Friday, August 28, 2015

Fiji Finance Minister Khaiyum Guilty of "Economic Lunacy"

Image result for khaiyum fiji
“There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: The bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen.”
I said it before and will say it again, Khaiyum as Fiji Finance Minister is inviting economic lunacy to descend on Fiji. And yesterday's clandestine announcement to seek Parliamentary approval for bridging loan to cover interest as well as current expenditure is naked proof of his economic incompetence! No wonder the Opposition saw the need to seek his resignation from his Finance role!
Khaiyum is no economist and has no inkling of what the key drivers of the Fiji economy. Yes he will have the advice of the Reserve Bank and Finance officials, you still need the nous and training, let alone patience to decipher that advice and make the call on the appropriate action. Mind you, even now, Finance ministry officials still have no idea of the missing $100m! For someone with ulterior motives of hiding information and deceiving the public about the true picture of the economy, Khaiyum has no interest in being transparent or consultative. It is no wonder he sought the complicity of the Fiji Parliament and with the superior numbers of his FijiFirst party in his conniving scheme to obtain additional loan of $200m. As raised by Ratu Isoa Tikoca and others, where is the missing $100m and the wasteful expenditure in having a standing army that could easily cover off the need for a loan?
It is clear Khaiyum has placed so much on thinking his planned asset sales will generate the required revenue to fund expenditure. A good and smart economic manager would also consider the effect of no asset sales. He is so caught up in his own fantasy world to just ignore it away. Such is the tendency of economic lunatics because the option is so obvious that he probably just walked right past it! Fanned with the arrogant air he has gleefully acquired, any advice by officials will be just shafted away.
What is also troublesome is the role of the ANZ Bank in facilitating the rescue package and no doubt being paid a fee for it. As a corporate entity, they have no moral scruples whatsoever in brokering any deal as they seemed to have cornered this market since Bainimarama's coup in 2006! As a bank, their actions and role must be investigated when real democracy returns.
We can be sure that the economic situation in Fiji can only worsen unless political stability and a true sense of freedom returns. Yet the actions of the military and police recently will only paint the picture of a police state. Bainimarama's rejection of the Tui Cakau's call for dialogue over itaukei discontent will ensure instability festers and prolonged. But that is precisely what keeps Khaiyum and Bainimarama in power! It provides them with the excuse to deploy armed soldiers in riot gear to intimidate innocent citizens. Those same soldiers who readily fled from Syrian rebels in the Sinai!
Fiji and its people will continue to be imprisoned inside Khaiyum's economic lunacy prism until those close to him actively reject his and Bainimarama's style of government and realise that Fiji will only flourish when the full potential of its people and the benefits of the natural resources of the country are harnessed in an environment of genuine democracy,freedom and respect for law and order.

No comments: