Friday, March 09, 2007

Ho, Ho, Ho!

By Marcus M. Mottley, Ph.D.

Recent headlines across the Caribbean state “LIAT To Buy C-Star!” Other headlines also indicate that C-Star will Lend shareholder governments US$55 million” to buy C-Star and pay their debts!

C-Star will lend LIAT money to buy C-Star from C-Star???

According to one newspaper, this was said by Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, who apparently is the spokesman for the LIAT shareholder governments. Gonsalves also reported said. “We are buying Caribbean Star… the question is whether we buy the assets or we buy the whole airline!”

I was floored... once again. Knocked down! I couldn’t believe it. Once again our leaders have allowed themselves to be swindled by THE modern day pirate of the Caribbean. In broad daylight. Conned not only right in front of the faces… but by their own willing agreement!

Something else is going on. It can’t be just stupidity!

Let’s look at this a little more closely. Now… let me be clear… I am not trying to be an analyst! I am just simply trying to understand this issue.

  • C-Star was founded to compete with LIAT.
  • C-Star competed aggressively with LIAT and by all accounts C-Star purposely and successfully undermined LIAT’s profitability by establishing predatory pricing practices!
  • From the very beginning, it was obvious that C-Star’s leadership's primary goal was to fatally wound LIAT and bring it down. All of this so that C-Star would then become the choice airline of the islands and in the process... it would swallow LIAT!
  • That did not happen!
  • Yes LIAT was wounded. But in the process C-Star was losing money in gushes.

And so, C-Star’s leadership seems to have revised it’s plan…

What was the new plan? Well, they needed to stop the millions of dollars that was gushing down the C-Star toilet. So… why not sell C-Star to LIAT?

Hey… not only will “I” stop my money from gushing into the toilet… but I will get back some of the money that I lost. Unhuh --- But they won’t have the money to buy C-Star… so if I lend them the money to buy C-Star and pay off some of their debts, I will get more of my money back from the interest on the loan. Ho, Ho Ho and a bottle of Cavalier Courvoisier Cognac!

Yep... And, if those leaders are as foolish as they have been, as part of the deal… not only will I “sell” C-Star to them – not only will I lend them the money so that they can buy my failed C-Star from me – But maybe I will also get them to give me 35% of LIAT in the process! Ho Ho Ho and a bottle of Sunset Rum Johnny Walker!

What a plan!

  1. I sell C-Star to LIAT! I unload the failed C-Star on those governments! Now their money will be gushing down the toilet!
  2. I lend them the money to buy C-Star from me to pay off some of their debts. So now they owe me… and I will continue to reap the benefits from the interest for years and years…
  3. I also get to own 35% of LIAT! As a result I become the single majority shareholder!!! Ho, Ho, Ho!
  4. Plus, they will come back to beg me more money… Most airlines all over the world are failing… LIAT will not make it - not without me and my great leadership (even though I couldn’t make C-Star successful). So when they borrow more money from me… I will increase my shares… until I own most of it…! In addition, I will not only get more land in Antigua… I will get land in St. Vincent too… I don’t think I can fool those Bajans… but why not try? I got those Bajan cricketing greats… so maybe I can get the politicians… too. Although that Mia Mottley (notice the name)… seems to be different!
  5. So, this will enhance my ability to execute my master plan... (more on this in another BLOG) HO, Ho, Ho and a bottle of Mount Gay Chardonnay.

Explain "Why" to me!

So, can someone explain to me why our illustrious government leaders have agreed to this nefarious plan?

Maybe it is I who don’t understand! Maybe it is because I am not an economist… or maybe I am slow… or worse… daft!

But something else is going on... this cannot be just plain stupidity. As one of those leaders said several months ago… “When we explain it… everyone will understand.”

Well, I need to hear that explanation because right now, it seems to me our leaders are not only willing… but enthusiastic victims of the buccaneering exploits of the #1 pirate of the Caribbean!