N ASSA U AND BAHAMA ISLANDS LEADING NEWSPAPER Pilot shrugged off engine war nings Volume: 107 No.316WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2011 PRICE 75 (Abaco and Grand Bahama $1.25 WEATHER SUNNY & WINDY HIGH 83F LOW 71F B y TANEKA THOMPSON Deputy Chief Reporter email@example.com THE ill-fated pilot of the p lane that crashed into Lake Killarney was warned about engine deficiencies on hisC essna 402C aircraft but shrugged it off hours before he and the eight other people on board crashed to their deaths, an accident report prepared by the Civil Aviation Department said. Minutes before the crash pilot Nelson Hanna was also alerted by an air traffic con troller that white smoke was trailing from his left engine during take-off, however, he did not declare an emergency nor did he report any engine or mechanical failure to the control room. The planes left engine f ailed, however, Hanna turned off his planes right engine, which showed no mechanical failures, causingt he aircraft to lose its thrust while it was 150 to 300 feet in the air. T he pilot then initiated a steep turn while the planes landing gear was down as he tried to return to the runway but the plane stalled, pitched nose down and fell into the lake shortly after 12.30 pm on October 5, 2010. The 90-page report pre pared by Delvin Major, an investigator at the Department of Civil Aviation, revealed that Mr Hanna knew of his planes mechanical problems hours before the crash. Catalogue of mistakes led to nine deaths TRY OUR PINA COLADA McFLURRY The Tribune THEPEOPLESPAPER BIGGESTANDBEST LATESTNEWSONWWW.TRIBUNE242.COM EXCLUSIVE: LAKE KILLARNEY CRASH REPORT REVEALED M ADE YOU LOOK H H A A L L L L O O W W E E E E N N N N I I G G H H T T I I N N S S P P O O O O K K Y Y S S T T Y Y L L E E SEEARTSONPAGE11B TRIBUTES TO SAILING ICON ON 94TH BIRTHDAY S S A A L L U U T T E E T T O O A A L L E E G G E E N N D D SEESPORTSSECTIONE THE SHATTERED REMAINS of the light aircraft that plunged into Lake Killarney, resulting in the death of nine people. A report has pinpointed a series of failings that led to the crash taking place. LABOUR union leader Jennifer Isaacs-Dotson has called for increased partner ship between stakeholders in view of the recent forecast of a deepening jobs recession. According to the InternaHEALTH officials have resumed testing of suspected dengue fever cases in an effort to ensure the disease has not spread to the Family Islands. By DANA SMITH firstname.lastname@example.org A HEARTBROKEN family is desperately hoping police can help find a teenage girl who disappeared more than a week ago. Kevisha Richards, 17, of St Michael Road, off Prince Charles Drive, was last seen nine days ago on Sunday, October 23. The girls mother, Kelly Thapa, broke down in tears as she spoke to The Tribune about her missing child. I havent seen her since that Sunday, Ms Thapa said. I have no idea where she is By LAMECH JOHNSON email@example.com ACCUSED drug lord Melvin Maycock Sr intends to appeal the ruling of a magistrate after he was convicted of drug possession with intent to supply and seven other offences yesterday. His million dollar drug seizure trial came to an end yesterday after he was found guilty of drug possession and SEAR CH F OR MISSING TEENAGER $1M DRUG DEALER GET S THREE YEARS S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 9 9 S S E E E E p p a a g g e e s s 2 2 a a n n d d 3 3 S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 9 9 S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 9 9 S S E E E E p p a a g g e e 9 9 ORK TOGETHER DENGUE FEAR MISSING: Kevisha Richards im lovin it
LOCAL NEWS PAGE 2, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2011 THE TRIBUNE PLANE TRIP THATTURNED By TANEKA THOMPSON Deputy Chief Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org THREE certified pilots had refused to take the passengers who died in a fatal crash in Lake Killarney to San Salvador because of the amount of their luggage, equipment and the size of one of the pas sengers, a report into the acci dent revealed. The report noted that the twin engine Cessna 402C plane operated by pilot Nelson Hanna was 523 pounds over the maximum weight allowed for take-off when it crashed minutes after leaving the runway at Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA 5, 2010. The investigation found that the excess weight "may have been an important factor in the aircraft's inability to gain adequate altitude after takeoff." One of the pilots who refused to take the passen gers to San Salvador operated a plane of the same make and model as the one that crashed. Another pilot offered to take the group and their equipment on a larger plane, but this offer was declined because the price was too high. "One operator offered a larger aircraft that was able to accommodate all of the equipment and persons present, but his offer was declined by the victim because the price was more than he was willing to pay," the report noted. A little time later, the same unnamed victim made arrangements for Acklins Blue Air Charter to fly the group and their baggage to San Salvador. Pilot Nelson Hanna, who operated the plane only list ed one person in the aircraft's flight plan, however there were nine persons on board the doomed plane. They were Nat Williams, 38; Chet Johnson, 39; Corey Farquharson, 41; Junior Lubin, 23; Devon Storr 27; Sasha Mildor, 44; Lavard Curtis, 26; Delon Taylor, 28 and Hanna, 43. A memorial service was held for the victims on the anniversary of the crash. THREE PILOTS HAD TURNED PASSENGERS DOWN SAYING IT WAS UNSAFE WREATHS A TTHECRASHSCENE yesterday, marking the deaths of nine people following the plane crash in October last year. P hoto: Tim Clarke /Tribune Staff A MAP IN THE REPORT, pinpointing the crash site. THEDAMAGEDFUELSELECTOR, recovered after the crash. FLASHBACK to how the Tribune reported the crash at the time. A ninth b ody was later recovered, bringing the total dead to nine. DEVON STORR, 27, one of the victims. C HETJOHNSON, 3 9, who died in the crash. S ASHA MILDOR, a nother of the victims. LAVARDCURTIS, who died aged 26. NATWILLIAMS, who died aged 38. The other two victims were Delon Taylor, 28, and Junior Lubin, 23. COREYFARQUARSON, 41 at the time of the crash.
According to the report, Mr Hanna conducted a charter flight from LPIA to Treasure Cay, Abaco at 9.30 am. A passenger, who sat behind the co-pilot on the Abaco flight, said he noticed technical problems with the plane's left engine pressure g auge needle readings before the plane took off from the r unway. The unidentified passenger who is an American pilot said he was uneasy because he had been in a accident on a plane with the exact type of manifold pressure discrepancy. He said he told Mr Hanna and his co-pilot, but the men d ismissed his concerns. Said the report: The pass enger reported that he o bserved the left engine manifold pressure needle not r eacting as it should. The pass enger stated that he advised both pilots and they both shrugged it off as no big deal a nd said it will clear up when f ull power is applied. Eventually, the needle indic ations matched each other and once the pilots were satisfied the aircraft departed. I t was also noted that the planes navigational instru-m ents needed for instrument meteorological conditions were inoperative. Despite the passengers misgivings, the pressure reading eventually became nor-m al and the plane was able t o take off and later land in Marsh Harbour, not Treasure Cay as originally intended, due to bad weather. Hanna then flew to Nassau where he accepted a request to fly seven people from LPIA to San Salvador. They were heading to the island for a weekend music festival. H owever, a flight plan filed by the pilot listed only one person on board the plane. The second flight took off at 12.30pm. Eye-witnessest old investigators they saw w hite smoke trailing behind t he left engine before the plane became airborne. Some witnesses said they heard s ounds of the engine misfire and saw the smoking intensify upon take-off. The investigation also revealed that the twin engine plane was 523 pounds over the m aximum weight allowed for t ake-off when it crashed minutes after leaving the runway. There was no cockpit voice recorder onboard the plane, so investigators had no idea w hat conversation, if any, took p lace between the crew during t heir last moments alive. However investigators speculated that the harrowing moments before the crash confused Mr Hanna causingh im to turn off the wrong engine. The report added that t he pilot's decision to return to the runway was likely based on instinct and was not practical in an emergency. Said the report: The expe r ienced and competent pilot was confronted with an unen-v iable emergency at a critical stage of flight. A number of p otentially confusing cues may have led to him misidentifying the partial loss of power fromt he left engine and secured the r ight engine. His reaction and instinct to return to the run w ay confounded his instinctive reaction to an emergency situa tion, which is much practised in training and testing. The time for him to make the correct diagnosis and to take corrective action was short. During this time he a nnounced his decision to r eturn to the airport for a landing on runway 27 and initiated a turn to the left. With the left engine problem per-s isting and the right engine secured and not producing thrust at this time, the r educed thrust of the left engine was insufficient to maintain lift. In a tightening turn, with gears extended, the aircraft stalled, became invert e d which resulted in a steep nose dive into the lake. A toxicology report found Mr Hanna had an over the O NEOF t he damaged parts disc overed after the crash. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2011, PAGE 3 INTO FATAL LAST JOURNEY f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e counter drug, salicyate, in his u rine however it could not be determined if this was enough to impair his judgment. All nine men on board the p lane died as a result of mul tiple blunt force injuries from t he crash. They are Clarence W illiams, 38; Chet Johnson, 39; Corey Farquharson, 41; Junior Lubin, 23; Devon Storr2 7; Chanoine Mildor, 44; L avard Curtis, 26; Delon Tay lor, 28 and Hanna, 43. A memorial service was held for the victims on the anniversary of the crash. THE LIGHT AIRCRAFT that was involved in the crash,l eaving nine p eople dead. THEFLIGHTPLAN recording just a single passenger, despite the plane being overloaded. A SKETCH by an eyewitness showing how the plane rolled to its left, turning upside down and falling rapidly. Regulation concer ns, see business section 1B
EDITOR, The Tribune. The recent crime debate in the House of Assembly has sparked a lot of debate about the persons who themselves are debating this Bill. The crime Bills are supposed to find ways to properly police criminals with a focus on serious criminal offenders. The Bill as I have read was passed in Parliament and is now on its way to the Senate. Parliamentarians and Bahamians alike hope that the passage of these Bills will stem the tide of criminal behaviour in the Bahamas, at least in the short term. But how can we expect to stem the tide of crime, when some of the very people passing legislation appear to have improprieties. Its like a parent telling a child not to smoke cigarettes, but yet the parent is smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. On Tuesday, October 18, 2011, short bursts of aggravation was evident in the House of Assem bly when Branville McCartney said that parliamentarians were discussing a crime Bill when they themselves are showing a blatant disregard for the law. He was referring to the failure of some parliamentarians to provide yearly financial declarations to the Public Disclosures Committee as enacted by law. All hell broke loose after this. The Minister of National Security, the Hon. Tommy Turnquest said that this has been going on for years. Was he trying to make an excuse to justify the illegality of this act? He then said that people have also been tardy in hiring ille gal persons without any permits and doing other things. Does the member for Mount Moriah know of instances where his comrades breached the law? If so, doesnt he have a responsibility to report these matters to the police? The Member of Parliament for South Abaco, Edison Key also rose up and stated that he knows of an instance where Branville McCartney was paid funds for services not rendered. (Mr McCartney refuted Mr Keys accusation in the public domain). Mr Key said that he did not want to bring this matter up, but if the Member for Bamboo Town wanted to talk about the Prime Minister, then he was going to expose Branville McCartneys alleged wrongdoing. Am I missing something here? Didnt Edison Key admit to being culpable in some wrongdoing? Shouldnt an investiga tion be launched to look into both of these matters involving these honourable members? Is it acceptable that we can only investigate the police, other public servants and private citizens only? Oops! I almost forgot. Dis cussions in the House of Assem bly are privileged. Privilege for the privileged. DEHAVILLAND MOSS Nassau, October 21, 2011. EDITOR, The Tribune. I would like tocommenton an article thatwas publishedin The Nassau Guardian on Friday, October 28. The article was about a very interesting debate between Free National Movement (FNM Pintard and Progressive Liberal Party (PLP chan and Jerome Fitzgerald in t heSenate on October 27. I believe that Senator Pintardwas well within his rights to criticise FNM and PLP parliamentarians for defending known criminals before our courts. Pintards condemnation was bipartisaned. He was not seeking to gain political brownie points by attacking PLP parliamentarians who are criminal defence attorneys. There are also FNM par liamentarians who defend known criminals. Pintard also took a swipe at F NM parliamentarians. That is why Opposition members should not seek to turn this into a political issue. I am glad that we still have in t his country high ranking government officials whohave the courage to call a spade a spade. I commend the senator for his brutal honesty and audacity. I also would like to commend the President of the Senate, Lynn Holowesko, for notasking the senator to withdraw hiscomments. Senator Jerome Fitzgerald had asked the President to have Pintard withdraw his comments. But I dont see why he should have. Pintard said nothing wrong. Further, Pintard didnt even single out any parliamentarian. Therefore, why were Fitzgerald and Strachan so up in arms over what the senator said? Senator Holowesko was right when she stated that what Pin tard had said was a general truth. Senator Pintard only said whatm ost right thinking Bahamians are saying nowadays. For Fitzger ald and Strachan to take issue with Pintard raises more ques tions than answers. A nyone who denies what Pin tard had said is either hopelessly naive or just plain silly. Moreover, I utterly reject Strachans claim that Pintard had denigrated attorneys by what he had said. How is saying that parliamentarians defend known criminals a d enigration of attorneys or par liamentarians? Strachans argument in the Senate made absolutely no sense at all. In my humble opinion, it was totally devoid of logic. Perhaps the PLP senator simply wanted to oppose Pintard because of his political affiliation. Also, we must all bear in mind that Pintards wife is an attorney. Therefore, I dont believe that it wasPintards intention to defame his parliamentary colleagues who are attorneys. And even if the senator has something againstparliamentarians who are attorneys, so what? Pintard is not the first person to criticise parliamentarians who are attorneys, nor will he be the last. Besides, the legal professionhas already fallen into disrepute in this country. Every now and then, it seems as ifan attorney is hauled before the courts accused of misappropriating their clients money. The fact of the matter is that everyone who has a little bit of sense in his country knows that many of the heinous crimes thatare committed in Nassauare committed by chronic offendersw ho are either out on bail, or whose attorneys had successfully r epresented them. No honest person would deny that even if a Senator or Member of Parliament does not defend a known criminal, his/herpartners intheir law firm do. Therefore, they are still benefittingfrom the proceedsof their law firms; while at the same they are arguing in the H ouse of Assembly how best to break the proverbial back of crime. Yet, how can one enact laws to fight crime and then turn around and defend known criminals who are constantly breaking those laws? Politicians have been insulting t he intelligence ofthe Bahamian people for years. This is one reason why I paid very little attention to the Crime Bill debate in the House of Assembly. And this is why I take issue with what the two PLP senators said. Like many Bahamians, I believe it can be argued that thep oliticians who defend known criminals themselves must bear some of the blame for the esca lating crime crisis that has rocked the very foundation of Nassau. I find it utterly amazing that Fitzgerald and Strachan would stand up in the Senate and defend attorneys at a time like this. Inm y opinion they were simply defending the indefensible. This country has recorded a staggering 109 murders for the first 10 months of 2011. Many of these murders were committed by persons who are well known to the police. Many Bahamians are now wary of attorneys. That t he two PLP Senators would even attempt tochallenge what Pintard had s aid suggests to me that they are woefully out-oftouch with the Bahamian people. Moreover, I utterly reject Strachans argument that attor neys must be dispassionate towards a case. If I were an attorney and I had a strong hunch that my client was guilty of a crime, I would not insult my God and my people by defending him. To do so would go against my conscience. Thatan attorneywould say such a thing might explain why so many known criminals are always out on the streets terrorising peaceful, law-abiding citizens. I wonder if the senator is willing to stand before amassive audience a t a PLP rally and criticise anyone who takes issue with parliamentarians who defend career felons. I wonder what the audience'sresponse would be. I believethey would boo her right off the podium. Furthermore, I think that it was wrong for Senator Strachan to draw comparisons between doctors and attorneys in this particularcase. If I were a doctor, I would have no problem treating a cold-blooded murderer who is either sick or injured. He might be as evil as the formerU gandan dictator Idi Amin, but he still possesses the image of God. Therefore, he must be treated with dignity by the physician. Besides, most doctors take theH ippocratic Oath anyway. Attorneys, on the other hand, should never represent persons who they know to be bona fide criminals. Never. Therefore, to make comparisons between doctors and attorneys is like making comparisons between apples and oranges. Many residents from New Providence have been impacted in some way, shape or form by the crime crisis. I had two first cousins who were brutally mur dered in Nassau. Despite what Strachan believes, the belea guered people of Nassau could care less about the constitutional rights of known felons. In fact, I believe that criminals have too many rights in this country. Be that as it may, I hope that the good people of the Sea Breeze and Marathon constituencies have taken note of w hat transpired in the Senate. I think we have too many attor neys in this country who dont care who they defend. They are toononchalant about their clientsw ho they know are career felons. As Pintard said, everybody knows who the criminals are. New Providence is a very small island. And as the senator remarked, if you as a parliamentarian dont know who the known felons are, then you have n o business leading this country. I couldnt have said it better. Pintard should continue to sound the alarm on this glaring hypocrisy in this country.Many decent Bahamians, whether they are PLP, DNA or FNM,are in full agreement with the courageous senator! KEVIN EVANS Freeport, Grand Bahama, October 29, 2011. EDITORIAL/LETTERS TO THE EDITOR P AGE 4, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2011 THE TRIBUNE The Tribune Limited NULLIUS ADDICTUS JURARE IN VERBA MAGISTRI Being Bound to Swear to The Dogmas of No Master LEON E. H. DUPUCH, Publisher/Editor 1903-1914 SIR ETIENNE DUPUCH, Kt., O.B.E., K.M., K.C.S.G., (Hon. Publisher/Editor 1919-1972 Contributing Editor 1972-1991 EILEEN DUPUCH CARRON, C.M.G., M.S., B.A., LL.B. Publisher/Editor 1972Published Daily Monday to Saturday Shirley Street, P.O. Box N-3207, Nassau, Bahamas I nsurance Management Building., P.O. F-485, Freeport, Grand Bahama TELEPHONES S witchboard (News, Circulation and Advertising) 322-1986 A dvertising Manager (242 C irculation Department (242 N assau Fax: (242 F reeport, Grand Bahama: 1-(242 Freeport fax: (242 W EBSITE w ww.tribune242.com updated daily at 2pm CYBER attacks traced to China targ eted at least 48 chemical and militaryr elated companies in an effort to steal technical secrets, a US computer secur ity company said Tuesday, adding to c omplaints about pervasive Internet c rime linked to this country. The targets included 29 chemical companies and 19 others that makea dvanced materials used by the military, California-based Symantec Corp. said in a report. It said the group included multiple Fortune 100 companies but did not identify them or say where they were located. The purpose of the attacks appears t o be industrial espionage, collecting i ntellectual property for competitive a dvantage, said the report. Security experts say China is a centre f or Internet crime. Attacks against gove rnments, companies and human rights groups have been traced to this country, though finding the precise source is nearly impossible. Chinas military is al eader in cyberwarfare research but the government has rejected allegations of cyberspying and says it also is a target. T he latest attacks occurred between late July and September and used emails sent to companies to plant soft ware dubbed PoisonIvy in their com p uters, Symantec said. It said the same h ackers also were involved in attacks earlier this year on human rights groups and auto companies. Symantec said it traced the attacks to a computer system owned by a Chinese man in his 20s in the central province of Hebei. It said that when contacted, them an provided a contact who would per form hacking for hire. Symantec said it could not determine whether the Chinese man was a lonea ttacker, whether he had a direct or indirect role or whether he hacked the targets for someone else. It called him Covert Grove based on a translation of his Chinese name. The US and Chinese governments have accused each other of being involved in industrial espionage. Security consultants say the high skill level of earlier attacks traced to China s uggests its military or other governm ent agencies might be stealing technology and trade secrets to help state c ompanies. T he chairman of the US House of R epresentatives Intelligence Committee, Rep. Mike Rogers, said last month that Chinese efforts to steal US tech-n ology over the Internet had reached an intolerable level. He called on the U.S. and other governments to pressure Beijing to stop. Another security firm, McAfee Inc, said in August it had found a five-yearlong hacking campaign that it called O peration Shady Rat against more than 7 0 governments, international institut ions, corporations and think tanks. In February, McAfee said hackers o perating from China stole information f rom oil companies in the United States, Taiwan, Greece and Kazakhstan about operations, financing and bidding for oil fields. T housands of Chinese computer enthusiasts belong to hacker clubs and experts say some are supported by them ilitary to develop a pool of possible recruits. Experts say military-trained civilians also might work as contractors for companies that want to steal tech n ology or business secrets from rivals. C hina has the worlds biggest popu lation of Internet users, with more than 450 million people online, and the government promotes web use for business and education. But experts say security for many computers in China is so poor that they are vulnerable to being takeno ver and used to hide the source of attacks from elsewhere. Last year, Google Inc closed its Chi na-based search engine after complaini ng of cyber attacks from China against its e-mail service. That case highlighted the difficulty of tracking hackers. Experts said that even if the Google attacks were traced to a computer in China, it would have to be examined in person to be sure it wasnt hijacked by an attacker abroad. By Joe McDonald, Associated Press Senator was right to criticise LETTERS l email@example.com Hackers hit chemical companies N A S S A U G L A S S C O M P A N Y SA RT G A L L E RY& L I G H T I N G C E N T R EP re ~ C h r i s t m a s S a l eO F F S T O R E W I D E ** e x c l u d i n g t h e g l a s s d e p a r t m e n t a n d i t e m s o n c o n s i g n m e n tM o n d a y O c t o b e r 2 4 t h ro u g h S a t u rd a y N o v e m b e r 1 2CUSTOM &READY-MADE FRAMES15%OFFMackey St 393-8165 393-3723HOURSMonday Friday 8:30am 4:30pm Saturday 8:30am 1:00pmAll major credit cards accepted as cash!www.nassauglass.com Privilege for the privileged
By DANA SMITH firstname.lastname@example.org FOUR armed robberies occurred yesterday two involving a shotgun and one ending when the victims dis armed the gunman during a struggle. T he first armed robbery occurred around 10.30am on Madeira Street. The male victim was about to make a deposit at a bank when he was approached by another man armed with a shotgun, who demanded cash. He robbed the victim of his deposit bag containing an undisclosed sum of mon ey, then fled the area in a silver coloured Honda Accord, licence place num ber 127534, according to police. The second incident occurred at 11am on Grace Avenue near Marathon Estates. A man and a woman were outside a home when they were approached by two men who demanded cash. One of the men was armed with a shotgun. They robbed the victims of an undisclosed amount of money and jewellery, then forced the victims into some nearby bushes where a struggle took place. The victims managed to disarm the gunman during the fight, and the two culp rits fled the area without the gun. The victims handed the gun over to police. The third armed robbery occurred at 2pm at Kathys Variety Store on Sea BreezeL ane. A masked man armed with a gun entered the store demanding cash. H e took an undisclosed amount of money and then fled the scene. The fourth incident occurred at 5.30pm at Computer General in Garys Plaza on Robinson Road. According to police, a man entered the establish ment with a handgun and made off with an undisclosed sum of cash. In a press release, police called armed robbery one of the most serious and potentially dangerous crimes committed today and offered tips on how to reduce the chances of becoming a victim. They advised the public to: install Closed Circuit Television (CCTV your property; make frequent money deposits and vary the times and routes; ensure parking lots are well lit and free from overgrown bushes; keep doors and windows free of signs and posters; be on the lookout for suspicious people, cars and activities; establish a local crime watch and a relationship with the police. P olice are asking anyone with information regarding any armed robbery to call 911, 919, 502-9991, 502-9910, o r Crime Stoppers on 328TIPS. For more information on h ow to protect yourself, your home, or your business, contact the National Crime Prevention Office on 3028430/1. LOCAL NEWS THE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2011, PAGE 5 By SANCHESKA BROWN Tribune Staff Reporter email@example.com TWO Florida men were charged yesterday with the s hooting deaths of two B ahamian students in Pemb roke Pines last Friday. P ascal Larrieux, of Hall andale Beach and Rodrigo Y epes, of Miramar, both 20, are being held without bondin connection with the Octo ber 29 murders of Michael Javon Knowles, 20, of Coconut Creek, and Deno Ricardo Reid, 19, of Miami, a ccording to Pembroke P ines police. Officers responded a round 11.15pm last Friday t o SW 16 Street after they r eceived several phone calls of shots fired in the area. B y the time they arrived, one of the victims was dead on the scene. The other dieda short time later in hospit al. A third victim, who police have not identified, is still in hospital. W hy the men were shot and the circumstances sur rounding the shooting have not yet been disclosed. Larrieux was charged with two counts of first degree m urder and one count of a ttempted murder. Y epes was charged with t wo counts of third degree m urder and one count of a ttempted third degree murder. Detective Carlos Bermudez, the officer in charge of the investigation, said the men were arrested Monday afternoon after an e xtensive investigation by the Pembroke Pines Police Departments Investigation B ureau. T he Tribune u nderstands t hat both victims were graduates of St Georges HighS chool in Grand Bahama. A fter learning of the fate of Knowles and Reid, angry friends and family vented their frustration and sadness on Facebook. One woman said: Nobody has the right to take someones life away. .M ichael Knowles we miss you and we love you. Another said: Deno Reid a nd Michael Knowles you will always be in our hearts. The suspects are being held in Broward Countys main jail. Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact the Pem broke Pines Police Department on (954 email Tips@ppines.com or call Crime Stoppers on 954493-TIPS. B y KHRISNA VIRGIL P OLICE have not decided if they will file charges in connection with the newbornbaby found dead in a trash can on McQuay Street almost t wo weeks ago. I nvestigating officers said they must await the results of a mental evaluation on a relative before determining how to classify the matter. Sources inside the Royal Bahamas Police Force saidt he file is now at the Attorney G eneral's Office. A n autopsy of the child has been completed, and the m other has been released after being questioned by police. Central Detective Unit head Superintendent PaulR olle said: "She is no longer i n police custody and we are n ot at liberty at this time to discuss the outcome of thata p rocedure." The newborn baby was found dead by the mother's sister after she smelled a foul odour coming from the bed-r oom. A fter searching the room, t he decomposing remains of the baby boy were found in t he trash, wrapped in a plastic bag. The incident was one of two infant deaths on the same weekend. Just hours later, police r eceived reports of a 9-montho ld girl who died in hospital. A 21-year-old Step Street woman took the baby to the A ccident and Emergency Unit of the Princess Margaret Hospital after she was found unresponsive. She reported that the child h ad been vomiting all day. P olice have nothing new to r eport on this case. BY DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org FREEPORT Grand Bahamas traffic fatality count was pushed to eight on Monday evening when a pedestrian was struck on Coral Road. According to police reports, the Imperial Park man was walking around 9.22pm near the NBC Plaza when he was hit bya black 1998 Ford F-150 truck travelling south on Coral Road. The victim sustained severe injuries and was transported by ambulance to the Rand Memorial Hospital, where he died. The identity of the victim is being withheld by police. Asst Supt Clarence Reck ley, assistant press liaison officer, reported that the vehicle sustained damage as well. He said police investigations are continuing. STILL NO DECISION ON CHARGES OVER BABY FOUND DEAD IN TRASHCAN PEDES TRIAN DIES IN A CCIDENT C HARGED WITH MURDER: P ascal Larrieux, 20, of Hallandale Beach, left, and Rodrigo Yepes, 20, of Miramar, right, who have each been charged with two counts of murder after the deaths of Michael Javon Knowles, 20, of Coconut Creek, and Deno Ricardo Reid, 19, of Miami, both grad uates of St Georges High School in Grand Bahama. Photo:Broward Sheriff's Office TWO MEN CHARGED OVER DEATHS OF BAHAMIAN STUDENTS IN FLORIDA FOUR ARMED ROBBERIES IN ONE DAY
By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter email@example.com FREEPORT Operation J ustice is aiming to collect 10,000 signatures on a petition by November 11 as part of its ongoing fight with the Grand Bahama Power Company. A lthough few supporters showed up for a planned d emonstration at the power c ompanys headquarters on Tuesday, Troy Garvey insist e d his organisation continu es to gain support for its petition drive which now has more than 7,000 signat ures. M r Garvey is planning to file an action in the Supreme Court against the power company on November 16. The petition drive is going excellent and we are shooting for 10,000 signaturesw hich we feel would be significant as we move to file action in the court, Mr Gar-v ey said. He claimed families and businesses have been crippled b y the high cost of electricity o n Grand Bahama. Among other things including the high fuel surcharge and questions about the estimation of power bills Mr Garvey said people are angry over the frequentb lackouts and power surges which often leave equipment and appliances damaged. When Operation Justice was launched in August, Mr G arvey had called for: the elimination or reduct ion of the fuel surcharge an end to the disconnection for non-payment policy the implementation of a m ore reasonable payment plan for customers with outstanding balances. O fficials at the power comp any maintain that it makes no profit from the fuel surcharge. The customers bill is made up of two components: the base rate which is a set cost established by the regulator,a nd the fuel surcharge which is a calculated cost that varies each month based on two fac-t ors: fuel cost and equipment efficiency. The company has been g ranted regulatory approval f or a three-cent hike in the surcharge to cover the cost of rental units brought in to provide supplemental power for the high-demand summer months. Some 54 mega watts of gene ration were sourced in order to improve reliability. Mr Garvey said Operation Justice is about seeking some relief for consumers. This fight is going to cont inue. We have a lot of support out there; dont mind p eople not coming out today, t his fight will move to another level in short order, he s aid. M r Garvey and Operation Justice director Jonathan Glinton are now in Nova Scot ia, Canada, working to gathe r support. EMERA, which is headquartered in Novia Scotia, is the majority shareholder with an 80 per cent stake in the Power Company, which has the monopoly on power sup p ly in Grand Bahama. The men have appeared on Canadian radio and televisionn ews to speak of their plan to sue the company on behalf of consumers. I n October, the company r eimbursed several major commercial and industrial customers a total of moret han $5.5 million for overbilling them for at least seven years. LOCAL NEWS PAGE 6, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2011 THE TRIBUNE ACTIVIST AIMS FOR 10,000 SIGNATURES IN BID TO TAKE POWER COMPANY TO COURT T HE governments crime bill package will only be effective if used alongside other solutions, according to Tribune readers in the trib une242 poll. F ollowing the PLPs stance that the package i s too little, too late, online voters were asked if they thought the bills would reduce the crime rate. The majority of those casting their vote (172 said other solutions were needed for the p ackage to work, while 70 believed the bills w ill h elp to reduce crime. Sixty voters said the bills would not be effective in the crime fight. C ommenting on the poll, Rosemary agreed with the majority: The bills recently passed to bring some semblance to our crimer iddled country can only be effective if all p arties concerned work together for the good of the country. Parents and guardians ought to be held r esponsible for their children's actions and whereabouts. Abaco Dinghy took a firmer tone: How a bout having the police (senior staff and comm issioner), the magistrates, judges, prosecut ors, AG, and of course the politicians, all of them how about holding them all accountable for the state of the country? If you can't get the job done get out. Very simple. A nd there was a call for a focus on educat ion from Stanley Jackson Sr: The core problem generating crime is the PLP and FNMs failure at education! Stop posturing a nd making stupid speeches and begin devel oping a plan for vocational training for 15to 50-year-olds and reverse the heavy tax bur d ens on business to get the economy headed i n the right direction. Check out tribune242.com now to cast your vote in the latest poll. MAJORITY IN POLL SAY CRIME MEASURES ARE NOT ENOUGH THE GOVERNMENT has extended the ban on scrap metal exports by two weeks. The Cabinet Office confirmed in a statement yesterday that the 90-day temporary ban on the export of scrap metal, which was implemented on 27 July, will be extended by two weeks to the November 11. It is expected that by then, the Pawnbrokers and Second-hand Dealers Act 2011, which aims to regulate the export of scrap metal, would have taken effect. The statement said the new Act requires all businesses dealing with the export of scrap metal, including gold, to be licensed under the Business Licence Act. Under the provisions of the Act, business owners or dealers engaged in the export of scrap metal will have to verify the identity of customers and maintain records of all transactions. Scrap metal export businesses will also be subject to monitoring by a police-designated administrator. Additionally, the law vests the police with a range of powers, including the power of entry into scrap metal establishments and the right to seize articles found within. The law also specifically prohibits a pawnbroker or secondhand dealer from dealing or trading in firearms or any other prohibited and or illegal sub stances. The government placed the temporary ban on the scrap metal trade, while imposing a permanent ban on all copper exports in an effort to curb the theft and destruction of property which has been said to be linked with the industry. EXTRA T W O WEEKS F OR BAN ON SCRAP MET AL
THE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2011, PAGE 7 Y EAR after year, there are ringing calls for the Bahamas to invest more and do more to develop agriculture. I n 2001, former Central Bank r esearcher Gabriella Fraser observed that Bahamian agriculture had hardly evolved over time,a nd asked whether enough effort w as being made to achieve food security. Environmental advocate Sam Duncombe argued in a recento nline exchange that If we don't i nvest in agriculture and manufacturing, Bahamians will be condemned to a life of servitude and dependence. Dr Marikis Alvarez, o f the Inter-American Institute for C ooperation, recently said agriculture could make a huge contribution to the Bahamian economy if only w e would inject enough funds into t he sector to make it work. Farmers association president Keith Campbell says we need to focus on food security and fully protect Bahamia n farmers from imports. Lawyer, physician and sometime politician Dr Dexter Johnson insists we can feed ourselves and prod uce a surplus for export. V isioneer John Bostwick says that with better management we could easily achieve food self-sufficiency,a nd even replace oil imports with o ur own bio-energy crops. BAIC chief Edison Key says agriculture could be the catalyst for economic diversification by substituting local products for $ 500m of imported foodstuffs. Meanwhile, the governments sector development plan arguest hat agriculture can be repositioned as a strong pillar of the B ahamian economy. And for anyone who remembers the good old days when g ranny and pa harvested fresh fruit and vegetables from their b ackyard farm, it is easy to believe that these projections can be fulf illed. We have heard these calls for a gricultural development for as l ong as I can remember. In fact, as a n official speechwriter at the B ahamas News Bureau in the 1970s, I wrote about linkages between agriculture and tourism so often it became boilerplate s omething to be inserted at the appropriate point in every text. S o how accurate is all this? Are we really missing out on a massiveb onanza here? Well, Andros is usu ally cited as the breadbasket oft he Bahamas the big yard, the continent to the west, the home of BARTAD and BARC, the islandw ith the greatest potential for agri cultural development. B ut a recent economic impact study by Dr Venetia HargreavesAllen found that farming has an aggregated gross impact of $1.23m annually about 1 per cent of theo verall impact from all activities on Andros. In fact, farming had the lowest revenue per-personemployed out of all activities ont he island. In other words, you can e arn more from crabs than crops. From our work, it is clear that 60 per cent of the Androsian economy is linked directly to thei slands natural resources which i s astonishing, Hargreaves-Allen told me. The long-term impact of depleting these resources willa ffect everyones livelihood, so t heir future security needs to be addressed by protecting forests, reefs, creeks, crabs and bonefish. A nd what is the current reality o f farming in the Bahamas? Agricultural production accounts for less than 2 per cent of the Bahamian economy, despitet he fact that 37,000 acres of cleared land has been earmarked for agricultural leases of up to 41 years mostly on Andros, Abaco andG rand Bahama. About a quarter o f this has been leased to farmers but even that is mostly not in production, according to a 2009 audit. The value of local crop product ion in 2007 was $42m, of which o nly a fraction was exported (mostly citrus). Meanwhile, imports of vegetables and fruit were valued at$ 46.4m. Livestock production poultry, pork, sheep and goats for l ocal consumption was valued at less than $20m in 2007. T he Department of Agriculture received over $7m in the current b udget. This money goes to support a backyard farming programme, road and well construc-t ion for farmers, loan guarantees, a nd the provision of fertiliser, pest icides, packaging materials, livestock feed, fencing and technicals ervices. Farmers are also sub sidised by duty exemptions on sup-p lies and equipment. The department operates the a battoir, the Gladstone Road Agricultural Centre, the Produce E xchange, seven packing houses o n four islands, a crop safety unit, and a plant propagation unit asw ell as extension services. The Bahamas Agricultural and Indus t rial Corporation is a related a gency that supports agricultural production and marketing t hroughout the islands. However, by the Ministry's own a ccount, agricultural development p olicies have had minimal impact on the sector. Economies of scale are difficult to achieve, and most farmers cannot produce enough tos ustain direct sales to wholesalers a nd retailers. Grading standards, storage facilities and a strong infrastructure for delivering products tom arket (are l enges, according to the Departments 2009 Agricultural Sector Plan. Other issues include poor crop m anagement, record-keeping, and t echnology; immigrant labour; lack of access to financing, and inadequate market knowledge. Labour costs of a measly $150 per week a re considered expensive by most f armers, the Department says. Agricultural processing faces similar problems, including food safe-t y and standardisation issues as w ell as high energy and insurance costs. In other words, despite decades of government support, commerc ial agriculture in the Bahamas is a difficult and uncompetitive enterprise that few Bahamians are interested in pursuing. And without H aitian labour, the sector would v anish completely. Food self-sufficiency for the Bahamas is an illusion. Ever sincet he failure of the loyalist plantat ions, large-scale agriculture has never worked here, despite brief exceptions such as the export trade in pineapples and sisal during the 19th century. B ahamian conditions are simply not conducive to commercial agriculture. Pineapple fields fore xample, had to remain fallow for 15 to 20 years after producing only a few crops, and the industry was never large enough to justify a regular steamship run (as the banana t rade did in the West Indies and Central America). E ven subsistence agriculture is a problem in the Bahamas. Historians M ichael Craton and Gail Saunders note that the predominant outi sland economy from emancipation t o the 20th century was a shifting f orm of peasant farming. The practices of rotational slash and burn agriculture and the overcropping of the meagre surface vegetation by livestock hast ened the process whereby the land became insufficient even for a s teady population, they wrote in Islanders in the Stream At best, it w as a triumph of necessity against the most unfavourable conditions poor soil, harsh climate, natural disasters, animal pests. Bahamian soils are dry, thin and p atchy making them suitable in their natural state only for tradi t ional shifting cultivation or pot h ole farming, experts say. Mechanised agriculture is restricted by frequent outcrops of bare rock. Water resources are scarce, andc rops require heavy irrigation. To p ursue commercial farming the ground must be specially prepared by machinery at great cost, andl arge amounts of chemical inputs a re required, which can pollute the water table. More obviously, food security is an illusion because the necessaryi nputs for commercial farming t hemselves must be imported fertiliser, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides. As former agricultural officer John Hedden wrote recentl y, "Environmental pollution is g uaranteed. And still no security or self sufficiency. Suppose the boat with the fertiliser stops com-i ng? Or the plane with the seeds? O r the ship with the tractor and pump on board?" Other countries in the region (like Mexico and the Dominican R epublic) can produce vastly cheaper product than is possible in the Bahamas. And guaranteed prices or purchases by the gove rnment allow poor practices to f lourish and are a disincentive to efficient producers. Import restrictions limit consumer choice andr aise food prices. Clearly, there is no proven formula for success in agriculture in the Bahamas, writes geographer Neil Sealey. The key is understanding the limitations and taking a dvantage of the opportunities. Production close to a market which can provide fresh produceo f good quality clearly has a market advantage. L ucayan Tropical and Goodfellow Farm on New Providence, and Lightbourne Farms on Abaco, a re good examples all relying on hydroponic cultivation to one d egree or another. This is essentially a form of market gardening, a nd in the case of Goodfellows (near the airportr estaurant and farm shop have cre a ted a boutique destination that h as enjoyed much success. S o it is counterfactual to suggest that agriculture can provide the large-scale economic benefits that the country requires to develo p. Small farming operations focusing on tourism may work, b ut as John Hedden put it: Agri culture in the Bahamas has never b een a long-term profitable busi ness. So we all went sponging.A nd we still do, but these days we sponge off the mainly North American tourists. W hat do you think? Send com ments to firstname.lastname@example.org.O r visit www.bahamapundit.com. IS AGRICULTURE REALLY THE FUTURE?
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With the new 3.7L, 305 HP, V6 with Automatic Transmission, custom 17 inch alloy wheels, power windows, locks and mirrors, side curtain air bags, plus leather interior and the all new Sync System and all standard features, PLUS 3 years/36000 mile warranty assistance, 3 years rust protection, licence and inspection to birthday, full tank of gas, floor mats, first five services Reserve yours now available at I If f y y o o u u a a r r e el l o o o o k k i in n g gf fo o r r t th he eb b e e s s t t v v a al lu u e e a a v v a ai il l a a b b l l e e Y Y o o u u o o w w e ei i t t t to oy yo o u ur r s s e el lf ft t o ob b u u y y o o n n e e t ional Labour Organisation ( ILO), global economic recovery will be further delayed by a new and deeper jobs recession, which may ignite. The World of Work Report 2 011: Making markets work for j obs furthered that labour m arkets have been dramaticall y affected by the stalled global economic recovery, and as a result, it will taken even longert o return employment to precrisis levels. M rs Isaacs-Dotson, presid ent of National Congress of T rade Unions, explained that a forum must be established between the government, the p rivate sector and the unions to forge an effective strategyto the threat of a doubled ip in employment. I think its something that we need to be cognisant of, were going to have less jobs c oming out than we thought, Mrs Isaacs-Dotson said. In planning, moving forw ard, and dealing with this, I think its going to take the t hree social partners to sit d own and look at what is happ ening and respond to it coll ectively. The government cannot do it by themselves, e mployers cant do it by t hemselves, workers cant do i t by themselves. We really n eed the tripartite system to deal with the job recession. T he report also forecast a r ise in social unrest, with a n ew index which analysed discontent over the lack of jobs and anger over percept ions that the burden of the c risis is not being shared fairl y. M rs Isaacs-Dotson said: For us in the Bahamas that definitely is very relevant because of the increase in c rime. If there are no jobs w ere going to see an increase b ecause persons in the country are hurting and not able to live with their bills. Maintaining and strengthening pro-employment pro-g rammes were among the suggestions outlined by the r eport, which also called for s upporting investment through financial reform and pro-investment measures. M rs Isaacs-Dotson added: The union, the workers of the country, and the employ-e rs are also ready to sit down a t the table to come up with w ays forward to deal with it and prevent social unrest. I think that our govern ment in particular is not having the dialogue that wes hould be having. We need to f orget our differences and realise that whats happening in the country, to the people, of the Bahamas is more than that and just come up with a plan on the way forward. D elon Brennen, deputy c hief medical officer with the M inistry of Health, said there have been sporadic reports of dengue fever-like symptoms on several islands throughout the epidemic. For the most part, the t hreat in Nassau has become less of an issue and it's really ensuring that our population in the Family Islands are covered and we're basically trying to confirm whether theyh ave local transmission, Dr Brennen said. The issue is a lot of peop le end up travelling to New Providence, if you get (dengue fever idence and you travel back and you get detected in Family Island that doesn't meant here was local transmission, b ut if there is, we need to e nsure preventative measures are in place. Last month, the number of suspected cases stood at 7,343. Cases peaked in August, w hen health officials reported an average of 100 new cases of suspected dengue fever per day. Officials maintained that while there have been caseso f bleeding symptoms among d engue fever patients, there h ave been no cases of dengue haemorrhagic fever. The diseases emergence as an epidemic this year has also raised concerns for the increased severity of futureo utbreaks, according to commentary published by the International Journal of Bahamian Studies (IJBS month. In the IJBS article, microb iologist Sherrie Bain called f or the establishment of a n ational infectious disease research centre to facilitate the development of alternative strategies. The article read: This disease trend suggests thatd engue fever is becoming more prevalent in The Bahamas. Therefore, unless there are significant developments at the national and/or inter-n ational levels, the impact m ight be even more severe d uring future outbreaks. Drawing on research indicating both positive and negative correlation between vector populations and the i ncidence of dengue fever, Ms B ain explained that having a l ow density of the Aedes mosquito does not ensure a lower incidence of the disease. Therefore, The Bahamas s hould look beyond simply t rying to control the vector p opulation as a lasting solution to eradicating dengue fever, the article stated. Despite the historical lack of emphasis on the pursuit ofs cientific research to identify p otential vaccine targets f irearm possession charges in Magistrates Court and sub sequently sentenced to three y ears imprisonment. R oger Gomez II one of Maycocks attorneys spoke to the press after the rulinga nd sentencing was handed down by Deputy Chief Magistrate Carolita Bethel in C ourt 8, Bank Lane. The attorney said they intend to appeal the decision made in court and that it w ould be filed by the after noon (yesterday that the ruling would have ab earing on Maycocks extra dition case where his client is wanted by US federal officialsi n relation to a multi-national drug smuggling organisation. The only bearing it has on the extradition case is thati n order to be extradited to the US, you have to be convicted on a similar offence inT he Bahamas, he said. Gomez II said that he and other attorneys are dealing with that pending case which began in 2004. After a number of delays in this drug seizure ruling, which was expected to be giv en at the end of 2010, deputy chief Magistrate Carolita Bethel delivered the guilty verdict to the 47-year-old forthe eight offences for which he was charged before her court three years ago. Those charges included three counts of firearm pos session, four counts of possessing ammunition and pos session of dangerous drugs with intent to supply. In May 2008, police officers seized more than 1,000 lbs of m arijuana from Maycocks rented home on West Bay Street, along with three gunsa nd assorted ammunition. T he drugs had an estimated street value of more than $1 million. The defendant faced a maximum of five years imprison ment at Her Majestys Fox H ill prison on the charges. H owever, after the verdict was given, Maycocks second attorney Jomo Campbell asked the judge to considerg iving his client a reasonable s entence considering that he had been incarcerated for nearly two calendar years. Campbell also said that M aycock is considered a family man and is a father of five children, the last child, a girl, o nly three months old. He contended that his client had been a model citizen since his last conviction for simple drug possession in 1994. He asked the judge to use h er discretion to take these things into consideration when determining his sentencing. In response, deputy Chief Magistrate Bethel sentenced Maycock Sr to three years on each offence and noted that the sentences were to run concurrently. This means he will serve three years. She told the court that con sideration was given to his incarceration for nearly two calendar years and the evidence in the case points to the fact that he was not alone in this matter as there are oth ers involved. a nd I just want to let her know that all of us miss her. I want to let her know that we love her and whatever it is, we can work it out ... just tellm e where she is. M s Thapa explained that she w as having a problem with Kevisha leaving home every now and then, but Kevisha would always come back or call. B ut this time, Ms Thapa received a phone call from Kevisha asking her to pick heru p from an unknown location, a nd Ms Thapa hasnt been able to get in touch with her since. Even though she left that S unday, normally she would come home and get ready for school, Ms Thapa said. Ic alled her cell and she asked me to come and pick her up but she never said where. She just said please come and pick me up, and the phone hung up. I called her b ack and the phone wasnt r inging it was like someone took the chip out. I havent heard her voice since then. M s Thapa explained that Kevisha has not shown up for school and shes unsure where she could be, but thinks she might be with a male friend of hers who Ms Thapa describesa s controlling and in his 20s. M s Thapa said the family is saddened over the disappearance. We all miss her. I miss her and her twin sister is waiting on her, Ms Thapa s aid. Shes an auntie now a nd she doesnt even know her sister had the baby. S uperintendent Ismella Davis said : We got the report late (Sundaya s soon as we got it, we sent it out. I dont know why her fam-i ly took so long to report her a s missing. I think she left home a nd her mother hasnt been able to get in contact with her. Kevisha was last seen at 7 .30pm on October 23 wearing short blue jean pants anda yellow shirt. She is 5, with a dark brown complexion, a nd is slim. Anyone with information is asked to contact 911, 919, t he Elizabeth Estates Police Station at 364-8996, or Crime Stoppers at 328-TIPS. THEGOVERNMENThas said that the downgrade of the Bahamas credit rating by Standard and Poors from BBB+/A-2 to BBB/A-3, wasdue to a change in the way that credit ratings were measured. The government said: During recent discussions with Standard and Poors, the credit agency made it clear that it was changing its methodology to place greater emphasis on diversification and growth prospects. Given the Bahamas economic con centration on tourism and financial services ... it seemed likely that a rating downgrade would follow this change. GOVERNMENT RESPONDS TO DOWNGRADE UNION LEADER:WE MUST WORK TOGETHER FEAR OVER DENGUE OUTBREAK IN FAMILY ISLANDS f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e f f r r o o m m p p a a g g e e o o n n e e SEARCH FOR MISSING GIRL J ENNIFERISAACS-DOTSON who has called for all sides to work together to steer the Bahamas through any further recession. $1M DRUG DEALER GETS THREE YEARS IN PRISON
By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor THE BAHAMASmust attract foreign direct investment into non-traditional industries to change the dynamics it faces, a private sector leader yesterday warn ing its twin pillars were unable to generate enough growth to propel the economy forward. Winston Rolle, the Bahamas Chamber of Com merce and Employers Con federations (BCCEC man, told Tribune Business that while tourism and financial services might generate enough growth momentum to sustain the Bahamian economy, they could not be relied upon to grow this nation out of recession and its fiscal problems by themselves. Acknowledging that he had anticipated Standard & Poors (S&P downgrade the Bahamas sovereign credit rating, based ona meeting he held with its executives several months ago, Mr Rolle said this nation was nevertheless fortunate in still having time to address its economic deficiencies. And, with the general elec tion imminent, he called upon the three major political parties FNM, DNA and PLP to each present credible plans to address the Bahamas debt and economic stagnation, rather than revert to the same old, same old. The Chamber chief said the key to reversing the Bahamas seemingly slow eco nomic decline was to get people to invest in the country to change the dynamics were facing. We need to look at how we can further diversify the economy, and get foreign direct investment into critical areas other than tourism and financial services, Mr Rolle explained. He cited one such industry as being the communications sector, which was in the initial stages of liberalisation fol lowing the Bahamas Telecommunications Companys (BTC While full liberalisation would only come with the end to BTCs cellular monopoly in $4. 68 $4. 51 $4. 69The information contained is from a third party and The Tribune can not be held responsible for errors and/or omission from the daily report.$ $5.09 $5.04 $5.03 T HETRIBUNE SECTIONB firstname.lastname@example.orgWEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2011 [Learn more at royaldelity.com] BAHAMASNassau:242.356.9801 Freeport:242.351.3010BARBADOSSt.Michael:246.435.1955 By NEIL HARTNELL T ribune Business Editor THE BAHAMIAN CIVIL AVIATIONindustrys inade quate legal and regulatory framework, and almost none xistent enforcement, were exposed by last years plane c rash into Lake Killarney, with the absence of airside security measures for fixed base operators (FBOs c ern. The report into the crash, which killed nine persons, discloses that the Civil Aviation Departments (CADa nd staffing are not enough to improve the quality and levB y NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor SANDALShas nothing to hide in relation to a US investigation into its Turks & Caicos operations, confirmation of the probe coming in al awsuit alleging some $1.65 million of the resort chains funds were improperly trans-f erred through the Bahamas for the seeming benefit of dis-g raced former premier, M ichael Missick. D etails of the US probe are revealed in a legal action filed in the Bahamian Supreme C ourt on behalf of Bahamasdomiciled Sandals ResortsI nternational 2000, a company t hat acts as the parent for n umerous entities that own Sandals hotels throughout the Caribbean. The action, filed on June 3 0 this year, is alleging that D r Jeffrey Pyne, a former S andals Resorts International 2 000 director, and the groups ex-treasurer and governm ental liaison officer, breached his fiduciary duty and employment contract byc ausing the Bahamian company and another Sandals entity to make a series of seven purportedly unauthorised wire transfers to three Turks & Caicos-based companies b etween March 3, 2005, and O ctober 26, 2006. T he three entities that r eceived the wire transfers included two law firms, C halmers & Co and Misick & Stanbrook, both of which were headed by two ofM ichael Missicks brothers, Chal and Ariel. The other firm, Prestigious Properties, is a real estate company run by another of Mr Missicks brothers, Washington. S andals Resorts International 2000, in its Statement of B y NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor A BAHAMAS-BASED oil exploration c ompany yesterday said listing on the Bahamas International Securities Exchange (BISX m et with the exchanges principals to see how it could facilitate Bahamian equity par ticipation in its potential success. S imon Potter, the Bahamas Petroleum C ompanys chief executive, told Tribune Business it was too early to determine what form of listing it might seek on BISX, buta dvisers had been appointed to determine the most appropriate route to take. The Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC i s already listed on Londons Alternative Investment Market (AIM ing would likely be a secondary one. How e ver, Mr Potter described listing in the Bahamas as fundamental to me, given that the companys assets and operational nexusw as focused entirely on this nation. BPCs assets are in the Bahamas, he told Tribune Business. We are essentially looking to be a Bahamian entity, with Bahamiand irectors, and are looking for a listing on the Bahamian stock exchange, the BISX. What form that will be, I cant say, but in t erms of the strategic direction I get asked a lot by people how they can invest in this com pany, and to the extent this company makes c apital gains, equity gains, it will be good for B ahamians to share in that. Mr Potter said he was already talking to By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor THE next Bahamian governments policy c ommitment to reducing the national debt will be a key element in determining its credit rating, with the fiscal deficit while projected to fall towards 3 per cent post-2013 still much higher than pre-recession levels of less than 2 per cent. Lisa Schineller, director of sovereign ratings at Standard & Poors, told Tribune Business yesterday that while the rate of growth for both the Bahamas national debt and fiscal deficit was projected to slow in the short-term, t his would not be enough to set the former back on a declining path. Speaking in the wake of S&Ps decision to d owngrade the Bahamas sovereign credit rating from BBB+/A-2 to BBB/A-3, Ms Schineller said the Wall Street rating agen c ys forecast for the Bahamas was based on the fiscal situation becoming a key element of policy focus for whichever government wase lected to office after the upcoming election. Emphasising that slowly bringing down the deficit will be something that is important, MsS chineller said: Thats what were assuming in our forecasts moving forward, and which will go through a new government. We are assuming some improvement, but i ts not a rapid improvement, so to speak. A key thing will be kind of what will be coming out of the new government. We do not expect real policy changes before the election. Just in case the three major parties the SEE page 5B S&P: NEXT GOV TS POLICY FOCUS IS KEY Fiscal deficit to fall towards 3% post-2013, but much higher than 2002-2007 average of 1.4% Net Govt debt to double in five years, rising from 18% to 40% by 2012 Rating improvement long way off CRASH REPORT EXPOSES FLAWS IN REGULATION Got urged to enact tougher penalties for illegal aviation charters following fatal crash Report highlights Civil Aviation unable to regulate sector effectively Airside access security now improved SEE page 3B THEPLANEcrashed in October last year in Lake Killarney. SANDALS: NOTHING TO HIDE OVER US PROBE Bahamas lawsuit suing former executive over alleged unauthorised $1.65m transfers Funds claimed to have paid expenses of d isgraced Turks premier, Michael Missick Resort chain admits previous donation to Missic s political party SEE page 4B FORMER Turks & Caicos premier Michael Missick OIL EXPLORER: BISX LISTING HIGH PRIORITY Bahamas Petroleum Company meets with exchange officials, and working with advisers on move Designed to give Bahamians equity participation in success, rather than raise capital SEE page 5B CHAMBER CHIEF: BAHAMAS MUS T ALTER DYNAMICS SEE page 2B
BUSINESS PAGE 2B, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2011 THE TRIBUNE B y NATARIO MCKENZIE T ribune Business Reporter email@example.com SCRAP metal dealers told Tribune Business yes-terday that they have taken a wait and see approach t o how the Governments n ew regulations will affect the industry, as the Cabinet Office announce the temporary ban has been extended by two weeks. S heno Ferguson, proprie tor of Trinity Development and Trading Solutions, told Tribune Business: I wast old they were going to extend the ban for twom ore weeks, and my unders tanding was that this was simply to further regulate the situation. Customs I understand that we will be dealing with Customs, so we are just waiting to see w hat happens with that. R ight now, its business as u sual. That isnt really stopping anything except that w e cant do anything with o ur copper; everything else youre allowed to ship. I still have my copper that cant be shipped. I know the origin of my copper. My copper came from derelict vehicles. The Government doesnt seem to understand that it is imposs ible to tell the origin of c opper once copper wire h as been burnt. Right now I am stuck with thousands of dollars in material that I cant ship. Ronny Etienne, owner of scrap metal trading firmR onnys Auto, told Tribune Business: I was just about to bring my containers back and offload my stuff. I spoke with a guy from Customs yesterday, and it seems to me like its going to be a l ot of up and down. I am just waiting to see what this is all about and i f this is going to be feasible. The Cabinet Office conf irmed yesterday that the 9 0-day temporary ban on t he export of scrap metal, w hich was implemented on 2 7 July, has been extended b y two weeks to 11 November, 2011. At that time the Pawnbrokers and Second-hand Dealers Act 2011, regulati ng the export of scrap metal, is expected to be in e ffect. Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham tabled the Pawn-b rokers and Secondhand Dealers Bill 2011 in the H ouse of Assembly last month, which sets out operational guidelines and regulations for pawn brokers, cash for gold operators and s crap metal dealers. T he new Act requires all businesses dealing with the export of scrap metal, including gold, to be licensed under the Business License Act. Records Under the provisions of the new law, business owners or dealers engaged in the export of scrap metal will have the duty and responsibility to verify the identity of customers and to maintain records of all transactions. S crap metal export busin esses will also be subject to monitoring by a policed esignated administrator. T he law vests the police w ith a range of powers of entry for production of records, and for the seizurea nd forfeiture of articles included in the inventories of scrap metal business places. The law also specifically prohibits a pawnbroker or secondhand dealer from d ealing or trading in f irearms, or any other proh ibited and/or illegal substances. DEALER WAIT AND SEE ON SCRAP METAL LAWS Chamber chief: Bahamas must alter dynamics Share your news The Tribune wants to hear fr om people who ar e making news in their neighbour hoods. Perhaps you are raising funds for a good cause, campaigning for improvements in the ar ea or have won an awar d. If so, call us on 322-1986 and share your stor y 2015, Mr Rolle said the process had already o pened up markets that new firms could enter to provide services/products thatr esponded to customer demand. We probably need to be looking at a reas similar to that where we can spur some investment, Mr Rolle told Trib une Business. B oth he and Rick Lowe, an executive w ith the Nassau Institute think-tank, agreed that the solution to the Bahamasp resent economic and fiscal position was f or the country to grow its way out of recession. If successful, this would gene rate more economic activity, jobs and revenues for the Government. Responding to S&Ps decision to downgrade the Bahamas sovereign cred it rating from BBB+/A-2 to BBB/A-3,M r Lowe said: My big concern is Parl iament. If their reaction is we need more taxes thats a concern for me, as it will s low the economy even more. It goes b ack to my constant theme; that theyve g ot to cut spending. Theyve [the Government] got to stop putting in so many laws, restrictions that discourage business. Theyve got to encourage business, and let the public know business is important. M r Lowe added that certainty over the Governments tax policies remained a concern for many in the Bahamian pri v ate sector. W ith the tax increases contained in the 2008-2009 and 2010-2011 Budgets having come as a surprise to many, he added: That is a concern, because theyy ou hesitate, and entrepreneurs and business people hesitate. They fear that if they do this renovation or expansionn ow, and the Government raises taxes, they will not be able to pay for it or pay for it as easily as theyre doing. It does cause consternation. M r Rolle, meanwhile, said the S&P d owngrade merely reinforced the mes sage being delivered to the Bahamas by rival credit rating agencies, such asM oodys, and the International Mone tary Fund (IMF the fiscal position was sliding into dangerous territory, coupled with relativelyl ow growth prospects, and action needed to be initiated now to reverse the slip page before it became a problem. The debt is a concern, and growth projections are very low, especially since the twin pillars, tourism and financial services, are not only mature industries but their growth projections are not enough to propel the economy, Mr R olle told Tribune Business. They may b e enough to sustain it. We have a lot of work to do on small b usiness development, which undergirds d evelopment in any country. Hopefully, s ome of things on stream will come to f ruition very shortly. T he downgrades implications for increased borrowing costs for the Bahamas on the international markets should not be a short-term worry, the Chamber chairman added, as this nation should be focused on reducing the $4.075 billion debt not growing it further. Based on the debt position, the last t hing we want to do is add to it, he said. We need to find ways to reduce the d ebt, not increase it. We should be looking at ways to miti gate that debt ratio. T he Government, though, appears set to increase the national debt, at least in t he short-term, having just gone to the l ocal market with a $60 million Bahamas G overnment Registered Stock issue. Mr Rolle said the Government was in a similar situation to many Bahamasbased businesses who, in response to the recession, had slashed costs and expenses to the bone. There were only so many costs they could cut, though, at unless t he Government soon started to grow revenues it would be faced with the same challenges. S &P is projecting net and gross central g overnment debt to hit 40 per cent, and over 50 per cent, respectively by next year. Unveiling his own policy prescrip-t ion, Mr Rolle added: We really have to c ontain borrowing as much as possible, and hopefully no major issues arise over the next six months to make that neces s ary. We also need to be more creative to get more revenue. With one eye on the general election, Mr Rolle added: Whichever politicalp arty takes us through the next couple of y ears has to be mindful of this, and have a very clear plan to accomplish the task. Thats the kind of dialogue we need t o be having as we enter the political season. What are the plans of the various parties to get us there? We cant just have the same-old, same-old. U rging the Bahamas to avoid getting to the point where it might have to call on IMF or external assistance, the Cham ber chief said: Were still fortunate to be able to heed these warnings, whereas other persons are already unable to deal with their challenges. Its up to us and the politicians to t ake these warning signs, use them to our advantage and not get to the point where we are pressed to do something. F ROM page one
el of regulatory oversight, w hile flight plan forms were b eing accepted and sent to Air Traffic Control at Lyn den Pindling International A irport (LPIA plete information. A number of defects ident ified in the report by CADs A ir Accident Investigation and Prevention Unit (AAIPU b een remedied but the con cern, apart from the fact the Department is effectivelyi nvestigating itself, is that the B ahamas civil aviation laws and regulatory framework has numerous holes and a nother accident may be waiting to happen. The report, exclusively o btained by Tribune Business, also confirmed what was already widely known, namely that Acklins Blue A ir Charter, the company operating the plane, was operating commercial chart er flights without having the necessary approvals and permits. I t was said to have been advertising and operatingas a Bahamas air taxi opera tor without having under g one the certification process, in contravention of Bahamas Civil Aviation ( Safety) Regulations. Nei ther the principal pilot, Nelson Hanna, not the secondp ilot, Devon Storr, were q ualified to operate com m ercial charter flights. But, of deeper long-term concern, the report said: Current Civil Aviation Department personnel and b udget resources may not be sufficient to ensure that the quality of surveillance for certified as well as uncertified air carrier operationsw ill improve. Airside access procedures are inadequate at Fixed BaseO perators. Access to the secure airside is occurring without any check of indiv iduals to challenge whether t hey have a legitimate reason for accessing the secure airside. The FBO door toa ccess airside is not secured or locked continuously; persons are observed walking in a nd out without being chal lenged. Given the potential safety a nd security nightmare this p oses, the importance of the Ministry of Tourism and Aviations pending regulato-r y reforms for the sector, together with the $50 million Inter-American Develop m ent Bank (IDB tiative, cannot be overstat ed. Some improvements have a lready been made, the Airport Authority having increased security to account for all persons gaining access to the secure airside. Changes requiring all pilotst o have two-year proficiency checks and flight reviews, and enhanced reporting requirements, have also been i mplemented. Among the crash reports recommendations, TribuneB usiness can reveal, is for the Government to enact l egislation that creates tougher penalties for persons engaging in unauthorised air charters. The report also urged for C ADs budget and staffing to be sufficient to oversee operation and mainte-n ance of all certified and uncertified air carriers in the Bahamas, and called on the A irport Authority to explore a surveillance programme or require all fixed base operators to install sur-v eillance equipment (CCTV to cover all areas under their control to properly capture a ll activities by persons gain ing access to the secure airside at all FBOs. T he Airport Authority was a lso urged to develop a safe ty and security plan for all FBOs, in conjunction witht he operators themselves, and to ensure the operators installed a door locking sys t em with buzzer to ensure persons do not have unlim ited and unimpeded access to the secure airside without t he knowledge of representatives of the facility. The crash report noted that the passengers on the fatal flight gained access to the aircraft through Execu t ive Flight Support (EFS facilities, but no one at the facilitys desk knew who they were, who took them out to t he aircraft or what aircraft they boarded. No weight and balance document was left,a nd the plane was later estimated to be at least 500 p ounds overweight. The flight plan also showed one individual on board, when in fact there were nine, showing againh ow rules and regulations are not adhered to. The report also revealed h ow three other airline operators at LPIAs domestic terminal had been approached o n the day of the accident by o ne of those killed seeking a charter to San Salvador, but all declined because byl ooking at the amount of luggage and other equipment that accompanied the pas s engers, and the size of the passengers that wanted to travel, in their estimation thec ombined weight appeared t o be in excess of the weight that their respective aircraft can accommodate. B y NATARIO McKENZIE Tribune Business Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org THEMINISTRYof Agriculture and Marine R esources told Tribune B usiness yesterday that it had moved to enforce a rule that compressor permits be issued to "Bahamians only, something that has caused t o receive a lot of flack f rom foreign nationals previously operating in this nations waters. Larry Cartwright, minister of agriculture and marine r esources, said this rule took effect as of August 1, 2011, the opening of the crawfish season. In a Tribune Business story last week, local fishermen expressed concern over what they claimed was a growing threat to the Bahamian fishing industry, with Bahamian boat owners ostensibly employing Dominicans as labourers and mechanics, but instead u sing them as divers. M r Cartwright told Tribune Business: "That is nothing new. That is something that has been going on for many years. We are aware of it but we have put in place this year, finally, after attempting to do it for quite some time, a rule that we are issuing compressor permits for Bahamians only. We have received a lot of flack from those foreign n ationals who are married to Bahamians, and who are no longer able to go out and d o commercial fishing, but t he Fisheries Act states that c ommercial fishing vessels must be owned and operated by Bahamians only. Foreigners are not allowed to do commercial f ishing in our country. A lid h as been put on that. While a few of them might slip through the cracks, the majority of them now are no longer allowed to go fishing, t hats those who are here in t he Bahamas legally or illeg ally." Mr Cartwright further added: "That does not apply to poachers. Whatever they do out there, that is against t he law. The Defence Force w ill do their best to try and apprehend them and bring them in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ove to stop foreign nationals fishing in Bahamian waters LARRYCARTWRIGHT Crash report exposes flaws in regulation FROM page one
Claim, is alleging that the seven wire transfers, totalling $1.65 million, were not madef or any legitimate commerc ial or other purpose of the plaintiffs business or interests. It further claims that the purpose of most of the transfers was to equip the threeT urks & Caicos companies w ith funds to pay the debts of certain third parties in Turks & Caicos a cryptic reference to Michael Missick. Sandals is seeking the r eturn of its allegedly missing $ 1.65 million, either through t he recovery of the original funds or compensation from Dr Pyne. However, in denying the allegations against him, DrP yne claimed the Bahamian a ction initiated against him resulted from an investigation being carried out by the US authorities in respect of whether Sandals or Mr Stew-art made political contributions to Michael Missick. Based on the same, Mr S tewart has wrongfully sought t o allege that I, in my capacity as managing director of Gorstew, forwarded the funds t o Michael Missick without Mr Sewarts approval or instructions. This is a fabrica t ion which I have strenuously denied, and have taken steps to explain my involvement. In a September 22, 2011, affidavit, Dr Pyne alleged the Bahamian Supreme Court action had been filed to avoidl itigation in either the Turks & Caicos or Jamaica, and that Sandals was merely forum shopping. The flow of all funds through the resort chain, DrP yne alleged, was controlled b y Mr Stewart through Unique Vacations, Sandals worldwide marketing and reservations agent, and Phyl-l is Thompson in the Bahamas. A ll payments of special requests or unusual bills had to be approved by Mr Stewart, he claimed. I n response via an October 21, 2011, affidavit, Dmitri S ingh, general counsel for S andals Resorts International 2 000, alleged that Mr Pyne was merely seeking to besmirch Sandals and Mr Stewarts reputations by revealing the US investigation. It is correct to state that t here is an investigation ongoing by the United States authorities into Sandals affairs in the Turks & Caicos, Mr Singh conceded. However, Sandals has noth-i ng to hide in relation to the s ame, and is fully cooperating with the United States authorities to resolve this matter. This investigation does not c hange the fact that Dr Pyne breached his fiduciary and contractual duties to (Sandals Resorts International 2000) i n improperly authorising the transfer of $1.65 million to C halmers & Com, Prestigious P roperties and Misick & Stanb rook. Mr Singh described Dr Pynes claim that the transfers were conducted on Mr Stewarts instructions as completely baseless and without merit, having beeni nformed by the Sandals chairman no authorisation came from him or anyone else in the group. At all times Dr Pyne was acting on a frolic of his own,a nd in breach of his fiduciary a nd contractual duty, Mr Singh alleged. He admitted that Sandals had in the past made a polit-i cal contribution to Mr Miss icks party, the Progressive National Party, but said these transfers were unauthorised. R ecalling the origins of the dispute with Dr Pyne in an e arlier June 30, 2011, affidavit, M r Singh said three wire t ransfers made to Prestigious Properties between MarchDecember 2005, totalling $1 million, had purportedly been made to purchase property on Sandals behalf. David Davies, Sandals g roup chief financial officer, and Mr Singh were asked to probe the transfers after no evidence was produced to show the funds had been used to purchase real estate. A November 2009 meeting a t Prestigious Properties, involving the investigating team, two Missick brothers and Dr Pyne was held. MrS ingh alleged the Sandals e xecutives were told that the funds in question had not in fact been used to purchase property for Sandals, but had b een used to pay off Michaels (Missick e xpenses. H and-written notes attached to the Prestigious P roperties accounts indicate d the $1 million was used to p ay items such as Michael M issicks credit card bill, plus parental support and gifts to Jacqueline Lightbourne, believed to be the mother of s ome of the former premiers c hildren. As for $500,000 transferred t o the Chalmers law firm, Mr Singh alleged Mr Stewart said the payment purportedly to pay his legal fees had not been authorised by himself, and he was unaware of what it was for. After some inquiries, Michael Missicks brother,C hal, allegedly said it was a political contribution to the P NP and its re-election campaign. It was clear that a fraud has been perpetrated on Sandals in relation to the $500,000t ransferred to Chalmers, Mr Singh alleged. A s a result, Sandals launched an October 4, 2010, action in the Bahamian Supreme Court against FirstCaribbean International Bank (Bahamass eeking an injunction and discovery orders to trace the $500,000. This was granted by Justice Bernard Turner, but FirstCaribbean said it was unable to disclose any information ast he account in question was located in the Turks & Caicos. The Bahamas injunction and action were halted, and new proceedings brought in the Turks & Caicos. And a final transfer of $150,000, also allegedly unau-t horised, to the Misick and S tanbrook law firm, was said by the latters principals to a lso have been used as a d onation to the PNP. D r Pyne, meanwhile, alleged that he could not recall having served as ad irector of Sandals Resorts International 2000, or attende d any of its Board meeting, M r Pyne said he was surprised t o learn he was listed as a d irector from May 2002-2010 in the Bahamian Companies Registry, and claimed he was never advised of his appointment as treasurer. I n response, Mr Singh alleged this assertion was incredible, as there was evidence to suggest to the contrary. 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T his nations sovereign c redit rating, and creditwort hiness, could then come under further pressure if the fiscal deterioration persisted, coupled with an erosion o f this nations economic b ase. T he only way the B ahamas will see an i mprovement in its sovere ign credit rating, Ms Schineller indicated, was for it to change its economicg rowth and policy dynamics. This, when it is boiled down, means that much rides on the economic i mpact of the $2.6 billion Baha Mar project post mid2014 when it begins full o perations, coupled with the G overnments ability to a chieve a meaningful reduction in the debt-to-GDPr atio and fiscal deficits. T he latter objective, though, seems unlikely to be achieved, at least in the short-medium term. We are assuming that the debt is going up in the next few years, but at a reduced pace a s the deficit slowly comes d own, the S&P sovereign ratings head said. Our assumption is that there is some improvement that will be predicated on the Governments efforts. S&P is projecting that the Governments general d eficit, as a percentage of G DP, will come down from 5 .1 per cent in the 2010-2011 Budget year to 4.5 per cent, and 3.5 per cent, respectively in the 2011-2012 and 2 012-2013 fiscal years. M s Schineller told Trib une Business that S&P was p rojecting the deficit would t hen turn towards 3 per c ent, but this was still much higher than the less than 2 per cent deficits theB ahamas was running prior to 2008. Between 20032007, S&P says the Bahamas was running general gove rnment deficits averaging just 1.4 per cent of GDP. As for general governm ent debt, Ms Schineller s aid S&P had this peaking a t just over 40 per cent, and 50 per cent, in net and gross terms respectively, over the 2 012-2013 horizon. Thats a lot higher than it w as. It was in the mid-30s [net debt] in 2010, Ms Schineller said. Were notf orecasting a correction in that ratio at this point. W ere kind of anticipating it will remain stable around this higher level. T he S&P executive said the Bahamas net government debt, which hit 34 per cent in 2010, was just 18 per cent in 2007. This indicator is thus set to more than double in just five years, given the 40 per cent projection f or 2012. T he Wall Street rating a gency has the governments net and gross debt indicators peaking at 42 per cent and 52 per cent, respectivel y, M s Schineller emphasised u nless the Bahamas a chieved a drastic decline i n its debt levels its sovere ign credit rating would not improve, with upside and downside risks for the econ-o my evenly balanced. We need to see a change in these dynamics a change in the growth dynamics and a change in the policy direction or a combination of both to help turn this around a nd raise the rating levels, s he added. R ick Lowe, a fiscal hawk with the Nassau Institute think-tank, said S&P and t he other rating agencies were telling the truth, and a dded: Its about time the rating agencies start to call it as it is throughout the world. Theyve been giving all these countries a pass, sayi ng its hunky dory when it wasnt. Theyre being more realistic, and I hope it forces t he Government to be more realistic on its spending. a dvisers to determine how a BISX listing can be achieved, how quickly it can be done, and what the optimum role of such a listing would be. The Bahamas Petroleum Company, he explained, wanted to explore what such a listing would look like, and how it would work in conjunction with its main AIM listing. Its a high priority, put it that way, Mr Potter said of the Bahamas Petroleum Companys BISX listing plans. Ive met with the exchange, yes. He added that raising capital would not be the primary goal associated with a BISX listing, the main driver being to enable Bahamian investors to participate in the Bahamas Petroleum Companys success and upside if it struck commercially viable quantities of oil in this nations waters. We are fully capitalised for what we want to do, and need to do, at the moment, Mr Potter told Tribune Busi ness. So the intention of having the listing here is not necessarily to raise capital... The issue is to enable Bahamians to participate in potential wealth creation associated with Bahamas Petroleum Com pany. The primary driver is to allow B ahamians to participate in wealth creation through equity gains. While it was still early days for Bahamas Petroleum Company and Mr Potters career as its chief executive, he said that all those he had met in the Bahamas were very welcoming and inter e sted in Bahamas Petroleum Companys story and ambitions, and what we want to do over the coming months. While the potential discovery of any oil fields in the Bahamas is some way off, the Bahamas Petroleum Companys activities if successful would tick all the boxes addressed by Standard & Poors down grade of this nations sovereign credit rating, namely economic growth, diversification, jobs and government revenues. FROM page one OIL EXPLORER: BISX LISTING HIGH PRIORITY S&P: NEXT GOVTS POLICY FOCUS IS KEY
NEW YORK Associated Press L ET'Swait and see. That's likely to be the Fede ral Reserve's message Wednesday, when its two-day policy meeting ends. Few expect any bold new steps tobe announced, despite rising fears that Europe's debt crisisc ould infect the global economy. F ed policymakers likely want to gauge the impact of action they've taken recently to keep interest rates low. TheFed has breathing room b ecause the U.S. economy has strengthened enough to allay fears of another recession. After their September meeting, the policymakers said they would shuffle the Fed's investment portfolio to t ry to further reduce longterm interest rates. And in their previous meeting in August, they had said they plan to keep short-term rates near zero until at least mid2013 unless the economyi mproved. "They know they are running out of tools, so they don't want to employ another one unless they have to," said David Wyss, former chiefe conomist at Standard & P oor's. Financial markets in the United States and around the world were jolted Tuesday after Greece's prime minister made the surprise decision toc all a referendum on the country's latest rescue package. The move sparked fears that the entire debt deal could unravel, that Greece could d efault on its debt and that the crisis could ripple through the global financial system. Economists said Europe was sure to be a major discussion topic during the Fed meeting Tuesday andW ednesday. But they said they didn't think the developments would prompt the Fed to announce any major new step. A ctivity "They will talk about E urope, but I don't expect a ny action," said David Jones, h ead of DMJ Advisors, a Denver-based consulting group. "The Fed will not respond to the problems in Europe until it is clear theya re causing a significant weake ning in economic activity in the United States." After the meeting ends, the Fed will release its economic forecasts and Chairman Ben Bernanke will hold a news conference. A t its last meeting, the Fed left open the possibility of taking additional action to try to help the economy. One option is to further explain the steps it has already takena nd their purposes. Another w ould be to launch a third program of bond purchases. But the Fed remains deeply divided over what, if any, action to take, which is another reason economists don'te xpect any major announcements this week. The actions taken in August and September were adopted on 7-3 votes, the most dissents in nearly 20 years. T hree regional bank presid ents Richard Fisher of D allas, Charles Plosser of Philadelphia and Narayana K ocherlakota of Minneapolis all voted no. They have expressed concerns that the Fed's policies could lead to h igh inflation later. O n the other hand, four policymakers are worried that t he Fed might not be doing enough. Vice Chair Janet Yellen, Governor Daniel Tarullo, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans and New Y ork Fed President William Dudley have said the econo my is at risk and might need m ore support. "I have never seen the Fed more deeply divided than it i s at this moment," said Jones, t he author of books on the F ed. At its meeting in Septemb er, the Fed stopped short of expanding its portfolio of investments. Instead, it opt-e d to shuffle $400 billion of its investments to try to lower long-term rates. B ut two officials pushed for bolder action, according to minutes of the meeting. The members discussed moreb ond-buying. Some said it should remain an option. A brighter outlook for the economy has given the Fed more room to wait. The economy grew at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the July-September period the best quarterly performance in ay ear. That's strong enough to show that the economy isn't about to slide into recession. Still, growth would have to be nearly twice as high con-s istently to make a major d ent in the unemployment rate, which has been stuck at 9.1 percent for three straight months. Stocks staged a rally in October. The Standard &P oor's 500 stock index last month notched its best onemonth showing since December 1991. Drop But on Tuesday, news of the Greek referendum trig-g ered a wave of selling on Wall Street and around the world. The Dow Jones indus-t rial average finished down n early 300 points, about 2.5 percent. It was the biggest one-day point drop for the D ow since Sept. 9. Even if the European debt deal were to succeed, manya nalysts don't think Europe can avoid another recession. Most economists think the Fed will hold off on new action until its December meeting or early next year. The next step could be fur t her clarity on its interest-rate policy. Evans has proposed that the Fed set benchmarksf or raising rates. For example, it could agree not to raises hort-term rates until unemp loyment fell below 7 percent o r the outlook for inflation exceeded 3 percent. The unemployment rate has hov-e red around 9 percent for more than two years, and the Fed's inflation outlook is under 2 percent. Y ellen, who heads a Fed panel that is examining ways to improve the central bank's c ommunications, says the idea should be examined. But she cautioned that such benchmarks could confusei nvestors. She has suggested that the Fed could add further guid-a nce when it provides its economic forecasts four times a year. The forecast offers estim ates for growth, unemploym ent and inflation. It does not forecast interest rates. Mark Zandi, chief econom ist at Moody's Analytics, said that adding a Fed forecast on the federal funds rate, i ts main policy lever, would r eassure investors about when it might move interest rates. "They have given investors m ore clarity about the timing of future rates, but including an actual forecast of whenr ates might change would h elp bring rates down fur ther," Zandi said. BUSINESS PAGE 6B, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2011 THE TRIBUNE G REEK PRIME MINISTER George Papandreou. (AP NO MAJOR FED MOVES EXPECTED DESPITE EUROPE
N EW YORK A ssociated Press A WAVEof selling swept across Wall Street and stock markets around the world T uesday after Greece's prime m inister said he would call a n ational vote on an unpopular European plan to rescue that nation's economy. The Dow Jones industrial a verage finished down nearly 300 points. It swung in 100 point bursts throughout the d ay as investors reacted to s ometimes conflicting headlines about the next steps in Greece's long-running debtc risis. Treasurys and other assets considered safe surged. The stocks of major banks, i ncluding Citigroup and J PMorgan Chase, were hit hard. Intense selling roiled mark ets in Europe. Italy's main stock index dropped 6.8 percent. France's fell 5.4 percenta nd Germany's fell 5 percent. T he value of the dollar rose, and bond prices jumped so dramatically that analysts said they were stunned. Analysts said the bond action reflected fears that the tur-m oil in Greece would tear at the fabric of Europe's financial system and create a crisis that could engulf the entire European Union, which together forms the world's largest economy. This brings all of the con cerns about Europe back to the front burner," said Scott B rown, chief economist at Raymond James. "If this ends up turning into a finan cial catastrophe in Europe, t hen no one will escape it." The prime minister of Greece said unexpectedly M onday that he would put the European rescue plan to a popular vote, the first refe rendum to be held in G reece since 1974. The plan requires banks that hold Greek nationalb onds to accept 50 percent losses to help keep the Greek economy afloat. It also beefs up a European bailout fund and requires banks to strengthen their financialc ushions. T here were also late reports that Greek lawmakers dissented from the plan, raising the possibility that Greece's government would not last until a confidence vote on Friday. I nternational creditors h ave demanded that Greece enact painful tax increases and drastic cuts in public wel-f are programs, and Greeks h ave shown their hostility to those measures in violent protests and strikes. I f the European rescue f alls through and Greece defaults on its debt, the rip p le effect would be global. Europe could fall into recession, hurting a major market for American exports, and b anks could severely restrict l ending. Crisis I t was only last Thursday t hat European leaders announced a deal that they believed would be a turning point in the two-year debt c risis. Banks agreed to take bigger losses on Greek debt and to boost their levels ofc ash, while the European Union increased the size of its bailout fund. Global stock m arkets surged after the plan was unveiled. Now, those gains seem to be fleeting. The stock market is e xpressing disgust with Greek politics and a lack of confidence that Italy andS pain will generate the growth needed to pay down their debt," said PeterB oockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co. The Dow fell 297.05 points, or 2.5 percent, to close at 1 1,657.96. It was the biggest drop since Sept. 22. The Dow has lost 573 points, or 4.7 perc ent, in the last two days. The S&P 500 lost 35.02, or 2.8 percent, to 1,218.28. Some analysts took comfort that the S&P closed above 1,215.A drop below that level w ould erase nearly all of the m arket's gains in October. The Nasdaq composite dropped 77.45, or 2.9 percent, to 2,606.96. Pfizer Inc. was the only company in the Dow stock to rise. It gained 0.4 percenta fter its income and revenue b eat Wall Street's estimates. General Motors Co. sank 9.8 percent after its Octobers ales came in lower than Wall S treet analysts were expecting. Financial companies in the S &P 500 dropped 4.7 perc ent, the biggest loss among the 10 company groups that m ake up the index. Bank of America Corp lost 6.3 percent. JP Morgan Chase & Co. dropped 5.9 p ercent, and Citigroup shed 7 .7 percent. Tuesday's sell-off came a fter an almost uninterrupted rally in October that was largely due to higher confidence in Europe's latest financial rescue plan for G reece and signs that the U.S. economy was not falling i nto another recession. T he S&P 500 rose from 1,099 on Oct. 3 to 1,285 Friday, or 17 percent. The last two days, it's given up onethird of that gain. "The market is being held hostage by a random event t hat is overshadowing every thing else," said John Canally, an economist at LPL Financial. Canally noted that the U.S. economy continues toe xpand. Retail sales came in better than expected in September and auto sales increased inO ctober. In the United States, the market sank Monday before t he surprise Greek announcement. MF Global Holdings, a securities firml ed by former New Jersey G ov. Jon Corzine, was dri ven into bankruptcy in part because of its holdings ofE uropean debt. The selling a ccelerated after the Greek announcement, and the U.S. m arket opened with a drop of almost 300 points. In the bond market, the yield on the 10-year Treasury n ote sank to 1.96 percent from 2.16 percent late Monday, a steep drop. Bond yields fall when their prices rise as investors buy assets that are considered to betterh old their value during a s lowing economy. The dollar rose to $1.36 for every euro. The yield on the 30-year T reasury bond sank from 3.38 percent Friday to 2.96 percent Tuesday. "That's the biggest change that I've seen in my career," said Guy LeBas, chief fixed income strategist at Janney M ontgomery Scott. "It's obscene." T he yields of Italian debt spiked to their highest level t his year, another sign that investors are concerned that the debt crisis could spread to the larger economies of E urope. The yield on 1-year Italian government bonds soared 48 percent to 5.17 per c ent. The yield on the 10-year G erman bund plunged to 1.78 percent, a 23.5 percent fall from the day before. The German economy is seen as t he strongest in Europe and the most likely to repay its debt. BUSINESS T HE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2011, PAGE 7B 52wk-Hi52wk-LowSecurit y Previous CloseToday's CloseChangeDaily Vol.EPS $Div $P/EYield 1.190.97AML Foods Limited1.181.180.000.1480.0408.03.39% 10.639.05Bahamas Property Fund10.6310.630.00-0.6420.080-16.6 0.75% 7.504.40Bank of Bahamas6.936.930.000.2300.10030.11.44% 0.530.17Benchmark0.180.180.00-0.0480.000N/M0.00% 2.842.55Bahamas Waste2.702.700.000.0300.09090.03.33% 1.961.77Fidelity Bank1.771.770.000.0970.04018.22.26% 11.108.29Cable Bahamas8.468.460.000.2450.32034.53.78% 2.802.33Colina Holdings2.602.600.000.4380.0405.91.54% 8.508.33Commonwealth Brewery8.508.500.000.7400.00011.50.00% 7.006.21Commonwealth Bank (S1 6.546.540.000.4960.32013.24.89% 2.001.63Consolidated Water BDRs1.851.79-0.060.1110.04516.12.51% 1.771.31Doctor's Hospital1.371.370.000.0740.04018.52.92% 5.504.75Famguard5.435.430.000.4980.24010.94.42% 7.505.35Finco5.355.350.000.7570.0007.10.00% 9.457.75CIBC FirstCaribbean Bank8.148.140.000.4940.35016.54.30% 6.005.00Focol (S 5.335.330.000.4350.22012.34.13% 1.001.00Focol Class B Preference1.001.000.000.0000.000N/M0.00% 7.305.58ICD Utilities7.307.300.00-0.1220.240-59.8 3.29% 10.809.80J. S. Johnson9.829.820.000.8800.64011.26.52% 1 0.0010.00Premier Real Estate10.0010.000.001.2070.2008.32.00% 52wk-Hi52wk-LowSecuritySymbolLast SaleChangeDaily Vol. 99.4699.46Bahamas Note 6.95 (2029BAH2999.460.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 17 (Series A) +FBB17100.000.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 22 (Series B) +FBB22100.000.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 13 (Series C) +FBB13100.000.00 100.00100.00Fidelity Bank Note 15 (Series D) +FBB15100.000.00FINDEX: YEAR END 2008 -12.31%30 May 2013 20 November 2029 7% RoyalFidelityMerchantBank&TrustLtd(Over-The-CounterSecurities) 29 May 2015B ISX LISTED & TRADED SECURITIES AS OF:7% Interest 19 October 2022 Prime + 1.75% Prime + 1.75% 6.95%TUESDAY, 1 NOVEMBER 2011B ISX ALL SHARE INDEX: CLOSE 1,367.10 | CHG -0.06 | %CHG 0.00 | YTD -132.41 | YTD % -8.83BISX LISTED DEBT SECURITIES (Bonds trade on a Percentage Pricing basis)Maturity 19 October 2017 W WW.BISXBAHAMAS.COM | TELEPHONE: 242-677-BISX (2479) | FACSIMILE: 242-323-2320 52wk-Hi52wk-LowSymbolBid $ A sk $Last PriceDaily Vol.EPS $Div $P/EYield 10.065.01Bahamas SupermarketsN/AN/A14.00-2.9450.000N/M0.00% 0.550.40RND Holdings0.350.400.550.0010.000256.60.00% 41.0029.00ABDAB30.1331.5929.004.5400.0009.030.00% 0.550.40RND Holdings0.650.750.400.0290.00024.130.00% 52wk-Hi52wk-LowFund NameNAVYTD%Last 12 Months %NAV 3MTH 1.57791.4674CFAL Bond Fund1.5779263.39%5.87%1.548717 3.02482.9020CFAL MSI Preferred Fund3.02482.63%3.94%2.981382 1.61281.5289CFAL Money Market Fund1.61512.61%4.53%1.591803 2.72022.5398Royal Fidelity Bahamas G & I Fund2.5730-5.41%-9.79% 13.849313.2825Royal Fidelity Prime Income Fund13.73472.82%1.94% 114.128999.4177CFAL Global Bond Fund114.09222.35%13.88%114.128861 118.4255101.6693CFAL Global Equity Fund118.42552.30%8.26%116.580785 1.17491.0000FG Financial Preferred Income Fund1.18773.59%4.94% 1.13431.0000FG Financial Growth Fund1.14152.06%4.07% 1.17641.0000FG Financial Diversified Fund1.18903.47%5.04% 9.9952 9.5078Royal Fidelity Bah Int'l Investment Fund Principal Protected TIGRS, Series 19.94330.98%4.58% 11.49859.8690Royal Fidelity Bah Int'l Investment Fund Principal Protected TIGRS, Series 210.96520.78%5.70% 10.68139.6635Royal Fidelity Bah Int'l Investment Fund Principal Protected TIGRS, Series 310.60135.75%13.20% 8.85647.8830Royal Fidelity Int'l Fund Equities Sub Fund8.65073.01%18.38% BISX ALL SHARE INDEX 19 Dec 02 = 1,000.00 YIELD last 12 month dividends divided by closing price 52wk-Hi Highest closing price in last 52 weeks Bid $ Buying price of Colina and Fidelity 52wk-Low Lowest closing price in last 52 weeks Ask $ Selling price of Colina and fidelity Previous Close Previous day's weighted price for daily volume Last Price Last traded over-the-counter price Today's Close Current day's weighted price for daily volume Weekly Vol. Trading volume of the prior week Change Change in closing price from day to day EPS $ A company's reported earnings per share for the last 12 mths Daily Vol. Number of total shares traded today NAV Net Asset Value DIV $ Dividends per share paid in the last 12 months N/M Not Meaningful P/E Closing price divided by the last 12 month earnings FINDEX The Fidelity Bahamas Stock Index. January 1, 1994 = 100 (S) 4-for-1 Stock Split Effective Date 8/8/2007 (S1) 3-for-1 Stock Split Effective Date 7/11/200731-Jul-11 31-Jul-11 31-Jul-11TO TRADE CALL: CFAL 242-502-7010 | ROYALFIDELITY 242-356-7764 | FG CAPITAL MARKETS 242-396-4000 | COLONIAL 242-502-752531-Jul-11 30-Jun-11 31-Jul-11 5-Aug-11 30-Jun-11MARKET TERMS30-Sep-11 31-Jul-11 RoyalFidelity Merchant Bank & Trust Ltd (Over-The-Counter Securities) CFAL Securities Ltd. (Over-The-Counter Securities) BISX Listed Mutual Funds30-Jun-11 30-Sep-11 NAV 6MTH 1.535365 2.952663 1.580804 111.469744 115.762221 NAV Date 31-May-11 30-Sep-11 1(5/$1'(0,/)5,'RI9HUQDUG 7HUUDQFHRII%HUQDUG5RDG)R[+LOO3%R[1DVVDX %DKDPDV GREEK TURMOIL SENDS US, WORLD MARKETS LOWER A MOTORCYCLIST WATCHES a vendor selling Greek and EU flags ahead of a national holiday later this w eek, in Athens, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011. European leaders meeting later Wednesday in Brussels a re expected to shore up the eurozone bailout fund to contain the continental debt turmoil and prevent Greece from a catastrophic default. (AP
WASHINGTON Associated Press U.S. MANUFACTURI NGgrew more slowly in October, hampered by weaker demand for exports and slower production at factories. But companies ordered more goods, factories slashedt heir stockpiles and auto sales rose. Those trends sugg est manufacturing activity could rebound in coming m onths. T uesday's data, which also s howed a slight uptick in construction spending in Sept ember, point to an economy t hat is growing but remains too sluggish to lower the u nemployment rate, which has been stuck at 9.1 percent for three straight months. "Overall, economic condit ions seem just about strong e nough to avoid a recession, but not strong enough to gene rate any meaningful growth," said Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics. The Institute for Supply M anagement said Tuesday that its manufacturing index dropped to 50.8, down from5 1.6 in September. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion. Measures of production a nd new export orders fell. A gauge of employment dipped but remained stronge nough to signal that facto ries are adding workers. Separately, the Commerce D epartment said builders spent slightly more in Sep tember on projects, the seco nd straight monthly increase. A gain in spending on home construction offset declines in government projects. Still, the annual rate ofs pending is roughly half the $ 1.5 trillion that economists consider healthy. U.S. automakers reported stronger sales in October. That could lift manufacturing in the months to come. Sales are now back at the same pace they were beforet he March earthquake in Japan, which disrupted supplies and left many dealers with few popular models f rom Toyota Motor Corp. a nd Honda Motor Co. Sales Chrysler said its U.S. sales jumped 27 percent in October compared to the same month a year ago. Ford Motor Co. said its sales rose 6 percent, while General M otors Co. sales' were up 2 percent. Nissan and Hyundai reported big jumps in sales. Honda and Toyota continued to struggle. Honda sales were unchanged; Toyota's d ropped 8 percent. S tocks plunged on worries that a planned referendum in Greece could derail a dealt hat European leaders forged last week to stem the region'sd ebt crisis. The Dow Jones industrial average closed d own 297 points for the day. Broader indexes also ended the day lower. E urope's financial troubles have forced many nations there to cut demand for imported goods. That has a ffected manufacturing in the U.S. and also in China. A report in China showed that manufacturing grew at the slowest pace in nearlyt hree years in October, partl y because of weak export orders. "Manufacturing is feeling a chill wind from a generally weaker global economic environment, and this is unlikely to change anytime soon," said Joshua Shapiro,c hief U.S. economist at MFR Inc. Factories were among the first businesses to start growi ng after the recession offic ially ended in June 2009. The manufacturing sector has g rown for 27 straight months, a ccording to the index. However, factory activity slowed this spring. Consumers cut back on purchase s in the face of higher prices for gas and food. And the e arthquake in Japan disrupte d supply chains, which slowed U.S. auto production. Despite slower growth in U.S. manufacturing, econom ists were encouraged by details in the ISM report. An index measuring new o rders rose to 52.4, the first time it has topped 50 in four m onths and the highest readi ng in six months. M anufacturers also said t heir stockpiles fell sharply. T hat means that factories will h ave to boost output to meet any increase in demand. "The combination of risi ng new orders and declining inventories is generally a favorable forward-lookingi ndicator," said Michael Fero li, an economist at JPMorgan Chase. And the prices that manufacturers paid for raw mater ials fell sharply, indicating that inflation pressures are dissipating. T he prices index plummeted from 56 to 41, the lowest point since April 2009. Report Bradley Holcomb, the chair of the group's survey committee, said the reportr eflects "positive relief from raw materials pricing and continuing strength in a few industries, but there is also more concern and caution a bout growth in this uncert ain economy." T he export orders index dropped from 53.5 to 50. A reading of 50 means theo rder level is unchanged. S tronger manufacturing would help boost hiring, which also weakened thiss pring. Employers added only 103,000 jobs in September.T he unemployment rate stayed at 9.1 percent for a third straight month. The government releases t he October employment report Friday. Economists forecast that employers added 100,000 jobs last month and unemployment remained stuck at 9.1 per c ent. The ISM is a trade group of purchasing managers based in Tempe, Arizona. Itc ompiles its manufacturing index by surveying about 300 purchasing managers across the country. NEW YORK Associated Press BANK OF AMERICA C ORP.is scrapping its plan to charge a $5 monthly fee for d ebit card purchases after outraged customers threatened an exodus. The about-face comes as customers across the country petitioned the bank and mobilized to close their accounts in favoro f credit unions and community banks. The outcry prompte d other major banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co., to cancel trial tests of their own debit card fees. Bank of America, the nation's second largest bank, said it reversed course after listening to an outcry from cus t omers. Anne Pace, a spokeswoman for Bank of America, declined to say whether there was a spike in account closures following the September announcement that it would start charging the fee early next year. Higher fees have become a f act of life for bank customers in recent years. But this one touched a nerve because it hit so close to home; many Americans have come to rely on deb it cards to manage essential expenses such as groceries and gas. At the same time, there's still l ingering resentment over the role that banks played in the 2008 financial meltdown and the ongoing home foreclosure crisis. That anger has come to s urface in recent weeks with the Occupy Wall Street movement. The banks have countered by saying that efforts in the past two years to regulate the industry have forced them to raise or introduce new fees to stay profitable. That made the march to higher fees seem almost inevitable and makes the rare victory by consumers in this case even more remarkable. "When I heard about the fee, it was the last straw for me," said Molly Katchpole, a 22year-old nanny whose online petition urging Bank of America to drop the debit fee captured more than 300,000 signatures. "I'm living paycheck to paycheck and one more fee was just too much." Katchpole said she already closed her account and moved her money to a community bank in Washington, D.C. For her, the damage has been done. She said Bank of America's decision won't win her back. It's still too early to say whether the bank's gross mis calculation of consumer senti ment will have a lasting impact. But Bank of America is also dealing with a host of other troubles, including the poten tial for large mortgage-related settlements to drain its capital and plans to cut 30,000 jobs to reduce expenses. Last quarter, the company lost its standing as the nation's largest bank by deposits to Chase. The news of the debit card fee meanwhile drew criticism f rom even President Barack Obama and sparked a movement called "Bank Transfer Day" that urged customers to close their accounts by this Saturday. "This is Bank of America's Netflix moment," said Mark Schwanhausser, a banking ana lyst with Javelin Strategy & Research. "It misjudged what consumers would bear. It was the wrong fee at the wrong time." The bank's actions echo the reversal of Netflix to split its DVD-by-mail and streaming video services after vehement consumer complaints. The uproar over a potential debit card fee was particularly strong because it's fundamentally a fee for customers to access their own cash at a time when consumers are trying to cut back on borrowing, he said. Diane Abela, a 38-year-old Manhattan resident, said she had been waiting to see if Bank of America would back down on its plan before closing her account. "I'm unemployed and $5 makes a big difference," said Abela, who learned of the bank's reversal just before heading into a job interview. "When you're working on a budget every week, it's the last thing you need." Unlike Chase and Wells Fargo, Bank of America's announcement that it would start charging customers a monthly debit card fee came without any testing in the marketplace. Pace, Bank of America's spokeswoman, said the decision to roll out the fee was instead based on internal customer sur veys. She declined to detail the nature of those surveys but said that in the past couple of weeks "customer sentiment changed." The high-profile retreat could signal that the specter of a debit card fee has been extinguished for the time being. But it doesn't mean customers won't continue to see higher fees elsewhere. BUSINESS PAGE 8B, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2011 THE TRIBUNE FACTORY ACTIVITY SLOWS AS ECONOMY STAYS SLUGGISH IN THIS May 24, 2011 file photo, 2012 Chrysler 200 vehicles are seen on the assembly line at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Sterling Heights, Mich. Manufacturing growth slowed in October from the previous month, a troubling sign that U.S. factories are struggling in the weak economy. (AP BANK OF AMERICA BACKS DOWN ON $5 DEBIT CARD FEE