Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Seychelles Column - Seychelles Central Bank Governor & His Funny Laws

Governor of Central Bank of Seychelles Hits The Road With His Funny Law

The Governor of the Central Bank of Seychelles Mr. Pierre Laporte has placed his credibility on the line with a highly dubious and vexatious legislation aptly named “The Foreign Exchange Control Act”.

While the law does not restrict possession of hard currency, it targets the tourism trade and other wealth earners and forces these local institutions to price all their services in Seychelles Rupees. This ridiculous law states that only banks and money changers licensed under law can change money for profit.

Which side of the Saturn moon did Mr. Laporte get this brainless concept from? Lest he forgets, the Seychellois people are simply worn out from the constant interference of Government in their daily lives and messing with their businesses and livelihood. They are still reeling from the bad monetary policies of President Albert Rene, Finance Minister cum President James Michel, Financial Guru cum advisor Mukesh Valabhji with his MERP program (more like the SMURF cartoon) and of course the total mismanagement of our Central Bank by former CBS Governor Francis ChangLeng. Not to forget the Lehman Brothers bond fiasco and the disappearance of $2.4 billion from our economy, plus a bankrupt Government and previous foreign exchange control laws that totally destroyed our economy while creating a rampant black market system.

Dinner served a la Central Bank

We all know that hotels and businesses change money systematically the world over. But not so in Seychelles according to Mr. Laporte’s law. Do not change money systematically or continuously he says!

In defence of his pet legislation, which in public he defends like a lifetime partner, Mr. Laporte together with his Central Bank staffers are on a road trip to tell the Public how things will operate in the future under his monetary kingdom.

On Mahé, he was successful at dishing it out. A few protests here are there, but timid cries from a trade and a public that have been battered for 32 years! The poor Mahé citizens ate what was served to them on Mr. Laporte’s tin platter, fearing for their livelihood let alone their licences which could be rescinded at any time.

Encouraged by his success on Mahé, the CBS Governor made his way to Praslin to meet with trade partners and business players from Praslin and La Digue, two islands that are key to tourism earnings. Only twenty-five (25) people turned up for what should have been over 500 businesses. Not to be dissuaded by the low turn out which should have been a sign of protest, Mr. Laporte proceeded to spell out his grandiose plan.

He was to be in for the dead surprise to learn that on Praslin and La Digue, we take our business seriously and officials are not welcome to come dish out rubbish for us to consume. I hope you found the Praslin Express quick enough!

Next time come prepared, Mr. Governor. Enjoy the title while you still have a new car and bonus for doing nothing to save Seychelles in 2009.

People of Seychelles, Francis Chang Leng may have bankrupted Seychelles, but if Mr. Laporte does not smarten up fast, we will stay bankrupt indefinitely. You do not have to be an economist to know that.

If you need help Mr. Laporte, I will along with the business community oblige for the sake of saving Seychelles.

Mr. Laporte thinks Seychelles has 0% Inflation

According to Mr. Laporte, Seychelles has 0% Inflation and he hails this as a great success of his policy. He is wrong!

Inflation is reported in Reuters at 29.8% still the second highest in Africa, only second to failed state Zimbabwe. Last year, before you intervened in the market to save the skin off your back, and bought up hard currency, it was 78.4%. This is not a sign of success Mr. Laporte. It is a sign of failure.

Who said that? Christopher Gill! Learn to respect that name when you hear it Mr. Laporte. It is a little like “Rose a Mere”. You hate the taste, but it is actually good for you!

Mr. Laporte Thinks The Paris Club Forgave 45% of Our Debts

According to Mr. Laporte, the Paris Club forgave 45% of Seychelles debts. Again, he is wrong!

The Paris Club forgave only 22% of our debts of the 45% proposed. The remaining 23% is to be written off in Two-Three year increments, only under the condition that Seychelles adheres to the IMF recommended program it has implemented. In Kreol, this means “Kapot Ek Las”!

Mr. Laporte Is Not familiar with the IMF Report on Seychelles

This poor chap engulfed in an air of self pity, did not know that the IMF said in its last Seychelles Country Report in May 2009, “…that the Seychelles debt burden will remain UNSUSTAINABLE as it is beyond 2027”.

People of Seychelles, this is not the fisherman fixing a bamboo fish trap aka “kazie”. We are talking about the knowledge of the Governor of the Central Bank of Seychelles, who happens to manage our economic affairs. A man entrusted by the Government of Seychelles with our economic future and the viability of all our investments. Even poor JJ is touting him as “our best man”. Lord help us if this is true!

Has made the Seychelles Rupee Stronger than the Euro for Six (6) Months

Mr. Laporte has done what no Global Country Central Banker I know of has been able to do in 2009: make their national currency stronger than the Euro.

Today, as I write this column, the Euro is trading at Euro 1.0 = US$ 1.4979.

In Seychelles, Mr. Laporte’s Central Banking dancing has brought the Euro from Euro 1.0 – Seychelles Rupee 23.00 late last year to Euro 1.0- Seychelles Rupees 13.00, sometimes even dipping to SR 12. Incredible! Magic? A Herculean feat indeed?

The Euro is weak in Seychelles only. It is strong the world over. The Seychelles Rupee is strong in Seychelles only. And weak the world over.

Now, Mr. Laporte wants to legislate confidence in the Seychelles Rupee, force us to accept it, force visitors to use it, so that the commercial banks can steal the real value between Mr. Laporte’s variables of mental error and financial mismanagement of our monetary system.

Mr. Laporte Is Not Sure If We Are In An Economic Depression

I have seen clown shows before, but this one beats them all. Mr. Laporte said to us on Praslin that he did not know if we were in an Economic Depression. He says he has to wait for IMF to come and tell us. Seriously?

What kind of economist is that? We need IMF to tell us that we are in an economic depression? Well, maybe with his high salary and bonus, together with the complicity of other Government officials with high salaries who can afford first class tickets, caviar and champagne, the Governor does not feel the pinch and does not know that our people are suffering, hungry, poor and seriously disgusted with this Government’s policies. And maybe he does not know that Seychelles is in a serious economic depression with businesses struggling to stay alive while CBS does nothing to control the commercial banks who are fleecing the populace with their exorbitant fees and high interest rates! Maybe he did not pay for his brand new Government car in order to understand that even a “rich” person in Seychelles cannot afford a new car these days due to the ridiculously high taxes. For the price of a Ferrari car overseas, one gets a small Kia or Honda in Seychelles! Maybe he does not know that the cost of fuel at the pumps does not reflect the true global prices and this is killing our economy, putting boat charter prices and sea-based excursions out of reach of most tourists, and making even a pickup truck delivery of a load of cement blocks unaffordable to most. Maybe he goes overseas often enough to buy all his luxury goods tax-free while most Seychellois struggle to put a piece of “Karang” onto their children’s plates at night. Maybe Mr. Laporte eats too often at hotel restaurants instead of driving around Victoria at night to see the underage girls prostituting themselves in search of SR 50 for a take-away, or to see young people rummaging through rubbish bins in broad daylight in search of a few plastic bottles to sell at the next Indian shop in order to buy a can of tuna or a loaf of bread.

Yes Mr. Laporte, in case you did not know, I am telling you now that Seychelles is indeed in an economic depression. You don’t need Mr. Paul Mathieu of IMF to tell you that. I just did!

Mr. Laporte Attacked Me For Being Smarter Than Him

Many other people commented and questioned Mr. Laporte’s intent behind his programs. In the end, he asked that we be patient and he will consider whether to extend his transition period under legislation, or scrap his ludicrous law altogether.

The Public also placed great pressure on Mr. Laporte to stop treating international companies like Four Seasons with special rights of passage while local businesspersons and investors have to bear the brunt of Mr. Laporte’s failing laws.

The People of Seychelles must hold Mr. Laporte to task on this key point.

For some reason, he found it appropriate, as a Central Banker, to question my political affiliation and used name calling antics to attack me. At one point he referred to me as a “big capitalist”. What kind of Central Banker calls people “capitalist”? Not only is this unprofessional, but any free-thinking person who believes in free-enterprise and who owns a business is a “capitalist”. Since Mr. Laporte should still be playing with spin tops in our school playground instead of running our economy, I wish to enlighten him about the words “capitalism” and “capitalist” as quoted by Wikipedia:

“Capitalism is an economic and social system in which the means of production (also known as capital) are privately controlled; labour, goods and capital are traded in a market; profits are distributed to owners or invested in new technologies and industries; and wages are paid to labour.


The word capitalist was first used by Arthur Young in his 1792 work Travels 1787–89; undertaken with a view of ascertaining the cultivation, etc. of the kingdom of France in the sense of one who owns capital, and was more precisely defined by Karl Marx in Das Kapital as one who owned working capital including machinery and made money by letting others work on those machines. Being a capitalist in this original sense does not necessarily mean that one supports capitalism.

It is a person who owns or controls the means for producing wealth, deriving their livelihood from profits off the labour expended by employees.

The term capitalist has more recently come to refer to someone who supports capitalism or a free market ideology.

Throughout 20th century, the term capitalist country was used in the Soviet Union and aligned countries to denote advanced free-market western economies. These included the United States, Canada, Israel, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and all European countries outside the Warsaw Pact except Yugoslavia. The term could occasionally be interpreted more widely to include developing countries outside the USSR's sphere of influence.

So there you have it Mr. Laporte. Think of hard working Seychellois in the tourism trade who wake up everyday and go to work to create wealth not only for themselves, but also for others through job creation. All within a free-market framework instead of a big-Government controlled environment full of useless bureaucrats and political party lackeys!

What about legislation for the local Commercial Banks?

With commercial bankers, he has refrained from implementing proper legislation to deal with over charges and high interest, and has elected instead to pussy foot with the financial cartel in Seychelles. Instead he picks on the earners of national wealth. An idiot of an act indeed!

Get serious man. If we are giving you a bonus for destroying the Seychelles economy in your 12 month tenure, the least you can do is to take on a more serious attitude. After all, your enabling legislation does not entitle you to a SCR 1 Million bonus each Christmas while the rest of Seychelles suffocates. It violates the Central Bank Act, because the money comes from Government, and it compromises your INDEPENDENCE, under law.

Crossing the floor

Mr. Laporte attacked me senselessly for “crossing the floor”, which of course has nothing to do with monetary policy. But for the record, I told him I crossed the floor because France Albert Rene was sending men from State House to my house at night with guns and scaring the hell out of my family and me. Nothing to ridicule Mr. Governor! At least by the time you left Praslin, you were not laughing anymore, although no one had a gun to your head!

In a future article, I will focus on how to fix the problem Mr. Laporte has created. Meanwhile, I look forward with anticipation to the future decision the CBS Governor will take in regards to this nonsensical foreign exchange law. Hopefully he has listened carefully to the people and the tourism trade and will make the correct decision. After all, a departure from the erroneous ways of his CBS predecessors would be welcomed by all Seychellois capitalists!

May God Bless Seychelles And All Freedom Loving Seychellois!


Anonymous said...

I work in the Central Bank. I read this blog regularly.

I always knew Pierre Laporte did not know what he was doing. But I could not say anything. I would be fired by him. He is a nice guy. But his strings are being pulled to please the government. Set up the next election by reducing the cost of living is his mandate. It is political. He is suppose to be independent.

In Praslin, I watched Gill from the audience systematically take La porte apart and shred his law. I was amazed what Mr. Gill did to him in a few short minutes.

It was all true and Gill demonstrated sharp knowledge of economics that put La Porte to shame for a Central Banker.

Mr. Gill also knew more about Seychelles economy then Mr. Laporte himself.

Thank you for all your work Mr. Gill. Thank you for writing about Chang Leng and being brave enough now to face the mistakes of Laporte for us.

I did not expect an article about this Praslin Central Bank meeting so fast.

Keep up the excellent work with your team of brave Seychellois.

Anonymous said...

The Governor of the Central Bank needs to adise us exactly what did he do for Niger, as an IMF staffer there?

Because Niger is a collapsed state. Seychelles is on that road aswell.

What will he do differently in Seychelles?

Come on Mr. Laporte, speak up, say something, or LEPEP will show you the door.

In Praslin you embarrassed LEPEP and SPPF. You made us look like a bunch of idiots facing the Public and that Gill!

Central Banks has doors Mr. Laporte, don't forget.

Anonymous said...

Vox Dei says:

I have for long been asking Mr Gill for an explanation on his crossing the floor incident, that being done i tender my apologies if any comments i may have said may have been untoward, though i do not have parsonal experience of what it feels like to be threatened by arms, i can only imagine the harm that this may have caused him. I am unusre as why Mr Gill did not make this information public at the time of the happenings but i guess that when one's family security is at stake all should be done for putting them out of harm's way.

I was not at the meeting, but i always had the feeling the Laporte was a bullshitter and shallow on economics. He has a B/A Economics, that is not worth much but is just a soft degree. It is a Bsc Economics that matters. Havign said that, Laporte nonetheless does not display much in terms of knowledge in interviews.

I would like to say something now, i am still desperately waiting to see a sign of a reunified Opposiiton or at least a concerted effort. I wish to call on Wavel Ramkalawan as Leader of the Opposition to do all necessary with the least possible delay to set up a unified platform for the next elections. For Opposition supporters it does not matter who gets X,Y,Z post, what we must is rid Seychelles of the SPPFs. Is is more than urgent! Please do this for the higher good and love of Seychelles and God!

Anonymous said...

Double Crossing of Floors

Not a strange and cheap reaction from Mr. Laporte who himself crossed the floor to run to the United States after commenting negatively to the SPPF structures and administration especially at the central bank. He was then sent to Africa to work like a real man,but he could not content to the challenge but crossed the floor back again to the SPPF in disguise.

The whole SPPF and SPP have crossed the floor and now rubbing shoulders with the capitalist world to save their day and clear up the mess like a degenerating snake in a trap.


Anonymous said...

Laporte intellectually falls on the floor, head first when faced with simple questions. This is LP's best man.

If the Governor of the Central Bank cannot defend his program before the Public, then what makes us think that it will work?

It is in the battle of the minds, and the battle of ideas, that Truth prevails.

This is the human condition.

Today, under public pressure Laporte failed, the Truth Test.

Under public pressure and debate, I had to explain to the Public that I crossed the Floor because Albert Rene, SPPF used State House men to threaten me with guns at night as they stalked my residence.
Yes, they scared me and I felt I was placing my safety at risk.

I had no Party to count on at the time. The DP and myself were in loggerheads. Tough, but we are all better men for it, today.

Mr. Ramkalawan knew what happen in those days, I kept him aware.Remember, in those early days, I seconded Wavel Ramkalawan's motoins so they could be debated on the floor of the National Assembly.

That is now all history. What is important is a united opposition, with a plan to remove Seychelles from current econmic disaster. The Plan must be used to educate the Public, and secure their vote, for "A Victory of Hope!

Christopher Gill

Anonymous said...

I would recommend a future writing referring to Mr. Laporte on the following issues beacause if he does not listen,then he will think of it before sleeping or worse in his dreams or nightmares;

Capitalism, Capitalist as a philosophy of optimising effectiveness, efficiency, maximum utility and economic gains for social benefits contrasted to the charade of inefficiency, uneffectiveness, debt unsustainability, debt forgiveness, social hardships, and continuous begging to the capitalist world..


Anonymous said...

Vox Dei

Yes Mr Gill the truth will liberate us. I have used this public forum to ask you for an explanation on the cossing the floor incident, you have provided one which satisfies me. This explanation has not killed you, nor has it disminished you, in fact it has gotten you respect (at least from me)!

I only wish that ALL politicians and public figures could give explanations of their public actions. Then it will be up to the public to decide.

On another matter, i have seen from various quarters a cry for a unified opposition. However i have seen no move as yet from the political leaders of a 'rapprochement'. Presently there are the SNP and DP as Opposition parties. Volcere and Ramkalwan are the leaders. I know Volcere to be pragmatic but not stupid. Ramkalawan has the responsibility to initiate a re unification or some sort of rapprochement. I only hope that this does not come too late. An electoral defeat come next election will set the Opposition back to its pre 1992 era. I pray that good sense prevails.

Mr Gill, will be interested in a mission to re unify the Opposition?

A concerned Opposition Supporter
Voc Dei

Anonymous said...

I am happy to help unite the Opposition. But you must not forget Mancham.

He will want to lead the Opposition as Presidential candidate.

You must not forget Boulle. He will want a say aswell.

The Opposition is made up of many great people. Being beaten by a bunch of ballot stuffers and communists that bankrupted our country does not make us less of being good men.

The Berlin Wall stood proud, until one day it was taken apart and brought down to rubble.

Once brought down communism must never stick its eye on our beloved country.

The Task now is to educate our people of communism under SPPF.

Change will come Vox, change spares no one, not even retarded moderate communists with gold medals bought in souvenir shops at the UNESCO office.

Christopher Gill

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