NEVER TOOK OFF

Dear Sir,

While I admire Mr. Sheridan Smith’s analogy of Anguilla being the “jumbo jet that was supposed to take us to unheard of financial altitudes” back in 2009 and 2010, he is perhaps unaware that a jet can only take off safely, and surely, weather conditions permitting, i.e. in good weather. Notwithstanding the good or bad choice of a captain and crew, if weather conditions started to deteriorate by the end of 2008 and progressively got worse in 2009 and 2010, there is not much that the people in the cockpit could do.

 

Anguilla may be an exceptional small island in the Caribbean, but an impact on its economy and financial condition is determined by global developments over which it has little or no control. The economic turmoil in some of the leading economies of Europe, the debt problems in the US, the political upheaval in the middle east, all affect Anguilla to varying degrees.

The global price of oil impacts on Anglec’s operating costs that it must pass on to Anguillians to stay solvent. Construction or large project developments need a level of confidence and comfort in the ability to sell or rent the final product that has vaporized over the past couple of years. “The prospects of a flagship hotel being closed” are determined by the continuing losses borne by the owners due to deteriorating tourist traffic over which the captain and his co-pilot have no control whatsoever. Tourism has suffered globally due to the economic down turn.

As the government’s revenues begin to dry up from its traditional sources, it must look at other ways and means to survive until global conditions begin to stabilize and provide close to earlier levels of revenues. Taxing (Stabilizing Levy) and belt tightening are essential and prudent measures in difficult economic times. As Joseph Joubert, the French Philosopher, remarked: “Fate favours the prudent”. Talk of an “unemployment benefit package” when resources are scarce to meet even the currently employed wages sounds unrealistic and impractical.
While things are bad, I do not believe that the heavens are falling, as Mr. Sheridan implies. In an earlier letter to The Anguillian, I alluded to the positive impact of the Temenos purchase by Cuisinart – removing uncertainty about a valuable unproductive asset on the island that will create jobs, construction and make a contribution to the government coffers. Since then the uncertainty over Viceroy has been lifted with the ownership now firmly established. Jumeriah has announced a commitment to sell $35million worth of real estate before attempting an even larger project. There are smaller developments taking place on the island and it is strongly rumoured that there are potential buyers for the “flagship Anguilla hotel”.

While Mr. Smith should review his pessimism about Anguilla in the context of what is happening in the world that impacts our beautiful island, I do endorse his faith in the intelligence, competence, integrity, and faith of the people to ride the current economic storm by supporting a government that is challenged with adversity, not of its own making.

An Anguillian Resident

admin
By admin August 15, 2011 10:44

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