It’s not the economy, stupid! It’s the people?


Here’s a provocative piece by fellow blogger and retired economist Dennis Jones. I am not sure I agree with some of the generalisations regarding Jamaicans’ attitude, but do agree on the need for Government to act swiftly and decisively. Anyway, it’s all food for thought!

The Bank of Jamaica, established by the Bank of Jamaica Law (1960), began operations in May 1961, terminating the Currency Board System which had been in existence from 1939.

Jamaica: Political Economy

Once in my working life at the Bank of England I had responsibility for a team that looked at economic development in English-speaking Caribbean countries. I got into a professional bind by arguing, against the official policy line that devaluation was to be supported as a way of easing Jamaica out of its economic woes. I argued, based on my understanding of how Jamaica had worked for decades, that while one side of the devaluation equation worked, the economy was titled in a way that meant the gains would go out on the other side: we imported more than we exported and the balance of that meant higher net costs but without the needed gains that could come from a more competitive exchange rate; we also had lots of tied contracts in bauxite that were not sensitive to exchange rate changes. My other reasons were based on ‘cultural senses’ that…

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