A Conversation with the Author of “Both Sides of the Coin”

Author(s): Central Bank Of Barbados

Created 05 Feb, 2020
Tags Both Sides of the Coin
Categories General Press Release
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Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados Harold Codrington has written a book chronicling the organisation’s history from its inception to its 40th anniversary.

Both Sides of the Coin: The Story of the Central Bank of Barbados 1972-2017 explores both the Bank’s role and involvement in national issues, and less discussed internal matters.

In an interview with current Bank Secretary, Elson Gaskin, Codrington offers a behind the scenes look at the establishment of the Bank, discusses the different ways the Bank contributes to Barbadian society, and talks about the Bank’s relationship with its staff.

On the Bank’s Operational Autonomy:

“Governor [Courtney] Blackman did not wait around hoping that the ability to run the Bank would fall in his lap. Governor Blackman told the Board, ‘I cannot run this Bank unless you give me the power to do so.’ The Board said, ‘We don’t know if we can delegate the power to you.’ Dr. Blackman said, ‘Find out.’

“The Board asked the Attorney General, who said, ‘Yes. Under certain sections, you can delegate powers to the Governor.’ The delegation of powers meant Governor Blackman could do things in the Bank… without reference to the Board on every occasion.”

On the Central Bank as a Corporate Citizen:

“In 1977, the Bank decided to set up something called the Export Credit Guarantees Department to give assistance to the manufacturing sector to help them with the exports… In the 1980s, the Bank ventured into giving scholarships – the Bank established two scholarships with [University of the West Indies] Cave Hill… The Bank built the Frank Collymore Hall and the Grande Salle in order to support the arts and culture…. The Bank has done all kinds of charitable things in this country.”

On the Bank’s Staff:

“If you check the HR records, you will see that a lot of the staff have remained with the Bank for upwards of 30 years. They have been very committed to the Bank…. The Bank has been able to keep a very loyal staff for a very long time, and that is a plus for the Bank.”

Both Sides of the Coin has been described as “a tour de force” by historian Sir Henry Fraser and “a must for reading” but veteran business journalist, Jewel Brathwaite.  It is available in print at select bookstores islandwide and as an ebook.



Copyright 2020 by Central Bank of Barbados