Tag: economy

Wanna get Wiser about Your Finances? Read on!

28 March 2018

A Firstline Securities Limited Blog by: Damien Gill Read more…


6 March 2017

The incredible likeness of George Chambers’ ghost.

When George Chambers uttered the phrase: “fete over, back to work”, he probably didn’t realise how immortal and timeless those words would become.
With the economy of Trinidad and Tobago in recession, oil prices remaining in a stagnant state, GDP falling, foreign exchange in scarce supply, and many of our citizens finding it hard to make “ends meet,” does it make sense shelling out over $1,500.00 to attend a fete, or borrowing over $6,000.00 at a 9% interest to fund a Carnival costume that is good for just a day’s or two days’ use?
So, in the spirit of George Chambers’ immortal words, the fete may be over and we may all be back at work, but was the fete worth supporting in the first place, especially when the activities of the central government and the economy of Trinidad and Tobago are severely curtailed by a lack of revenue and positive economic activity?

Read more…

Devaluation & the “Commodity Trap”

6 April 2016


In the third of our articles on devaluation we assess whether devaluation of the Trinidad and Tobago dollar against other major trading currencies is inevitable and we assess the consequences of such a devaluation in the event that the government decides to devalue the Trinidad and Tobago dollar, or is forced into doing so as a result of economic circumstance, and on the exhausting of foreign reserves.

The genesis of the problem – you may never have had it so good!

The current slump in commodity prices – and for Trinidad and Tobago we are referring to oil, gas and other commodity products like LNG, Methanol, and Ammonia- has its genesis in at least five events that have combined over a short period of time to greatly reduce commodity prices across the board for nearly all products. All of the following have certainly contributed:

  1. China Syndrome and going South: It is probably true to say that the current sustained slump in commodity prices caught everyone off guard – at least initially. For a number of years, the demand for commodity products had surged and was primarily driven by the rapid economic growth of China. As China embarked on a process of industrialisation, urbanisation, and massive investment in infrastructure, its demand for building products like steel, aluminium, copper, as well as energy in the form of oil, gas and LNG grew exponentially and those countries that could supply the demand for those commodities reaped the obvious benefits. The simple fact is that today China is by far the largest consumer of commodities across the board.

Read more…

Money Laundering: Does It Really Affect Me?

14 March 2016

160314 Money Laundering AH - Image 1

Is money laundering for the fat cats and the drug lords, and has nothing to do with the Regular Joe and Joanna?

First, a reminder on what money laundering is: a series of processes used by criminal elements to convert or clean dirty money into clean, untraceable funds, acceptable by all. Money laundering often involves a complex series of transactions that are usually difficult to separate.

Does Money Laundering really affect us (the regular people)? Yes!

This is how it affects you, yes you sitting down here, reading this.

It destabilizes the economy and financial systems

With this extra, easy dirty money being pumped into the economy on a daily basis, you would notice that there is too much money floating around which results in price inflation of certain high value items such as house and land. Let’s say the median salary in Trinidad and Tobago is below TTD$15,000 monthly. This may qualify for a mortgage of about TT$1.1 million, yet it will be a challenge to purchase a property around this price range.

When you look at the real estate market you notice extreme prices being called for, so much so that the prices have the experts shocked at what they are seeing.

It is a known fact that money launderers are interested in purchasing luxuries or high valued properties; this will have the domino effect as a “gold rush” would start, and everyone will want part of the action, properties all over the country will start going up will be above the reach of the average person.

The result is quite clear, just look out your window you would notice that many families are suffering as they are making ends meet just to pay for rent or make high mortgage repayments due to the inflated prices.

Money laundering is a bad seed and once it’s planted and gets its roots into an economy, its fruits are a continued poison that destroy happiness, family values, love and respect. Read more…